Wagnergate scandal is thrust back into the spotlight as two intelligence officers come forth with new details on the foiled sting operation.
On Friday, Roman Chervinsky and Yuriy Semenyuk, went public with an interview for ‘Svoboda slova’ TV to offer their judgment of what went wrong in the sting operation targeting Wagner mericinaries they were part of.
Chervinsky implied Zelensky’s officials could be linked to the capture plan leak.
‘It was betrayal. Somebody had called the other party’. Belorus shouldn’t have detained them [group of Wagner mercenaries that arrived in Minsk] going into an open confict with Russian. Belarus had been fed some disinformation, they were supposed to detain them and hand them over to those who had provided the information’
As all the key operatives involved in the plan were fired soon after the story, the following investigations failed to track down an alleged ‘mole’ behind the sensitive information leak.
‘We started to list people that had to be checked on. And [Vasyl] Burba said he would provide the names of those from the President’s Office who had access to this information so we could plan some inspection. We never got the list as Burba was fired’.
uriy Semenyuk who was also involved in the planning of the sting operation, claimed they made sure the plan would go smoothly.
‘Nobody knew – nor Russian, nor Turks – what was going on. If those aboard had got information the plane was landing, they wouldn’t have known where it was and why. Had there been any moments or threats for civilians, the plane would have flown on’.
Roman Chervinksy went even further and said that the information about the planned capture could have been disclosed by the Ukrainian president.
‘Somehow or other Lukashenko got this information. He confirmed this information himself about terrorists in the Belarus territory who were going to stage a revolution in Belarus. If Zelensky says that he didn’t want this operation to be held and called it an adventure, maybe, he had called [and told Lukashenko] himself? Zelensky could have warned Erdogan as well.’
Chervinsky slammed Zelensky administration officials who ‘have kept the president in fear’ and ‘are afraid of challenging Russia’.
‘It is not just one ‘mole’ [in Zelensky’s administration], it is a bunch of people. Tatartov, Yermak, Demchenko. When in his last day of work Burba tried to find out who betrayed.. Demchenko took him aside and told ‘Why did you do this? You wanted Russian tanks in Kyiv?’. They are keeping the president in fear as .. he is not good at seeing nuances’.
Another concern is constant shakeups in intelligence agencies, noted Chervinksy, arguing new appointments are short on experience in top roles, and ‘terrible things are happening, which we can’t talk about’.
The Wategate scandal should be properly investigated to expose ‘our traitors’.
‘It looks much like 2014. Our defense minister turned out to be a Russian citizen while the SBU chief at the time of my service, showed up in Russia. I have this feeling that carrying through with this situation will see some [officials] ending up in Russia’, stressed Chervinsky.
Wagner mercenaries were detained in Minsk in late July of 2020 over allegations they arrived to ‘destablize the situation of election campaign’. A few weeks later, Belarus turned the detainees over to Russia disregarding Kyiv official request to extradite them to Ukraine.
This June, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky admitted in his TV interview he called Belarus president to ask for Wagner mercenaries extradition to Ukraine.