Former intelligence officer from the Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) of Ukraine Roman Chervinsky said that the employees of the department involved in the special operation to detain the “Wagnerites” were threatened with criminal prosecution from the Office of the President. About this Chervinsky told on the air of the talk show “Freedom of speech with Savik Shuster” on the TV channel “Ukraine”.
“At first there were threats of dismissals, criminal proceedings, which were allegedly transferred from the Office of the President. After the meeting at the President’s Office, we received such “messages” – “you will be held accountable, you must keep silent,” said the former intelligence officer.
According to Chervinsky, the scouts were asked to say that there was no operation. “In general, they tried to convince us, me personally – the person who performed at least 10 operations – that it was a Russian operation. It was funny to me, and therefore I did not want to talk to them about it “, – quotes former intelligence officer “Ukrainian Truth”.
Then, Chervinsky noted, “threats began.” The scouts were told that their passports would be “revoked” and that they would become involved in a criminal case. According to Chervinsky, after publications documents on the special operation on the Facebook page of journalist Yanina Sokolova from the GUR fired almost all the intelligence officers involved in the development of the detention of the “Wagnerites”.
Chervinsky also believes that the materials on the conduct of the special operation were destroyed and forged in order to hide the state treachery among the top leadership of the state.
Earlier, The Insider and Bellingcat published an investigation into how was preparing and was failed special operation to detain the “Wagnerites” in 2020. Under the guise of hiring security guards at the Rosneft facility in Venezuela, the Ukrainian special services managed to take out of Russia several dozen of the most wanted militants from Wagner PMCs involved in war crimes on the territory of Ukraine. The militants were supposed to board a Turkish Airlines plane in Minsk, which would have made an emergency landing in Kiev, but at the last moment the operation was unexpectedly “postponed” by the Ukrainian leadership, the militants got stuck in Minsk and were soon arrested by the local KGB.
The day before the departure of the Wagnerites to Minsk, on July 23, 2020, two heads of the special services responsible for the operation, the head of the GUR Vasily Burba and the deputy head of the SBU Ruslan Baranetsky, arrived at the President’s Office to present the final report on the upcoming special operation. Since at that moment President Zelensky was busy, they were redirected to a meeting with the head of his office, Andriy Yermak.
According to The Insider’s sources, Vasily Burba immediately after the meeting called the project leaders from the GUR team and explained that the President’s Office asks to postpone the operation for a week. By that time, President Zelenskiy had just reached an agreement with Russia on a ceasefire in Donbass, as he announced on the same day, July 23, at a joint press conference with the President of Switzerland. The ceasefire, which still required Normandy Four approval, went into effect on July 27, 2020. The formal pretext for postponing the special operation was allegedly that if it was carried out, as originally planned, on July 25, it would break the truce. In other words, according to this logic, the arrest of the “Wagnerites” two days before the date of entry into force threatened an armistice significantly more than their arrest three days after the entry into force.
The scouts said that a delay of a week was impossible and would lead either to a loss of confidence on the part of the Wagnerites, or to the emergence of suspicion among the Belarusian or Russian special services, or to both. As a result, the “Wagnerites” were arrested in Minsk by the KGB and then extradited to Russia.
The temporary commission of inquiry in the Verkhovna Rada was unable to establish who was involved in the failure of the special operation. And on November 25, 2021, the journalists of the Scheme program published information that the intelligence officers who were in charge of the special operation had their passports illegally canceled to travel abroad.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy commented in detail on the operation only a year after its failure. At a press conference in November 2021, he laid down the responsibility for this lies with the ex-head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Colonel-General Vasily Burba, calling him a “swindler”. According to the president, the implementation of the original plan of the operation could lead to the death of civilians and the deterioration of relations between Ukraine and Turkey. Burba, according to Zelensky, allegedly argued that the death of people could be “blamed on Russia.”
On the air of the talk show, Roman Chervinsky spoke about another special operation to capture a person accused of war crimes in Donbass. It is noteworthy that it also ended in the interests of Moscow, and the suspect was handed over to the Russian authorities. We are talking about the capture of militant Vladimir Tsemakh, who is one of the key witnesses in the case of the plane crash of flight MH17. The airliner, according to the investigation, was shot down in the summer of 2014 by a missile fired from the Russian Buk anti-aircraft complex.
In 2019, Tsemakh was seized by intelligence officers who entered the territory controlled by the militants of the self-proclaimed DPR. Then he was taken to Kiev under the guise of a patient in a wheelchair. Investigators of the Netherlands, who are investigating the crash of the Boeing MH17 in Donbass, declared their desire to interrogate Tsemakh and demanded not to give him to Russia. However, on September 7, 2019, an exchange of prisoners took place between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Among the persons transferred to Moscow was Tsemakh.
The head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak then said that Tsemakh was not “super important.” According to the official, Ukraine also gave the Dutch investigative authorities the opportunity to carry out all the necessary investigative actions with him. However, already in December 2019, the Ukrainian authorities announced Tsemakh is wanted.