Kremlin Demands Release of Russians Held in Belarus

The Kremlin on Friday asked ex-Soviet ally Belarus to release 33 Russian men detained in Minsk over an alleged plot to organize riots ahead of next month’s presidential elections.

Belarussian security services on Wednesday arrested the group of Russians, saying they were mercenaries on a mission to destabilise the country in the run-up to the Aug. 9 polls.

Belarus’ KGB security service said the men were members of the Wagner group, a notorious private military firm reportedly controlled by an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

“We hope that in the very near future this incident will be explained by our Belarussian allies and that the citizens will be released,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

He added that the “groundless detention of Russian citizens does not quite fit the parameters of allied relations.”

Belarus investigators said the men were working with prominent opposition critics Sergei Tikhanovsky and Mikola Statkevich who were both jailed and barred from contesting the ballot.

Peskov on Friday confirmed the Russian men were “employees of a private security company” who were staying temporarily in Belarus before traveling onwards to Istanbul.

“They missed their plane,” he said. “They had tickets to Istanbul.”

During a massive campaign rally in the capital Minsk, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya — the leading rival to Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko — denied claims the opposition was working with Russian mercenaries to incite mass unrest.

Tikhanovskaya, who is married to the jailed blogger Tikhanovsky, said people only wanted a fair election.

She said Russian private contractors might have been using Belarus as a transit point for a long time and questioned the timing of this week’s arrests.

(c) The Moscow Times

3 comments

  • “Belarus investigators said the men were working with prominent opposition critics Sergei Tikhanovsky and Mikola Statkevich who were both jailed and barred from contesting the ballot.

    Peskov on Friday confirmed the Russian men were “employees of a private security company” who were staying temporarily in Belarus before traveling onwards to Istanbul.”

    Two liars trying to fool the Belarus public. These Wagner were probably sent to Belarus as a excuse for Luka to arrest the rest of the opposition. Him and Putin are hand in glove with this one. That’s my theory anyway. Putin would not want Luka getting deposed, a democratic Belarus is a danger to mafia land.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yeah. What would the putinazis gain from toppling Lukashenko? Is there a candidate waiting in the wings who is an even more fervent putler jackboot licker than him?

      Liked by 4 people

  • onlyfactsplease

    “The Kremlin on Friday asked ex-Soviet ally Belarus to release 33 Russian men detained in Minsk…”
    Certainly, one must question the dwarf’s motives for sending in those morons (the question of whether there are more is for now irrelevant).
    On the one hand, does he want to help his semi-buddy Luka by this? The arrest of those “militants” would give the impression of Luka being a strong president who was able to apprehend these guys and stand up to the dwarf. Certainly, many Belarussians love strong men as leaders. Thus, the dwarf helped his buddy with this simple trick.
    On the other hand, perhaps this is indeed an attempt to cause some sort of harm to Luka. After all, he has been very – let’s say wishy-washy – with his relationship with the Moscow rat. The Moscow rat certainly can’t use having his “closest ally” being other than completely loyal, considering the fact that there are unrests in mafia land. The Ruskies are known to often relieve internal pressure in the country by some sort of diversion externally.
    Mafia land demands the return of those morons. Now, the ball is in Luka’s court. We’ll see what happens next.

    Liked by 4 people

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