Russians detained in Belarus claim there were going to Venezuela, Turkey, Syria and Cuba
Russians detained in Belarus were planning to fly to Venezuela, Turkey, Syria, and Cuba, the head of the Belarusian investigative group Alexander Agafonov on air of the Belarusian TV channel ONT, as quoted by TASS.
“It is obvious that while organizing the crime the attackers were preparing alibi for themselves. A similar situation occurred with the detention of 33 citizens of the Russian Federation, who were carrying tickets for the July 25 flight to Istanbul. However, as the investigation found out, they did not intend to fly there,” Agafonov explained.
“All the detainees are interrogated with their lawyers present. Their testimony is inconsistent and contradictory. 11 people intended to fly to Venezuela, 15 went to the Republic of Turkey, two – to Cuba, one – to Syria, one did not know where to fly, three refused to testify,” explained Agafonov.
Earlier, the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said that the Russians detained in Belarus were transiting to Istanbul.
According to him, the Russians missed the plane and waited for the flight. “They had tickets to Istanbul, they are employees of a private security company. They did not commit crimes, carry anything illegal and did not commit any illegal acts. That’s what we know unequivocally,” the spokesman said.
Peskov also said that the Kremlin is concerned that Belarus has not yet provided Russia with information justifying the detention of the Russians. He said that while the presidents of Russia and Belarus have not spoken on the phone yet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy in Minsk are working on this situation.
“Belarus is our ally. Of course, we want the election campaign to be as successful as possible. We don’t mean to intervene. We don’t plan to intervene. It should be taken in the context of the campaign,” he added.
On July 29, 33 Russians, who are, allegedly, members of the Russian Private Military Company the Wagner Group, were detained near Minsk. Belarusian media reported that the country’s law enforcement agencies were informed about the arrival of more than 200 militants in Belarus “to destabilize the situation during the election campaign.” The Russians first moved into one of the hotels in Minsk, and then moved to a resort near Minsk.