Belarus says it’s arrested Russian mercenaries, as rift grows between strongmen Putin and Lukashenko


Authorities have launched a criminal investigation against a man suspected of terrorism, according to the Belarus Security Council chief Andrei Ravkov. They face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Belarus law enforcement agencies said Wednesday that they have received the information more than 200 militants arrive in Belarus and the detention of 33 individuals determined to be a fighter from the private military company, a shady enterprise is widely considered to be the sponsor of the St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Prigozhin is the Russian oligarchs are often referred to as”Putin’s Cook”to his close relationship to the Kremlin. Wagner’s fighter before has been deployed to the Ukraine, Syria and Libya, among other places.

Lukashenko is likely to use his powerful propaganda machine’s image of himself is the one to defend the country from foreign threats the elections close.

Belarusian state TV released video of the RAID shows several men detained in a hotel room. A man is shown face down, handcuffed on the bed. This footage also showed that the alleged personal property of the detainees, including passport, US Dollars, other foreign currency and mobile phones.

Prigozhin of the Concord group of companies, reiterated its refusal, Prigozhin has Wagner, in a comment posted on their Facebook social media page late Wednesday. Prigozhin”has nothing to do with Wagner, is not funded they did not follow their whereabouts,”it said.

Prigozhin is recognized by the US-funded Internet Research, our intelligence agencies say meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

To suppress the protests

Belarus held presidential elections on 9 next week of mass protests, supported the opposition candidates, and on Lukashenko’s sixth re-election campaign. In the Belarus Security Council meeting last Thursday, officials say security measures will be stepped up in all the election activities, according to the Committee statement and state media reported. This will effectively limit the scale of the event and the protesters subjected to a thorough check. Border control with Russia will also be tightened.

Candidates to Lukashenko adjusted to the unexpected meeting in the Central Election Commission headquarters, where Ravkov warned that more militants are still in the country and”provocative.” He said they constitute a”threat to the security of citizens in a campaign organized by the presidential candidates.”

Authorities may also turn off or limit Internet access during the demonstrations, according to one of the presidential candidates Andrei Dmitriev, 他谈到当地的新闻组织Tyt.by.

“I asked Ravkov is it possible is the Internet will be limited in the demo,”he said. “I was told that they do not exclude this case, they believe that[the Internet]poses a direct threat to the safety of the country.”

Lukashenko’s accusations of playing politics

Today published a list, which contains the full name of what is said is detained men. The Belarusian State Security Committee The arrest of the suspects with the help of special police units. The Belarusian investigation Committee has opened an investigation.

Lukashenko said he would be asked to explain Russia, according to BelTA. The Russian Embassy in Belarus said in a tweet that it has received formal notification of the authorities about the detention.

The Kremlin, on Thursday said it is unaware of any illegal activity by the Russian arrested in Belarus, it has not all details about the arrest.

“Of course there are also some insinuations that this is some Russian organizations sending people to destabilize the situation in Belarus. This is nothing but innuendo. Russia and Belarus are allies and close partners, this is out of the question,”Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call.

The Russian writer Zakhar Prilepin, who before the fighting in the Eastern Ukraine separatists; side, writing on his Facebook page, he identified several of the men had been in his camp among the people arrested in Belarus. He suggested that people are most likely through Belarus on the fight against the other place, their detention is being used by Lukashenka for the use of future elections.

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“But if the Belarusian leadership to start using this story for their own purposes, it will definitely look ridiculous. This looks like a well-known story, when trained people move to certain destination, where they have their own business, they do not need Belarus,”Prilepin added. “I’m sure that the Belarusian special services are very clear, three dozen men in camouflage don’t go anywhere else.”

Out of the 33 people were detained, 14 have been identified as veterans of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, according to the Ravkov. The Ukrainian Ambassador has also been called upon to provide the interpretation, he said.

Ukraine said that it will work the possible extradition of its citizens, and added that it is developing”good neighborly relations”with Belarus.

“Ukraine has long warned members of Russian occupation forces and the illegal armed groups participating in hostilities in Eastern Ukraine is being used elsewhere in the world poses a threat,”the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The identification of these militants in Belarus confirm this indicates that they can be used to destabilize the situation in Belarus, the eve of the presidential elections.”

The U.S. military recently accused Russia sent Wagner mercenaries, with weapons such as air defense systems, to operate the front lines of the conflict in Libya. U.S. Africa Command also released a satellite photo, they say, shows Wagner’s vehicle and Russian military equipment to Libya to support anti-government rebels in the country’s civil war.

In the detention of the men’s items were confiscated, the authorities at the hotel a document written in Arabic, shows the A Prayer used by a Muslim of the Sunni religious order known as the al-Qadiriyya, popular among Muslims in the Arab countries in Northern Africa. The file and foreign currency now their belongings suggests that combatants may have to travel to another destination via Belarus the capital.

“Visitors to draw attention to themselves, because they behave uncharacteristically of Russian tourists and uniformed, military style clothes. They do not drink, do not have access to any place of entertainment, [and]to keep himself away from everyone trying not to draw attention to themselves,”reportedly said.

Alexei Kondratiev, a Russian Senator and the Colonel’s military GRU intelligence units, the details of the detention requires”inspection and enforcement of the two countries need to cooperate in this,”Russia state news Agency RIA Novosti reported.

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