“The fact is that even during the planning of any operation, all risks are taken into account. If the risk exceeds the limit or, say, crosses the” red line “, the operation is not planned further in this direction,” the intelligence officer said.
According to him, the special services assumed that there could be a danger to passengers.
“But the fact is that no one knew – neither the Russians nor the Turks knew what was really going on. If there was information that the plane was landing for some reason, the people on board would not know where they sit. They would not understand this. And even if such a thing happened that there would be a threat to the civilians who were on the plane, he would just fly on. That’s it, “Semenyuk said.
November 17 Bellingcat published a joint investigation with the Russian edition of The Insider on the detention of 33 fighters of the Russian private military company “Wagner” in Belarus on July 29, 2020. Investigators found out that in fact the arrival of militants in Belarus was part of a failed special operation, which was carried out by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine and the counterintelligence department of the Security Service of Ukraine. The purpose of the operation was to detain the Wagnerites, many of whom took part in the hostilities in the Donbas on the side of the pro-Russian militants. For this, a group of employees of the Ukrainian special services recruited mercenaries of the Wagner PMC, ostensibly to work in Venezuela.
Due to the pandemic and restrictions on flights, it was decided to take the mercenaries from Russia to Minsk, and from there send them to Istanbul by plane. One of the elements of the operation was to be a forced landing of an aircraft in Ukraine. The final of the operation was scheduled for July 25, but at the last moment it was postponed for five days – and the plan failed.
Burba told Bellingcat that Zelensky knew about the special operation on the detention of mercenaries of PMC “Wagner” and approved its implementation, and Ermak asked to postpone the special operation for a few days to enter into force the armistice agreement in the Donbass. Burba later stated that Yermak allegedly told him that the order to postpone the operation came from the president… Burba believes that her it was impossible to transfer and this is one of the reasons for the failure of the operation.
The ex-head of the GUR also said that the employees of the department who worked on the operation on the Wagnerians, fired from the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and took their cover documents from them, and he himself was dismissed when he made a list of people who knew about the special operation.
On November 26, at a press marathon, Zelensky said that did not issue an order to postpone the operation to detain the militants of the Wagner PMC, since all his orders related to the operation were in writing. He stressed that Yermak could not give the head of military intelligence any orders related to the operation at all.
Zelenskiy also said that the landing of a Turkish Airlines plane in Ukraine during the planned special operation could have resulted in other passengers of the plane being injured. He said that does not consider this operation to be Ukrainian… Zelensky named Burba “adventurer and swindler” and stated that Burba wanted to involve Ukraine into a “huge scandal” with Turkish President Recep Erdogan.
“I am ashamed of this episode in the life of our intelligence, outstanding intelligence officers. I am ashamed. I say that we were weak in this operation,” Zelensky said.