KIEV, September 3. /TASS/. Ukraine’s notorious website Mirotvorets reported on Thursday that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had been included in its database for the decision by the Belarusian authorities to return to their homeland 32 Russian nationals earlier detained in Belarus.
Belarus announced the detention of 33 Russian nationals on the night of July 29, saying that they were members of the Wagner private military company. The Russians were accused of plotting a terrorist act ahead of the presidential election in Belarus.
Ukraine, in turn, said that 28 of the detained Russians had taken part in military activities in Donbass and requested their extradition. However, President Lukashenko revealed later that he was not considering extraditing Russian citizens detained in the country as Kiev requested, giving instructions to invite in Minsk the prosecutors general of Russia and Ukraine to discuss the situation.
Moscow dismissed the accusations as groundless. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that noted that these Russian citizens had come to Belarus and were due to fly by transit to another country and their stay was neither linked to Belarus nor Belarusian affairs. Peskov pointed out that those detained were members of a private security firm.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office announced on August 14 that Minsk had handed over to Moscow 32 detained persons. One more, who also holds the Belarusian passport along with the Russian one, stayed in Belarus.
The office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky expressed regrets over Minsk’s decision to return the 32 Russians to their home country, adding that Kiev was expecting "a decision that would be more judicially correct and balanced."
"Ukraine regrets the decision by the Republic of Belarus to hand over to Russia a previously detained group of individuals, employed by the Vagner private security firm. Undoubtedly, the Republic of Belarus is an independent state with its own views, but the Ukrainian side expected a decision that would be more judicially correct and balanced."
Ukraine will continue in absentia proceedings against Russian citizens detained in Belarus and handed over to Russia, Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Gyunduz Mamedov said, for his part.
Mirotvorets (Peacekeeper) website was launched in 2014 to publish personal data of everyone allegedly posing a threat to Ukraine’s national security. Over the past years, the website has put on its blacklist personal data of journalists, celebrities and politicians, who visited Crimea, Donbass and angered the authors of Mirotvorets due to some reasons. Although it is not an official Internet resource, Ukrainian border guards often barred people on the Mirotvorets list from entering the country.