32 Wagner PMC militants return to Russia

Detention of Wagnerians. Screen ONT

Thirty-two Russian citizens detained in Belarus in late July on suspicion of organizing mass riots have returned to Russia, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia. One more person from the group has a Belarusian passport and preferred to stay in Belarus.

The Prosecutor General’s Office stressed that “the transfer of persons was held in strict compliance with international law and national legislation of Russia and Belarus”. The decision was taken after the request of Prosecutor General of Russia Igor Krasnov.

Interfax, citing its source, claims that the returned Russians are not threatened with criminal or other procedural prosecution. Now they are leaving for their homes.

On August 12, the office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine made an official request to the colleagues in Belarus to extradite 28 militants of the PMC Wagner, who are associated with “Putin’s Chef” Evgeny Prigozhin. Kyiv conducted an investigation and believes that all of them took part in the hostilities in Donbas against the Ukrainian military.

According to the Ukrainian law enforcers, 28 Wagner PMC militants fought on the side of the occupation administrations of LNR and DNR. Nine of them are citizens of Ukraine. The Shevchenko district court of Kyiv took all suspects into custody in absentia for two months. Earlier, Presidents of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Belarusian Alyaksandr Lukashenka talked about the possible extradition of the militants.

On July 29, the KGB of Belarus and riot police detained 33 people, mostly Russian citizens, suspected of involvement in the PMC Wagner activities. Belarusian law enforcement officers claimed that they had arrived in the country to destabilize the situation on the eve of the presidential election. In Moscow, they said that the guilt of the detained Russians had not been proven in any way. In their testimony, Wagnerians told different versions of why they had come to Belarus. Some said they had been in transit to Istanbul through Minsk for various reasons, while others explained that they had been going to Latin America.