The moral and psychological condition of 33 Russian citizens who were detained in late July leaves much to be desired, Kirill Pletnyov, a consul of the Russian Embassy in Belarus, said.
“Of course, we did our best to cheer them up, but I must honestly say that our compatriots are not in their best moral and psychological condition. They do not understand why they are accused of having ties with the Belarusian opposition leaders whose names most of them have never heard before,” the consul told RIA Novosti.
According to Pletnyov, each detainee confirmed that the purpose of their entering Belarus was nothing but transit through its territory. The final destination was one of the states in Latin America.
On July 29, 33 citizens of the Russian Federation who were staying in the Belarusachka health centre in Minsk district were detained on suspicion of making preparations for mass riots. The Belarusian investigators trace the connection between the arrival of the detained Russian militants and imprisoned blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski’s activity. On the same day, Andrey Raukou, Secretary of the Security Council, stated that more than 200 militants had come to Belarus to ‘destabilise the situation during the election campaign’. On July 30, four presidential hopefuls were informed of the feasibility of ‘provocations’ at pre-election rallies.
In turn, the Kremlin called the Belarusian side’s version ‘odious’ and ‘not standing up to any criticism’.
In early August, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka stated that the detainees were ‘guilty, but not to the extent that harsh measures should be taken against them’. It is unknown where the militants are now being held; they are reported to have been transferred to one of the penitentiary facilities near Minsk.