Russian agent who undermined Ukraine's sovereignty now spotted in Russian embassy in Belarus - media

Russian agent who undermined Ukraine's sovereignty now spotted in Russian embassy in Belarus - media

Belarusian independent media rings an alarm bell as a decorated Russian officer, who had been notoriously engaged in undermining Ukraine's sovereignty in the run-up and during the Russian attack on Ukraine in 2014, is now spotted in the Russian Embassy in Belarus. 

This is amid fresh concerns raised in Belarus by Russian rhetoric, hinting at a possible "repetition" of "Ukrainian events" in Belarus.

Concerns are raised in the article by Viktor Dobrovolskiy, which was published in Belarusian Internet newspaper Belarusian Partisan on Thursday, December 6. 

"It was just recently that Minsk and Moscow argued about the future Russian ambassador to Minsk... Minsk's concerns were obvious: Babich (the new ambassador - ed.) is a former KGB-officer (former?) and has already been declined by Ukraine when proposed as an ambassador there. Some of the members of his team include… Kirill Sergeyevich Kolyuchkin," the article goes.

Kolyuchkin, according to the report, is notable in a number of instances. He has worked since at least 2017 as a Russian military and air force attache to Belarus. However, it is his "Ukrainian: period that sets the alarm ringing for Belarusians. According to the article, Kolyuchkin worked in the Russian Embassy in Ukraine in years prior to Euromaidan protests and during them - supposedly at the same position as he has just been sworn in the Russian Embassy in Minsk.

"Information on Kolyuchkin's work in Belarus is very limited. Almost absent. Until a certain moment, that was the case with his career in Ukraine too," the article says.

It is known though that Kolyuchkin was deported from Ukraine after being caught by Ukraine's SBU security service on April 30, 2014 (when Crimea was already annexed and Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine was just unfolding) as a result of a "counterintelligence operation" while "conducting an agent's task," the Security Service of Ukraine said. Kolyuchkin, the Belarussian media suggests, was actively involved in undermining Ukraine's sovereignty even before 2014. The article claims that he took an active part in Russian actions aimed at undermining Ukraine's sovereignty during the bloodiest latest days of Euromaidan protests.

"Kolyuchkin was caught conducting special operations just when Russian aggression in Ukraine was expanding and was deported from Ukraine. He later 'popped up' in Belarus. In the embassy. At the same seat," the article's author shares his concerns.

Finding such a person in the Russian Embassy to Belarus is especially concerning given the latest raising of tensions between the two countries and Russia's top propagandist Margarita Simonyan hinting at the possibility of a "Ukrainian scenario" in Belarus, Dobrovolskiy says.

"Does Simonyan know something?" he asks.


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