The materials collected by the SBU are of particular relevance in the context of today's press conference by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his statements regarding Wagner's mercenaries, according to the SBU's press center.
"On July 30, 2018, Russian journalists O.Jemal, K.Radchenko and O.Rastorguev were killed in the Central African Republic. According to the media, they were investigating the illegal activities of Russian mercenaries in that country. At the same time, the Russian authorities immediately denied the presence of Wagner's terrorists in the Central African Republic. However, the information received by the SBU yet again reveals the lies of Russian officials. According to the available data, Wagner PMC mercenaries were sent to the CAR by top command of Russia’s General Staff of Armed Forces in early 2018," reads the statement.
According to the SBU, the umbrella structure of the terrorists is a commercial firm affiliated with the very same “cook” and part-time Russian businessman E. Prigozhin - “M-Finance” LLC (St. Petersburg, the main areas of activity: mining of precious stones, private security services) In this case, some mercenaries were transported to Africa directly on private aircraft of E.Prigozhin.
According to the materials available in the SBU, the mission of the “M-Finance LLC security service” in the CAR includes the instructor training of members of local paramilitary forces, as well as secret removal of precious stones (diamonds) from the territory of the Central African Republic to Russia, in the interests of enrichment of Russia’s top state and special services’ officials.
The Security Service of Ukraine has identified 37 Russian citizens who are engaged by the leadership of Russian military intelligence on a rotational basis to the performance of service tasks in the CAR, as members of “M-Finance LLC security service” (the head of the Security Service is Russian Zakharov Valery Nikolaevich, DOB 12.01.1970, St. Petersburg, personal No. within Wagner structure - M-5658). Among those, SBU has already identified 10 mercs who were in the Central African Republic on the day the Russian journalists were killed. Most of these persons took part in terrorist activities in the East of Ukraine and in Syria, being awarded for the service with state decorations of the Russian Federation:
SBU materials show that after the Russian special services got intel about the departure of Russian journalists to the Central African Republic, the head of the "M-Finance LLC security service” Zakharov V.M. was given a categorical order to take exhaustive measures to prevent the leakage of information on the presence of Russian terrorists in this African country.
All of the above shows that today's statement by Russian President Putin regarding the mercenaries of Wagner PMC in the Central African Republic and the circumstances of the murder of Russian journalists O.Jemal, K. Radchenko and O.Rastorguev is a deliberate lie. SBU materials can become the “key” for identification and detention of direct executors of this flagrant crime - not “at some point in future”, but really soon.
SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak stated: “The covert operations of the Russian mercenaries of “Wagner” in the CAR should be the subject of an international investigation. The Russian government is in no way interested in establishing the truth, because the talk here is about the “private army of Putin”, whose hands are marred by thousands of civilian lives in Ukraine and Syria. We all must finally understand that silence of the global community is killing.”
SBU also presents a special media booklet on terrorist activity in Ukraine of a non-tenured unit of Russia’s General Staff of Armed Forces known as PMC “Wagner”. The booklet is published in Ukrainian and English and contains a QR code for direct access to the summary info collected by SBU and Ukrainian volunteers on the staffing and crimes of Russian mercenaries, including the intercepted conversations of Wagner PMC top command with supervisors from among the generals of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces.
The Security Service of Ukraine reports that in the coming days it will hold a special briefing of the SBU's Counter-Intelligence Department on the detention of 3 covert combat groups of Russian military intelligence in eastern Ukraine.
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