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Scoop of the day: Was the Wagner case an SBU operation?

Scoop of the day: Was the Wagner case an SBU operation?

Wagner case

The chief of the main intelligence department of the Ukrainian Defence Minitry, Kyrylo Budanov, has denied reports that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had allegedly been plotting to detain the Wagner PMC mercenaries in Ukraine and that this operation had been derailed following a leak from the presidential office. He said such reports were a special operation of the Russian special services.

National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine agent Yevhen Shevchenko was among the first to report the alleged disruption of the SBU operation. Censor.net editor-in-chief Yuriy Butusov made similar allegations, quoting his own sources.

Journalist Yanina Sokolova has posted on her YouTube channel the recordings of conversations presumably featuring the Wagner mercenaries sent out to Russia by Belarus. They can be heard discussing their handlers and operation areas.

Belarus

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the Belarusian people are defending their right to free choice just like the Ukrainians did during the Orange Revolution in 2004. In his opinion, it is impossible to resolve the situation in Belarus without holding a new presidential election.

Rosh Hashanah

Uman mayor Oleksandr Tsebriy has spent the night in a sleeping bag outside the presidential office, seeking a meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky to warn him against allowing the annual pilgrimage of Hassidic Jews to his home town for Rosh Hashanah. He said that many of the pilgrims come from the red coronavirus zone unchecked.

The governments of Ukraine and Israel have called on the pilgrims to abstain from visiting Uman for Rosh Hashanah. A joint statement to this effect was published by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

UK

UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace has arrived in Kyiv on an official visit to demonstrate military and political support for Ukraine and discuss the development of bilateral defence cooperation.

Donbas

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appointed former Prime Minister Vitold Fokin the first deputy head of the trilateral contact group on Donbas. Fokin will oversee communication with representatives of Donbas involved in the work of the group.

Bodies of unidentified people killed during the Donbas hostilities in 2014, which were found at a burial site in Slovyansk, have been exhumed. Their DNA samples will be sent to Kyiv for testing.

Coronavirus

Ukraine has registered 1,616 new coronavirus cases by the morning of 18 August. The total count has reached 94,436 cases, including 2,116 fatalities and 48,925 recoveries.

Economy

Ukraine has introduced customs duties on the import of diesel fuel, liquefied gas and coal from Russia, valid until the end of year.

Crime

The Ukrainian cyber police have identified three individuals suspected of laundering $42m in the crypto currency market. The cyber police have been cooperating with the Binance crypto exchange to identify fraudulent transactions.

An Armenian citizen suspected of making hoax bomb alerts about the embassies of the USA and Turkey in Ukraine on 1 August 2020 has been detained in Kyiv.

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