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Ukraine to probe leak of secret plans to nab Russian mercenaries.

The State Bureau of Investigation will work to identify the source of a leak of what is believed to be secret documents describing Ukrainian military intelligence plans to detain a group of Russian mercenaries for further criminal prosecution.

That’s according to the SBI report, seen by Ukrinform.

According to the Bureau, on November 18, documents were published online containing information on the planning and implementation by the Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) of measures related to the detention of mercenaries with Russia’s notorious Wagner Private Military Company.

"As part of the initiated criminal proceedings, the authenticity of these documents will be verified, while officers who had access to these documents and may be involved in their leak will be identified," the SBI said.

Read also: Venediktova: Bellingcat ’s files to be attached to Wagner PMC fighters case

The inquiry has been launched into “disclosure of state secrets,” while treason or espionage charges are not on the table at the moment.

The sanction of the relevant Criminal Code article provides 2 to 5 years in prison and a ban from certain government positions for up to 3 years.

As Ukrinform reported, on November 17, an international group of investigative journalists, Bellingcat, published an extensive report into what is alleged to have been a special operation by Ukrainian intelligence and security officials aimed to recruit, lure, and then detain mercenaries with Russia’s Wagner PMC, involved in war crimes committed in the Donbas warzone. In their report, journalists analyze the circumstances and reasons for the alleged failure of the operation.

The report claims the chief of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, proposed to postpone the final part of the operation for a week in order not to disrupt the signing of a Donbas ceasefire deal with Russia.

The President’s Office in a statement condemned the publication of military intelligence documents regarding the operation to detain the Wagner PMC mercenaries.

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