Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he believes that Vasyl Burba, former head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, wanted to involve Ukraine in a scandal with Turkey through a special operation called "Wagnergate."
He said this during a press marathon "Thirty Questions to the President of Ukraine" on Friday, November 26, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
According to Zelensky, passengers of a Turkish Airlines plane could have been captured during this special operation. In addition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not know anything about this, Zelensky said.
"After the meeting, I said that he [Burba] wanted to involve us in a huge scandal with Erdogan. Erdogan would never forgive us for this," Zelensky said.
In addition, Zelensky noted that Burba had disclosed secret information about a special operation against Wagner Group mercenaries, thus violating the law.
"Now that all this is a thing of the past, I can talk about it. Because Burba and others are openly talking about [information] they have no right to disclose. I believe that this is a violation of the law - the disclosure of classified information," he said.
On November 17, Bellingcat published its investigation into a sting operation to arrest the fighters of Russia's Wagner Private Military Company, in which it analyzes the circumstances and reasons for its failure. In particular, the investigative journalists say that Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak suggested postponing the special operation by a week in connection with achievement of the agreement on ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
The State Bureau of Investigation plans to interrogate Yermak in the case of the operation to detain Wagner group mercenaries.
Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, in turn, said that Yermak could not influence the course of the special operation. The Ukrainian parliament's interim investigative commission did not find any evidence of a leak of information about the special operation from the Ukrainian side. The commission failed to establish which of the Ukrainian officials decided to postpone the operation.