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22 March 2022, 19:20

Belarus' KGB eliminates Ukrainian spy ring acting under diplomatic cover

MINSK, 22 March (BelTA) – The KGB has eliminated Ukrainian spies, who operated under diplomatic cover, BelTA learned from Deputy Chief of the Investigation Office of the State Security Committee of Belarus (KGB) Konstantin Bychek.

Konstantin Bychek said: “For the last few years the State Security Committee has been registering active intelligence-gathering efforts on the part of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Belarus as well as Ukraine's consulate in the city of Brest. While the total staff employed by the diplomatic mission of Ukraine only slightly exceeds 20 people, at least half of them are career officers of the Central Intelligence Office of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine. It is unprecedented even for diplomatic missions of large countries and indicates Ukraine has chosen a policy of aggressive intelligence-gathering activities in Belarus contrary to normal diplomatic relations.”

In his words, personnel of the embassy were involved in covert intelligence work, attempted to set up a branching network of informers made up of citizens of the Republic of Belarus, and personally gathered intelligence, including information about Belarusian military installations.

“The State Security Committee's measures to suppress illegal manifestations on the part of Ukrainian diplomats, which should have sent a wakeup call to Ukrainian intelligence services, have not stopped hostile activities against our country,” the official noted. “In line with the Belarusian legislation actions of individual Ukrainian diplomats contain essential elements of crimes described by article 358 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (espionage). However, in line with article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations the specified persons enjoy immunity against criminal jurisdiction of the host country. Due to the current situation the State Security Committee has taken exhaustive measures to neutralize intelligence-gathering efforts of the enemy and eliminate the resident spies, who had been acting under diplomatic cover.”

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