MINSK, 31 May (BelTA) – As he presented government awards to KGB officers, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko revealed details of the special operation the KGB officers had carried out in Ukraine in order to free Belarusian citizens, BelTA has learned.
Officers of the State Security Committee of Belarus (KGB) were awarded Medals for Excellence in Military Service in recognition of their high professionalism and exemplary discharge of military duties.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Today's event is an usual one although perhaps you deserve the kindest words and the spotlight of mass media. But I didn't choose your life for you and your preferences. I am deeply grateful to you for this. It is a true manly service.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked KGB officers for the successful operation, which was staged to release dozens of Belarusian citizens, who had been virtually in captivity in Ukraine's territory.
“Visibly against their will they happened to be hostages of not only the situation but individual desires of the worst people in Ukraine. When the Russian Federation began the special operation, dozens of our people remained there as, frankly speaking, hostages of the circumstances. And we had to bring them home, return them to their families,” the president revealed some details.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated with regret that two Belarusians had not come home in the end. They were killed by Ukrainians even before Belarusian special services started the operation. “Time will come when we sort them out, too,” he stated.
The head of state continued: “I remember saying back then that if they don't return the guys to us, we will carry out a drastic special operation among other things in order to free our guys. The State Security Committee was instructed to prepare this event and free our people. This operation went off without a single shot under your supervision and with your involvement. It seems to me that no one in Ukraine has found out in the end how it happened. You've brought people to their families. A very noble deed for a military serviceman – to bring dozens of people home without noise, without shots fired. This is why I am extremely grateful to you for your deed.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed he presented the awards in recognition of a great deed committed in the interests of the state. He said he had never been more pleased to present the awards. “The state owes you not only these awards,” he remarked. “You didn't fail the president. You took your agency to the next level by showing that we have decent professionals.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko first mentioned the KGB operation in Ukraine at a session of the Security Council on 7 April.
The head of state said back then: “Things went too far and these scoundrels started capturing our people, primarily drivers of the vehicles, which happened to be there at the time. They arrested about 1,500 railway cars of ours, captured our automobiles, and I think up to 100 our guys, who were driving these semi-trucks. I warned Ukrainians that we would be forced to stage an operation to free these people. We carried out such a special operation and freed all our people.”