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26 March 2024, 14:16

Lukashenko sheds light on Belarus’ role in detaining Crocus City Hall terrorists

OSHMYANY DISTRICT, 26 March (BelTA) – During a media scrum, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko shared details of his communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin and interaction of special services of the two countries during the manhunt for people that attacked the Moscow concert hall, BelTA has learned.

The head of state was asked whether  Belarus should take additional security measures in the wake of the tragedy in Moscow Oblast. Aleksandr Lukashenko replied that everything is already being done in Belarus to ensure security during mass events. “We send the police there, riot police, and if necessary, they are reinforced with military personnel. Everyone is armed,” the president noted. It is important to observe such a security algorithm. It is just as important to have surveillance cameras at venues. Video surveillance helped track down and identify the car with terrorists near Crocus City Hall.

After the tragedy, some media outlets did not rule out the possibility that the terrorists were planning to escape to Belarus through Bryansk Oblast. Aleksandr Lukashenko flatly dismissed these assumptions: “They could not enter Belarus. Their handlers (we have suspicions about some of them, I’ll call Putin and share my suspicions) knew that it would be a very bad idea to try to enter Belarus, because Belarus immediately reinforced security measures, just like a part of the oblast in Russia. In the very first minutes, I received a report from the KGB chief (he is involved in anti-terrorist activities). We put our units on combat alert, including forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Checkpoints were set up on roads, including on roads connecting Belarus with Russia; the forces of the KGB, the State Border Committee, and some military units were deployed. “That’s why there was no chance they could enter Belarus. They realized it. So they took a turn and headed to the Ukraine-Russia border,” the head of state said. The operation to detain the perpetrators went very well, the president added.

The head of state emphasized the effective and coherent interaction between Belarus and Russia after the terrorist attack. The interaction between Belarusians and Russians was very solid, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The president explained that immediately after the attack, the special services of the two countries acted in line with an established algorithm, as it was determined by the presidents of Belarus and Russia. “Bortnikov and Tertel got in touch, they jumped into action, they reported to us. And from that moment on, the things that concerned us, the president of Russia and the president of Belarus, were raised several times during our communication,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. As soon as the heads of state received information from the intelligence services that the car with the terrorists was moving in the direction of Bryansk, it was agreed that Belarus would seal off its section of the road that could be used by the criminals, and the Russian side would do the same on its section. “We exchanged phone calls. I asked him: “Do you need anything else?” - “No. Everything is fine.” He asked me: “Can you help me seal it off?” “Absolutely. We are doing everything.” That was the dialogue that we had,” the president said.

“Why have I said this? Because this self-exiled opposition (theirs and ours) began to reproach Putin: “Why is he not addressing the nation?” In fact, Putin and I did not sleep for 24 hours! What would they know about this? We kept in touch all the time. When it was time to address the nation, he did it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
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