Russians detained in Belarus planned 'acts of terrorism, criminal probe begins : official

Belarus has opened a criminal probe into planned acts of terror after arresting a group of Russian mercenaries, the country's security council chief Andrei Ravkov told journalists on Thursday.

#BREAKING Russians detained in Belarus planned 'acts of terrorism': official

— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 30, 2020

Ravkov said a criminal probe had been opened over the arrest of the group of 32 Russian fighters by the Belarusian security services Wednesday. They face the charge of "preparation of terrorist acts".

"A criminal case was opened under article for preparing a terrorist act," he told journalists on Thursday.

According to TASS, they are accused of plotting to destabilise the situation ahead of the August 9 presidential election in Belarus

"They are testifying in due course of the investigation." "They are testifying," Ravkov said.

The state secretary of the Security Council arrived at the Central Election Committee headquarters on Thursday where a meeting with presidential candidates is held.

The detention of 33 Russian citizens in Belarus who are allegedly employees of a private military company occurred on the night of July 29. 

According to the Belarusian side, on Wednesday night 32 people were apprehended at a sanitarium near Minsk, while one more individual was arrested in southern Belarus. A probe was launched.

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