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TIC hears intelligence officers Chervinsky, Semeniuk on Wagner PMC – MP Bezuhla

KYIV. Sept 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Verkhovna Rada’s Temporary Commission of Inquiry (TIC) has heard information regarding the case of the Wagner PMC provided by intelligence officers Chervinsky and Semeniuk, Head of the Verkhovna Rada’s Temporary Commission of Inquiry Maryana Bezuhla has said.

"The hearing of these officers was held behind closed doors with the keeping of a protocol: everything they said will be recorded, will be attached to the materials and will be stored in the archives of the parliament, as well as the results of the work of the Temporary Commission of Inquiry regarding the issue of Wagner PMC. The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense [Kyrylo Budanov] confirmed that these officers were in positions at one time in the Defense Intelligence Agency […] According to information that was confirmed by the Defense Intelligence Agency, they were involved in a special event and were also authorized make decisions at the operational tactical level," she said at a briefing on Monday.

She also said that Chervinsky and Semeniuk "did not own the whole picture of such a special event, but were responsible for a part," since "the whole picture consisted of efforts" by various departments, divisions of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and later in cooperation with the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

"Mr. Chervinsky came to the Defense Intelligence Agency from the SBU, and before that he worked in the K department, which is engaged in anti-corruption activities, then he was engaged in counterintelligence, and then moved to the Defense Intelligence Agency with new functionality […]. According to preliminary data, it was Mr. Chervinsky I was responsible for the budget of the operation," Bezuhla said.

She also said the information provided by Chervinsky and Semeniuk coincides with "what the TIC processed, that an active special event was planned and implemented in the summer of 2020," but at the same time their personal position does not coincide with the position of the commission.

When asked who issued the order about this, Bezuhla said that Chervinsky and Semeniuk did not know such information, because "they confirm that the decisions about which they could draw conclusions were made at the level of Mr. Burba."

"One example of why they believe that the special event was successful is that, for example, the group freely crossed the border [of Russia and Belarus]. Although I noted on Friday that this was assessed as part of the general work of the department, as one of the risks […] According to their indications, there is a certain discrepancy in time, that is, in accordance with our data, the immediate active phase of decision-making and implementation is July 2020. Nevertheless, the whole special event is 2020," Bezuhla said.

When asked whether the information about the intelligence officers Chervinsky and Semeniuk was a official secret, the parliamentarian said they indicated their names under their own responsibility "not in a regime cabinet, they were warned about responsibility, that they were taking part in the TIC that are not officials."

In addition, the MP said that it was a purely Ukrainian special event to detain the Wagner PMC, and not a joint operation with the intelligence services of other states.