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According to intelligence obtained by Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), Russia is preparing a large-scale false flag operation at the Mozyr oil refinery in Belarus.
Under the alleged plan, a Russian sabotage-reconnaissance group would carry out a "provocation" at the refinery. Moscow would then blame the attack on Kyiv in an attempt to drive Belarus into the war against Ukraine, the SBU wrote on Aug. 4.
The sabotage group reportedly comprises Russia's military personnel and employees of special services who were sent to Belarus under the guise of Wagner mercenaries.
The SBU said it had received information about the potential attack from several sources. They include testimony from a Russian soldier who was taken prisoner in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and the data from his phone.
The Russian POW had previously fought against Ukrainian forces in the country's south but was recently instructed to relocate to Belarus as a fake member of Russia's private mercenary Wagner Group, according to the SBU.
"Already at the stage of relocating, the Russian serviceman was briefed on a 'special mission' at the Mozyr refinery. In his phone, cyber specialists of the SBU found deleted correspondence with other saboteurs, pictures of the facility, and other information about the operation."
The Mozyr oil refinery is located in the Belarusian city of Mazyr, some 50 kilometers from the Ukrainian border and over 150 kilometers from Russia's border.
After the Wagner Group's failed rebellion against the Russian military leadership, thousands of Wagner troops and heavy equipment were relocated to Belarus from Russia. Minsk has claimed that the mercenaries are training the Belarusian military.