Moscow, April 18 | Russia’s top intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said that it has detained two members of the Belarusian opposition who plotted a military coup and an assassination attack on President Alexander Lukashenko.
In a statement on Saturday, the agency said: “In a special operation conducted by the FSB alongside the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (KGB), the illegal activities of Yuri Leonidovich Zyankovich, a dual citizen of the US and the Belarus, and Belarusian citizen Alexander Feduta were prevented, as those had been scheming to stage a military coup in Belarus in accordance with the tried and tested ‘color revolution’ scenario with the involvement of local and Ukrainian nationalists, as well as the physical removal of President Alexander Lukashenko,” TASS News Agency reported.
“According to proactive information received from the Belarusian partners, in private chats of an internet messenger the ideologists of radical opposition Zyankovich and Feduta organised discussion of a plan of armed uprising in Belarus and decided to hold an in-person meeting in Moscow, using available measures of secrecy, with the opposition-minded generals of the Republic’s Armed Forces.”
The FSB added that Zyankovich and Feduta met secretly with so-called “Belarusian generals” at a Moscow restaurant to discuss details of the coup scheduled on May 9, when a Victory Day parade will be held in Minsk.
“At the meeting, the conspirators told the ‘Belarusian generals’ that to succeed in implementing their plan, it was necessary to physically remove nearly all the top figures of the republic. They described in detail the plan of a military coup, including the seizure of radio and television centres to broadcast their address to the nation and the blocking of internal troops and OMON (riot police) loyal to the authorities in the capital.
“They were preparing a blackout of the Belarusian power grid to hamper the actions of the army and law enforcement agencies,” it added.
Before the meeting in Moscow, Zyankovich went to the US and Poland for consultations, according to the FSB.
After documenting the secret meeting, Russian security agencies detained the conspirators and handed them over to Belarusian counterparts.
Lukashenko has also confirmed the detention of a group that was scheming an assassination attack on him and his children, TASS News Agency reported.
“We have detained a group, who have guided us and showed how they had been planning all that… Then we exposed operation of evidently foreign intelligence services. Most likely, the Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI,” he was quoted as saying in a statement on Saturday.