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Maidan-style coup attempt unfolding in Belgrade — Russian ambassador

An anti-government rally was held in Belgrade on May 28

BELGRADE, May 30. /TASS/. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s opponents are trying to stage a Maidan-style coup (the term "Maidan" was coined after Kiev’s central Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, to refer to anti-government riots) in the capital, Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko said on Tuesday.

"This is part of the hybrid war. I would like to stress that anti-Belgrade forces acted almost synchronously; they operate on two fronts - this is the situation in Kosovo and attempts at a Maidan coup here, in Belgrade," he said.

An anti-government rally was held in Belgrade on May 28. The protesters gathered near the building of Serbia’s national broadcaster. It was the fourth protest rally in the past month.

Grass-roots demonstrations under the slogan Serbia Against Violence were held in Belgrade on May 8,12, and 19 following two shootings that occurred on consecutive days in the country on May 3 and 4. The first was a school shooting in Belgrade where ten people died and seven were wounded, followed up by eight people being killed and 14 wounded by an armed man in Mladenovac the next day. People demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic and chief of the Security Information Agency Aleksandar Vulin. Apart from that, the demonstrators insisted that some pro-government media propagating violence and hatred be shut down.

The first rally was quite peaceful, with practically no anti-government slogans. People were simply congregating in silence in front of the parliamentary building. During the second rally, protesters blocked a bridge across the Sava River and chanted anti-government slogans. The third demonstration had an anti-government character too. According to the Serbian interior ministry, more than 11,000 people took part in these rallies.