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US stage-managing Belarusian unrest, says Russian foreign intelligence chief

The director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service SVR stated that Washington had provided about $20 million for staging anti-government demonstrations in Belarus
Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin Vladimir Gerdo/TASS
Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin
© Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Washington is playing a central role in fomenting the anti-government demonstrations in Belarus, Director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service SVR, Sergey Naryshkin, said. A text of his statement was obtained by TASS from the SVR’s press office.

“According to the available information, the United States is playing a pivotal role in the current events in Belarus. Though publically Washington tries to keep a low profile, once the massive street demonstrations began, the Americans stepped up funding to the Belarusian anti-government forces bountifully to the tune of tens of millions of dollars,” Naryshkin said.

He stressed the obvious signs of Western involvement in the events in Belarus.

“The demonstrations have been well organized from the very outset and coordinated from abroad,” he said. “It is noteworthy that the West had launched the groundwork for the protests long before the elections. The United States in 2019 and early 2020 used various NGOs to provide about $20 million for staging anti-government demonstrations,” Naryshkin specified. He explained that the money was used to create a network of “ostensibly independent bloggers” and information accounts along social networks and train activists for street demonstrations.

“Some of them underwent training in Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, where experienced US instructors coached them to stage ‘non-violent’ protests,” Naryshkin said.

He remarked that “the United States is closely mentoring former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and other opposition activists, whom they try to present in the guise of ‘popular leaders’ and future top officials of a 'democratic Belarus'.”

“In its contacts with its European allies, Washington insists on increasing pressure on Minsk in order to force the legitimate authorities of Belarus to start a dialogue with the so-called Coordination Council on a ‘handover of power’,” Naryshkin said. “In fact it is a poorly camouflaged attempt to stage another color revolution and anti-Constitutional coup, having nothing to do with the interests of the Belarusian people.”