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Russian FSB detains two individuals plotting coup in Belarus, assassination of Lukashenko

The coup was scheduled for May 9 during the Victory Day Parade in Minsk, Russia’s Federal Security Service said

MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained two individuals who plotted a military coup in Belarus and an assassination attack on President Alexander Lukashenko, the FSB Public Relations Center said on Saturday.

"In a special operation conducted by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation alongside the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (KGB), the illegal activities of Yuri Leonidovich Zyankovich, a dual citizen of the United States and the Republic of 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," the FSB said.

The FSB said, "according to proactive information received from the Belarusian partners, in private chats of an internet messenger the ideologists of radical opposition Zyankovich and Feduta organized 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 Public Relations Center continued that upon Zyankovich’s arrival in Moscow after his consultations in the US and Poland, such a meeting took place in a private room of a restaurant in Moscow.

"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 centers to broadcast their address to the nation and the blocking of internal troops and OMON (riot police) loyal to the authorities in the capital," it noted.

"They were preparing a blackout of the Belarusian power grid to hamper the actions of the army and law enforcement agencies. Some armed groups (guerillas) located at hidden bases were supposed to launch an active phase," the FSB reported adding that the ultimate goal was the upheaval of Belarus’ constitutional system, to eliminate the position of presidency and to vest political power in the National Reconciliation Committee.

The coup was scheduled for May 9 during the Victory Day Parade in Minsk, the FSB said.

"After the above mentioned meeting had been recorded, the conspirators were apprehended by the Russian security services and handed over to the Belarusian counterparts," the FSB said.