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Lukashenko says $10 mln allocated for his assassination

The BelTA news agency reported that armed people were to attack his residence in the countryside
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Sergey Sheleg/BelTA/TASS
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko
© Sergey Sheleg/BelTA/TASS

MINSK, April 24. /TASS/. Organizers of the assassination plot against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko allocated $10 mln to achieve the goal, Lukashenko told reporters on Saturday.

The BelTA news agency reported citing Lukashenko that armed people were to attack his residence in the countryside, that $10 mln were allocated for this purpose and $1 mln for the sniper.

"We have long seen that. Do you think we carried out this operation in Moscow out of the blue? We were keeping a close eye on them. They were expected to come to Minsk and conduct this operation," Lukashenko said.

In Lukashenko’s words, the conspirators had drawn up a few scenarios. First, they plotted to assassinate the president at the May 9 parade, Next, they considered an attack on the presidential motorcade, so they even bought grenade launchers and brought them to Belarus. Lukashenko continued that under the third scenario, armed people were tasked to attack the presidential residence in the countryside.

Lukashenko added that among the conspirators was a security officer who acted as a general who had sold out.

"He was our agent. Well done. Thanks to the guy, since he helped us massively and was not scared. They wanted him to call for the army uprising," Lukashenko said.

Apart from that, the coup plotters planned to use the army to blockade Minsk, as well as the forces of the riot police, internal troops, the Interior Ministry and State Security Service (KGB), Lukashenko added.

The Belarusian president explained if they had clashed the law enforcement forces, it would have been "the most terrible and hottest civil war which none of the countries has ever experienced." Lukashenko went on to say that the conspirators planned to black out Minsk. He emphasized that new details of the case would be published in the near future.

Organizers of the coup in Belarus planned to use the army to blockade Minsk and black it out, Alexander Lukashenko said. "The insurgents planned to use the army to blockade Minsk, along with the forces of OMON [riot police], internal troops, the Interior Ministry and KGB," BelTA news agency said quoting Lukashenko.

The Belarusian president explained that all of them are armed, and if they could have clashed, it would have been "the most terrible and hottest civil war which none of the countries has ever experienced."

According to Lukashenko, "apart from that, the conspirators were planning to black out Minsk."

Lukashenko informed about a cyberattack plotted against the country, adding that it could be carried out "only at the state level," since a handful of hackers would not be able to cope with the task. According to the president, new details of the case will be published soon.

Failed plans of the opposition

According to Lukashenko, during his visit last October to the detention center, where blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, husband of ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, is kept, he read out a document that outlined a plan of the opposition which sought power. In particular, the plan was to put the president’s youngest son, Nikolai, in jail, although he is underage.

"They (the opposition - TASS) betrayed us a long time ago, and they were supposed to allegedly come to power here for 24 hours and declare that we are in power. What for? To ask NATO to send troops in to Belarus and to deploy them on the eastern border near Smolensk. It was a springboard - I have always told you - to attack Russia. It was the first step. Even though they would deny it, today we see that it is true," said Lukashenko.

Belarus held presidential elections on August 9, 2020. According to the Central Election Commission’s official results, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide. His closest rival in the race, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, came in second, but refused to accept the result of the election and fled Belarus. After the results were announced, mass protests erupted in downtown Minsk and other Belarusian cities. During the early post-election period, the rallies snowballed into fierce clashes between the protesters and police. Sporadic local protests continue to date.

Coup plot

On March 18, Ivan Tertel, the Belarusian KGB chief, reported that a coup attempt by a terrorism-related organized group, which plotted the killing of President Alexander Lukashenko and his family and an armed uprising to seize power, had been thwarted.

According to the investigators, the plot was conspired by dual Belarusian-American citizen Yuri Zenkovich, who has lived in the United States since 2007. He was detained in Moscow along with Belarusian nationals Alexander Feduta, a political analyst, and Grigory Kostusev, a leader of the Belarusian People’s Front opposition party. According to Belarusian investigators, the coup plot was financed from abroad and the conspirators maintained close contacts with terrorist organizations. Overall, no less than three scenarios to seize power in the republic were planned. Later, the KGB said that four individuals were charged with conspiracy to seize power.