MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Minsk has information that the West planned to launch a military offensive against Russia in case of the successful outcome of an attempted coup in Belarus in 2020, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.
"You [the West] were preparing for it. We know it for sure," Lukashenko said speaking in an interview with Russia’s Rossiya-24 television channel.
"I have already told [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that we will shortly make this information public, the facts in particular on how - in the successful outcome of the 2020 uprising in Belarus - they planned to seize authority in our country and approach the border at the Smolensk Region and unleash a war against Russia and Donbass. The war would have started in 2021-2022," Lukashenko stressed.
On August 9, 2020, Belarus held presidential elections. According to the Central Electoral Commission, Alexander Lukashenko won the election.
Immediately after the outcome was announced, mass protests engulfed Belarus, which initially led to clashes with the police. The West did not recognize the results of the presidential election. The EU introduced five sanctions packages against Belarusian officials and a number of companies.
Developments in Ukraine
The situation along the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military back then, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.
On February 21, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had decided to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.