On Saturday, 17 April, Alexander Lukashenko said that political analyst Alexander Feduta and lawyer Yury Zenkovich, detained last week, were involved in plotting the assassination attempt on him and his sons. Later that day, the ONT channel aired a report with a commentary by KGB Chairperson Ivan Tertel that the special services “managed to prevent attempts of an armed coup in Belarus and elimination of government officials”. The Federal Security Service of Russia confirmed that the agency carried out the special operation jointly with the KGB of Belarus.
“Why I kept silent on this? Because it’s about me, my family, my children. I didn’t want to talk about it. But they dared to take on my children. They planned to capture one son, then another, see how it goes, put them in a cellar. By the way, they already prepared the cellar in Gomel Oblast. We detained a group, they showed us what and how they were planning. Then we found out about the involvement of foreign intelligence services. Most likely, the CIA, the FBI, I do not know which of the Americans exactly. We learned about their plans to come to Minsk and to organize an assassination against the president and his children,” said Lukashenko.
According to Lukashenko, Minsk special services warned Moscow about this, “to keep abreast of realities”.
“They were detained in Moscow. From the U.S. agents flew in, some Zenkovich. We tracked them, monitored them. They were afraid to go here [to Belarus – Ed.] after we detained several groups that had already brought their weapons to hiding places here. And they left for Moscow. Who else was there?”
“Feduta,” state journalists told him.
“Then they began to look wider, this is where Kostusev appeared, who was involved to a lesser extent. He was not in Moscow, but here alongside some others. We know they are, this is why we can already disclose some information,” Lukashenko continued.
He stated that he asked the Russian President and Tertel [KGB Chaiperson] asked his counterpart, FSB Head Alexander Bortnikov. “We had them arrested there. We sent our assault team of 11 to 12 people there,” he added.
“God forbid, they touch my children, who have nothing to do with it at all. God forbid, not only mine, but yours as well, this will be a terrible massacre. You see, I stuck it out, I kept waiting, I drew red lines for myself, redrew them. Now we will go hard on them. They will regret every single thing they planned. But I am surprised by something else: why do the Americans behave this way? After all, no one, except the top political leadership, can authorize to eliminate a president. Only them, not special services.”
According to Lukashenko, this issue was raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden.
“He heard only mumbling and not a single answer in response! Vladimir Vladimirovich called me and said about it when I arrived from Azerbaijan,” Lukashenko added.
Simultaneously with the publication of Alexander Lukashenko’s statement, the ONT TV channel aired a report in which KGB Chairperson Ivan Tertel said that the KGB had prevented the attempts to stage an armed rebellion in Belarus and to eliminate government officials. The report showed the moment of detention of people allegedly involved in the preparation of the assassination attempt on Alexander Lukashenko and the coup.
Ivan Tertel said: “The KGB had recently completed a special multi-stage operation to thwart attempts to stage an armed rebellion in Belarus and to eliminate government officials, including the head of state. […] The members of this group had thoroughly planned and started implementing the plan to physically eliminate the President of Belarus and his family members, organize an armed rebellion in order to seize power by force. The group included both citizens of Belarus and foreign citizens.”
The TV report said that the codename for the assassination plan was “Silence”. It also showed fragments of talks between Alexander Feduta and other “conspirators”: Dmitry Shchigelsky, Igor Makar, Grigory Kostusev, Alexander Perepechko and Pavel Kulazhenkov in an online conference.
“There was a successful transformation, not of the regime, but at least the rotation, in Egypt. I mean the case with Anwar Sadat (the President of Egypt from 1970 to 1981, who was killed in 1981 by Islamic fundamentalists during the parade – Ed.]. Period, I propose not to discuss the name of Anwar Sadat. Everyone knows how to use Wikipedia, everyone can see what happened there. And this, in my opinion, is the only scenario that can be realized,” says the political scientist.
From these words, the authors of the report conclude that the “conspirators” planned to repeat this [murder] in Belarus. ONT claims that it was Alexander Feduta who planned “assassination and coup” and “a scenario involving the use of force”. The journalists of the state channel named Yuri Zenkovich “the main organizer of the coup”.
The report also showed hidden camera footage with Alexander Feduta and Yuri Zenkovich meeting unknown people probably in Moscow.
“Task number one is to eliminate the main one. Task number two is to occupy, block the riot police. Task number three is to seize a number of symbolic objects in the city centre, including radio stations and television, and read out our address. It would be good if we block Minsk so that they cannot deploy external troops,” says Yuri Zenkovich.
“At least 30 people should be interned [forcibly detained – Ed.] literally in the first hour,” says Alexander Feduta.
The ONT TV channel reported that “the conspirators plotted the coup for the summer of this year, June or July”. This information is at odds with the information of the FSB of Russia, they claim that seizing power by force in Belarus was planned for 9 May.