Russian intelligence services have all the necessary evidence of a conspiracy against Alexander Lukashenko, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, TASS reports.
“The special services have the evidence. Our special services have jointly carried out an operation to suppress criminal plans to overthrow the legitimate government in Belarus. Intelligence agencies have all the necessary evidence. In addition, they also have the confessions of some conspirators,” said Peskov.
On Saturday, 17 April, Alexander Lukashenko said that political analyst Alexander Feduta and lawyer Yury Zenkovich were involved in plotting the assassination attempt on him and his sons. “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.
Later that day, the state-run ONT TV channel aired a report with a commentary by the KGB Chairperson Ivan Tertel that the special services “managed to prevent attempts of an armed coup in Belarus and elimination of government officials”. The official said that Alexander Feduta, Yuri Zenkovich and Grigory Kostusev were members of the criminal group. The ONT reported that “the conspirators plotted the coup for the summer of this year, June or July”.
The Federal Security Service (FSS) of Russia confirmed the information of the KGB of Belarus and stated that it had participated in the operation to detain Feduta and Zenkovich in Moscow. According to the agency, they arrived in the city after consultations in the U.S. and Poland to meet with “opposition-minded generals of the Belarusian Armed Forces.” At the same time, according to the FSS, seizing power by force in Belarus was planned for 9 May.
“Any suggestion that the U.S. government was behind this or was involved in the attempted assassination of Lukashenko is completely false,” said the U.S. State Department representative.
A criminal case under Part 1 of Art. 357 (Conspiracy or other actions committed with the aim of seizing or retaining state power by unconstitutional means) of the Criminal Code of Belarus. They face punishment from 8 to 12 years in prison. On April 21, the KGB of Belarus reported that four persons (Zenkovich, Feduta, Kostusev, the fourth was not named) were detained in the “coup d’etat case”.
On 24 April, Alexander Lukashenko spoke about three scenarios for his elimination, and also said that in the coming days he would sign a decree that would answer the question: “What will happen if they succeed in assassinating the president?” Lukashenko explained that if such a situation happens, the country will have a “collective president in the form of a Security Council”.