KGB chairman: ‘Some individuals’ set to destabilise situation in Belarus on unofficial Freedom Day

Ivan Tsertsel. Photo: BelTA

The Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) is well aware of certain people’s plans to ‘destabilise the situation’ in the near future, KGB chairman Ivan Tsertsel said on March 9.

In the wake of Tuesday’s meeting with Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the top official told journalists that said that the general situation in the country is stable, but there were ‘concerning’ issues.

“First, unprecedented pressure on our state on the part of foreign partners in relation to the sanction policy and some other things. Second, we are talking about attempts, the report mentioned specific individuals, plans to destabilise the situation soon. I am talking about 25-27 March,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Tsertsel.

According to him, the KGB also spotted an increase in terrorist threats which ‘originate from the territory of neighbouring countries’.

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In late February, opposition politician Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya urged Belarusians to ‘prepare for Freedom Day’, i.e. to mobilise ‘the spirit of protest’, build safe communities, plan to return to the streets of their own cities.

Earlier, her aide Franak Vyachorka suggested that Belarusians might get back to holding mass protest marches in the spring of 2021, on a ‘proper occasion’, e.g. Freedom Day.

Freedom Day (Dzień Voli) is an unofficial holiday in Belarus, which is celebrated on March 25 to commemorate the creation on that date in 1918 of the Belarusian People’s Republic (BNR). It came into existence at the end of the First World War, when Bolshevik forces left Minsk and the city was occupied by German troops. On March 25, 1918 the Provisional Government (Rada) proclaimed the independence of the BNR. After the Red Army re-entered Minsk, the Communist government replaced the Rada; its members had to emigrate. The Lukashenka regime denies Freedom Day and keeps barring the opposition forces from celebrating it.

Belarusian KGB head says active phase of protests over but perpetrators still at large