Why do Putin and Lukashenka need a fake coup attempt?

Alyaksandr Lukashenka claims to have prevented an attempt at an armed coup prepared by the American secret services. Vladimir Putin publicly repeats this thesis and threatens the collective West. Few people believe in this story. But do the leaders of Belarus and Russia believe in it? And what do Putin and Lukashenka want to hide from each other? Andrey Parotnikau, head of the Belarus Security Blog project, Alexander Goltz, a Russian military expert, and Anatol Lyabedzka, president of the European Dialogue Centre, comment.

The work of the CIA and the FBI, plans to capture the Lukashenka family, and a cellar in Homiel region, which has already become a meme. Bedtime tales in Belarus are told by its illegitimate leader:

“The plans were to capture the child: one or the other, we’ll see how it goes. Like, we’ll lock them in a cellar. By the way, a cellar has been prepared in the Homel region. We detained the group, brought them there, they showed us how everything was planned. We found their desire to appear in Minsk and organise an assassination attempt on the president and his children.”

This is not the first time that Lukashenka has invented such a story: he already claimed an assassination attempt before the 1994 election.

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Anatol Lyabedzka, president of the European Dialogue Centre:

“For example, in Liozna Lukashenka was a man who was going to conquer the political Everest. And then it was perceived as a real threat to a person of interest to millions of voters, so there he was gaining some points, some positive image. Today, when Lukashenka’s rating is miserable, such stories no longer work. They only cause a shrug. And here Lukashenka will definitely not collect any dividends.”

Now this strange statement during the subbotnik. Like, together with the Russians we exposed the malicious plan. However, there is a discord in the versions. Russia’s FSB claims that a military coup in Belarus was prepared by Belarusian generals with the support of the United States and Poland, while Lukashenko speaks of a conspiracy led by either the CIA or the FBI.

Andrey Parotnikau, head of the Belarus Security Blog project:

“Obviously, the announcement of this story about the failed coup was completely unexpected and unplanned. That’s why we saw these inconsistencies in the versions between Lukashenka, Belarusian propaganda, the Russian FSB and what was shown to us later.”

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Obviously, voicing a plan for an alleged change of power and doing so in Moscow, the authors of the idea had to be fully confident in the status of their interlocutors and their commitment, as well as in the complete security of all negotiators. So, someone gave them such guarantees in Moscow.

Anatol Lyabedzka, president of the European Dialogue Centre:

“The initiative belongs to the special services of the Russian Federation. It is very tempting for them to tie Lukashenka up even more in this situation, to create the impression that without Moscow he is absolutely nothing. And for them there is another profit: a very good situation to increase tensions between Lukashenka and the United States and the European Union.”

Andrey Parotnikau, head of the Belarus Security Blog project:

“The Russian FSB reports: [Yury] Zyankovich and [Alyaksandr] Fyaduta were sure that they were meeting with Belarusian generals. Therefore, it is very likely that they were really Belarusian generals, real ones. And these people by their status were able to implement these plans, which at least we saw in the published video, where a man, who looks like Fyaduta, voices a plan for a coup in Belarus.”

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Against the background of this story, Vladimir Putin’s loud statements about preventing the assassination attempt on Lukashenka look like nothing more than a banal attempt to avoid responsibility using the radical rhetoric of his Belarusian counterpart. Like, they really exposed the cynical plan of the West to seize power in Belarus.

Alexander Goltz, military expert, Russia:

“Putin’s support for Lukashenka is not opportunistic, but principled. Vladimir Vladimirovich is firmly convinced that any attempt of the people to get rid of an authoritarian ruler is necessarily the result of a conspiracy of the Western secret services. After all, the people are so stupid that they can not want to get rid of an authoritarian ruler.”

However, this does not add to Lukashenka’s positivity, as he and his entourage can clearly see that Russia is playing its own game, and can only use the regime as a ball.

Lukashenka elaborates on planned coup d’etat

Anatol Lyabedzka, president of the European Dialogue Centre:

“Stocks of “Novichok” agent and various tools used by special services, which came out of the NKVD and the KGB, remain. That is why Lukashenka must be afraid of both the Russians and his entourage. Such a fate is feared by all authoritarian rulers.”

So now Lukashenka has to wriggle out of the situation and come up with possible forms of gaining the Kremlin support, because there are almost no political trump cards left. This is why the illegitimate ruler is trying to scare Moscow with the American secret services in Belarus and demonstrate the answer to this in the form of another mysterious promise.

The news item was aired as part of Belsat TV news show Prasviet (World and Us) on 22.04.2021

Photos in collage: Nikolai Petrov / TASS / Forum; Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin Pool