Germany has helped lead the charge in a European Union-wide effort to pressure Belarus via sanctions and other restrictions, with tensions between Minsk and Berlin escalating dramatically following last year’s presidential elections, in the aftermath of which Belarusian authorities have accused Western countries of trying to stage a “coup.”
Belarusian President Alexander Lukasehnko announced on Friday that the country’s security forces had uncovered a large-scale terror plot with links to Western handlers after a sweeping counterintelligence and counterterrorism operation, and vowed to ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel for answers over the provocation.
The president reported that Belarusian security services had uncovered a network of terrorist sleeper cells calling themselves “self defence units,” with their goal said to be the violent overthrow of the government at some unspecified date.
Lukashenko alleged that Lithuania, Poland, the United States, Ukraine, and Germany are involved in the plot, with a “combat reserve” of 2,500 individuals said to have participated in a Telegram channel called “Belarusian Self-Defence Units.”
The Belarusian leader accused this group of plotting to destroy logging equipment in forestry enterprises, with the volunteer leading this campaign said to have been intercepted and captured by Belarus’ elite KGB Alpha Group law enforcement units, with details on that…