Behind the scenes of one conspiracy
Some declassified documents on the events of December 19
The attack of the Government Residence caused indignation in Belarusian society.
The hidden motives of these events are known: foreign analytical centres formed and financed certain pro-radical structures. They made an attempt to overthrow the legal authorities and impose their understanding of “democracy” on society. At the moment these events are being interpreted in different ways.
An absurd notion is being obtruded upon public opinion. It is strenuously hammered in that there was an orderly crowd at the Square, people who only came to “learn the results of the voting”. It is said that there was no organised leadership whatsoever, that everything happened accidentally.
Those, who are interpreting the events that took place this way, also remind about the visits to Minsk of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Germany, and their offers to “pay well” for the “correctly conducted voting”. There are also loud appeals to be heard of such aggressive politicians as Frau Beck, Mr Buzek, who are fiercely demanding all possible kinds of punishment for Belarus.
It is widely known that the foreign policy, pursued by Belarusian top leadership, is of exceptionally amicable character, it is aimed only at the development of good-neighbourly relations with all countries; and the country’s domestic policy provides steady and progressive advance of Belarusian society. Even the most vehement opponents of the Belarusian authorities, both inside and outside Belarus, have to admit the unique nature and the effectiveness of the Belarusian model of development.
However, the very fact of existence of such an independent state building its policy based on its national interests, causes harsh irritation on the part of some foreign political forces willing to subdue to their interests those post-Soviet states that are not yet under their influence, to which the Republic of Belarus belongs in the current conditions. The reason for such close attention to and interest in our state on the part of foreign political consultants is obvious.
It is, for the most part, conditioned not by the problems of “democracy”, but by the exceptional geopolitical importance of our country in the Eurasian area.
The determination of certain Western foreign political forces to look down on the East is not new in itself. This aspiration used to be manifested in the far-off crusades of the West to the East and in the relatively recent “Drangen nach Osten” during World War II. But the times have changed. Military invasion of a country aimed at overthrowing the ruling authorities is no longer “effective”. Another strategy has been employed — aimed at inspiring an internal political conflict controlled from the outside. A striking example of its implementation is the so-called “colour revolutions” in several post-Soviet countries.
It is not the first year that such attempts have been made in Belarus, too.
But despite the sophisticated methods of influence and the exquisite tools, such as economic pressure, intimidation, imposition of different sanctions and restrictions, Belarus still holds to its interests and continues to realise its policy in compliance with its national interests, including participation in different projects initiated by the West, the major of which is the EU “Eastern Partnership” project.
It is necessary to state that this programme, which is in its essence a frame that can be filled with any content depending on the current situation, was immediately employed by the powers whose aim was to use the process of improving Belarusian-European relations in their mercenary motives. An attempt was undertaken to employ “Eastern Partnership” in order to weaken the cooperation between Belarus and Russia and to finally convert the republic into a buffer in its own way between Russia and Europe (virtually, a sanitary cordon), and also to transform it into a source of cheap resources, including labour force and a market for EU products.
It is not without reason that one of the foreign politicians during a conversation with his associates in November 2009 said that “Belarus is a country where it is still possible to snatch something”.
It is hardly a coincidence that the major officially declared postulates of “Eastern Partnership” were eminently suited for implementation of the strategy on “democratisation” of Belarus: effective management and stability, economic integration with European political processes, energy stability and the establishment of interethnic and personal relations, and most importantly, — “development of democracy”.
From a confiscated “Tell the Truth” document
“NEW STRATEGY OF MUTUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN BELARUS AND RUSSIA”: TASKS OF THE NEW STRATEGY
The top-priority task of the new strategy is to promote Russian support in the next presidential elections of the Leader of that political force, whose political platform guarantees, within a year after the elections, the change of social order and social and economic structure of the state, the change of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the establishment of the parliamentary and presidential republic. The advantage of this way of events is obvious: carrying over the centre of gravity of “struggle for the country” in the parliamentary elections encourages all “significant” players in the political market of Belarus.
The secret support of “the candidate” by higher government officials, senior officers of the special services and the army, directors of the state enterprises becomes more active because the parliamentary elections will allow them to struggle independently for power in future.
Everybody will deal with the “transition” figure of a president-architect of the new system. And consequently even “the irreconcilable ones” can unite round “the transition” figure within the transition period.
After the parliamentary form of government in Belarus is established, the country will have not just a “controllable”, but, undoubtedly, a “more predictable” political leader.Besides, the present structure of the Belarus economy anyhow promotes the situation — “the winner takes everything”. And only the parliamentary model can become steady, can mean “struggle according to the rules”, and consider interests of all groups, the model in which no subject can dictate the will to the rest of people.
These objectives were generated by A.Feduta in V.Nekliaev’s programme.
Taking into account the seriousness of the rates, substantial funds allocated for the “Tell the Truth” programme, and the events on December 19 demonstrated that “the liberal” principle was taken as a basis of the methods of its implementation: use of any means up to triggering off mass riots and bloodshed.
And they found V.Nekliaev, the new face of the campaign.
From a concept note of the developer of the civil campaign “Tell the Truth” (hereinafter, TT CC) A. Feduta about the work executed on the development of TT CC:
V.Nekliaev is a representative of the so-called clerisy. He possesses a certain charisma, has not been participating in the domestic political affairs for a long time. The public does not associate him with the image of a radical opposition member, he is better known as a poet.
His weaknesses can also be of use to us. In his past he was virtually an alcoholic (the illness of many artists). Our experts conclude that it creates conditions for forming a super idea in him of being superior, of being destined for a higher mission. We also possess essential incriminatory evidence against him, which enables us to give him additional stimulation at any stage of the project.
We believe it expedient to use the proposed candidature as the major one to represent the campaign. The earlier proposed candidate can be promoted along as a backup plan.
Today the law-enforcement agencies know for certain all the circumstances of a meeting in one of the cafes in Brussels, where the agents of foreign intelligence services M., K. and Sh. instructed the leader of the “Tell the Truth” organisation.
It is now that the ex-candidate for presidency repents of his actions, “I was used like a con…m”, — but back then he was inspired by the parting words.
From the very beginning the “Tell the Truth” civil campaign, completely subdued to the purpose of foreign “supervisors”, was considered a “long-term backup project”, oriented not to win the presidential elections but to subsequently “change the situation in the country” and to participate in the parliamentary elections of 2012.
The original text of recommendations of the foreign donors for the Directorate of the “Tell the Truth” civil campaign envisaged a range of tactical guidelines including:
“estranging oneself from the “unpromising opposition”, represented by “democratic” political parties;
V.Nekliaev’s objective after the elections — to partially occupy A.Milinkevich’s niche, at the same time not to conduct any negotiations with him;
avoiding the situation when V.Nekliaev becomes a “common” candidate.
V.Nekliaev repeatedly stated in his inner circle that he needed to “make an elegant exit from the election campaign” to “remain a politician”. He was serious about participation in the parliamentary elections of 2012 and alongside A.Milenkevich saw himself by that time as “the leader of a major opposition party”.
The West spent much money on it…The financing scheme of such an oppositional internet resource as Charter ‘97 is a vivid example of it. The website is known to have been used as a tool to canvass for Sannikov’s candidature. The political commitment of this resource was stated outspokenly. The financial provision of its activity was ensured by the well-known O.Bebenin. Below is the chronicle of only several months of his activity:
— a staff member of “the US Helsinki group” Catherine Fitzpatrick transfers him a grant of 211,000 USD;
— the International Fund “Frontline” allocates 6,000 Euro to Bebenin for “uninterrupted operation of the website”;
— the organisation “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats “For Europe” transfers 26, 5 thousand Euros to support the activity of Charter ‘97;
— the Norwegian Helsinki committee transfers 98,000 USD.
It is just a scintilla of the resources (referring to several months) provided at the instigation of foreign intelligence services, for Sannikov’s needs by different funds and organisations to conduct an information campaign of the alternative candidates. It is not charity, it is a political call deposit…
The following technology is used to build up the notorious TV picture which occupies a particular place in the scenarios of “colour revolutions”.
The emotionally warmed-up crowd of young people led by specially trained people takes an influential governmental institution by assault, go inside, smash everything, and hang out victory flags. It is all broadcast over TV real-time and correspondents report that “the regime has fallen”, “the democracy has won”, and the new class has taken over the power. This news is immediately supported by all means of communication, and in an hour or two the corresponding diplomatic missions consider this to be a fact and start speaking of official recognition of the new winners. It is believed that this process is irreversible. This scenario took place in Serbia and in other countries where “colour revolutions” technologies were victorious in the long run.
The events which took place at Independence Square showed that several hundreds of journalists arrived in Minsk from abroad just to get this picture. They did not visit the electoral offices but, as if at the command, accompanied the candidates (Nekliaev, Statkevich, Sannikov) and stood at the steps of the Government Residence ready to start filming… There were surprisingly few common reporters among them.
Among the people who were supposed to show the picture was, for example, Anton Vernitsky, the head of Russia’s First Channel news broadcasting. The stars of “crisis reportage” arrived from Warsaw, Berlin and other European capitals. The majority of them met during the joint missions in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova.
Such meticulous and special attention on the part of the media to the Belarusian elections testifies to evident disinterest in the electoral process as such.
The politically-committed media concurrently arrived to cover one more “colour revolution”, although there seemed to be no prerequisites for it in Belarus, which was publicly acknowledged by Western politicians.
The facts and the available documents, which were confirmed by the logic of the events ensued on December 19, testify to the following.
Approximately by the beginning of 2009 the analysts of Western special services (primarily of Poland and Germany) who had been persistently monitoring the political events in Belarus, made a unanimous conclusion and informed their governments of the urgent need to modify the existing approaches to Minsk.
It was particularly acknowledged, that constant confrontation, hypocrisy and dishonesty of the “traditional” heads of Belarusian political parties and movements contributed to complete discredit of their public image. The system which was established by Wieck, the former President of the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany, who also set up a fictitious network in Belarus which in official documents was referred to as “United Opposition”, collapsed owing to completely different interests of its leaders.
It was connected with the fact that the “single candidate” of the democratic forces Milinkevich was caught blatantly lobbying the foreign diplomatic interests of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and performing unwarranted embezzlement of the allocated finances and discreditable practices involving his spouse I.Kulei.
The longstanding candidate for leadership Lebedko, who was involved in a number of scandals including those of financial nature, also considerably discredited himself. The analysts of German and Polish special services recognised one more fact.
Intrigues and public scandals in the BPF resulted in a total loss of reputation of the given oppositional party. One might point out an actual collapse and atomisation of the largest oppositional party BSDPG.
It was noted that, despite all the efforts taken by Western political and financial centres during the parliamentary elections, all oppositional candidates failed to take seats in governmental bodies. In their discreet messages the analysts mentioned that the reason for it was not the “pressure of the authorities” and not the rigging of the elections.
Allusions were made to the poor organisational skills of the opposition, the theft of the finances allocated for this type of work, total loss of contact between the oppositional politicians, activists and the electorate. The analysts suggested to their governments proceeding from the “cosmetic changes” to a radical change of the situation, which would entail a number of drastic measures, first of all, aimed at the formation of a practically new oppositional environment.
Special services and their associated funds working under cover of cultural organisations masterminded the following activities.
1) To find people in Belarus familiar with modern political technologies and having practical experience of participation in large-scale election campaigns.
2) To start negotiations with those people and, subsequently, to enlist their cooperation.
3) To offer to those people drawing up a plan of successive actions.
4) To make an overall estimate of the programme financing.
Afterwards, it was recommended that the activists who were supposed to take part in the new project should be recruited and trained in accordance with corresponding technologies. It was suggested that following careful scrutiny, the leaders of the project “Tell the Truth” should be checked with the help of operative equipment as well as tested on the polygraph.
On obtaining satisfactory results the leaders were to familiarise themselves with their immediate supervisors, who were, for the most part, intelligence service officers, working under cover of charitable funds. The leaders were also to be introduced to the heads of the largest countries in the US and the EU.
On completion of all the preparatory events the leaders of the project were informed of the objective of the planned which was formulated as follows. As the attempts at “soft democratisation” failed and the efforts appeared to be futile owing to the weakness and disunity of the opposition, it was necessary to concentrate on the establishment of new mass structures which would be able to use the forthcoming presidential elections for a brutal attack on the authorities. For this purpose, as it was stated in the most unambiguous manner, no stone should be left unturned.
In case the Belarusian electorate still votes in favour of the incumbent President, it will be necessary to create a situation providing an opportunity for street action with the participation of hired and specially trained militants. Their goal will be to seize one of the governmental buildings, force the law enforcement officers into taking up the fight, provoke the authorities and eventually compromise the elections. The heads of the “Tell the Truth” project were assured that if this was the case a number of EU governments would voice a consolidated statement to condemn the actions of the authorities, would provide both moral and financial support to those who’d come to harm during the street action and would try to discredit Belarus on the international arena.
Polite smiles and assurances of correctness were just a way of smuggling hundreds of thousands of US dollars to Minsk literally in suitcases. These funds were employed to create powerful organisational and propaganda structures within the framework of the “Tell the Truth” project. The heads of such structures were invited to visit a number of EU capitals and Washington, D.C. where state officials provided more than just encouragement to the “revolutionaries” from Minsk: they guaranteed direct moral and financial support. Some of the ambassadors from the EU countries literally assumed the responsibilities of instructors and curators for those who were supposed to use force and wiles to change the regime in Belarus. Various kinds of such activities went on for several months.
While Mr. Sikorski (Poland) and Mr. Westerwelle (Germany) on their official visit to Minsk spoke to the Belarusian government of their sincere willingness to help in developing democracy, the officials from a number of embassies took on the unseemly role of riot-mongers. Probably, such hypocritical actions served to strengthen confidence in those “political consultants” who were led to believe that there could be no antidotes to the tools of “colour revolutions,” especially if those tools are generously greased with cash. They paid no attention to the will of the absolute majority of Belarusians. The masterminds and organisers of yet another “colour revolution” relied on the power of money that was to become an insurmountable force.
The West could not fail to see that none of the presidential candidates could be regarded as a strong politician, had any kind of intelligible political programme or renown of the electorate. Those who financed this venture with the money of European tax-payers were perfectly aware of the fact that the success of the “revolution” would lead to a crisis erupting in the centre of the continent. They also realised there would be bloodshed in Belarus. Yet this was of no concern for them. Their primary goal was to replace Lukashenko, replace him with an obedient figurehead and coldly witness the unnecessary ordeal of a nation consumed by chaos.
This is a brief summary of a plan devised for Belarus by organisers and masterminds of yet another failed attempt at a “colour revolution.”
Despite the radical opposition’s rather limited support, its foreign sponsors deliberately set before the organisers of unauthorised protest actions the aim of attracting a crowd of a hundred thousand people.
Two possible scenarios were sketched out. The first one anticipated a crowd of 100 to 150 thousand at the square, which would make taking the power by force real. That is why long before December 19 the Government Residence was chosen as the primary target to be seized by the opposition forces.
The second plan envisaged a more modest number of protesters — no more than 10 thousand. This, as believed by the heads of the “Tell the Truth” campaign, would at least partially allow them to justify their actions in the eyes of the foreign sponsors and show that they could really do something.
Through “independent” mass media Statkevich voiced “three variants of the post-election situation:” “Provided we gather 100 thousand people at the square Belarus will become a free and happy country; if the number is significantly lower but the protesters are active Belarus will change for the better even if it takes time; but if the participants of the action come simply to loiter idly, listen to some music and disperse the country will be gripped by fear and hopelessness for good.”
At Oktyabrskaya Square in Minsk Andrei Sannikov, following the plan previously drafted and approved by foreign experts, makes a dramatic statement: “Lukashenko’s regime is over; we proclaim the Government of National Rescue whose members are the candidates for presidency.” After that Sannikov called upon the crowd to follow him to the Government Residence, where, as he put it, they would hold talks with the authorities that had surrendered their power. The hired provokers greeted this statement with roar and a storm of applause, and the rest were fooled into following them to Oktyabrskaya Square and the Government Residence. Naturally, what they heard was a blatant lie, yet the statement proclaimed nothing short of an overthrow and many citizens became involved in a perfectly illegal and dangerous action. We know what happened then. The authorities condemned the illegal acts of disobedience and restored public order.
Riot police (OMON) arrived at the scene of disorders and several minutes later the square was secured.
Nothing came out of the protests and the so-called “December Revolution” ended in a fiasco.
At his press conference on December 20 the President instructed the special services to publish the now declassified documents to inform the general public of what had actually happened behind the scenes, to publish the names of all organisers, inspirers and participants of the disorders including those from other countries, reveal the financing mechanisms used by destructive organisations, explain that acting under the guise of “democracy bringers” are people who would not hesitate to plan and make an attempt at carrying out a staged and potentially bloody “revolution” in a 21st century European country to cynically and unashamedly force a different political order on a nation.
Perhaps, some of the readers will be shocked by the sheer amount of financial aid provided by the West to the Belarusian “revolutionaries.” Probably, others will be disgusted by the actions of certain diplomats and employees of special services who bluntly interfere in our domestic affairs… Having read the declassified documents, some will undoubtedly frown at the kind of totalitarian surveillance practices. But let’s not jump to conclusions just yet. Firstly, all law-governed states reserve the right to exercise control over the activities of destructive political groups to avert possible acts of terror and mass disorders. Secondly, once a criminal case concerning the riot has been launched, telephone conversations of all individuals participating in or accessory to the case in question are to be checked. This is what the law demands! Thirdly, if the attempted “colour revolution” had gained momentum it would have been very difficult to stop. That is why the relevant authorities not only closely followed the situation but also managed to restore law and order within several minutes. Those guilty of instigating and organising the disorders were brought charges against in full conformity with the law.
From the confiscated “Tell the Truth”Strategic Action Plan
“Possible priorities of the future counter-propaganda campaign. Background campaign (rumours).”
“…One of the components of the support campaign for the candidate of national confidence should be deliberate production of stimuli for the dissemination of rumours. Rumours are to be regarded as information passed on by means of informal communication and having a virus-like dissemination pattern. The ideal platform for such campaign is the Internet, especially various social networks, blogs, Twitter (Internet social network).
A well-run rumour campaign forces the authorities to continually look for excuses, which helps create the so-called presumption of guilt and evokes greater mistrust towards the government in the general public.
One of the basic rumours to be supported throughout the campaign should be the rumour of Lukashenko’s possible resignation. Its purpose to assure the general public and the elite of the very possibility of such resignation.
Suggested rumour cycles:
The personality of Lukashenko and his family, the rumors about the president undermine his personal position and destroy the image of a strong, brave and resolute man.
Here are the main directions and goals of the “background campaign”:
— The poor health of Lukashenko and members of his family.
— Lukashenko gets treatment abroad and spends a lot of money on it.
— Lukashenko’s money is deposited in foreign banks. This fact should be emphasised, and sums should be constantly increased.
Economy. Rumors of economic problems must countervail the information that the country has been barely affected by the crisis.
The following rumors are also effective:
— Every day brings more and more unemployed, new unemployed people are expected.
— The country is being sold out on the cheap, clandestine privatization of enterprises is going on at full speed. Officials sell state property to the Arabs and the Chinese for bribes.
— The government has not fulfilled the IMF requirements, and credits should be repaid ahead of schedule.
The safety of large public projects is questioned.
— The nuclear power plant to be constructed will use a Chinese reactor that can be prone to explosion.
— The nuclear reactor at the nuclear power plant is, in fact, future missiles, and a platform for nuclear blackmail ...”.
From the TT CC “Strategic Action Plan”
What is necessary to create a political crisis in the country:
“Stage 1. Creating conditions to have the voting results delegitimised through use of “independent” observing, as well as by bribing members of electoral commissions.
The directorate of the “Tell the Truth” campaign has begun to study the executives and members of territorial electoral commissions and potential candidates for local election commissions. Particular emphasis was placed on the so-called promising polling stations where V.Nekliaev was rather popular among voters.
The plan is to personally approach members and executives of the commissions at the selected stations and offer them incentives in an attempt to induce them to make public statements that the voting results announced by the CEC have been falsified, and voice the “real” data on the votes V.Nekliaev has received in the given district”.
Reference note. They were promised a “compensation” of up to 100 thousand dollars for inducing officials to cooperate with the “campaign”.
The TT CC believed that with 3 to 5 executives of election commissions (“and if things turn out well, even more”) making such statements opponents of the government would be able to “meaningfully” challenge the official outcome of the election, appeal to foreign structures and launch a “justified” campaign of civil disobedience.
“Stage 2. Hold mass protests. As the electoral process went through its main stages, the opponents of the government planned to foment social tensions in the country, increasing the number of participants in the planned protests as the election date got closer”.
From operative materials
“A. Mikhalevich noted that he had studied in England, travelled to Poland and Germany. In one of his trips to Germany, he got a phone call from a woman who introduced herself as a German journalist A.M., and suggested a meeting. During that meeting, the “journalist” started asking questions beyond the previously agreed subject of the conversation. In particular, she was interested in the political and economic processes taking place in Belarus. After that, A. Mikhalevich had another two meetings with her. In A. Mikhalevich’s view, that was not a journalist but a representative of the German special services.
A. Mikhalevich said that the BPF (Belarusian Popular Front) party is mainly funded by the U.S., Germany and Poland. According to A. Mikhalevich, the bulk of the grants was appropriated by the top leaders of the BPF, never reaching the rank-and-file members of the party”.
From an analytical note
“The financial standing of the opposition candidates.
It was noted that because donors refused to finance A.Milinkevich (the 2006 presidential candidate, the “For Freedom” movement leader) and he had no money to support the collection of signatures with, he is depressed. He does not answer mobile phone calls.
Y. Romanchuk received about 150 — 200 thousand U.S. dollars from IRI to stage local events, after which he went to Germany and the United States to obtain additional financing.
A. Kozulin does not intend to run for President, but is ready to provide paid assistance to the Tell the Truth campaign in nominating V.Nekliaev. A.Kozulin views participation in the elections as a possibility to earn money”.
From a summary
During preliminary talks with V.Nekliaev, A. Sannikov stated that “cooperation with the “Tell the Truth” leader would inflict damage on his reputation, costing him at least 500 thousand US dollars.
“... A. Feduta (ideologist of the TT CC) and A. Vardomatsky (director of the research laboratory “Novak”) discussed the TT CC financing during the election campaign. The plan is to get about 400 thousand US dollars in donor money to support signature collection, and 600 thousand US dollars to run the propaganda campaign. As the funds to collect signatures were allocated, Y.Slutskaya (a former editor-in-chief of the “Komsomolskaya Pravda v Belarusi” newspaper) stated that she needed 100 thousand for media support, and S.Vozniak requested 250 thousand to produce printed materials. The executives of the entity decided to discuss this issue at the following Directorate session. It was noted that in September A. Dmitriev (the head of Nekliaev’s Office) would receive 150,000 US dollars (A. Feduta — 70,000, and A. Vardomatsky - 80,000).
To finance the preparation of analytical documents on the social, political and economic situation in the republic for the TT CC, A.Feduta proposed that 50,000 — 100,000 US dollars should be allocated from his off-budget fund to organise the activities of the TT CC external consultants (V.Silitski, etc.). At the following Directorate session, they would be presented with a list of consultants and their salaries.
A. Feduta reported that S.Gaidukevich, the Chairman of the LDP (the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party), contacted him and suggested that he should, for 1,000,000 US dollars, assist the “Tell the Truth” campaign in promoting its candidate in the forthcoming election period and withdraw his candidacy in TT CC support. The members of the Directorate assumed that this was a provocation by law enforcement agencies. A. Feduta noted that, perhaps, S. Gaidukevich is a channel for dialogue with the authorities.
S. Vozniak said that A.Feduta himself invited him to the “Tell the Truth” campaign.
According to S.Vozniak, the TT CC was sponsored by representatives of a “governmental structure” of the Republic of Poland (the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
The foreigners only stayed in touch with the “campaign” leaders they selected: first that was A.Feduta, and then (from May 2010 and on), with A.Dmitriev and V.Nekliaev.
S.Vozniak’s tasks included the transfer of the money he received from A.Feduta and A.Dmitriev abroad to Belarus. After receiving the money from those people, he was to deliver it to Belarus (he did not have any personal contacts with the sponsors).
From an operative summary of the state security agencies
On July 19, after A.Dmitriev agreed in a conversation with the NED head R.Pototski that he would participate in the youth group to organise the “ploshcha” (square) event, he was contacted by D.Dashkevich, the Young Front (YF) leader who suggested they should discuss the plan of action for the structure being created. D.Dashkevich proposed to call a youth group “Belarus for freedom” or “Free Square”. He noted that the group would include representatives of the “Young Front”, “Right Alliance”, the Belarusian Popular Front and the movement “For Freedom” or “Free Square”. The coordinators are D.Dashkevich and a representative of “For Freedom”.
In early August, in the EU territory, D.Dashkevich would hold an initial meeting of the youth group representatives to draft proposals to organise the “ploshcha” and the entity’s budget (up to 2,000,000 US dollars — part of it would be used by the YF). Money is scheduled to arrive in September. From September till October, the entity activists would buy tents (about 500) and other items at shops and markets and would keep them at secret addresses. D.Dashkevich plans to gather about 3,000 people at the “ploshcha”. If Oktyabrskaya Square is sealed off by the law enforcement agencies, a different venue for a tent camp is considered”.
A fragment of Skype correspondence between A.Beliatski (Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights, Minsk) and the coordinator for the Freedom and Democracy Fund (Warsaw).
— Hello, this is Marek. Can you do me a favour? Will you send some data, please? In English, if possible.
— Hello, speaking.
— I’ve got a request: can you confirm, if anyone from Poland asks you, that our fund took part in creating your large database on repressions as part of the project on victims of repressions? It’s unlikely that anyone will ask, but just in case… The thing is that our Foreign Ministry wants to know what the information effect of our project is. We need to give them an answer. So we said that we helped for free. You know what this is about.
— OK, good. If they ask, we’ll confirm.
— Thank you! As for this year, the payout to the victims of repressions is 200,000 zloty. Plus a fee for your coordinator. 200,000 zloty is about 7,000 dollars.
— Has it been confirmed?
— Now we are waiting for the money to be transferred to our account. And could we maybe preliminarily agree with you later in Warsaw about who is to get it?
— I think we’ll be able to decide on that.
— The Foreign Ministry has cut the sum by half. We asked for 500,000 zloty.
— We can start today then. This is fine, too, because we have about 40,000 from the NED, though we’ve already spent half of that money…
— They’ve got utter theft there. They’ve sponsored two partnership projects in Belarus in the field of … veterinary medicine. One agro-enterprise from northern Poland got ten percent of the Foreign Ministry’s money for foreign assistance! They were given two and a half million zloty! Utter corruption.
— It’s far from us… You’re in a better position to judge.
— And yesterday Sikorsky boasted to your oppositionists that he helps the victims of repressions a lot, and our project was given as an example. An outright lie.
— Ha-ha-ha!!! Those POLITICIANS, I’m afraid they’re all like that.
From an operative note
“In a number of cases S. Vozniak called regional coordinators of the “Tell the Truth” civil campaign to Vilnius where he gave each of them a specified sum of money in cash in a prearranged location (a hotel or a cafй).
In other cases S. Vozniak devised another scheme. Having received money from A. Dmitriev, he divided the sum and put the money in luggage lockers at a railway station in Vilnius (or in bank safe deposit boxes). Then, contacting the regional coordinators via Skype, he gave them the number of the box, the code, the date and the time when the said functionary or representative had to come to Lithuania and take the money.
Thus, S. Vozniak distanced himself from distributing the money personally and the indication of a specific date allowed him to make sure that the couriers could not see each other while withdrawing the money from the said luggage lockers in Lithuania.
The foreign currency was taken to the Republic of Belarus only in cash by selected couriers.
S. Vozniak said that in summer 2010 he received a bag with a large sum of money in cash from A. Dmitriev in Vilnius (more than 700,000 USD according to his own estimate).
There is no doubt that first of all the special services of Poland and Germany have a hand in the events of December 19. They planned and organised the “Tell the Truth” civil campaign, which was supposed to become ‘the new opposition force’ capable of changing the government in the country. To achieve this objective they selected organisers, technologists and used significant financial resources. Various funds were used as fronts for smuggling the money into Belarus. Poland became ‘a training range’ where they tried to form a force capable of changing the legal authorities in Belarus. There they organised special training camps for ‘activists’, prepared the future ruling class, reached foreign policy decisions with the assistance of the diplomatic corps. All this is regrettable, at least because the people of brotherly Poland have very close ties with Belarusian people. It is a pity that some political intriguers do not want to understand that.
As it is known, the main instigators and ringleaders have been arrested and charged, investigation is now underway and it will put everything in its place. These people have been detained not for their political views. They have been arrested for specific actions, which manifested themselves particularly in their attempt to seize the Government Residence and plunge the country into chaos. They have been arrested for forming an illegal ‘government’.
Below is a fragment of the questioning of a person named in the criminal case, which casts light on many events. In particular, it casts light on the active participation of official representatives from Warsaw and Berlin in the events in Minsk.
From a protocol
Officer (M) puts questions to a high-ranking functionary of the “Tell the Truth” civil campaign (M1)
M1. About the source of money, I already told you everything yesterday and my opinion will be unchanged, I don’t care who says what. This is German money, this is German politics. Next it’s just using the countries which, let’s say, are directly related to Germany.
M. Are these Poland and the Baltic states?
M1. Mainly the Baltic States, also Poland, sometimes Sweden. And I am not talking about the financial aspect now, but the organisation. I don’t have any other answer, I’ve already told you that.
M. I see.
M1. I’m quite sure, when we talked about Milinkevich yesterday… I think that Germany just arranged for Milinkevich not to be among those who got any funding. It may have been an agreement of some sort, not just taking money away from Milinkevich.
M. Tell me this. About a month ago you went to Poland, when the first problems with the money transfer arose. Who did you speak to there?
M1. Do you mean when I was with Nekliaev?
M. Yes, you might be with Nekliaev.
M1. Well, that was an official visit.
M. Who did you speak to about the financing?
M1. I spoke to everybody about the financing there. We spoke to Litvin (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland) and to some people who introduced themselves as officers from the secretariat. We spoke to them as people asking for assistance, “Yes, we need more funds, could you help us in any way?” Plus we had a very important meeting there, and it was in Poland by the way that we had a very important meeting with some Germans.
M. Which Germans?
M1. It was a sample of experts over there.
M. Who organised the meeting with the Poles?
M1. These were the Germans who organised the meeting with the Poles for us. But I also told you yesterday that when we were in the receiving office, the assistant remarked that…
M. And whose office was that?
M1. I think Litvin’s office, now I don’t … She made a remark, it was either Sikorsky’s office or Litvin’s office, I don’t remember whose assistant she was, but she said ‘You should be grateful for your meeting in Poland.
M. Why do you think they cut down on the financing? Have you become somewhat more independent?
M1. No, the presidential elections were supposed to be a transition stage, the objective was to get into Parliament little by little, and in this way to legalise the relations and a sort of work with Belarus. The presidential elections were supposed to be just a stage. We were to show ourselves, we were to show leadership, we were to form as the new opposition which Europe will speak to.
M. Has anyone voiced this strategy?
M1. This strategy was not made public, last time in Brussels they told Nekliaev directly, well it may not be exactly the way they did it, but he was told, “We are interested in the elections being recognised by Europe to the extent Europe can recognise them, so that it is a dialogue and so on. Milinkevich has already played his part and nobody is going to continue any dialogue with him, we need a new leader, a new structure, it will make it possible to conduct international policy, but there will be a parallel dialogue as well. And from now on, if this structure suddenly starts the dialogue with the authorities, everybody will trust this dialogue. It means that Europe can support it. There are people who are considered as opposition, but who are actually no opposition at all like Tereshchenko, Gaidukevich, and now Mikhalevich. Europe can’t accept such opposition, it is impossible due to the political reasons. We need the opposition which will be not that radical, well, but just opposition and when the dialogue starts, it will be beneficial for everybody”.
... The conversation continued
“Did A.Feduta go away with any documents?
М1. Yes. We continued working, and he left and then he came back. But on the whole it was we who wrote the strategy, that is, there was not anybody who told us how to do it in the right way. You know, I just think that one of the possible variants why they did not say that there, was Germany… One of the versions is that because Germany has never worked with such big political projects. Maybe it is an attempt, say, to refer to those countries which are the usual sponsors, like the Baltic States, well, and Poland. That is to refer to what will be usual for the authorities. On the other hand, in case of failure, you see, Germany will come out with the spotless reputation. It could just be possible to agree with Poland so that Poland didn’t finance it anymore after all.
M.Who tried to organise Milinkevich’s dialogue? Was it Germany? It concerns the question whether or not it participated in some projects.
М1. It just seems to me that Poland is not an independent player in the policy like that.
M. But Poland wanted very much to be this independent player. I understand what you are talking about. But they could just give it some powers or a chance.
M1. Proceeding from our last meetings where we already had some talks with Westerville, it just seemed to me that in case of the continuation, Germany will come out of the shadow more.
M. And who initiated the meeting?
M1. The meeting with Westerville?
M1. We didn’t have a meeting, we had a telephone conversation of Nekliaev talking with him. But it was the initiative of the German party when we were in Brussels.
M. And what did they speak about?
M1. They spoke about some common things. He confirmed what had been said at the meeting in Brussels concerning the fact that Belarus should move in the European direction and that, of course, Russia won’t so easily let Belarus go...”