The online newspaper EUObserver on Monday published what it says is a 2012 audio recording of a top Belarusian KGB officer discussing alleged plots at the time to kill three opponents of the country’s president Alexander Lukashenko in Germany.

The three people are Uladzimer Baradach, an ex-riot police commander; Vyachaslau Dudkin, a former anti-corruption police chief, and Aleh Alkayeu, a former prison director who says that he was targeted since he was a key witness in the disappearances of several political figures in 1999-2000.

The report said that the voice on the tape belonged to the then-chairman of the Belarusian KGB Vadzim Zaytsau. The attacks never took place, but the plot allegedly involves the use of explosives and poisons.

On the tape, the individual alleged to be Zaytsau is said to be briefing members of the Alfa Group, a special KGB elite counterterrorist unit: “The president is waiting for these operations”, Zaytsau is heard saying. He also allegedly says that Lukashenko has allocated $1.5 million for the operation.

Belarus has been rocked by months of protests after Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, won a landslide victory in the August 9 election. The vote was denounced by EU and US officials, and forced Lukashenko to look to Moscow for support.

The opposition says that Lukashenko’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was the rightful winner and wants new elections. Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania after the vote, won only about 10% to Lukashenko’s 80%, according to the election committee.

Nearly 30,000 have been detained, and hundreds beaten in detention and on the streets, in the postelection crackdown by the government.


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