Ambassador Reports Coup Plot

( – Russian Ambassador Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko claims a coup is afoot in Belgrade. He said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s opponents planned to overthrow him and hinted that the West was helping them.

“This is part of the hybrid war. I would like to stress that anti-Belgrade forces acted almost synchronously; they operate on two fronts – this is the situation in Kosovo and attempts at a Maidan coup here, in Belgrade,” the ambassador said.

On the weekend of June 3rd, tens of thousands of protestors, angry at violence in the city, gathered in the Serbian capital. It was the fifth major anti-government protest in recent weeks. The demonstrations followed a series of violent incidents that left dozens dead, including children. One such incident occurred in May when a 13-year-old shot and killed a security guard and eight pupils at a Belgrade school.

The killer was Kosta Kecmanović, who has attended the school since 2019. He was placed in a psychiatric facility as he is too young to face criminal charges.

A 21-year-old killed a further eight people the following day. A man identified only as UB was arrested and found in possession of a cache of weapons, including hand grenades and a Kalashnikov rifle. The subsequent protests were organized by pro-EU opposition parties and attended by a population that blames the government for encouraging and condoning violence.

In the wake of the mass shootings, President Vučić pledged to “disarm Serbia” and seize all illegal and unregistered weapons. There are around 760,000 registered firearms in the country, but experts say a flood of guns entered its black market after the Balkans wars that led to the break-up of Yugoslavia.

The last time such large demonstrations took place in the country was during the reign of former strongman leader Slobodan Milosevic more than two decades ago. Milosevic died in his cell in 2006 while awaiting trial for crimes against humanity and genocide at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

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