MINSK, 30 July (BelTA) – Non-governmental organizations are pushing for someone's political interests under the guise of charitable causes, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with senior local government officials to discuss topical social and political issues on 30 July, BelTA has learned.
“A clear-cut pattern has been revealed: the growing number of NGOs is the writing on the wall saying that color revolutions are in the works. Under the guise of charitable causes, socially important projects, they are serving someone else's political interests. This is what happened here,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
There were fifteen hundred NGOs, private institutions, supposedly human rights organizations in Belarus. An investigation revealed 185 destructive organizations posing a potential threat to national security. Among them were an office of a foreign nonprofit organization, 71 nationwide and local public associations, 113 institutions. These are big numbers, the president noted.
“Each structure has tens and hundreds of activists; thousands of people have fallen under their influence. In fact, a legal instrument was created to run destructive activities of foreign coordinators who selected personnel and trained them in psychology of communication (not all, managers), the skills of uniting people at protest actions. We saw it in August. We know who handpicked people having the potential to lead the protest movement, who built their public profile and financed their activities,” the president said.
The money went through these funds and other nonprofit organizations. In order to encourage people to take to the streets, a number of NGOs distributed fakes, called for disobedience, taught radical individuals the skills to fight law enforcement officers, and compiled blacklists of people loyal to the country.
“You should keep in mind that this activity would have gone beyond propaganda and threats to the government supporters. These people were ready to move from words to action anytime. Unregistered pneumatic, combat, hunting, cold weapons, ammunition, explosives were found in their arsenal, elements of improvised explosive devices. When I saw photos of their arsenals, it was horrifying,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The supporters of ‘changes' were inspired, according to the president, literally by the fascist ideology. Nazi symbols, the book Mein Kampf and other kinds of extremist literature were found during searches. “Yet, money is the most powerful motivation. Receipts of getting certain amounts of money have been found. We have evidence confirming the receipt of funds from abroad by organizations and individuals,” the head of state said.
According to him, evidence of financing the so-called independent trade unions and destructive non-governmental organizations was found in the possession of Aleksandr Petrachkov, a representative of Germany's Friedrich Ebert Foundation. “What is important, subversive activities went on for years, not just the last two or three years. Leader of the Viasna Human Rights Center Bialiatski had an archive for the period of 25 years,” the president added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that adequate measures were taken and they produced a result. At the same time, the operational work was carried out quite openly. “For the first time in our history, we have provided such a large amount of evidence, video and audio footage to the media. All this led to a massive exit of people from chats and Telegram channels. Many users cleaned up their posts on social media and on the internet. For example, the number of participants in the radical Telegram community of the Belarus' Civil Self-Defense Units dropped five times,” the head of state said citing an example.
“Naturally, this does not mean that everyone has changed their mind and mended their ways. Their activities are simply paralyzed. And Western curators must already be looking for new niches and new tools to influence the so-called civil society in order to promote ‘liberal democratic values'. However, not all nonprofit organizations are destructive. And you, senior local government officials, should find out whether such organizations really help the elderly, the disabled, churches, and the environment without engaging in politics, or they are trying to rock the boat in the country under the guise of good deeds,” he said.