That showed the sentence to participants of the coup in Montenegro.
May 9 the Supreme court of Montenegro that considered the case about the attempted coup in this country, rendered a verdict against 14 people, including two Russian citizens, who are linked to Russian military intelligence, as well as two leaders of the Montenegrin Pro-Russian opposition.
Now the suspicion that the Russians were preparing a change of government in this Balkan country, proven in court. Also confirmed that the purpose of the “rebels” was to stop the process of Euro-Atlantic integration of Montenegro.
As stated in the verdict, the attackers created a criminal organization and act internationally – on the territory of Russia, of Serbia and Montenegro to overthrow the constitutional order of Montenegro by force to prevent the country’s entry into NATO.
The coup plan
A revolution in Podgorica, the capital, was supposed to happen the day of the parliamentary elections of 16 October 2016 – elections, which was also supposed to finally open this state-of-doors in the Alliance.
Now, when the court revealed details of the plan of the rebels and confirmed the charges against them, it is worth examining how he had planned to operate the Russians and their accomplices.
The scenario of the operation for the forcible change of government included:
Conduct in the government district of Podgorica protest because of the disagreement with the election results (which, in all predictions, were to defeat the ruling party under the leadership of the then Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic).
At the same time had to be disposed of, the members of the Montenegrin anti-terrorist unit, after which the rebels would be dressed in their uniforms.
These pseudogravity had come to the rally and make provocative firing to create the impression that policemen defected to the demonstrators.
Next is the capturing authorities, in particular Parliament.
At the same time it was planned to make an attempt on the life of Djukanovic – he had to eliminate a sniper.
One of the main organizers of the coup was the leader of the Serbian radical nationalist organization “Serbian wolves” Alexander Sindzhelich. He had already managed to “light up” and during the Russian annexation of the Crimea and the Donbass, was an ardent supporter of the “Russian world”. But after the arrest of Sindzhelich agreed to cooperate with the Montenegrin consequence of a key suspect in the main prosecution witness.
Thanks to the testimony and assistance of Sindzhelich militiamen managed to find out about the details of the plan and already implemented the actions of the coup.
The protagonists of the preparation of the coup was, as has established a consequence:
– the Russians, which is associated with the Main intelligence Directorate of the General staff of the Russian Federation;
– the citizens of Serbia, primarily those associated with either radical organizations, or with the Serbian security forces;
leaders of the Montenegrin Pro-Russian opposition bloc “Democratic front”.
The verdict also said about 50 unidentified accomplices, who were to arrive from the territory of Serbia in Podgorica to participate in the seizure of power.
Who prepared the coup?
The indictment alleges that the criminal group was organized by two Russians, who sought to overthrow the government and the proclamation of the victory of the “Democratic front” in the elections to prevent Montenegro to join NATO.
On 9 may, the court convicted all those special prosecution office of Montenegro considered involved in the organization of the coup.
The two leaders of the opposition bloc “Democratic front”, Andrija Mandic and Milan knežević, received five years in prison. The driver Mandic gave a year and a half.
Convicted and nine citizens of Serbia who took part in the preparation for the violent change of power in Montenegro. The former head of the Serbian gendarmerie Bratislava Dikica was sentenced to eight years in prison. Other Serbs were from seven years in prison to one year of probation.
But not all of the conspirators managed to bring to court.
In particular, three years imprisonment is the sentence of the court for Serbian citizen Branca Milicz, which since November last year hiding from the Montenegrin justice in the Embassy of Serbia in Podgorica.
But the most severe punishment received by Russian citizens. Both the procedure of conviction.
Edward Shishmakova (which participated in the operation under the name of Shirokov) and Vladimir Popov (whose real name, according to Bellingcat, Moses) was sentenced to 15 and 12 years in prison for terrorism and the creation of a criminal organization. Both of them are now in Russia, which refuses to extradite its citizens to a foreign court.
Who are these Russians, who, in the opinion of the court, was behind this operation?
International investigative group is Bellingcat, and the Russian edition of the Insider claimed that Russian Vladimir Popov – in fact, Vladimir Moiseev, and he serves in the Russian military intelligence.
Between 2006 and 2009, he was trained in a military unit in Moscow, where is located, according to journalists, a regiment of the GRU. It is also known that in 2015 Moses/the priests lived in the Moscow district of Cheremushki in a nearby house with “an employee of the GRU undercover” Alexander Mishkin, recently known to the world as “Peter – friend Bashirova” fan “solsberijsky spires” and participant in the assassination of Sergei Skripal in the UK.
In 2014 Popova was suspected of trying to organize riots in the Moldovan Gagauzia.
Edward Shishmakov, he Shirokov, according to investigative journalists, studied at the Military-diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, which specializiruetsya on the training of military diplomats and military intelligence personnel. In 2014 Shishmakov was a military attache in Poland, but returned to Russia after the scandal with the recruitment of a Polish officer.
In 2016 he got a new passport in new name – Shirokov, but with an old photo (!), and with this passport he went to the Balkans, where “again the operation failed”, say the journalists.
What they say from Russia?
Russians sent to Montenegro written testimony, which the court promulgated.
Expected, both did not admit their guilt. Shirokov/Shishmakov has admitted that familiar with Alexander Sindzhelich, but met with him only twice: “Sasha of Sindzhelich know in the spring of 2015, then we met for the first time in Moscow, during a visit to the Museum of the great Patriotic war”. According to him, the reason for Dating was interesting uniforms of the Serb is a Chetnik movement.
During the Second world war the name “Chetniks” were Yugoslav monarchist guerrilla organization. Since 1990-ies the Chetniks were referred to as the Serbian nationalists, particularly those who fought in the Balkan wars, including against Croats and Bosnians, supporting the idea of restoring “great Serbia”.
Shirokov also recognized that visited Serbia during the second half of October 2016, but says he was traveling not for the planned coup, “for writing the article about participation of Danube flotilla in the events of the First world war and gather information about the places where are buried the Russian soldiers”. According to him, the meeting with Sindzhelich in Belgrade, he discussed “only questions about the movement of Serbian Chetniks and the possibility to organize meetings with their leaders”.
In turn, Vladimir Popov/Moiseev stated that it was in Serbia in October 2016, at the invitation of the publishing house (!).
Obviously, knowing that the consequence has proofs of his contacts with other suspects, he gave a version of how it happened. According to him, “being in Belgrade in one of the Central parks”, he literally accidentally “witnessed the meeting of Edward Shirokov with a stranger” (this was Sindzhelich).
That’s the whole point of defence of the Russian Federation, which literally need no comment.
From other prisoners the most striking character is the Serbian General Bratislav Dikic. Since 1989, he worked in the Ministry of internal Affairs of Serbia, and ten years in the special police Department for fighting terrorism. Has a degree of doctor of philosophy in the narrow scientific area of “crisis management”. In 2011, he was appointed head of the gendarmerie of Serbia. Subsequently, the police approved the new text of the oath, is almost entirely focused on the importance of protecting Serbian Kosovo.
Dikic was dismissed from state service in December 2015 after allegations of involvement in organized crime and retired.
The retired Serbian General was arrested in Montenegro and accused of involvement in a coup one of the first in October 2016. During the trial Dikic refused to admit his guilt and claimed that in Montenegro arrived at the Ostrog monastery (Serbian Orthodox Church) due to health problems.
Remember the leaders of the opposition “Democratic front” Andrew Mandic and Milan Knežević, which the court recognized involved in the preparation of a coup. Both are consecutive conductors of Russian interests in the Balkans.
Here as in his time were describing the ideology of the Montenegrin “Domfront” the Russian newspaper “the View”:
“Democratic front” opposed to the accession of Montenegro to NATO, for the lifting of sanctions that are imposed against Podgorica in the opinion of the diplomatic recognition of Kosovo’s independence and for the preservation of the traditional way of life, including the historically fraternal relations between Montenegro and Russia.
In the early years Mandic and knežević met with Vladimir Putin in Belgrade, and before that constantly visited Russia and participated in Russian propaganda media.
It is clear that the opposition strongly disagrees with the verdict and called the case “fabricated” and the court’s decision is “politically motivated.”
In Podgorica, expected “Domfront” will organize protests during sentencing. Therefore, the judge and the Prosecutor were given police protection, and the courthouse while the meeting was surrounded by commandos. But the Montenegrin opposition scored only carnival shares with the burning of effigies, symbolizing the main spectacular, the day before the final court hearing.
Interesting reaction (or rather, lack of reaction!) official Moscow on the verdict.
Earlier Russia has called the accusations about the involvement of Russia to the coup attempt “unfounded”, but after the verdict and one day after Moscow still has not released a statement on the matter. And, judging by some pause in the actions of the Montenegrin Pro-Russian opposition, the informal “guidance” from Moscow also held.
The Russian media was limited to a short informational messages.
All over Montenegro
Who wouldn’t wait is because it is the capital of the West.
“The court’s decision in Montenegro, which two officers of the Russian GRU, was found guilty of attempted terrorism, is a clear victory for the rule of law, which rejected a blatant attempt by Russia to undermine the sovereignty of independent European nation,” reads the official statement of the US state Department, published on the day of sentencing. “The United States will continue to support Montenegro in its efforts… required for accession to the European Union”, – reads the statement.
The Minister of foreign Affairs of great Britain Jeremy hunt called the actions of Russian intelligence officers convicted in absentia for the attempted coup in Montenegro, another example of how the Kremlin is trying to undermine the European democracy, and added that Russia – a great power, but she must go the best way.
“Any external interference with the aim of undermining our democracies is totally unacceptable. Every nation has the sovereign right to choose its political and defense mechanisms”, – said the press-Secretary of NATO ‘s Oana Lungescu in an interview with the Montenegrin media.
And in the end it is worth Recalling that six months after a failed coup attempt, June 5, 2017, Montenegro yet joined the North Atlantic Alliance. Although Moscow and then continues his “anti-NATO” activity in the Balkans, it seems, now even the Kremlin has started to understand that in such a traditionally Pro-Russian, weak and small Montenegro Russia has no other choice but to admit defeat.
Natalia Ishchenko, “European Pravda”