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Montenegro 'coup plot' staged to jail anti-NATO opposition

 
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Montenegro 'coup plot' staged to jail anti-NATO opposition Reply with quote

coup was staged by the authorities to ensure Djukanovic won another election.
https://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/russians-face-trial-over-coup -plot-in-montenegro-09-05-2017

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montenegro Parliament Strips Opposition Leader of Immunity
https://www.voanews.com/a/montenegro-coup-attempt/3725840.html

Last Updated: February 15, 2017 5:01 PM Reuters
Montenegro riot police guard the Parliament building during an anti-government protest in Podgorica, Montenegro, Feb. 15, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers voted on Wednesday to lift the immunity of a key opposition leader allegedly involved in a pro-Russian plot to overthrow the government over its NATO bid.
Montenegro riot police guard the Parliament building during an anti-government protest in Podgorica, Montenegro, Feb. 15, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers voted on Wednesday to lift the immunity of a key opposition leader allegedly involved in a pro-Russian plot to overthrow the government over its NATO bid.
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PODGORICA —
Montenegro's parliament voted on Wednesday to strip an opposition leader of immunity, paving the way for the public prosecutor to question him as part of an investigation into an alleged Russian-backed plot to overthrow the government.

On election day last October, authorities arrested 20 people accused of planning armed attacks against state institutions and a foiled plot to assassinate of the former prime minister Milo Djukanovic in order to bring an opposition figure to power.

The special prosecutor said the alleged coup was backed by Russian nationalists.

Forty-two deputies allied with Djukanovic's coalition in the 81-seat parliament voted to strip Andrija Mandic, leader of the opposition Democratic Front, and his ally Milan Knezevic, of immunity upon the request of the special prosecutor.

The 39 opposition lawmakers have boycotted parliament since the election and the arrests.

The opposition says the plot was fabricated and accuses Djukanovic of using the security services to help extend his quarter century of dominance over Montenegro. It rejected the election results, accusing the government of a climate of fear.

With the boycott and the prospect of arrest warrants for the two opposition figures, analysts say the former Yugoslav republic is facing its biggest crisis since independence in 2006, with the possibility of growing demonstrations in protest.

Around 100 opposition supporters gathered in front of the parliament on Wednesday to protest against parliament's vote.

Both, Mandic and Knezevic are outspoken advocates of closer ties with Russia and oppose the country's NATO membership.

Before the vote, Djukanovic said Russia was financing the opposition in order to derail Montenegro's imminent NATO membership. Opposition parties, many also pro-NATO, deny this.

The Adriatic republic of 620,000 people has strong economic and traditional ties with Russia, another predominantly Orthodox Christian country. But relations cooled in recent years especially after Montenegro introduced sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, embracing EU policies.

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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coup Trial of 2 Russians, 12 Others Opens in Montenegro
Two alleged Russian secret service operatives have been described as the main organizers of a foiled bid to overthrow Montenegro's government last year.
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-09-06/coup-trial-of-2- russians-12-others-opens-in-montenegro

Sept. 6, 2017, at 11:53 a.m.

Coup Trial of 2 Russians, 12 Others Opens in Montenegro

The Associated Press
A man wearing a shirt showing a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin stands by Montenegro police officers guarding the entrance to the court building during the trial in Podgorica, Montenegro, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The trial has opened of 14 alleged coup plotters, including two Russians, suspected of a foiled bid to overthrow the Montenegrin government to thwart the Balkan country's NATO bid. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic) The Associated Press


By PREDRAG MILIC, Associated Press

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Two alleged Russian secret service operatives were described as the main organizers of a foiled bid to overthrow Montenegro's government last year as the trial of 14 suspected coup plotters opened in the small Balkan country on Wednesday.

The defendants are charged with "creating a criminal organization" with the aim of undermining Montenegro's constitutional order and thwarting the pro-Western government's bid to join NATO.

The two Russians are additionally charged with terrorism. The pair, identified as Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, allegedly coordinated the Oct. 16 coup attempt from neighboring Serbia. They were allowed to leave Serbia for Russia and are being tried in absentia.

The prosecutor alleged the two were military intelligence operatives for the Kremlin. Shishmakov was a deputy military attache at the Russian embassy in Warsaw, but was declared persona non grata in June 2014 because Polish authorities believed he was involved in spying.

Russia has denied involvement in the alleged plot. Montenegro joined NATO in June as the Western military alliance's 29th member, despite strong opposition from Moscow, which considers the small Adriatic country a historic Slavic ally and is opposed to NATO's enlargement.

The twice-delayed trial began at a high court in the capital, Podgorica, with the reading of an indictment. It alleged the defendants, most of them Serbs, planned to take over parliament on election day, assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and to install pro-Russian, anti-NATO leadership.

The indictment also alleges the two Russians organized and coordinated the group, supplying encrypted cellphones and 200,000 euros ($239,000) that went partly toward the purchase of 50 machine guns, 50 pistols and "a large quantity of ammunition."

The Russians "have organized a criminal organization, with the intent to conduct criminal acts," the indictment said. "Each member of the organization had a specific role, and the organization was ready to conduct acts of violence and intimidation, knowing that their actions are completely illegal. "

The plan reportedly failed after one of the defendants, who later became a protected witness, changed his mind and decided to speak to Montenegrin authorities.

Former Serbian special police commander Bratislav Dikic pleaded not guilty to the charges that he was a key plotter who collaborated with the two Russians.

"I state with full responsibility that I was not aware of the existence of a criminal organization," Dikic told the court. "I don't know any Russians."

The defendants also include two pro-Serb Montenegrin opposition leaders who denounced the proceedings as a "staged trial."

"Someone at the prosecutor's office will be held responsible for this charade one day," Andrija Mandic, one of the indicted opposition leaders, said as he entered the courthouse.

About 100 opposition supporters gathered in front of the court on Wednesday to protest the trial.

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montenegro jails 13 anti-Nato coup plotters

Judge says coup attempt was to prevent Montenegro's membership to NATO Talha Ozturk   |09.05.2019  BELGRADE, Serbia

A (100% corrupt) court in Montenegro sentenced 13 defendants Thursday, including two opposition politicians, for a plot to overthrow the government election night in 2016. Opposition leaders Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic each received five years. Russians Eduard Sismakov was sentenced to 15 years and Vladimir Popov received 12 years in prison. Ten other Serbian and Montenegrin defendants were sentenced bringing to 69, the total number of years for all defendants. Suzana Mugosa, the judge who announced the decision, said the coup attempt was conducted to prevent Montenegro from becoming a NATO member. Montenegro broke from Serbia in 2007 and joined NATO in 2017 despite Russian criticisms of the move. Moscow was accused of masterminding an attempted coup in October 2016 to scupper plans by the former Yugoslav republic to join the alliance. During Montenegro’s general elections July 16, 2016, the defendants planned to arrest then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. The group was taken into custody by police teams the night before the election. It was reported the defendants were against Montenegro's NATO membership and planned to conduct terrorist acts Election Day and attack parliament. Djukanovic's party won the vote and in 2017 Montenegro officially became a NATO member.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/montenegro-jails-13-anti-nato-coup-plo tters/1474563

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Whitehall_Bin_Men
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did The Berlin Wall Just Fall In Montenegro?
By Aleksandar Pavic Independent analyst and researcher
https://fort-russ.com/2020/09/did-the-berlin-wall-just-fall-in-montene gro/

By Guest Author Last updated Sep 6, 2020
By Aleksandar Pavic – Independent analyst and researcher – For Strategic Culture Foundation –

To some it may seem like hyperbole, but members of the victorious Montenegrin opposition could be excused for exclaiming late Sunday, August 30, 2020, that the Berlin Wall had finally fallen in their country as well – albeit a “mere” three decades after it had fallen everywhere else in Europe, materially and figuratively. For Montenegrin strongman Milo Djukanovic’s ruling DPS (Democratic Party of Socialists, the heir to the Montenegrin Communist Party) had finally lost an election amidst a record, almost 77% turnout.

But it would be a mistake to see this as a belated outburst of Western-inspired triumphalism over the remnants of the vanquished Cold War enemy’s remnants. There was more irony than triumph here. And not because Djukanovic is still president, his mandate running until 2023, or because the opposition will likely have a razor-thin 41-40 majority, faced with the daunting task of disentangling the elaborate political-economic-media-criminal webs of a deep state built since 1989 (although many argue that its origins go back to the final communist liberation/takeover of Yugoslavia in 1945).

The irony, rather, lies in the fact that Djukanovic’s (un)reformed neo(liberal)-communists were a trusted Western partner and accomplice over most of that period. Djukanovic’s betrayal of the demonized Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who had helped him ascend to power in the first place, followed by the subsequent betrayal of his main political partners, breakup of the joint state with Serbia in 2006 by way of a referendum of questionable validity and his sharp turn against Russia and towards NATO – these were all lauded in Western capitals, with hardly a peep about a “Berlin Wall” that needed taking down – until the desired tasks were accomplished, that is.

When Djukanovic and company staged a crudely organized, evidence-free “Russian-supported coup attempt” during the elections of October 2016, using the occasion to reduce turnout and proper election monitoring just enough to secure a (nevertheless narrow) victory and then, less than a year later, steered this coastal country of some 600,000 to the seemingly safe harbors of full NATO membership – they did not realize that the deafening applause they were hearing from the self-designated guardians of global democracy and all that is good, was in fact the far off sound of their swansong, and that it was time for a graceful exit. As it ultimately happens with all the West’s situational favorites, their expiration date was nearing.

For why would the West put up with living evidence of its double standards and selective attention to human rights and democracy longer than it had to, especially on hallowed European soil, where “democracy” is supposedly an indigenous plant? Djukanovic and pals had already become notorious for their Latin American-style rule, financed by proceeds of cigarette and drug smuggling, murky privatizations of state property and (deep) state-backed monopolies. Not to mention unsolved high-profile murders with a clearly political dimension, such as the May 27, 2004 assassination of the editor-in-chief of an opposition newspaper. In 2015, Djukanovic was even deemed worthy of a “criminal of the year” award.

But the warning shots, in the shape of increasingly unfavorable media coverage and negative “independent” reports on crime and corruption, went unheeded. Instead of gracefully withdrawing from the political stage to enjoy his millions, Djukanovic – the “eternal president” as Deutsche Welle dubbed him – reentered the arena and reclaimed the country’s highest office in 2018, which was his eighth term as either prime minister or president.

And Djukanovic’s party might very well have carried these last elections as well if not for the monumental mistake he made at the end last year, when, at his behest, the Montenegrin parliament passed the Law on the Freedom of Religion in the early hours of December 27, 2019. Despite its name, the law called for a de facto nationalization of properties of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) in Montenegro and for the Church to “register with the authorities” under an officially approved name, despite the fact that the SOC had just celebrated the 800th anniversary of its autocephaly, along with its first diocese – the Zeta diocese – established in 1219 on the territory of today’s Montenegro, by Archbishop Sava, a prince of the Serbian Nemanjic dynasty. During the parliamentary voting, which took place in the dead of the night, the most vehement opposition MPs were arrested, despite their immunity.


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Public resistance started the next day. Some of the police acted with brutality. A bishop was beaten severely enough to require hospitalization (another would be arrested a couple of months later, along with several priests). However, what first looked like just another mass political protest of the kind Djukanovic had previously successfully put down, quickly transformed into a spiritual tidal wave that washed over the country’s entire landscape – both physical and political.

It was estimated that anywhere between a quarter and a third of Montenegro’s population joined in what soon became daily processions. The scenes from the peaceful processions, in which priests and the faithful carried church banners, huge wooden crosses, icons, Serbian and traditional Montenegrin flags (whose colors are identical) while singing spiritual songs exploded over the region’s social media.

As was the case with most human activity, the processions were interrupted after three months in mid-March by the pandemic and the accompanying anti-mass gathering measures that the Montenegrin government was all too eager to enforce. But the damage had obviously been done. The spiritual uprising, with its rallying cry: “We won’t give up our shrines,” had broken the suffocating political atmosphere. The resistance of the Orthodox faithful also encouraged those of other faiths or even no faith at all to join in, and wound up serving as an organizing framework for all that were in any way opposed to Djukanovic and his 30-year rule, just in time for the August elections. The clear anti-regime opposition united in three blocs, preventing the dissipation of votes that had hampered previous campaigns, and secured the parliamentary majority.

Unlike previous times, Djukanovic could no longer count on overt pre- or post-election support from his Western allies. The incoming messages were neutral at best, and often unapproving. Even Freedom House was not amused, assessing that “corruption is a serious issue,” and that “investigative journalists and journalists critical of the government face pressure, as do many nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).”

It may have been hard enough to support a figure like Djukanovic for so long, but now he had become undefendable. It wasn’t just the malevolent new law, but the fact that Djukanovic, himself an avowed, unbaptized secularist, was announcing the formation of a new, domestic “church.” This was not only a potential embarrassment for the post-religious Eurocrats in Brussels, but something that even the Ecumenical Patriarchate, fresh from its ill-conceived Ukrainian adventure, refused to support, standing firmly behind the Serbian Orthodox Church and its historical roots. Doubleplusungood.

Still, Djukanovic is not the type to go off into the night quietly. It’s expected that he’ll give his all to poach that all-important single MP from the opposition’s ranks as a last-ditch attempt to keep the reigns of power securely in his hands, and that his security services and underworld allies might engineer various, potentially destabilizing incidents. But there is a consensus that, this time, that simply won’t fly. The three opposition blocs have been so adamant in their opposition to the ruling party that any defection from the ranks would be clearly seen for what it is – a straight buy-off, after which all the grievances, emotions and resentments that had been pent up for decades, and which the Church-inspired uprising managed to discipline and channel in a positive, proactive direction, would finally explode out of control.

Unfortunately, if all else fails, après moi, le déluge does not seem like an option that Djukanovic and at least some of his domestic and foreign partners in crime would shy away from. So, the Montenegrin parliamentary elections may be over, but not the West’s traditional geopolitical game in the Balkans, according to which Montenegro is a key barrier to Serbia’s – and, by extension, its traditional ally and Orthodox Slavic cousin Russia’s – access to the warm Mediterranean and the (re)establishment of a sovereign bulwark against perpetual, Western-inspired “balkanization” that has made the area into a perpetual “tinderbox.” If that project, which includes not only the completion of NATO’s “unfinished business” in the region, but also the consolidation of an artificial Montenegrin, anti-Serbian identity – i.e., the Ukrainization of Montenegro – is seen to be endangered, then all bets are off and, in the eyes of certain Western swamp-dwellers, even damaged goods like Djukanovic might be preferable to any further inroads made in the region by dreaded Russia and the new(est) Western bogeyman, China.

_________________
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'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
http://aangirfan.blogspot.com
http://aanirfan.blogspot.com
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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