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Coup attempt in Germany


German authorities on Wednesday morning, during a large-scale and lightning-fast operation, arrested conspirators from among the right-wing radicals, who, according to the investigation, were preparing an armed seizure of parliament and a coup d'état. So far, 25 people have been arrested, but the investigation believes that this group posed an extremely serious danger to democratic Germany.

As announced by the German prosecutor's office, raids involving more than 3,000 police and intelligence officers were carried out on Wednesday morning at the same time in 130 places in 11 states of Germany, as well as in Austria and Italy.

Italian police have announced the arrest of a 64-year-old former German army officer with ties to the conspirators. He was arrested in a hotel in the city of Perugia, where "subversive materials" of the organization were found. The police statement also announced the start of the extradition procedure for the suspect.

In total, the group of conspirators supposedly included about 50 people. According to the investigation, the alleged leader of the group, whom the German press calls "Prince Henry XIII", contacted representatives of Russia, in which the conspirators saw the most important external ally. At the same time, their compatriot, an alleged participant in the conspiracy, designated by the prosecutor's office as "Vitaly B." addressed the Russians directly on behalf of Prince Heinrich. German law enforcement agencies have no evidence that Russian representatives responded to this attempt to establish contact. The Russian Embassy stated that it had nothing to do with the conspiracy.

The prosecutor's office claims that the conspirators intended to storm the Bundestag, overthrow the democratic government, put their leader at the head of the state and restore the state structure of the German Empire that existed in 1871. To do this, they have been holding regular meetings since November 2021, as well as recruiting current and former military personnel, acquiring weapons and organizing training.

They have already planned the creation of new ministries of foreign affairs, justice and health and outlined who will stand at the head of these departments. According to the prosecutors, they were well aware that they would not be able to achieve their goals without violence against state representatives, including murder, and they were ready for this.

"It may sound unbelievable, but the police have no doubt that these far-right conspiracy theorists were extremely dangerous," says BBC Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill. The members of the group, as the investigation explains, adhered to the same ideology as the Citizens of the Reich (Reichsbürger) and QAnon movements.

"The accused are united by a deep rejection of state institutions and a free, democratic state structure in the Federal Republic of Germany," the prosecutor's office said.

German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann began his announcement on Twitter about the operation against the conspirators with the words: "Democracy can defend itself."


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