The 71-year-old aristocrat referred to as Prince Heinrich XIII who was leading the coup plot against the German government had been in contact with Russian representatives in both Russia and Germany looking for support for his plans, according to local authorities. The arrested, alleged plotters were adherents of the Reichsbürger movement.
ISD Research Manager Jakob Guhl provided some context to Newsweek in their investigation on the Reichsbürger group’s connections to Russia, and differing views between the far-right and conspiracists toward Russia. He explained how the Russian government is viewed by the German extreme far-right (neo-Nazis, Identitarians) in a divided fashion, while conspiracy theorists were overwhelmingly pro-Kremlin.
“But among conspiracy theory adherents (such as) Reichsbürger and QAnon, they are very pro-Russia so it is not that strange that these people specifically who are part of this group would have sympathy (for Moscow),” he said.
Among the 25 arrested was a former member of the German parliament Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, a parliamentary deputy for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) until 2021.
Jakob explained that within the AfD there are wings of support for Vladimir Putin “as a strong Christian traditional ruler who is standing up to liberalism,” although there is a split opinion within the party over the invasion of Ukraine.