Royal Flush: German Police Disrupt Extremist Plot to Install Pro-Russian Prince in Coup

Germany arrested dozens of people suspected of plotting a coup d’état to violently overthrow the German government and replace it with a pro-Russian prince.


Germany arrested dozens of people suspected of plotting a coup d’état to violently overthrow the German government and replace it with a pro-Russian prince.

  • In one of the largest counterterrorism operations in German history, more than 3,000 police officers “made 130 early morning searches across 11 of Germany’s 16 federal states.”
  • German prosecutors said the suspects were members of a far-right group making preparations for a violent overthrow of the German government. The group was inspired by Reichsbuerger ideology, which does not recognize modern Germany as legitimate.
  • Members of the Reichsbuerger, or Citizens of the Reich, have espoused racist, antisemitic and “deep state” conspiracy theories and praised the Nazis.
  • Many want to replace the German republic with a government modeled after the German Empire created in 1871 governed by an unelected council and the military.
  • Thousands of German police officers rounded up suspects including a former judge, an ex-paratrooper, and Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, a self-styled prince from the House of Reuss who continues to use a royal title even though Germany abolished the monarchy after World War I.
  • An active member of German Special Force Command and a former MP from the far-right Alternative for Germany party were also arrested.
  • Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, the 71-year-old scion of a minor east German princely house, allegedly “reached out to representatives of Russia, whom the group saw as its central contact for establishing its new order”, prosecutors said.
  • Prosecutors said there was no evidence the Russians ever responded.
  • Reports of a foiled coup plot in Germany come during an unusually turbulent week in international news.
  • Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of South Africa, was brought to the brink of resignation last week by a wide-ranging probe into corrupt business practices on his private ranch. Ramaphosa was ultimately able to retain the confidence of the ruling African National Congress but his authority is badly damaged.
  • Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina’s most powerful politician who served as president from 2007-2015, was convicted of corruption in a long-running trial that’s set Argentina on edge. “CFK,” as the leftist politician is popularly known, is unlikely to serve any of her six-year sentence and may run for a third term as president in the 20203 elections.
  • Peru’s leftist President Pedro Castillo attempted to dissolve Congress to prevent his impeachment trial, but the legislature moved up the meeting time and removed him from office hours later. Ignoring his decree, the legislature swore in Vice President Dina Boluarte as Peru’s first female president. Castillo was arrested a few hours after his failed gambit to retain power.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The Guardian profiled the key figures in the plot, including Rüdiger von Pescatore, the group’s “military man” who was reportedly expelled from the Germany military for selling old East German weapons without authorization.
  • CNN noted Germany has seen an uptick in right-wing extremism in recent years. The military was forced to disband the elite KSK unit after it was found to be riven with extremists.
  • The New York Times reported the group’s plans included an armed assault on the Reichstag, the German Parliament building, and several members had weapons training and worked to recruit from German security services.


  • The Telegraph commented on the “sometimes bizarre diversity of Germany’s far-Right,” a “disparate milieu of delusions.” The Telegraph highlighted the virulent anti-Semitism present in much of Germany’s far right, which thrived in West Germany as intelligence forces focused on Communist threats.
  • Fox News highlighted some more of the group’s ideology, which was reportedly inspired by QAnon conspiracy theories and the belief that a “German Reich” could be restored despite the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
  • “This organization has, according to our knowledge, set the goal of using violence and military means to overthrow the existing liberal democratic order in Germany,” federal prosecutor Peter Frank told reporters Wednesday per the Wall Street Journal.

Return to Freespoke

© Dominic Moore, 2022