Disinfo: A Blitzkrieg in Belarus failed, Lithuania and Poland will likely intensify their anti-Belarusian activities

Summary

A Blitzkrieg against Belarus did not succeed, so Lithuania and Poland will likely take an even more active position on Belarus in the near future. Lithuania is turning into a gathering point for the Belarusian opposition. Vilnius tries to raise its scores in the EU by turning into the main manipulator of the Belarusian processes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to stage a colour revolution in Belarus, particularly through Lithuania and Poland.

It contains the word 'blitzkrieg' which is casually used as a generic description for the style of manoeuvre warfare practised by Germany in WWII. Hence, it intends to build an absurd parallel between Nazi Germany's actions against the BSSR and USSR, on the one hand, and alleged present-time Western aggression against Belarus. The accusation of Nazism/ Fascism and building a link to Nazi Germany is one recurring techniques of pro-Kremlin outlets, read our past analysis Nazi east, Nazi west, Nazi over the cuckoo's nest.

Large-scale protests began in Minsk on August 9 against the results of the presidential election, and then spread to other cities. People revolted against election fraud and police violence towards thousands of rally participants. By early December 2020, over 30,000 people have been detained in Belarus since the election, and over 150 of them were declared political prisoners.

In early October 2020, the EU imposed restrictive measures against 40 individuals responsible for repression and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators, opposition members, and journalists in the wake of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus, as well as for misconduct of the electoral process. The Council added 15 members of the Belarusian authorities, including Alexandr Lukashenko, as well as his son and National Security Adviser Viktor Lukashenko, to the list of sanctions, on 6 November 2020.

See earlier disinformation cases claiming that Warsaw and Vilnius trying to turn the Belarusian protests into a civic conflict and make a Russophobic limitrophe out of Belarus, that Hitler's Nazi officials are not less Belarusian heroes than Kalinowski, that West has approved a new ‘Barbarossa’ plan to attack Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 224
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Belarus, Lithuania
  • Keywords: Protest, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory, Nazi/Fascist
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A civil war began in Ukraine after the clique seized power in the country

The Maidan turned in to a civil war. The clique seized power in the capital and immediately began suppressing the citizens who opposed the overthrow of the legitimate government. The junta began to suppress the peaceful resistance of the Southern and Eastern oblasts of Ukraine. That eventually led to a civil war in Ukraine. On the one hand, there was a fascist clique with its own Bandera ideals, on the other, those who did not recognise the coup that had taken place in the country.

Disproof

This is an example of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the 2013-2014 Maidan protests and the war in Ukraine.

The war in eastern Ukraine was not caused by the Euromaidan. Protests in favour of EU association and reforms were held in all major cities of Donbas. The war is not a civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces.

Germany violated the Chemical Weapons Convention

Germany violated the Chemical Weapons Convention by refusing to collaborate with Russia in the situation over the Alexei Navalny poisoning.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming that Germany did not collaborate with Russia in the investigation into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and that Germany violated the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Regarding the collaboration between Germany and Russia during the investigation, Berlin provided data on Navalny to the Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, of which Russia is a member. Berlin’s Justice Ministry also approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation of the poisoning, and tasked state prosecutors with working with the Russian authorities.

By supporting protesting Belarusians Lithuania hopes to get more money from Brussels

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania presented an initiative to provide cost-free visas for Belarusians persecuted by the political regime in the home country. Lithuania is trying to show that many Belarusians do not support Alyaksandr Lukashenka as president and hope to get more money from Brussels. This initiative is bait for people who do not think about the consequences of their activities. The Lithuanian government aspires to create anti-Lukashenka and anti-Belarusian sentiment in society. The real interest of Vilnius is financial. Lithuania, as the main manipulator in the Belarusian events, seeks to get support from Brussels.

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Lithuania actively intervening into events in Belarus since the beginning of protests against Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Vilnius supports the Belarusian opposition and urges to hold new elections in the neighbour country. Belarusian authorities say that Vilnius, Warsaw and other countries are interfering in the internal affairs of Belarus and are trying to control the opposition.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus.

The claim that Lithuania is "intervening into events in Belarus” and seeking financial interests is unfounded. Lithuania is a neighbour of Belarus and it continues to support the Belarusian people. In the context of brutal persecution of protesters in Belarus, Lithuania made some steps to support civil society in the neighbour country. Earlier Lithuania opened the special “humanitarian corridor” for Belarusians and allow them to arrive under the so-called humanitarian exception. Vilnius University offered free studies and scholarship to Belarusian students. The proposal of issuing free national visas to Belarusians who are persecuted by the regime is only one more step to support people in needs.