Disinfo: Alyaksandr Lukashenka skipped the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels because the West could organise his killing

Summary

Neither pro-West experts nor the Belarusian Foreign Minister, Uladzimir Makey, know why Alyaksandr Lukashenka did not accept the EU’s invitation to attend the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels to mark its 10th anniversary. Attending the summit meant that Lukashenka would have to meet and hug the failed robber of the Ukrainian people, Petro Poroshenko, hence, aggravating Belarus-Ukraine relations. Alyaksandr Lukashenka is well aware that such anniversaries and visits have no value. Furthermore, he rightly does not trust the West’s bureaucracy which, with assistance from Belarusian puppets can organise a vile provocation including the physical elimination of a politician disliked by all.

Disproof

This message is a conspiracy consistent with extreme modification of recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's attempts to destabilise Belarus and to organise a colour revolution in the country. Belarusian FM Uladzimir Makey explained Alexander Lukashenko's decision to skip the summit through an insufficient level of Belarus-EU cooperation. See another extreme modification of this narrative in an earlier disinformation case alleging that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: West, Eastern Partnership, European Union, Alexander Lukashenko, Conspiracy theory
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In contrast to Russia, western Europe is abandoning Christian roots

Western Europe is moving away from its Christian roots. The western European society gets dominated by materialism and pursuit of money. Western Europeans are disappointed with the Christian church primarily because of the way of life of local priests, which is full of materialism and debauchery. European culture has abandoned Christianity, and is getting absorbed by Muslim migrants. In contrast, the Russian Orthodox Church has preserved the original Christian spirit. Eastern Slavs are more likely to sacrifice themselves and their lives for the others.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Islamisation of Europe, in line with a similar narrative on the morally decaying West. Despite the dropping levels of religious practice in Europe, the majority of western Europeans still identify themselves as Christians, a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center shows. According to the same survey, 31% of western Europeans who identify themselves as Christians attend religious services at least monthly. At the same time one of the 2018 polls in Russia concluded that 17% of Russians who identify themselves as Orthodox Christians attend church at least monthly. See a collection of earlier disinformation cases concerning the Orthodox church.

Petro Poroshenko bargained for security guarantees from Washington but was eventually tricked

Petro Poroshenko was delaying the transition of power because, in exchange, he was bargaining with Washington for security guarantees. Poroshenko wants to be sure that after stepping down as President, he will not be imprisoned by the Ukrainian oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky and his people. Such guarantees were imitated by Washington through the opening of a criminal case against Kolomoisky. This would demonstrate to Poroshenko that in order to avoid extradition, Kolomoisky would not dare to leave Israel and return to Ukraine. However, after the vote on Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration passed in the Ukrainian parliament, the Americans broke their guarantees. This is seen by Kolomoisky’s immediate arrival in Kyiv just hours after the parliamentary decision. Generally, Poroshenko lost the presidential elections because his external curators disliked two things. First, Donald Trump did not forgive Poroshenko for the arrest of Trump’s lawyer Paul Manafort on a tip off from Poroshenko. The second reason was Poroshenko’s autonomous ‘foray’ in the Kerch Strait.

Disproof

Conspiracy and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US meddling in Ukraine's elections, Western control over Ukraine and concerning the conflict in Kerch Strait. It was indeed reported in early April 2019 that the FBI is investigating potential financial crimes by Ihor Kolomoisky. However, there is no proof that the investigation began because the US authorities decided to imitate certain security guarantees to Petro Poroshenko which were later violated, as alleged in the article. Robert Mueller's 448-page report, which mentions Ukraine a dozen times, mostly in a part which assesses Paul Manafort's ties to Russia and Ukraine, does not contain a single mention of Petro Poroshenko. See earlier cases alleging that the US introduced anti-Russian sanctions in exchange for anti-Trump damaging information from Poroshenko’s team and that the US did not allow Petro Poroshenko to win as he began leading the US into a war with Russia.

Russia lost PACE voting rights due to political discrimination

European nations quickly billed Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014 as “annexation,” and proceeded to suspend Moscow’s PACE membership rights in a discriminatory and politically motivated move.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives on Ukraine, Crimea, and the alleged anti-Russian attitudes harboured by Western officials and organizations. The report mixes falsehood and gross understatement to mask the actual reason Moscow had its PACE voting rights suspended, which was explicitly named in Resolution 1990 of 10 April 2014: "the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation in early March 2014," and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in an "illegal so-called referendum" (p. 1). The "referendum" was held at gunpoint, in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution and international law, and condemned by a crushing majority of UN members (not just "European nations"). See our debunking of the "democratic referendum" claim here. More broadly, the Kremlin has long used the misnomer "Ukrainian crisis" to divorce itself from responsibility for events in Ukraine since 2014 -- particularly its brutal military campaign in the Donbas -- presenting them instead as a self-contained case of bad governance and poor geopolitical choices. See this report for a detailed refutal of this claim.