Those who believe that the latest events in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Nagorno-Karabakh and possibly upcoming tensions in Moldova are the mere result of popular discontent and infighting among clans and elites or among regions are wrong. It is all due to a ruthless geopolitical, geoeconomic, ideological and informative struggle carefully planned since long ago by US strategists and set in motion to liberate the post-Soviet space from Russia’s influence. For Washington and its unconditional satellite Brussels, creating around Russia as much instability focus, tension and local conflicts as possible, would lead its government to despair in its impossible attempt to fill all the holes, and to the weakening of Vladimir Putin’s government, which wouldn’t have time to support Syria, Venezuela, Iran and Libya. More than one year ago, the think tank Rand Corporation published a report where it analyses Russia’s anxieties and vulnerabilities and advises on how to exploit them. According to Rand’s analysts “the US main task is to weaken, outbalance, overextend and take Russia out of the post-Soviet space”. Some of the points of the report have been implemented, such as destabilisation in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan and others. It is significant that two of its proposals, related to sanctions against Russian energy projects and the deployment of a “western information campaign” on the anti-corruption fight, are implemented in the media campaign related to the “poisoning” of Alexei Navalny. Another revealing chapter is devoted to “geopolitical measures” against Russian influence: given the recent events in the post-Soviet space, the same list of measures looks like a scenario that is implemented in front of our eyes.
This is a deliberate misrepresentation of the content of the original report of the Rand Corporation, in order to support recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia as the ultimate target of international events, the West as an aggressive evil power aiming to encircle Russia, popular protests as Western-led colour revolutions and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny as a set up framing Russia. Though the report is openly oriented to “define areas where the United States can compete [with Russia] to its own advantage” in the framework of “great-power competition with Russia”, there is no evidence that it is related at all to events in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan or the Navalny case. Contrary to the claim, the report never states that “the US main task is to weaken, outbalance, overextend and take Russia out of the post-Soviet space”. The measures it proposes towards the Caucasus are promoting a closer NATO relationship with Georgia and Azerbaijan and to try to induce Armenia to break with Russia, not to escalate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Regarding Central Asia, it suggests increasing trade and technical agreements and further engagement with the Eurasian Economic Union, not a colour revolution in Kyrgyzstan. And though it examines the potential benefits for the US of regime change in Belarus, it talks about “helping the opposition parties reach the end state of being a free and democratic Belarus”, not about engineering unrest. See other examples of these disinformation narratives, such as claims that clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh are part of an Anaconda Ring plan against Russia, that events in Belarus are part of a hybrid war organised from abroad, that Moscow prevented a colour revolution in Kyrgyzstan, that extremists and Nazis are being trained in Ukraine to act in Belarus, or that Angela Merkel is the handler of Belarusian and Russian opposition leaders Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny.