It is a bit incorrect to compare events in Belarus with the events in Ukraine in 2014, but it is worth noting that Western countries do not lose hope of turning Minsk into Kyiv six years ago. For example, Lithuania and Poland (by the way, it is known that it is the Polish special services that oversee the Belarusian opposition) offered Belarus a visa-free regime. But the prospect of becoming another Slavic migrant workers does not tempt Belarusians at all. The Ukrainian government, of course, supports the Belarusian opposition. And this is not surprising. The current government is taking its seats solely thanks to the overthrow of Yanukovych. But ordinary Ukrainians dissuade Belarusians from trying to overthrow the president and tell what will happen to their country if they make a fatal mistake: “Shove Lukashenko off, and that’s it, you will become beggars.”
The recent report of the UN Independent International Mission on Venezuela, which denounces alleged crimes against humanity by the Venezuelan government, is a smear act among whose authors there are personalities lacking any moral authority. The report is full of falsities, without any methodological rigour, made by a ghost mission against Venezuela controlled by governments subdued by Washington, and it is important to take into consideration who wrote it.
Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation on Venezuela, portraying president Nicolás Maduro as its legitimate leader despite that recent elections were neither free, fair, nor credible and lack democratic legitimacy, and framing any criticism of the abuses of his government as a destabilising manoeuvre aimed at regime change. The report was elaborated by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela, and its authors are well-respected international figures with a long trajectory in investigating human rights violations and defending them from a legal point of view. Contrary to the claim, the report follows highly professional standards, sticking to a small number of cases that can be proven and reviewing an additional 2,891 cases to corroborate patterns of violations and crimes, including the “systematic practice of torture and cruel treatment of people detained in protests carried out, not by rogue elements, but as part of a clear policy.” Its findings are backed by massive evidence previously exposed by other human rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International or local organisations such as Foro Penal or PROVEA, and by international media. By attacking its authors, this pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aims to discredit the conclusion of the report that Venezuelan security forces committed crimes against humanity. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation on Venezuela, such as claims that Venezuelan refugees were trained in a British military base in Guyana to infiltrate their country; that blackouts in Venezuela in 2019 were caused by a US spy plane; that the US was sending a hospital ship to the Caribbean as preparation for a military intervention in the country; or that Washington had plans for the ‘Balkanisation’ and fragmentation of the Venezuelan territory.