Disinfo: Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation

Summary

It is no secret anymore that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s political regime is quickly advancing towards the West. The policy of turning Belarus into second Ukraine, followed by the entry of Belarus into the sphere of the direct control of Washington, can happen, which will mean Russian loss. The main content of Lukashenka’s course is to impose a Ukrainian-like Belarusian nationalism. There is no other way for Belarus to drift away from Russia. Generally, a belief that Belarusian ruling elite can preserve real sovereignty is a madness. Belarus can only move to the protectorate status either under the West or Russia. Its present state is temporary and transitional, and it came into existence as a result of the USSR collapse. However nowadays Russia is proceeding with geopolitical and geo-economic expansion, and Belarus will inevitably be pulled back. The story of a province named ‘Belarus’ that broke away from the USSR is just a private Lukashenka’s story. The time has come to make a geopolitical choice. By becoming Russia’s protectorate Belarus will preserve its economic and cultural identity. In the case of West’s protectorate, Belarus will face economic devastation and forced Polonization by becoming Polish third-class agrarian colony. Under Belarusian sovereignty, the West means a total clean-up of Russian influence and status of anti-Russia.

Disproof

This message is based on ungrounded claims and a false dilemma about the direction of Belarus's political development. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about US-controlled Ukraine and Ukraine as a puppet state, about Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia and Polish aggressive intentions in particular, and about Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. By naming Belarus a "breakaway USSR's province" the publication is also aimed at discrediting and undermining the Belarusian statehood. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Poland is preparing Euromaidan scenario for Belarus, that Belarus will turn into anti-Russia in case it does not deepen integration with Russia, that the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian, and putting forward a ridiculous false dilemma, claiming that the only possible scenario for Ukraine and Belarus to prevent their descent into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes is to become a Russian western federal area.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, US, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Imperialism/colonialism, Anti-Russian, USSR, Russian expansionism, Alexander Lukashenko, Sovereignty, Conspiracy theory
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Poland is losing its independence

The Polish government is submissive not only to its main ally (or even a hegemon) – the United States but also to much smaller countries such as Israel. The evidence for this statement is the recent anti-Iranian conference in Warsaw, which was in reality organized by the USA and Israel. Polish independence is weakening, or it has already been completely liquidated.

Disproof

A common pro-Kremlin narrative on the “lost sovereignty” - in the case of Poland, this country is often presented as a “puppet-state” of the United States. The statement that Poland is submissive to the will of the United States or other countries (Israel) is a conspiracy theory. Poland is a sovereign state, which shapes its own foreign and domestic policies. The Middle East conference in Warsaw took place on February 13-14, 2019 - it was officially organized by Poland and the United States. This event united 43 official delegations (mainly, from the countries of the European Union, Middle East, Middle Asia and North Africa). The main official issues of this conference were terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the Middle East. Read similar cases alleging that Polish policy towards Ukraine is shaped by the Americans and that the US keeps Poland on an anti-Russian leash.

A ruthless US doesn't allow Argentina to put an end to hunger

The US responded to the newly elected president of Argentina with a threat. Alberto Fernández’s plan ‘Argentina without hunger’, which includes the renegotiation of the debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a strategy, found a ruthless answer from the US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Disproof

This is a deliberate misinterpretation of Steven Mnuchin's statements, whose exact words were that Argentina had a commitment to the IMF and the US expected the new government to uphold it. However, he didn’t close the door to a renegotiation, only pointing out that if Argentina wanted this, they have to present a plan to the IMF for review, as with any other country. Besides, by directly linking Mnuchin’s alleged inflexibility to the hunger reduction programmes, this narrative tries to present the US as responsible for the suffering of the Argentinian people, in line with recurrent Russian disinformation about an evil US to be blamed for many of the world's problems, such as missile proliferation, Europe's disintegration, the promotion of coups and destabilisation all over the world (from Bolivia to Hong Kong, Russia, Syria, Venezuela or Hungary), the downing of Malaysian airlines flights, the sponsorship of religious destabilising movements and terrorism, the ignition of wars and the corruption of human rights.

Kyiv refuses to clear up its mines in Donbas

Ukraine is refusing to clear up mines in Donbas and therefore Finland will have to do it. After Kyiv refused to finance the clearing of mines left by Ukrainian soldiers, Finland has taken on the task.

Disproof

Another narrative attempting to portray Ukraine as a failing state. See recent EUvsDisinfo article Ukraine is attacked again. And again. Ukraine has never refused to clear mines in the Donbas war zone. Mine clearance is conducted simultaneously by Ukraine’s Armed Forces, the State Special Transport Service and the Emergency Situation Service. In addition, since 2016 several international organisations have been helping with mine clearance in Ukraine such as the Halo Trust, the Danish Demining Group, and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action. In 2005, Ukraine became a signatory to the Ottawa Convention or the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty and since 2012 has continued to dispose of prohibited explosive devices. In January 2019, a new law on mine safety and clearance came into force. The law states that anti-mine and clearance programmes will be financed through the state budget along with donor funds. Finland’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that they are ready to allocate 600,000 euros for mine clearing in Donbas. In addition to Finland, over the last year Great Britain, Germany, NATO and others have provided financial assistance for mine clearing programs in Ukraine. Debunk by StopFake.