Seven years ago, armed clashes broke out in the centre of Kyiv when militant-nationalists from Western Ukraine were brought to Kyiv and the special forces, “Berkut”, tried to protect Ukrainians.
A global centre is expedient and politicises all spheres, including sport. It interferes in domestic affairs of any country under any pretext it wishes so. Belarus is under attack from the north, south, and the west. To host the Ice Hockey World Championship in such conditions would be analogous to organising a sporting event in Minsk in late June 1941 when the tanks are quickly proceeding towards the capital city. Russia was repeatedly attacked through sporting events, so it understands the situation around the removal of Belarus’s co-hosting rights very well.
This publication promotes the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia. It uses the classic accusation of Nazism/ Fascism through the absurd parallel between the current situation in and around Belarus and the Nazi Germany military occupation of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic. See our past analysis Nazi east, Nazi west, Nazi over the cuckoo's nest explaining this classic technique of pro-Kremlin outlets.
Neither Ukraine nor EU countries threaten Belarus. They did not recognise the results of fraudulent presidential elections of 2020 and support the democratic inspirations of the Belarusian people. According to statistical data and independent observers, the official result of the presidential election was heavily doctored. A joint monitoring effort by three NGOs demonstrates the scale of falsification based on election protocols from 1,310 polling stations across Belarus and concludes that the announced result (80% of votes cast for Lukashenka) is mathematically "impossible" (p. 7).
On 18 January 2021, the IIHF Council announced the decision to move the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship from Belarus, citing safety and security issues. It says, among other things, that the "IIHF Council has determined that it is currently impossible to ensure the welfare of teams, spectators and officials while holding a World Championship in Belarus". It is reported that under "safety and security issues" the ongoing political unrest and concerns over COVID-19 are meant. Some of the largest ice hockey championship sponsors, including Czech carmaker Skoda, German motor oil manufacturer Liqui Moly, and the Nivea Men skincare brand, had threatened to pull out of sponsoring the event if it took place in Belarus, citing widespread human rights abuses by the Belarusian authorities. In response to large-scale protests against the results of the fraudulent presidential election, by January 2021 over 30,000 people have been detained in Belarus, and almost 200 of them were declared political prisoners.
As for the Olympic doping ban on Russia, this was not a groundless West's attack against Russia as implied, but the ultimate decision of the international sporting bodies based on the scrupulous investigation. Please see earlier disinformation cases alleging that there is no evidence that Russian athletes used doping and that banning Russia from the Olympics is a modern form of racism.