Disinfo: Belarus is under 'colour revolution' pressure from the West and global influence groups

Summary

The irresponsible policies of Western governments and oligarchs have resulted in a planetary crisis. Only the preservation of Belarusian traditions and values can overcome this. Many global political and economic processes are managed by trans-border ‘influence groups’ who only care about their own benefits and disregard any national interests. For instance, the Ukrainians made one-sided concessions to the EU and the US without getting a say in the issues of mutual interest. Even the EU’s visa free regime for Ukrainians is just a fig leaf to cover the geopolitical intentions of Western governments and oligarchs. Belarus-related policies of Western politicians are also often dictated by global influence groups. This is why Belarusians have to be ideologically and technologically prepared to withstand this pressure and to disrupt their scenarios, be they orange, velvet, or brown.

Disproof

This message contains common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Shadow Government narratives, the Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood countries, including Belarus, and about Ukraine's lost sovereignty. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that global neo-colonialists stage colour revolutions and conquer indigenous national elites, the West attempted to stage at least 6 colour revolutions in Belarus, and that the EU may cancel the visa-free regime due to the measles epidemic in Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 157
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/07/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, Belarusian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Ukraine
  • Keywords: West, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory
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Disinfo: Lithuania's counteractions to the Belarusian NPP are an attempt to disrupt Belarus-Russia cooperation

The closer the launch of the Astravets NPP in Belarus, the more often alleged safety issues of the NPP are reported. In reality, not a single Lithuanian argument against the Astravets NPP has found its confirmation. Lithuania has been running a deliberate information and political campaign against the Belarusian NPP because it is a flagship project for Belarus and Russia. Lithuania is unhappy about Belarus-Russia cooperation in the nuclear field. Hence, the Lithuanian political elite’s attempts to block a common Belarus-Russia project that has become a symbol of the Union State between Belarus and Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about West's attempts to discredit and disrupt Belarus-Russia relations. Lithuania opposes the construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) as the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection and nuclear safety, and is built on the site that was not duly justified over the alternative ones. On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the Astravets nuclear power plant case. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations. On 20 April 2017, the Lithuanian parliament passed a bill imposing a ban on import of electricity from Belarus' nuclear power plant in Astravets. This position is based on security concerns. In her State of the Nation Address on June 11th, 2019, President Dalia Grybauskaitė, called to continue efforts for the complete shutdown of the Astravets NPP, stating: "Espoo Convention countries have concluded that the [Astravets nuclear power plant] stands on an unsafe site. This is not about the safety of the plant – this is about its unsafe site. It means that no power station can operate there, and efforts to close the Astravets nuclear power plant must continue." See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Lithuania fights against Belarusian NPP on the orders of Sweden and Finland, Dalia Grybauskaitė's opposition to the NPP is an attempt to hide Lithuania's own failures in nuclear power, that "Chernobyl" series aimed to discredit the Belarusian power plant and Belarus-Russia relations, that West-financed environmental NGOs in Belarus stage a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia.

Disinfo: 'Old' EU member states introduced sanctions on Russia after the provocation of the downing of MH17 by Ukraine

‘Old’ EU member states have quite developed economic ties with Russia. They followed the ‘new’ EU member states and supported the introduction of sanctions on Russia only after the famous provocation of 17 July 2014 when Flight MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners. At present, the ‘old’ EU member states delay the investigation into the downing of MH17 because it has become clear that Russian responsibility cannot be established.

Disproof

This is a disinformation claim about the downing of Flight MH17, for which Russia is responsible, and misrepresents the history and causes of the EU’s sanctions on Russia. The first round of EU sanctions against Russia was introduced on 17 March 2014, before MH17 was shot down. The first bans and asset freezes against persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity followed Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will prosecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the MH17 crash and murdering the 298 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges that the four individuals cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason, they can also be held jointly accountable for downing of flight MH17. The conclusion is corroborated by Bellingcat research.

Disinfo: Russia was first suspended from PACE because of Russophobic reasons

The suspension of Russia’s rights at the Parliamentarian Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was caused by “a Russophobic minority” in the institution.

Disproof

Russia's rights were first suspended for one year by PACE in 2014, following the illegal annexation of Crimea. The resolution adopted by 145 votes in favour, 21 against and 22 abstentions. The suspension was extended in 2015 for three months given "the role and participation of the Russian Federation in the conflict in eastern Ukraine". Indeed, Russia's actions aggravated the situation: by the time the suspension was to be reviewed in April 2015, the Russian delegation had broken off all contacts, boycotting PACE for the next four years. In 2017, it stopped paying its membership contributions which amounted to 7 percent of the institution's whole budget. In 2018, it declared it would abandon the institution if the decision was not reverted.