Disinfo: Belarus protests are managed by an external factor 

Summary

The protests are under the control of Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Lithuania and the United States. If it was not for the external factor, which is expressed in the management of protests, there would be no provocative street actions in Belarus.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus and its protest painting them as revolution orchestrated by other countries including the West. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election on the 9th of August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. See similar cases claiming that the protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to a Maidan scenario and that the West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus. Articles describing the attempts to link the protests in Belarus with Poland and Lithuania can be found here and here.

publication/media

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  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Czech Republic, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, US, Poland
  • Keywords: Protest, Alexander Lukashenko, Colour revolutions

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Ukraine continues “policy of genocide” because it will not buy Russian COVID vaccine

Ukraine will not buy the Russian vaccine against coronavirus, therefore it continues “the policy of genocide” by the current government against its people. Ukraine will have to spend its entire budget on the purchase of American vaccine against coronavirus.

Disproof

A new addition to the recently developed pro-Kremlin narrative about the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. The Russian vaccine has been met with international scepticism, claiming that the vaccine is not backed by evidence from a complete phase three trial. The WHO published a landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines, which considered the Russian project developed by Gamaleya Research Institute as being in phase 1 of clinical testing. In fact, Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it. The World Health Organisation expressed some reservations about the procedure followed by Russia initiating talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine but refusing to endorse it right away. There is currently no available vaccine for COVID-19 in the world. However, while there is no approved vaccine yet, there are 36 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 90 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals.

Ukraine will become a springboard for a US nuclear strike on Russia

Two American B-52 bombers, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, flew in close proximity to Crimea. US aircraft have previously appeared over the Black Sea, but for the first time they approached Crimea from land – from the territory of Ukraine. Experts are confident that the bombers in the Ukrainian sky not only studied the potential theatre of military operations but also practised the tactics of an air attack. Two American strategic bombers, B-52H Stratofortress, took off from the English base Fairford, flew over Holland, Germany and Poland, then entered the airspace of Ukraine and headed for Crimea. Kyiv is a vassal of Washington, and the Americans are using Ukrainian airspace to solve their own military tasks. Of course, they are working out some of their military tasks, but the main thing for them is to show that since 2014, they now have the right to fly over Ukraine – their satellite.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Ukraine has been under external control since the 2013-14 Euromaidan revolution. The visit to Ukrainian airspace was carried out as part of the U.S. Air Force’s now-regular strategic observation missions in the areas of the Black and the Baltic seas. In late May, Ukrainian fighters also accompanied another two U.S. strategic bombers, Rockwell B-1 Lancer, in their observation mission across Ukrainian airspace and the Black Sea. The United States established diplomatic relations with Ukraine in 1991, following its independence from the Soviet Union. See similar disinformation cases alleging that Ukraine is an anti-Russian project of the CIA, or that Ukraine is under foreign control since independence, and the US has taken Ukraine under external control.

Trying to catch up with Russia, the West lost another round in fight against pandemic

When Russian specialists presented the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, Western politicians attacked them with criticism. They accused Russia of being too hasty, pushing their own pharmaceutical companies along the way. This led to an unexpected result. Contrary to criticism and ostentatious scepticism, the vaccine has shown good results. This cannot be said about the developments of Western scientists. The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, from which the US has already pre-ordered the vaccine, was forced to stop testing its drug. One of the test participants developed a “potentially unexplained” illness, the company said.

Disproof

The recently developed pro-Kremlin narrative about Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V. The article referred to "The Lancet" magazine, where the results of tests of the Russian vaccine were published. Russian authors of the article in "The Lancet" wrote about phase 1/2 non-randomised studies at hospitals in Russia, and claimed that "the heterologous vaccine based on rAd26-S and rAd5-S is safe, well tolerated, and does not cause serious adverse events in healthy adult volunteers. The vaccine is highly immunogenic and induces strong humoral and cellular immune responses in 100% of healthy adult volunteers." However, at the same time, the other article in "The Lancet" about the Russian vaccine said that even after publication of the results of phase 1/2, it is not enough for approving the vaccine on a large scale.

"For regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency, however, data on immune response alone would not generally be an adequate basis for approving a vaccine. Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London (London, UK), explains that 'immune response might not be directly proportional to the degree of protection—you can only find this out in large-scale trials'," writes "The Lancet".

Regarding AstraZeneca, the company said it voluntarily paused trials to allow an independent committee to review safety data and it was working to expedite the review to minimise any potential impact on the trial timeline. "This is a routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials," the company said in an emailed statement to Reuters. At the moment, researchers are testing 37 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and at least 91 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals.