Disinfo: Belarusian opposition preparing a coup with US military assistance

Summary

Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikau works for the CIA and RAND to destabilise Belarus with a “European Belarus” civic campaign. During his recent visit to the RAND Corporation, Sannikau spoke about the need to stage a coup in Belarus with US military assistance. The US actors ordered Sannikau to ignite a war in Belarus similar to the war in Donbas. The US sees Belarus as a springboard for military actions against Russia and is ready to pay well for it. Andrei Sannikau made a promise to the US to organise this springboard on the condition that the US military would support a coup in Belarus. Sannikau is getting ready for the 2020 presidential campaign under the secret name “It is time to change peaceful times”.

Disproof

This is a collection of conspiracies and ungrounded claims aimed to discredit the US and the West, Andrei Sannikau, and the democratic Belarusian opposition. This disinformation message is a modification of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. Andrei Sannikau is a Belarusian politician and activist. He was a candidate at the 2010 presidential election in Belarus and had the second highest percentage of the popular votes after incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka. On 14 May 2011, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on charges of organising mass disturbances. He was released and pardoned by Lukashenka on 14 April 2012. Amnesty International labelled him a prisoner of conscience and called for his immediate release. Sannikau indeed recently took part in a seminar organised by the RAND Corporation and spoke about it in an interview. However, the allegations of his statements contained in the disinformation message are groundless and provide no proof whatsoever. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that Russia saved Belarus from Western bombing like in Yugoslavia, that Poland plans to take over Minsk after extensive subversive activities in Belarus, and that the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 156
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/06/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: US, Belarus
  • Keywords: Military, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy theory, Donbas, Russophobia
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The United States has full control over sovereign Poland

Through the deployment of additional US troops, Poland is ready for aggression, a direction the US will steer it in. New drones are not defensive weapons, they are offensive weapons. Poland is on the warpath and does not want good neighborly relations with Russia. The United States almost has full control over sovereign Poland.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US presence in Europe, encircled Russia and alleged belligerence and lack of sovereignty of Poland (see a similar cases: Poland provokes Russia and violates treaties by hosting US military and Poland is the Trojan horse of the US). The disinformation message - like manyothers - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of anagreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies. Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy.

The US uses the territory of Ukraine to bury its nuclear waste

The USA uses the territory of Ukraine to bury its nuclear waste. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed an agreement with Washington for the disposal of nuclear waste in the Sumy region.

Disproof

There is no evidence for this claim, which is part of the recurring disinformation about Ukraine, describing it as a testing ground for different things, e.g as a nuclear dump site for the West. This story is also part of the ongoing disinformation campaign against Petro Poroshenko. The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine responded as follows to this disinformation circulating in the Russian media: "The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine within the framework of its competence, reports about false distribution in the Russian media of information on import of radioactive waste of the American production to the territory of Ukraine and their burial in the Sumy region." "Please note that, in accordance with the requirements of Article 53 of the Law of Ukraine" on the Use of Nuclear Energy and Radiation Safety," transportation to the territory of Ukraine of radioactive waste from the territories of other states is prohibited, except for the resulting services that were provided to Ukraine by another state and which are subject to action a contract agreement between them on the return of such waste to Ukraine," added the Inspectorate.

Ukrainian language law prohibits use of Russian, Hungarian, Romanian languages

This law is not about protecting the Ukrainian languages, but about prohibiting Russian language, and at the same time Hungarian, Romanian and other minority languages. This law divided the population, as was the intention of previous authorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian language law. The Verkhovna Rada passed, on April 25, the law "on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media, education, science, etc. However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies. Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement. In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force. Similar disinformation cases are here and here.