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
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Belarus, US
  • Keywords: Military, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Donbas, Conspiracy
  • Outlet: Podneprovie-Info
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Disproof

Lithuania is a part of the Rail Baltica project which aims to link Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with a new European gauge fast conventional railway.

It is is one of the priority projects of the European Union: Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), for greater connectivity in the EU, improved movement of passengers and freight, which will also contribute to the deepening of the EU Single market. The project envisages a continuous rail link from Tallinn (Estonia) to Warsaw (Poland), going via Riga (Latvia) and Kaunas (Lithuania). The Baltic route should be completed by 2025; the link to Warsaw-2030.

The West’s vision of the world politics has been built on Russophobia

Western bodies – perhaps except the US Congress – are all tired of this all-encompassing Russophobia. The West’s vision of world politics has been built on Russophobia at least for the last five years.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia. The message implies that the West's policy on Russia, including introduction of sanctions, were a result of a fundamental dislike of Russia or Russians rather than of blatant violations of international law by Russia, foremost when it comes to the annexation of Crimea and substantial support to separatists in the east of Ukraine.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the US and EU countries are russophobic, fascist and Nazi regimes, and that the US and the UK are using Skripal case to start a crusade against Russia.

Pro-Western Belarusian opposition prefers commemorating WWII events with swastikas and LGBT symbols

The Belarusian opposition views past historical events in a light favourable to both the West and fascism. The ancestors of opposition activists were fascist collaborators during WWII and exterminated civilians. Hence, they have a fierce hatred at the genetic level.

The Belarusian opposition would be much happier if at the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s attack on the USSR (June 22nd) people would take to the streets wearing swastikas and shouting “Long live Belarus!” and “Glory to Ukraine!”. The opposition would also prefer seeing garrison soldiers wearing LGBT badges. Only in this case would the opposition acknowledge the significance of commemorating WWII history.

Disproof

These are ungrounded claims intended to discredit the West and the Belarusian opposition via baseless accusations of Nazi and LGBT sympathies. This story is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West's continuous attempts to undermine Belarusian society through a subservient Belarusian opposition and Western-funded NGOs.

Read our past analysis "Pro-Kremlin News Front Praising Hitler" to learn more on how the terms “Fascism” and “Nazism” in the current pro-Kremlin political terminology are used to undermine those who are critical of Russian policies or the Kremlin. Accusations of fascism are a telltale indicator of disinformation.