Disinfo: Belarusian opposition’s white-red-white flag was the flag of Nazi collaborators

Summary

The Belarusian opposition’s white-red-white flag was the flag of the Nazi collaborators during the occupation.

A certain #DejaVu. #Ukraine cannot be completely dismissed. There, @ARDMoscow calls the white-red-white flag with the Pahonya emblem an “opposition flag”. What is not mentioned by colleagues, the flag was the flag of the Nazi collaborators during the occupation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting anti-government protests as Nazi and Fascist.

The white and red Belarusian flag has been a symbol of Belarus’ national movement since the end of the 19th century and was the national flag of Belarus from 1991-1995. The first Belarusian national congress was held under white-red-white flags.

According to Ukrainian historian, Vitaliy Skalsky, of Ukraine’s Academy of Sciences, “the Belarusian flag, just as the Ukrainian flag, came out of the Spring of Nations era of the 19th century. In 1917, with the beginning of the collapse of the Russian empire, all national movements wanted their own standards, particularly flags, or at least national colours. The new Soviet government perceived the Belarusian flag as hostile. But the Belarusian national movement adopted this flag and actively used it in territories not controlled by the Bolsheviks.”

During the period of Nazi occupation (1941-1945) the white-red-white flag was allowed to be displayed alongside German flags and symbols. The Nazi occupation authorities allowed such steps to appease the Belarusian national movement and opponents of the communist regime. According to StopFake, the Belarusian national partisan movement which was anti-Nazi and anti-communist also considered this flag as its national standard, although in actual fact, the movement had no possibility to determine the flag’s official status.

"The Belarusian Soviet Republic which emerged after this officially first had a red flag, later a red-green flag with an ornament on the left side. But in emigrant circles, the white-red-white flag continued to be used", writes Dekoder. In the 1995 referendum, however, a majority voted to reintroduce the flag of the Soviet Republic of Belarus with minor changes.

For Alexander Lukashenko, who had been in office for just one year, the 1995 referendum was an important step toward consolidating his autocratic rule. In addition to the flag issue and the establishment of Russian as the second official language, citizens also voted for the president's right to dissolve parliament and for the desired integration with Russia. Since then the white-red-white flag has been used by the opposition, initially from the national-patriotic direction, but in time by all those who oppose Lukashenko.

More about Belarusian white-red-white flag read here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Belarus
  • Keywords: Protest, Elections, Nazi/Fascist

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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