Disinfo: Belarusians are part of the Russian people

Summary

Belarusian nationalists promote Polish and Lithuanian agendas and manipulate society by saying that national idea is absent in Belarus. The Belarusian society bought this manipulation and even president Alyaksandr Lukashenka publicly stated that the national idea has to be formulated for the country. In fact, this a false message because the actual national idea has always been present and its essence is that Belarusians are Russians. Minor differences that Belarusians have are the result of Polish and Baltic influences.

Disproof

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the all-Russian nation. This is an Imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology which is at present time is aimed at weakening national identity of Belarusian and Ukrainians and these countries' sovereignty. See earlier case with a similar narrative.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/03/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Belarusian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory
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The EU has fabricated facts about a chemical attack in Syria and prohibits differing points of view

The European Union wants to ban the spread of alternative points of view about what is happening in Syria. In the EU, they continue to insist that it was a chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma, in April 2018. The EU has presented no hard evidence about the attack and Western countries have fabricated evidence. Syria has no stockpiles of chemical weapons.

Disproof

The United States and the European Union have provided very strong evidence of the use of prohibited weapons in Syria. However, Russia categorically denies the use of toxic substances during an air raid on the Syrian city of Douma on the periphery of Damascus, which provoked a whole information war on the part of the Russian media. European analysts emphasise in their new report that Russia does not provide any counter-arguments or evidence, but it casts doubt on all the evidence of the European Union and the United States. According to the French Foreign Ministry, Syria has hidden some of its reserves and capacities from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. After the chemical attack in April 2017, chemical weapons have already been used 44 times in Syria; in 11 cases, the French secret services managed to obtain evidence confirming these suspicions. Read more about disinformation about chemical attack in Syria.

Reunification of Russia and Crimea resembles the unification of Germany

The reunification of Crimea with Russia is the same as the reunification of West and East Germany.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea being a part of Russia. Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014 after an unrecognised referendum. The United Nations did not recognise the annexation. In March 2014, the UN General Assembly voted in favour of a resolution affirming the “territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.” The UN resolution also "underscores that the referendum having no validity” and calls upon all States and international organisations not to recognise or to imply the recognition of Russia's annexation. In 2016, UN General Assembly reaffirmed non-recognition of the annexation and condemned “the temporary occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine—the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.” The UN recognised that Russia is an occupying power in Crimea. NATO and the EU also did not recognise the annexation. The European Union strongly condemns annexation of Crimea as violating international law principles, enshrined in the UN Charter, namely that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force. Russia’s actions also violated the Helsinki Final Act which calls on the States to recognise inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity. Unlike the reunification of Germany, by annexing Crimea Russia violated Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Its actions violate the UN Charter, the Belavezha Accords, the Helsinki Accords, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and the Treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The Budapest Memorandum clearly states that Russia guarantees Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity and recognises Crimea as an inherent part of Ukraine. These guarantees were further stated in the 1997 Friendship Treaty. By signing the Budapest Memorandum in 1994, Russia together with the United States and the United Kingdom reaffirmed their obligation to refrain from the use of force against the territorial integrity of political independence of Ukraine.

Crimea rejoined Russia following a democratic referendum

Crimea rejoined Russia in March 2014 following a regional referendum, in accordance with democratic procedures. 97% of residents voted in favour of a union with Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February and held less than three weeks later. On March 27th, 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised April 17th 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion" (Interfax). Following the covert invasion of “little green men,” power in Crimea was vested in a makeshift executive headed by Sergey Aksenov, a former mafia enforcer. The new Crimean regime conducted the referendum hastily and at gunpoint, barred impartial observers from entering the peninsula, and instead invited dozens of fringe politicians and activists to “monitor” the procedure, most of them far-right Kremlin loyalists. The oft-cited figure of 97% has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum, of which some 50-60% favoured secession. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. See here for the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation.