It is a bit incorrect to compare events in Belarus with the events in Ukraine in 2014, but it is worth noting that Western countries do not lose hope of turning Minsk into Kyiv six years ago. For example, Lithuania and Poland (by the way, it is known that it is the Polish special services that oversee the Belarusian opposition) offered Belarus a visa-free regime. But the prospect of becoming another Slavic migrant workers does not tempt Belarusians at all. The Ukrainian government, of course, supports the Belarusian opposition. And this is not surprising. The current government is taking its seats solely thanks to the overthrow of Yanukovych. But ordinary Ukrainians dissuade Belarusians from trying to overthrow the president and tell what will happen to their country if they make a fatal mistake: “Shove Lukashenko off, and that’s it, you will become beggars.”
COVID-19 restrictions are absurd, they are the result of a bizarre psychosis. Why have protests against this psychosis been so weak in the West? Why has there been such a high degree of acceptance of these restrictions, which can only be described as collective paranoia?
This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative which, presented in this case in the end of a long article, seeks to downplay the severity and urgency of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to this narrative, COVID-19 restrictions introduced by governments – such as lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing are irrational and absurd, and/or pursue hidden goals of élites and powerful lobbies. Pro-Kremlin media have spread a variety of false claims to push this message, for example that COVID-19 is a fake epidemic manufactured by the media, that COVID-19 is fake and a political move to install hegemony, that the virus is safe, and that the coronavirus pandemic is exaggerated in order to establish fascist hygiene dictatorships. This narrative aims to discredit actions taken by the World Health Organisation and by individual countries to stop the spread of the new disease. It is not true that COVID-19 is a “fake pandemic” or is exaggerated. The novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, belongs to a family of viruses originating in animals that include others such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the city of Wuhan in central China in late 2019 and has been rapidly spreading across the world ever since. The number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 32,730,947 globally with over 991,224 deaths as of September 27, 2020. However, the death rate aside, the major concern with the COVID-19 pandemic is its potential to overwhelm national healthcare systems, resulting in even more deaths because patients cannot receive treatment as hospitals exceed capacity. Thus, flattening the curve and limiting the spread of the virus - which is highly transmittable - is recommended as an essential precautionary measure by international health authorities, including the WHO. Read similar cases claiming that COVID-19 is an ordinary flu epidemic and that media and politicians are fuelling hysteria, that governments are exaggerating the death toll of the coronavirus, and that ruling élites are spreading coronavirus panic in order to gain unlimited powers and to actively interfere in the economy.