DISINFO: External aggression against Belarus is just beginning
DISINFORMATION CASE DETAILS
  • Outlet: Ritm Evrazii (archived)*
  • Date of publication: March 02, 2021
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 234
  • Countries / regions discussed: Belarus
Tags:
Coup Protest West

DISINFO: External aggression against Belarus is just beginning

SUMMARY

If earlier the main burden of organising a coup d'etat in Belarus was borne by the small Eastern European subordinates like Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, then the change of power in the US brought heavy artillery into the process. On November 5, 2020, the OSCE published the "Report of the OSCE Rapporteur in the framework of the Moscow Mechanism in connection with reports of human rights violations in the context of the presidential elections in Belarus", whose recommendations are unprecedented interference in the internal affairs of Belarus and, in fact, a demand to abolish the Constitution and laws of the country, renounce sovereignty and put the state under external control. Thus, the OSCE explicitly demands "to cancel the results of the presidential elections on August 9, 2020 and to organise a new genuine presidential election on the basis of international standards under the supervision of the OSCE / ODIHR."

It is quite obvious that external aggression against Belarus is just beginning and is gaining momentum. The stake was made on a coup and seizure of power by a handful of grant-eaters who are obedient puppets of the West.

RESPONSE

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing popular protests as Western-backed 'colour revolutions', part of a campaign to portray massive mobilisations in Belarus as a destabilisation effort orchestrated from abroad.

There is no evidence that Poland, Lithuania or any other Western governments are involved in the protests in Belarus. There was no coup in Belarus. Protests erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August 2020, which were not monitored by independent experts and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a big part of Belarusian society. Mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actors, opposition politicians, and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement. On 19 August 2020, the European Council called the Belarusian elections neither free nor fair.

On 17 September 2020, 17 OSCE participating States invoked the so-called Moscow Mechanism in response to events following the elections. The Moscow Mechanism allows groups of OSCE States to trigger expert missions to report on serious human rights concerns. In this case, the seventeen states want the expert mission to investigate alleged election fraud and human rights violations.

The mandate of the rapporteur was defined by the 17 invoking States based on the Moscow Document as to establish the facts and give advice on possible solutions to the questions raised, which were defined as:

“Intimidation and persecution of political activists, candidates, journalists, media actors, lawyers, labour activists and human rights defenders, as well as the detention of prospective candidates; election fraud; restriction on access to information, including internet shutdowns; excessive use of force against peaceful protesters; arbitrary and unlawful arrests or detentions; beatings; sexual and gender violence; abductions and enforced disappearances; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and widespread impunity for all of the above.”

By all international standards, in particular of the United Nations and OSCE, the alleged human rights violations as indicated in the mandate of the rapporteur, have been proven beyond doubt with the qualifications made in the specific findings.

The OSCE Report under the Moscow Mechanism is not "interference in the internal affairs of Belarus" but recommendations.

The Report contains 65 recommendations for the Republic of Belarus, the rapporteur has attempted to provide advice about what the authorities in Belarus should do in order to significantly improve the human rights situation.

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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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