Disinfo: Flag of Belarusian opposition was a symbol of Nazi collaborators

Summary

The current flag of the Belarusian opposition is the flag of the very first separatists in the Russian Empire and was first used back in March 1917. This flag has become a symbol of Belarusian collaborators. The colours of the flag coincided with the ones of the Hitler Youth and the collaborators even wrote to Berlin about this. Then, after the collapse of the USSR, they suddenly decided to first turn this flag into the state one, but Lukashenko rejected this idea, after which the flag became a symbol of the Belarusian opposition.

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. 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. 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. See a similar disinformation case on the flag of Belarusian opposition here. More about Belarusian white-red-white flag read here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: Protest, Elections, Nazi/Fascist
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US hopes that the Navalny case will lead to the cancellation of Nord Stream 2

Charité said in a statement that it ordered a second round of testing to determine the exact substance that afflicted Navalny, which could provide more forensic evidence as to who might have been behind the poisoning. It is also the US and its allies’ hope that if it really was poisoning this would spoil relations between Russia and Germany so much that Nord Stream 2 is officially canceled.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. There is no ground for connecting the Navanly case with the construction of Nord Stream 2. A prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. The German federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. The European Union condemned poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms. See related disinformation cases alleging that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny as with Skripal and Litvinenko; the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia; political scandal in Austria was a CIA operation to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2.

Tsikhanouskaya decided the fate of the republic for all Belarusians

The leader of the pro-Western opposition of Belarus, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, made a resonant statement, deciding that she had the right to speak for all citizens of the country. In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, published on Wednesday, August 26, Tsikhanouskaya said that she would achieve a coup d’état sooner or later. According to her, the opposition will act within the framework of the law, but it will not shy away from strikes, which will paralyse Belarusian production and undermine the country’s economy.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the protests in Belarus, that there is no free will among the people who came out on to the streets. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the politician who ran for the 2020 Belarusian presidential election as the main opposition candidate, gave an interview to the Le Monde where she didn't say anything about a coup d'etat or plans to paralyse Belarusian production or undermine the country's economy. She didn't make any statements on behalf of all citizens of Belarus. On the contrary, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said: "We call for all types of legal action to assert our rights. All Belarusians want him to go. They have changed, they have opened their eyes, they can no longer accept him as the head of this country after what he has done. Sooner or later he will leave thanks to peaceful protests and strikes. The faster the better, to prevent the country from sinking into an economic and political crisis. But everyone is prepared for the fact that this crisis can last for some time. Power knows that this movement will not stop". Protests in Belarus erupted after thousands of people took to the streets to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus, that are considered fraudulent by a large part of society. The European Union has said that the elections were neither free nor fair: "State authorities deployed disproportionate and unacceptable violence causing at least one death and many injuries. Thousands of people were detained and the crackdown on freedoms of assembly, media and expression intensified. We call on the Belarusian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all detained. Furthermore, credible reports of domestic observers show that the electoral process did not meet the international standards expected of an OSCE participating State." Read previous disinformation cases alleging that the EU continues to support a colour revolution in Belarus; the EU provoked a civil war in Ukraine, now it destabilises Belarus; Belarusian opposition wants to turn Belarus into the 51st state of the US.

It could be a new colour revolution in the US

Hillary Clinton urged her party associate Joe Biden not to admit defeat in the presidential election. As political scientists say, disagreement with the decision of the election commission is the first step in the technology of any colour revolution. It turns out that America is threatened by a scenario that it has itself exported to other countries. Republicans need to quickly find their Plan B. If such a plan cannot be invented, America will have its own Maidan. And then the colour revolution against Trump will become the first precedent of this kind in recent US history.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing every protest in the world as staged from the outside. Hillary Clinton did not urge Joe Biden to not admit defeat in the presidential election, but she said: "If the race is close, don't concede." She also suggested that Trump would try to "sneak or steal" his way to a second term in office. That's why Clinton urged voters to swell polls with "overwhelming" turnout to ensure there is no room for doubt. You can see other examples of this disinformation narrative, such as allegations that the US riots follow the manuals created by Democrats and Obama; that George Soros is funding a far-left organisation aiming to oust Trump; that US unrest is a second civil war; or that the systemic collapse of American society is now obvious.