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
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • 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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