Disinfo: Foreign TV stations instigated violence in Belarus, advising on how to attack policemen

Summary

Violence took over Minsk and most Belarusian cities since August 9. Provokers, well organised and directed by TV stations Nexta Live and Nexta, created by Poland, have been transmitting from Warsaw and the Lithuanian capital Vilnius instructions to their leaders both foreigners and Belarusians, informing them on police movements, especially on counter-riot forces, and giving them advice on how to attack policemen and set them on fire.

Disproof

This is part of an ongoing Russian disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus, framing popular protests against the election result as caused by foreign interference through a ‘colour revolution’. No evidence is provided to support any of the affirmations.

Contrary to the claim, anti-Lukashenko protests have been mostly peaceful, and violence has come from Belarusian police and authorities against demonstrators, including beatings, torture and excessive force.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticise them in Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks in Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claims that “The West betrayed Lukashenko, as it always does with rulers who become too friendly with it” and “Belarusian opposition is guided from a psy-op centre in Poland under NATO and CIA control”.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Belarus, Poland
  • Keywords: Protest, Alexander Lukashenko

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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Belarusian opposition is guided from NATO and CIA psy-ops centre in Poland, EU sanctions predetermined

Once Washington’s strategists decided that it is time for the Belarusian president to leave, it ordered Belarusian opposition members, previously prepared, and its external agents from Poland and Latvia, to start a colour revolution and putting in power somebody more pro-West and radical. The opposition members are guided from Poland’s Central Group of Psychological Action located in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz and under the control of NATO’s Intelligence Division and the CIA. Everything was ready for the European Union to denounce the results of the elections and impose sanctions on the main Belarusian officials.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing all popular protests in the world as colour revolutions and movements opposed to any government supported by Moscow as Western puppets, and portraying the European Union as being directed by Washington. No evidence is provided to support any of the claims. This is also part of an ongoing disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus.

Large-scale protests began in Minsk on August 9 against the results of the presidential election, and then in other cities. People revolted against what they call election fraud but also against the aggressiveness of the police, who arrested and ill-treated hundreds of rally participants.

The West betrayed Lukashenka, as it always does with rulers who become too friendly with it

Belarusian president Alyaksandar Lukashenka forgot the fate of the rulers that tried to get close and please Washington and Brussels, seduced by their promises of “disinterested” help. It seems that the experience of Muammar Khaddafi, murdered in 2011, or Saddam Hussein, hanged in 2006, taught nothing to Lukashenko, who started to be too friendly to the West, trying to balance NATO and Moscow, even denouncing its “big brother”, Russia. Then, Washington’s strategists decided that it was time for the president of Belarus to leave.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West, portrayed as an aggressive entity always conspiring to overthrow governments and which can never be trusted, especially if getting close to Western capitals means leaving Moscow’s orbit. No evidence is being provided to support the claim. This is part of an ongoing Russian disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus, framing popular protests against the election result as caused by foreign interference through a ‘colour revolution’.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticize them in Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks in Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

The Guardian challenges Poland’s right to export “democracy” to Belarus

The Polish government is persistently trying to overthrow Alyaksandr Lukashenka. In its controversial aspirations, Warsaw is hiding behind brave mottos about defending democracy in neighbouring Belarus, while in Poland itself democracy is having a difficult time, writes The Guardian. Recently, Poland and Belarus celebrated presidential elections. Though nobody calls Andrzej Duda “a dictator” after his reelection, he and his ruling Law and Justice Party are putting liberal values to a stress test.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of the original article published in The Guardian, which, though critical on the Polish government, doesn’t include any of the sentences stated above, does not criticise Poland’s stance regarding Belarus, and does not compare the two countries in any sense.

Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introduce a distorted message as if it was part of the original article. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that British outlet The Guardian pointed out to ruling elite as the real instigators of the racial crisis in the US or reported that the EU remained silent as the Europeans couldn’t buy food for the first time in 75 years; that Newsweek magazine explained how US coup in Iran will end; that Soros’ structures saw an opportunity in the coronavirus pandemic to attack the “bad guys”; that the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre put Wikileaks at the same threat level as jihadist organisations in its last report; or that the US special envoy for Syria admitted that Washington’s goal was to defend terrorists from Russian attacks.