Disinfo: Protests in Belarus would not have happened without external pressure and influence

Summary

The reason for the current internal political events in the country is outside influence. The situation in Belarus is not without challenges, but the main reason for the situation is external. Had there been no external pressure and influence, it would never have happened in Belarus. The western partners of Belarus “have become too active, have gone too far” in relation to the country.

Disproof

This is part of an ongoing Russian disinformation campaign on Belarus based on recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, such as accusing other countries of interference and portraying popular protests against electoral fraud in the country as a Western-led colour revolution.

There is no evidence that the protests in Belarus are funded and organised externally and that any Western country was trying to destabilise the situation or create a coup in Belarus.

The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections in Belarus that took place on the 9 August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. The European Council imposed restrictive measures against 40 individuals identified as responsible for repression and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators, opposition members and journalists in the wake of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus, as well as for misconduct of the electoral process.

Read similar disinformation cases: The Baltic States and Poland are blowing Belarus up from the inside, Ukrainian militants are staying in Belarus to carry out a coup d'etat, in Belarus, there are signs of a colour revolution, but hybrid one, and Poland and Lithuania directly sponsor open extremist actions against Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 216
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Belarus
  • Keywords: West, Protest, Alexander Lukashenko, Colour revolutions

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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The West deprived Ukraine and Baltic states of their sovereignty

The West uses the topic of sovereignty precisely in order to deprive others of it, just as this happened with the Baltic states, or Ukraine: once out of the USSR, they surrendered their sovereigntyThe plan has never been to give them sovereignty but to use them as an anti-Russian tool for the destruction of Russia. 

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. This disinformation message advances pro-Kremlin narratives undermining the statehood of Ukraine and sovereignty of the Baltic states casting them as abandoned by their Western partners.

Sovereignty and respect for other countries' independent rights are at the core of Western liberal democracy.

Donbas is Russia and it must return to its natural border

Centripetal processes that are bound to come and are inevitable should involve Donbas first. We can see on the map where Donbas is located, how close to Russia. Donbas is not even a zone of Russia’s geopolitical influence, Donbas is Russia itself and it must return to its natural border.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Donbas, war in Ukraine, and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Donbas is historically a Ukrainian region. "Until the 15th century, it was a  referred to as the"wild field", where all who visited the south of Ukraine walked and lived. The 15th-18th centuries were a period of Cossack colonisation, to which government imperial colonisation and the unauthorised settlement of runaway peasants seeking free living space were later added. This continued until the early 19th century," said ethnologist Lesya Gasydgak. In 19th century Donbas began to be inhabited by workers from the Russian provinces. The historian of Donetsk Law University Dmitry Titarenko says that both in that period and in the twentieth century, up to the postwar period, Russian colonisation was a sign of the formation of Donbas.

Tsikhanouskaya’s trip to Germany shows that Merkel is her handler (and Navalny’s)

Traitors to the homeland are called to come to Germany, all expenses included. Angela Merkel is a very hospitable woman: she hosted migrants from the Middle East and Africa, received Russian blogger Alexei Navalny and met Belarusian traitor Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksievich. Tsikhanouskaya openly says that Merkel is the reason for her to come to Germany. Nobody had any doubt about who was actually giving orders to Tsikhanouskaya , but showing her relationship with her handlers in such a direct way is revealing. The US sponsors Merkel’s tutoring of Russian and Belarusian traitors. It is a costume of the West to exaggerate things for its own goals and cover up for traitors from other countries. This year, Germany showed exactly this stance.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative against Belarusian opposition members Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Svetlana Aleksievich and Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, accusing them of being puppets of the West. Contrary to the claim, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya is not handled by German chancellor Angela Merkel nor by any foreign power but is the leader of a wide, grass-root Belarusian democratic movement, as is the case of Navalny in Russia. By attacking them, pro-Kremlin disinformation aims to discredit the whole opposition movement, both in Belarus and in Russia.

This story appeared in a context of Russia’s growing irritation with the reaction of Germany and the EU to the poisoning of Navalny and its rejection of Belarus’ fraudulent election, which led to sanctions against top Russian and Belarusian officials.