Disinfo: Integration with the EU would bring a complete loss of independence to Belarus

Summary

Integration with the EU would mean a complete loss of Belarus’ independence. Genuine Belarus’ independence is achieved through the development of the Union State between Russia and Belarus.

Disproof

This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives about negative effect of EU's membership on national sovereignty and generally about the EU's decay. It goes in hand with another narrative about the incomplete Belarus statehood without a close union with Russia. Closer cooperation with the EU does not require partner states to share their sovereignty and lose their independence. Cooperation within the Eastern Partnership helps strengthening state and societal resilience: it makes both the EU and the partners stronger and better able to deal with internal and external challenges.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 144
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/04/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, Belarusian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: European Union, EU/NATO enlargement, Conspiracy theory
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No elections are scheduled in the Donbas

No elections were scheduled in the Donbas for the first round of the Ukrainian presidential vote of the 31st of March 2019.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on the upcoming elections in Ukraine. See here for similar disinformation cases concerning the Ukrainian elections As clearly stated by the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, on the 12th of February 2019, the presidential elections will be held in 12 out of 21 constituencies in the Donetsk region, and in 6 of 11 districts in the Luhansk region. Elections can’t be held in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk, which, nevertheless, does not represent the entire Donbas territory, but just a part. The website of the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine advises that residents of the Donbas, who live in territory not controlled by Kyiv, can still participate in the elections. To do this, they have to come to the Department of State for Voter Registration in order to submit an application.

Western warlike provocations in the Black Sea

Since 1990, the Western answer was clear: under no circumstances should Moscow be able to sit at the same table. The new antagonism was decreed by the West and they tried to bring it about by global constriction of the Russian Federation. The warlike provocations of the West in the Black Sea must cease and there must be the opportunity for all sides to face up to their true behaviour. The escalation screw is in American hands. Europe and the world must be made capable of peace.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Western belligerence towards Russia and on Russophobia. Moreover, there was a clear record of strong cooperation between the EU and Russia, dating back to 1994, when the two sides negotiated a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Russia was identified as a strategic partner for the EU, and was the only country with which the EU held summits not once, but twice a year. A new EU-Russia agreement was being negotiated up until 2014, at which point talks were suspended due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. The EU and NATO repeatedly emphasised their intention to have a "constructive dialogue with Russia". Read more here. See how Russia has escalated the tensions in the Azov Sea here.

Kyiv prevented Donbas residents from voting in the elections

The authorities in Kyiv is refusing the residents of Donbas the right to vote in Ukraine’s presidential elections. Ukraine did not give a vote to residents of the occupied parts of eastern Ukraine. In the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, not a single polling station was opened.

Disproof

A recurring narrative on the Ukraine elections. According to OPORA civic network, an election watchdog, voting stations were opened in both regions. In Donetsk oblasts, there are 12 electoral districts (for an estimated 1.4 million voters), while in Luhansk oblast, there are 6 districts (for an estimated 522,000 voters). They were all open according to schedule. Voting stations were even opened in the zone of military operations in Donbas – where military personnel are voting. According to Ukraine’s General Staff, there are a total of 79 special voting stations in the area of the Joint Forces Operation: 14 in Luhansk oblast and 65 in Donetsk oblast. “Voting has been organised in accordance with the law and is occurring without excesses,” according to the military.

On top, the website of the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine advises that residents of the Donbas, who live in territory not controlled by Kyiv, can still participate in the elections. To do this, they have to come to the Department of State for Voter Registration in order to submit an application.