Disinfo: NATO builds up military forces on the border with Belarus

Summary

NATO countries bordering Belarus are building up their military capabilities and intensifying intelligence. Recently, Belarus’ neighbours have been strengthening both their military potential and the ability to receive and deploy foreign troops. At the same time, intelligence activities against Belarus have been seriously intensified.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aboutBelarus. The NATO leadership has repeatedly denied statements about the build-up of the alliance's forces near the western border of Belarus. "There is no NATO buildup in the region. NATO’s multinational presence in the eastern part of the Alliance is not a threat to any country. It’s strictly defensive, proportionate & designed to prevent conflict & preserve peace" said NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu on 16 August. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated this thesis on 27 August and stressed that NATO respects the sovereignty and borders of Belarus. He also called on the Belarusian authorities to respect the fundamental freedoms of citizens, including the right to peaceful protest. "All NATO Allies support a sovereign and independent Belarus. The regime in Minsk must demonstrate full respect for fundamental rights, including freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest. NATO has no military build-up in the region. So any attempt to use that as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protesters is absolutely unjustified" - emphasised Stoltenberg. Read similar cases claims that "Lublin Triangle" - the organiser of the coup in Belarus and that Poland is openly leading a coup in Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: War preparation, EU/NATO enlargement, Manipulated elections/referendum, NATO
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The actions of the protesters in Belarus are controlled by foreign centers

The actions of the protesters in Belarus are controlled by foreign centers, they also finance opposition activists, provide them with information support.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus protests and, in general, about protests in post-communist countries, presenting them as being organised and controlled from abroad. Neither in the text nor elsewhere there is no any evidence that the West or other foreign forces are involved in any way in the protests 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 European Council condemned, on 19 August 2020, the violence against peaceful protesters and announced that it would soon adopt a list of sanctions for those responsible for violence in Belarus. ”As the elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair, and did not meet international standards, the EU does not recognize the results presented by the Belarus authorities”, is mentioned in a European Council press release. Se here similar case, claiming that the West is preparing a ”colorful revolution” in Belarus and here a case about ”western curators” of ”Belarussian maidan”.

Queensland mass murderer was trained in Ukraine

Right-wing militants are treated with kid gloves and, like their Islamist brethren, are allowed to travel to Ukraine and obtain combat training and experience in the Azov Regiment. Occasionally this leads to “blowback”, as in the case of the Queensland mass murderer whose fighting skills were honed in Ukraine.

Disproof

It is not clear what the author of the piece means, referring to the “Queensland Mass Murder”. The arsonist who killed 15 young people at a youth hostel in Queensland, Australia, had no connections to Ukraine or any other European country. It is possible that Russia-based South Front has mixed Australia and New Zealand and is referring to the 2019 terrorist attack in Christchurch, where a whites supremacist killed 51 worshippers at a mosque. The perpetrator, recently sentenced to a life-time prison term, had indeed contacts with white supremacists in Europe and US, but no connections to any Ukrainian organisations or individuals.

US used Navalny case to block Russian vaccine against Covid-19

Referring to a painful attack of an incomprehensible nature that attempted to kill the cyber activist Navalny, the Bureau of Industry and Security of the US Department of Commerce added five Russian research institutes to the sanctions lists, including the 48th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence of Russia, which participated in the work on the vaccine against COVID-19. Thanks to the current occasion of Navalny’s poisoning (or thanks to a dashing illness that struck him), the US administration got the opportunity to block the release of the vaccine to many foreign markets, for example, to the markets of US customers. If Navalny did not exist, he would have been invented. The fate of the American pharmaceutical industry and the fate of Navalny is more important than someone’s lives.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Alexei Navalny's poisoning. Consistent with the Kremlin propaganda narrative that the poisoning of Russian opposition leader is in the interest of the West to use the case against Russia. See similar disinformation narratives that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia and West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko. The claim is a conspiracy theory that tries to artificially link Navalny poisoning and related sanctions to the Sputnik V, Covid-19 vaccine produced in Russia. The vaccine has been met with international scepticism, claiming that the Russian vaccine is not backed by evidence from a complete phase 3 trial. The criticism has nothing to do with the Navalny case. The US imposed restrictions on three Russian facilities for their alleged involvement in chemical and biological weapons research, including Defence Ministry's 33rd Central Research and Testing Institute and 48th Central Research Institute. Background: Russian opposition leader and a critic of Vladimir Putin Alexey Navalny has been suffering from suspected poisoning. He 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. Navalny has since been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. Clinical findings indicate poisoning with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors, said Charite.