Disinfo: The "soft hand" of the West tries to influence the situation in Belarus

Summary

The “soft hand” of the West tries to influence the situation in Belarus. The protests could have finished very quickly, if not for an attempt by third countries to shake the situation from the outside.

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 as a Western-led colour revolution. The protests in Belarus were a reaction to the supposed results of the Presidential election in Belarus which took place on 9 August. The outcome is considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. However, there is no evidence that the protests in Belarus are funded and organised externally. Mass rallies, which are still continuing, broke out after Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has ruled for 26 years, declared that he had “won a convincing victory” in the elections. The current protests in Belarus began on the evening of 9 August; security forces have used rubber bullets, flash grenades, tear gas, shockers and water cannons. On the day of voting, the centre of Minsk was blocked by security forces, whilst communications and the Internet in the capital city were jammed.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: Union State of Belarus and Russia, West, Protest, Alexander Lukashenko
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Repressions, camps and no production - Kyiv shows what fate it has planned for Donbas

In the case of Donbas returning to its control, Kyiv plans not only to begin political repressions and mass incarceration of unwanted people in prisons but also to completely abandon the restoration of infrastructure and economy in the region. Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine Serhiy Kryvonos stated this on-air for the Apostrophe TV channel.

Disproof

This is a highly manipulative story, consistent with the Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine and abandoning Donbas region. The Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine Serhiy Kryvonos did not say that Kyiv is planning to "to begin political repressions and mass incarceration of unwanted people” in the Donbas. He also did not say that the authorities are going to abandon the restoration of infrastructure and the economy in the region. In the interview with Apostrophe TV, Kryvonos claimed that political restrictions and criminal liability can be applied to persons who committed crimes and this will depend on the level of the offence. Kryvonos also noticed that Kyiv should have a "clear plan" on the restoration of the infrastructure of Donbas, but there is no point in the restoring of unnecessary centres of production as the sales market has been changed.

Medical care received by Navalny is proof there was no attempt on his life

Navalny spent 44 hours in the hospital in Omsk, where the medical equipment used is not the best in the country. He arrived at the hospital at an unusual time for Russia (4 am), and only half an hour after the emergency signal sent by the plane after its request to land. There was no delay in the process of his rescue, which would have been a “perfect excuse” to justify his death. As soon as Navalny arrived at the hospital, he was immediately given an injection of atropine, which stabilised his condition to the extent that the German medical team continued to use the same drug, recognising its effectiveness. This treatment, applied at the right timing, saved the patient’s life. It was prescribed by the chief physician at the emergency department in Omsk after an online consultation with top healthcare professionals in Moscow. Once again, we see unusual efficiency and effectiveness in treating a patient they wanted to kill.

Disproof

The fact that the medical staff at the Omsk hospital tried to save the life of Alexei Navalny does not rule out the possibility that he was poisoned. To argue that a complicit professional medical staff letting a patient die is the only proof that there was an attempt on that patient's life is contrary to reason, to say the least. The preliminary test results from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin where Navalny is being currently treated indicate that the Russian opposition leader was poisoned during his stay in Siberia. The German federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in the blood samples of Aleksey Navalny. 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 had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. Siberian doctors denied allegations on poisoning. Navalny has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. The EU High Representative Josep Borell condemns in a statement what seems to be an attempt on Mr. Navalny's life.

NATO builds up military forces on the border with Belarus

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.