Disinfo: Opposing the Union State of Belarus and Russia: an attempt to set up a geopolitical catastrophe

Summary

The Union State of Belarus and Russia is necessary for national security and national interests of both states. The two countries are an inseparable civilizational body with historic, linguistic, spiritual, and cultural unity. Belarusian history is an integral part of all-Russian history and the current Belarusian statehood is a result of the centuries-long formation of all-Russian consciousness. The establishment of the Union State is a process of economic, political, social, and moral recovery of Russia, Belarus, and all other post-Soviet countries. It would also mean the elimination of corruption, criminal, demographic crisis and the termination of other adverse effects provoked by the disruption of the union. Active organisers of the USSR’s collapse, a geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, currently work to destroy Russia and Belarus, that is to organize a geopolitical catastrophe of 21st century. Opposition to the Union State of Belarus and Russia is Russophobia. Adopting Western values and carrying out economic reforms in post-Soviet countries resulted in the impoverishment of people and the degradation of statehood. By demanding to replace national values and traditions with foreign ideas, to change the mentality of Russians and Belarusians, adversaries attempt to move the countries to the periphery of world development.

Disproof

This is a mix of conspiracies which is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin propagandistic narratives about Belarus as an integral part of the Russian world and the West's attempts to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations. It equals opposition to the Union State to Russophobia and puts forward a false dilemma about the direction of Belarus and other post-Soviet countries' political development (union with Russia vs. unavoidable degradation) and promotes the concept of all-Russian civilisation, an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians, as well as their sovereignty. See earlier disinformation cases alleging the Union State of Belarus and Russia saves post-Soviet countries from pro-fascist West, that the West destroyed the USSR and is currently targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, and that Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: USSR, Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: Union State of Belarus and Russia, West, Anti-Russian, Russian world, Conspiracy theory
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We can't say whether humans are the cause of global warming

The Paris Agreement calls to avoid a 1.5 degree rise in temperature. Will we be able to do that or not? This is beyond our control. We do not know the real reasons behind climate change. We know times in history when the world was going through cold, and other periods characterised by high temperatures. The cause might be in cosmic processes, such as the difference in the Earth’s rotational axis, or a difference in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. Therefore, it is not possible to determine definitively if humans are the cause of global warming.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that climate change might not have been caused by human activity. It is not true that science does not possess evidence of human impact on climate change. On the contrary, there is a strong consensus among publishing climate scientists that humans are responsible for climate change. The greater the climate expertise among surveyed scientists, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rain-forests and farming livestock. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. Preventing dangerous consequences of climate change is the key priority for the EU.

Estonia is afraid of Sputnik's influence

Threats to Sputnik journalists in Estonia indicate that the country must be afraid of their influence on people.

Disproof

There is no persecution against Sputnik in Estonia. The agency has been forced to move out of its office in Tallinn because of its inability to pay the rent due to sanctions. In October 2019, Estonia-based branches of the foreign banks that operated the accounts of Rossiya Segodnya, the mother company of Sputnik, froze all its transfers, while other banks in Estonia refused to operate with the firm. This is the result of the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Dmitry Kiselyov, the director general of Rossiya Segodnya, following the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis. Banks in Estonia are not the only institutions to have taken action against Rossiya Segodnya for this reason. In 2015, Barclay’s bank closed the account used by the agency in UK. In 2016 Latvia's domain registry shut the website of Sputnik Latvia after receiving a letter of concern from the Latvian Foreign Ministry, which drew attention to Sputnik's coverage of Ukraine and routine denial of the embattled nation's territorial integrity. In July 2019, Latvian authorities blocked access to the online portal baltnews.lv, owned by Rossiya Segodnya, because of the EU sanctions. In mid-2019 a court in Vilnius ruled on blocking Sputnik Lithuania over copyright issues. Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders. Estonia is considered a consolidated democracy by Freedom House and a Flawed Democracy by the Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index, similar to countries like the US, Japan, France, Portugal or Belgium. Thus, Estonia is by no means a totalitarian regime. This is part of a recurrent Russian disinformation narrative to portray Baltic states as dictatorial and Kremlin-linked media as sources of alternative views and Russia as a global champion of press freedom. You can see other examples in our database, such as the claims of Russophobia at a state level in the Baltic countries (which leads to discrimination against their non-citizens), contrary to the allegedly brave efforts of Sputnik against intolerance in Lithuania, or the stories on how nice is to be a journalist in Russia, unlike in Europe.

Estonian authorities pursue Sputnik under the cover of the EU and NATO

The Estonians would never have decided on such illegal actions if they didn’t have permission from their real owners in the West. Without the coordination with NATO allies, the USA, this situation would not have developed in such a shameful way. Moreover, representatives of NATO and the EU will cover up the actions of the Estonian authorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation undermining the statehood of the Baltic countries, about the US or EU/NATO's hegemony over other countries, lost sovereignty andexternal control of the Baltic states. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are sovereign countries, who determine their own domestic and foreign policies, including membership in military and other alliances. The claims are groundless, NATO, the US or the EU have nothing to do with the situation involving Sputnik Estonia. There is no persecution of Sputnik Estonia. Estonia is indeed on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. It's important to note that Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website, as it is accessible and operational. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has emphasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted." The agency has been forced to move out of its office in Tallinn because of its inability to pay its rent due to sanctions. In October 2019, Estonian based branches of the foreign banks that operated the accounts of Russia Today, froze all its transfers, while other banks in Estonia refused to operate with Sputnik. This is the result of the sanctions imposed by the European Union on Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of RT, following the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Estonia and Lithuania are totalitarian, that Russian media is facing discrimination in the Baltic states, and that Baltic states’ policies are equal to the Third Reich. More cases alleging an aggressive campaign by Estonia against Sputnik can be read here.