Disinfo: OSCE's position on Belarus was decided even before the elections happened

Summary

The Belarusian authorities have invited the OSCE ODIHR – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights – to take part in the monitoring of the elections. Why did it not come? This immediately makes us [Russia] think that, in fact, a position on the results of these elections had already been formulated. Therefore, someone may doubt the results, but we have every reason to doubt that those who doubt the election results were completely honest.

Disproof

A recurrent narrative about the West undermining democracy in Eastern countries and organising colour revolutions. On July 15, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus that the lack of an invitation to observe the upcoming presidential election precluded ODIHR from observing the ongoing election process and published a press release. Afterwards, Belarus officially invited the organisation to observe the presidential elections of 9 August 2020.

“The lack of a timely invitation more than two months after the announcement of the election has prevented ODIHR from observing key aspects of the electoral process,” said ODIHR Director Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir.

Six or seven weeks of preparations are needed to prepare a real independent and reliable observance mission. Moreover, the conditions were already very difficult: the presidential election campaign in Belarus was accompanied by unprecedented violence since the very early stage of the campaign. ODIHR Director added that "the protection of fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression is a precondition for genuine democratic elections". The fact that prospective candidates had been intimidated and opposition activists arrested was deeply concerning. See more cases about Belarus: The scheme of the colour revolution in Belarus is revealed, US hybrid war on Belarus allows Russia to “pull a Crimea” in the former Soviet Republic, Belarus mobilised its air force fearing an imminent NATO invasion.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) French, Russian, English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, Colour revolutions, OSCE, Elections
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Disinfo: Zelenskyy prepares for aggressive measures and bloodshed in Donbas

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is preparing for aggressive measures and bloodshed in Donbas. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, held a meeting with the new commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who was Major General Grigory Galagan.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. The headline of the article misinterprets the news itself. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the current ceasefire had changed the objectives of Operation Allied Forces, while he presented a new commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:

"There will be more provocations from pro-Russian militants, so both the command and the SOF personnel should work harder to prevent them and take preventative measures."

Also Zelenskyy did not mention more aggression and bloodshed in Donbas, but "aggressive measures to counter the challenges that arise - to adequately respond to provocative actions by the enemy."

Disinfo: The largest flag of Ukraine was torn during its first week of display

The largest flag of Ukraine was torn during its first week of display in Kyiv. Communal workers in Kyiv lowered the largest flag of Ukraine. According to the Vesti.ua portal, the flag set a week ago was lowered “for technical reasons.” As workers of municipal services say, the flag began to tear. Whether from the wind, or from the quality of the material – it is not clear.

Disproof

An attempt by pro-Kremlin media to try to undermine Ukraine's statehood ahead of its most patriotic days of the year: 23 August is National Flag Day, followed the next day by Ukraine's Independence Day. The published story is just not true. The statement in the media was denied by the local authorities in Kyiv. The Mayor of the capital, Vitaliy Klitschko denied reports that Ukraine's largest flag has been allegedly damaged, noting that the flag, like the flagpole on which it is flown, is in excellent condition:

Work should be carried out regularly to check the condition of the flagpole and the flagpole's engineering structure. Today, for the first time since the opening of the memorial, such work was carried out. So the flag is undamaged, the flagpole is in excellent condition. The main flag proudly flies over Kyiv.

Previously, the largest national flag was hoisted on the highest flagpole, on 22 August. The height of the flagpole is almost 90 metres. The flag itself is 24 metres by 16 metres.

Disinfo: "Normandy format meeting" was cancelled due to Ukraine's inability to keep its word

The Ukrainian authorities have suffered yet another fiasco in the game of “we are fully-fledged participants in the Normandy format.” Contrary to the statements of the country’s top officials, the “Normandy meeting” scheduled for 28 August has been cancelled. The reasons for the cancellation of the meeting are obvious: Ukraine did not fulfill its obligations to partners, which it undertook at the Paris summit in December 2019.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, claiming that Ukraine refuses to implement the Minsk agreements. The office of the President of Ukraine confirmed in a statement that the meeting of advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format states on 28 August will not take place:

"The meeting of advisers to the leaders of the states-participants of the Normandy format, which was to take place on 28 August in Paris, is postponed in connection with the business trip of the adviser to the President of France Emmanuel Bonn."

Earlier, Russian media reported, citing their own sources, that the meeting of advisers to the heads of state of the "Normandy format" was canceled due to disagreements over the final documents. However, there is no mention of Ukraine or any supposed 'non-compliance' with the Minsk agreements in the statement confirming the cancellation of the meeting.