Disinfo: Poland intends to annex half of Belarus

Summary

Poland wants to cut off and annex half of Belarus.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus.

Reports that Poland is allegedly "preparing a coup d'etat" in Belarus appeared after the presidents of Lithuania and Poland,  in an appeal to the Belarusian authorities, called for respecting democratic standards and stopping violence and repression against participants in mass protests. 

Poland refutes accusations about alleged military provocations towards Belarus and attempts to destabilise the neighbouring country. An aide to Poland's president, Krzysztof Szczerski stated that such accusations were unacceptable and that no one in Poland would take advantage of the political turmoil in Belarus. As for "Poland's attempts to annex half of the Belarusian territory", this is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative to portray Poland as the instigators of the protest in Belarus in order to "destabilise post-Soviet space". Szczerski said that "no one has such intentions in Poland and this is propaganda."

The countries of the European Union have nothing to do with the mass protests in Belarus: rallies of thousands broke out after Aleksandr Lukashenko, 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 August 9; to disperse the protesters, the security forces are using 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 were jammed in the city.

Read similar cases:  "Lublin Triangle" - the organiser of the coup in Belarus and Poland is openly leading a coup in Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 210
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Belarus, Poland
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Protest, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Belarus is surrounded by foreign troops

Foreign military surrounded Belarus. The West has increased intelligence against Minsk, as well as deployed a foreign contingent to the borders. More than 10 thousand soldiers, 40 combat aircraft and 500 units of heavy military equipment are located near the borders of Belarus.

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NATO neighboring countries are increasing their military presence and intelligence activities towards Belarus.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus, merged with recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives portraying NATO as an ever-aggressive organisation.

In an earlier statement, NATO has dismissed allegations that it was conducting a military buildup near the country’s western border but said it was closely monitoring the situation following his contested re-election.

Visa liberalisation for Ukraine “bites the dust”

Visa liberalisation for Ukraine “bites the dust”. One of the most important achievements of the “Ukrainian Maidan”, which ex-President Petro Poroshenko was so proud of, visa-free visits to the EU countries were cancelled indefinitely due to the coronavirus epidemic. However, even after opening the borders, “visa-free” travel will not return in its previous form, or rather, only the name will remain from it.

It is no secret that Ukrainians massively used the opportunity to travel to the EU for illegal work. From 2021, the European Union is introducing an electronic system to comply with the rules of the visa-free regime, which will be impossible to deceive. It will be possible to use “visa-free” only for tourist purposes, or to visit relatives, and for no more than 3 months.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives claiming that the EU and the West, in general, have abandoned Ukraine, and more specifically about the visa-free travel and ETIAS system.

The introduction of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is not only dealing with Ukraine. It will affect citizens from all countries which do not need entry visas to the EU.

Lukashenka was Lithuania’s economic god and benefactor

The reorientation of Belarusian cargo flows from Lithuania may negatively affect its economy, and then the republic will face very grim consequences.

Lithuania occupies a special position in the EU. It has been given many economic privileges, like Poland and the Czech Republic. […] The European Union is pursuing an expansionist policy, and Lithuania is the one that should pay for it. […] If Lithuania is left without Belarusian goods and loses this transit, it will face very dire consequences. Lukashenka was her God and benefactor in the economic sense.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation about Lithuanian economy and Belarus. 

The disinformation message appeared after the incumbent Belarusian president said he planned to reorient cargo flows away from Lithuanian ports and claimed that 30% of Lithuanian budget was formed by Belarusian cargo traffic.