European countries need to take control of the situation in Belarus. US magazine Foreign Policy suggests that the EU will first have to actively fill the information space with statements against Lukashenko. For example, it could be recommended to accuse him of repression or electoral fraud, at the same time that a “double approach” is promoted: Europe will announce that it is ready to provide material support to Belarus during the so-called “transition period”, and to help individual political forces inside the country that “want to help the process”. The goal is to carry out a “silent” coup in the frame of the election in Belarus. The publication admits that this scenario is unlikely, so they offer an alternative. If Lukashenko refuses to deliver the government voluntarily to a pro-Western opposition successor, he will face “hard moderation measures” in the form of colossal pressuring sanctions. However, in its attempts to overthrow Lukashenko, the article says, the European Union should take into account past mistakes. Six years ago, while Brussels was negotiating free trade with Kyiv, power-hungry Ukrainian oligarchs overthrew Viktor Yanukovych, surprising the EU, causing an armed conflict and effectively interrupting the diplomatic and constructive process of rapprochement with Europe.
In the last decades, the capabilities of the Russian army expanded significantly and Russia is now able to strike Poland and many western countries, Andrzej Wilk from Warsaw’s Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) said in an interview. There is no reason to doubt the power of the missiles of the Russian Federation, therefore, Poland would be scared of the Russian “mallet”, the expert said. We must say that Russia’s Ministry highlighted many times that Moscow has no intention to attack anyone, but according to several Polish citizens, given that the Russian Federation has powerful weapons, it is better that Warsaw maintains a good relation with its neighbour.
This is a deliberate distortion of expert Andrzej Wilk’s original interview with Polish radio station Polskie Radio, who never said that there are no reasons to doubt the power of Russian missiles and that Poland is scared of them. Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introduce a distorted message as if it was part of the original article, in this case recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia’s military might, its “peaceful goals” and the need for its neighbours to yield to its requests in order to maintain good relations.
The following cases are examples from our database where distorted quotes have been omitted to serious publications: pro-Kremlin media claimed that British outlet The Guardian pointed to the ruling elite as the real instigators of the racial crisis in the US or reported that the EU remained silent as Europeans couldn’t buy food for the first time in 75 years. The pro-Kremlin media also claimed that Newsweek magazine explained how a US coup in Iran will end; that The Guardian claimed that Soros’ structures saw an opportunity in the coronavirus pandemic to attack the “bad guys”; or that the US special envoy for Syria admitted that Washington’s goal was to defend terrorists from Russian attacks.