Pro-Western Belarusian opposition prefers commemorating WWII events with swastikas and LGBT symbols

Summary

The Belarusian opposition views past historical events in a light favourable to both the West and fascism. The ancestors of opposition activists were fascist collaborators during WWII and exterminated civilians. Hence, they have a fierce hatred at the genetic level.

The Belarusian opposition would be much happier if at the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s attack on the USSR (June 22nd) people would take to the streets wearing swastikas and shouting “Long live Belarus!” and “Glory to Ukraine!”. The opposition would also prefer seeing garrison soldiers wearing LGBT badges. Only in this case would the opposition acknowledge the significance of commemorating WWII history.

Disproof

These are ungrounded claims intended to discredit the West and the Belarusian opposition via baseless accusations of Nazi and LGBT sympathies. This story is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West's continuous attempts to undermine Belarusian society through a subservient Belarusian opposition and Western-funded NGOs.

Read our past analysis "Pro-Kremlin News Front Praising Hitler" to learn more on how the terms “Fascism” and “Nazism” in the current pro-Kremlin political terminology are used to undermine those who are critical of Russian policies or the Kremlin. Accusations of fascism are a telltale indicator of disinformation.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West financed environmental NGOs in Belarus to stage a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia, that Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that the West finances Belarusian opposition and NGOs to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, and that it promotes propaganda of feminine men in Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 156
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: The West, Belarus
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, WWII, Russophobia, Conspiracy, LGBT, Nazi/Fascist
  • Outlet: Podneprovie-Info
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Ukraine denies all peaceful means of Donbas conflict solution

[…] The Ukrainian authorities do not wish to talk with or to listen to anyone. They deny all peaceful means of Donbas conflict solution without being able to solve the issue by military means.

 

Disproof

This message contains common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives concerning the war in Ukraine. It disregards a multitude of factual evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas. Consult the evidence database and publications with further evidence here and here.

It is untrue that the Ukrainian authorities purposefully block any attempts to resolve the Donbas conflict. During Zelenskyy's recent visits to Germany and France, the sides have discussed the need to restart peace efforts, including the so-called Normandy format, which brings together Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France. On 27 June Zelenskyy called on Putin to release Ukrainian seamen from detention in Russia. In late April Ukrainian president also called for an exchange of prisoners in "all-to-all" format.

The Belarusian opposition is trying to sabotage the 2nd European Games

The Belarusian opposition does its best to sabotage the 2nd European Games, and is already organizing provocations. Its representatives are implicated in the illegal sale of tickets and have even turned to the Russian activist group Pussy Riot who came to support them. The Belarusian opposition will bring a bunch of people, armed to the teeth, in order to humiliate Belarus in the eyes of foreigners.

Another strategy to spoil the 2nd European Games is to deflect public attention towards the EuroGames 2019 for gays and lesbians in Madrid. This event is one of the most important for the Belarusian opposition, just as May 17th when the UK embassy flies LGBT flags. The Belarusian opposition began selling tickets for the EuroGames and promises to issue citizens with visas for it free of charge, with the aim of taking Belarusians away from the country’s main event.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Belarusian opposition.

A number of Belarusian media outlets including the largest internet portal TUT.BY mentioned the difference between the European Games, the EuroGames, and the European Championships. The EuroGames is an European multi sport event governed by the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation. The 2019 EuroGames will be taking place in Rome, Italy. The Belarusian opposition has not promoted the 2019 EuroGames through the sale of tickets or by other means, nor has it promised free visas as alleged.

UK embassy may finance a campaign against a former Belarusian Minister of Interior

The recent resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus, Ihar Shunevich, became a real celebration for the Belarusian opposition. Shunevich was an opponent of gays, lesbians, and transvestites, and an advocate of family values. He irritated Belarusian patriots and became a personal opponent for Belarusian human rights defender [Valiancin Stefanovich] who was advocating for gay traditions of those countries where such traditions have turned into madness.

He also negatively reacted to waiving LGBT flag by UK embassy on 17 May and must have found himself blacklisted by the UK ambassador to Belarus Fiona Gibb.

Despite Shunevich’s resignation, Belarusian opposition may continue the hunt against him and attempts to prosecute Shunevich. The UK embassy, and personally Fiona Gibb, may finance a harassment campaign by the Belarusian opposition. Hence Shunevich must be given immunity from prosecution as this will guarantee the integrity of our family values.

 

Disproof

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the morally corrupt West and its aggressive actions towards Belarus and Belarusian society. It is aimed to discredit Belarusian democratic opposition by equating protection of LGBT rights by human rights defenders with the alleged promotion of anti-family values. There is no proof that Belarusian opposition staged a harassment campaign against Ihar Shunevich and no indicators whatsoever that he can really be prosecuted for his statements.

After the Belarusian Interior Ministry slammed the UK embassy in Minsk for flying a rainbow flag on the International Day Against Homophobia in 2018, UK Ambassador Fiona Gibb posted a video stating, "This embassy is once again flying the rainbow flag as we did in 2015, 2017 and 2018. We do so not to promote LGBT, but to promote equal rights for this community. LGBT people are not asking for special rights, but simply to enjoy the same respect, dignity and rights as others. As human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people, my government is committed to non-discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity."