Disinfo: Pro-Western development would mean the end of Belarus

Summary

Currently, the pro-Western vector of development seems to prevail in Belarus. However, it does not have a future either for the Belarusian people, the Belarusian state, or its ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka. In contrast, a pro-Russian vector for Belarus would secure the continued existence of the Belarusian people and modernisation of the Belarusian economy.

Disproof

This is a classic example of a false dilemma used in pro-Kremlin disinformation, specifically to undermine the prospects of Western orientation in Belarus' political development. The narrative presents Belarus' choice in zero-sum, black-and-white terms: either economic modernisation and prosperity in a union with Russia vs. loss of sovereignty with a pro-EU course.

See earlier disinformation cases positing similar false dilemmas, like that Ukraine and Belarus face an unavoidable loss of sovereignty without remaining an integral part of Russia, that a Union State of Belarus and Russia is necessary to prevent Belarus' impoverishment and degradation, and that becoming Russia's protectorate would save Belarus from forced Polonisation and economic devastation.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Belarus
  • Keywords: Union State of Belarus and Russia, Economic difficulties, Russian world
  • Outlet: Ukraina.ru
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The US fought Russia in Donbas through Ukraine, now it wants to make Belarus Russophobic

American military and politicians like “Anaconda” strategy. They surround Russia and China with hundreds of military bases and make an illusion of creating a blocking ring. Americans also create client regimes along the perimeter of Russian borders. The US State Secretary Mike Pompeo was allured to visit Belarus because of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s actions countering the Union State of Belarus and Russia. The US aims to use the opportunity of making Belarus Russophobic. By adding Belarus into the chain of Russophobic regimes the US would reach information and ideological victory over Russia.

In 2014, in Kyiv, they also tried to implement its “Anaconda” plan by cutting Donbas off Russian border and crushing its forces afterwards. The plan was obviously elaborated by US advisers, as Soviet military academies taught different tactics. Indeed, the correctness of Soviet military doctrine was well demonstrated in Donbas when overwhelming Ukrainian forces where cut into pieces, surrounded and destroyed by much weaker units of local militia and soldiers on leave.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy which is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's intentions to encircle Russia and to destabilise China, in particular, by implementing the "Anaconda" strategy. It is also consistent with narratives about West's attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations, and about Ukraine as Western puppet used to fight Russia.

The narrative denies Russian military involvement in Donbas while there is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. The EU has condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

The JIT is blaming Russia for MH17 to hide the flaws of its investigation

The Netherlands is shunning a fully-fledged investigation into the MH17 plane crash. By refusing Russia’s request to share its MH17 files, Dutch authorities once again avoided taking all necessary measures to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the MH17 crash.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT)’s accusations against Moscow are part of its strategy to cover up its own mistakes in the MH17 investigation.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to undermine the credibility of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that is investigating the MH17 disaster.

Firstly, Russia's stated interest to be involved in the JIT investigation is not a sufficient condition for its membership in the team. The crash did not take place over Russian territory and claimed no Russian lives, which precludes any basis for Moscow to be represented in the JIT. Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke told a Russian newspaper that "if MH17 were shot down over Russia, I would have suggested that Russia be made a member of the JIT group."

The US has recognised Euromaidan as a coup controlled by US officials

In this film, for the first time, Americans themselves recognise Euromaidan as a coup d’etat under the external control of officials of the US presidential administration. The author of the investigation tells how the leaders of the Ukrainian revolution coordinated their actions at the US embassy in Kyiv, and then went out on the streets to protest. This investigation surprised few people in Nezalezhnaya [derogatory name for Ukraine]: the journalists from Israel and Italy already told about the Georgian snipers recruited through Saakashvili, but American viewers see for the first time how Ukraine has become a platform for fighting, war and making money.

Disproof

This is a recurring effort by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets to represent grassroots protest movements in post-Soviet countries, including Russia itself, Ukraine, and others, as plotted by US to destabilise those countries and weaken Russia. Thus, the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine in 2014 are presented as a coup fomented alternatively by the West, Georges Soros, or Victoria Nuland from the US in person; it is also often  portrayed as a "Nazi coup".

In fact, the demonstrations that began in Kyiv in November 2013, called "Maidan" or "Euromaidan", emerged organically as a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute  U-turn on the highly anticipated EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which had been under negotiation for seven years. For more cases about the Euromaidan protests, see here.