Disinfo: Protests in Belarus are driven by Americans from the center near Warsaw

Summary

The Poles have exalted themselves this week. The impression is that they again, as if at the beginning of the 17th century, are trying to arrange the Time of Troubles on our territory. That lesson has never been learned. And Poland, in alliance with Lithuania, returns to its old ways. And of course, this whole story is not about Belarus. The goal is to make a mess of Russia. For Poland and Lithuania, this is already a centuries-old idea. Today their reanimate it. They believe it is a new chance. There is no destabilisation in the country [of Belarus]. And you know, if it were not for the external factor, this would not have had happened. Both we and the Russians know who is in charge and from where. The Americans are running it from the centre near Warsaw through well-known telegram channels. The Coordination Council, about which the opposition talks so much, does not represent the Belarusian society.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the protests in Belarus. See previous conspiracy claim that "200 Ukrainian extremists" are controlling the multi thousand protesters in Belarus. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. See related examples of disinformation messages alleging that the protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to Maidan scenario; that US democrats organised riots in the US cities based on the Ukrainian scenario; that Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks on Belarusian territory.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/09/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, US, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia
  • Keywords: Union State of Belarus and Russia, West
see more

Germany could be the real target of intoxication of Navalny; money trails point to the US

The intoxication of Russian blogger Alexei Navalny has a very clear goal, and in order to know who could be behind it, one only must know who benefits from the event that caused his metabolic disorder, produced by a sharp fall of his blood sugar levels, which the West is promoting as an alleged poisoning. In this match, Germany could be the real target, and the money trail points directly to the US: its defence budget for 2021 includes imposing sanctions to prevent the finalisation of the Nord Stream 2 works, for which there are only 160 kilometres left until its completion.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The claim that Navalny suffered an “intoxication” or a “metabolic disorder” presented now by the West as “an alleged poisoning” is false, since the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against the Russian dissident has been established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. The campaign is following the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugther in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that is the US and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the US wanted to use it to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations about Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.

The same authoritarian regime exists in Bulgaria and Belarus

Taking into consideration [political] trends, it is possible to compare Bulgaria to Belarus, because the same authoritarian regime exists in Bulgaria and Belarus.

Disproof

This message presents Bulgaria as an authoritarian and undemocratic country and uses manipulative headline. According to the Freedom House, Belarus an authoritarian police state in which elections are openly rigged and civil liberties are curtailed. Bulgaria’s democratic system holds competitive elections and has seen several transfers of power in recent decades. Belarus scored 19 points out of 100 in the Freedom House's Global Freedom Index 2020. Bulgaria's score: 80 out of 100. Read more disinformation messages focusing on Bulgaria: The USA is planning a coup in Bulgaria in order to subsequently blame Russia; Bulgarians have not seen any significant benefits from membership of the EU and NATO and EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn says that Bulgarians do not need a state.

The crowds protesting in Belarus are computer generated imagery

Look at this photo: it’s like an ocean of people. But look at the distances between people in the first row! It is impossible that there can be such distances in a crowd like that. It is impossible! There should be no space at all, first, second, third row should be full. But they’re not as you can see. It is a clearly an example of computer graphics.

Disproof

An unfounded claim to suggest the absence of popular support for the protests in Belarus.

The filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov certainly demonstrates an allegedly doctored picture, but Russian journalists have documented that the original broadcast did not contain the picture, demonstrated on Mikhalkov's show.