DISINFO: Protests in Belarus controlled by a primary American command centre in Warsaw
Presidents Biden and Putin discussed the attempted coup d’état in Belarus directed by U.S. intelligence services. The day before, the FSB revealed that Russian authorities had arrested two people, one of whom a U.S. national, who were planning to capture radio and TV stations in Belarus as part of the overthrow. Even though the U.S. is pretending not to be involved in Belarus, it has actually multiplied the financial support it gives to Lukashenko’s opposition. On September 9, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko stated that the protests in Belarus are being controlled by a primary American command center in Warsaw, as well as other centers in the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Lithuania.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative according to which the U.S. government is behind the protests in Belarus and is planning to overthrow the authoritarian government in Minsk.
According to pro-Kremlin media, protests, disorders and civil uprisings are foreign engineered colour revolutions directed and funded by Western intelligence services or other Western actors, in this case, the United States, to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change. Read more about the concept of "colour revolutions" in the pro-Kremlin media here.
On 17 April 2021, Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko claimed he and his sons were the target of a US-backed assassination plot. There was no evidence provided.
Widespread protests have been ongoing in Belarus since August 2020. These were triggered by discontent with the results of the Belarussian presidential elections in August 2020 which were not monitored by independent experts and saw Lukashenka re-elected as president for the sixth consecutive time since 1994. Both the EU and the U.S. referred to the elections as neither free nor fair and refused to recognise Lukashenka as the legitimate president of Belarus. According to international election monitoring organisations such as OSCE and Civil Rights Defenders, every single one of the last five presidential elections in Belarus has been unfair and unfree, which is the primary reason for the public discontent.
The protests were organised by civil activists and opposition politicians, and attended by tens of thousands of citizens. Belarusian police met them with violent force, with thousands of citizens being subject to police brutality and torture. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the organisation had received “450 documented cases of torture and ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty” by 1 September 2020. In October 2020, the Council of the European Union imposed sanctions against 44 individuals for repressing and intimidating peaceful protesters. Some 40,000 supporters of the opposition have been sanctioned or arrested and most of the opposition’s leadership is either detained or has fled the country. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was Lukashenka’s primary opponent in the elections, fled to Lithuania in August 2020.
There is no evidence to support the claim that U.S. intelligence services are involved in the protests in Belarus through command centres in nearby countries.
Read similar disinformation cases claiming that Czech allegations against Russia aim to overshadow the failed assassination attempt against Lukashenka, that the West established a Russophobic Nazi regime in Ukraine and wishes to do the same in Belarus, that pro-Western civil society in Ukraine and Belarus is a fascist fifth column, that the West is waging a hybrid war against Belarus as preparation for an attack against Russia, and that the EU is trying to disrupt relations between Belarus and Russia.