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.


  • Reported in: Issue 241
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/04/2021
  • Article language(s) Bulgarian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Russia, US, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Czech Republic
  • Keywords: Intelligence services, Secret services, Protest, Coup, Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko
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Disinfo: Russia is committed to cooperation not confrontation, while the US conducts aggressive foreign policy

Russia's foreign policy is notable for its firmness, while Moscow is doing everything possible to reduce the international tension.

Individual states, and primarily the US, allow themselves to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, whether by organising colour revolutions or distributing arrogant instructions on what and how. Any reaction to this, in Russia, is always manifested in the form of retaliatory actions, that is, it is actually a matter of self-defence. If Russia imposes sanctions, these are always retaliatory measures, counter-sanctions. Russia’s external agenda is set on the development of cooperation, not on confrontation, and Putin has once again confirmed this in his address speech.


This is a mix of several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about encircling Russia, popular protests as the result of Western-led colour revolutions, sanctions and belligerent West.

The disinformation narrative of colour revolutions has been applied, among others, to the Arab Spring revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia, Venezuela, Georgia, and Belarus.

Disinfo: Vrebitce explosion: Czech investigation meant to deflect attention from Lukashenko assassination attempt

Lukashenko and his children were to be assassinated and they were saved by Putin. Russian special services have opened a case, based on video and audio evidence, arrested an American citizen who entered from Poland (also having a Belarusian citizenship) and his affiliates.

Half an hour later, in order to cover up [the attempted assassination of Lukashenko and his family] the Czech Republic allegedly concluded the investigation into the 2014 terrorist attacks and named two Russian nationals as perpetrators.


This is part of a disinformation campaign about the events surrounding the Vrbetice explosion in 2014 and the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the Czech Republic in 2021 after the involvement of Russian state actors was established by Czech authorities. This campaign follows a similar pattern to others launched after notorious incidents, such as the downing of the MH17 flight or the poisonings of Sergei Skripal and Alexei Navalny, including official denials despite compelling evidence, spreading of multiple and often contradictory versions and speculation about dark motives behind the accusations. Through these campaigns, the disinformation narratives aim to deflect any Russian responsibility for the incident and portray Russia as innocent of any misdeed.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the temporary Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Hamáček announced on 17 April 2021 that the Czech intelligence services collected evidence demonstrating Russian involvement in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion. More specifically, it implicates Unit 29155, a division of Russia's GRU agency previously linked to "assassination attempts and other subversive actions across Europe."

Disinfo: Czech-Russian diplomatic row was staged to target Rosatom and deflect attention from a coup attempt in Belarus

There are three rationales behind the story about the alleged Russian involvement in the depot explosion in the Czech Republic in 2014. First, it is meant to deflect attention from the coup attempt in Belarus and accusations against the US of an assassination attempt against Alexander Lukashenko.

Second, it has to do with the Czech intention to purchase Sputnik V vaccines, which already resulted in the dismissal of the Czech government.

Third, to interrupt the participation of Rosatom in the Czech nuclear tender. As a successful and reputable Russian company, Rosatom has been the target of [Western] attacks.


The claim is part of an emerging pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative surrounding the 2014 fatal explosion at an ammo depot in Vrbetice, Czechia and the suspected role of Russia's GRU agency in the incident.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the temporary Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Hamáček announced on 17 April 2021 that the Czech intelligence services collected evidence demonstrating Russian involvement in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion. More specifically, it implicates Unit 29155, a division of Russia's GRU agency previously linked to "assassination attempts and other subversive actions across Europe."