Disinfo: Repressions in Belarus are extremely small compared to Yellow Vests or BLM

Summary

Lukachenko has power and the demonstrators will be repressed. But in the end, the degree of violence and volumes of arrests are extremely small compared to what France has known, for example, with the Yellow Vests where police violence was much more serious. We are dealing with much lower volumes of violence than what is happening in the United States. We must not imagine that it is something that serious. There were already less people demonstrating.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation message using relativism to undermine the West and at the same time legitimatise low standards of democracy, in this case in Belarus.

European countries may experience waves of protest more frequently than Belarus as freedom of assembly is granted by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In France, since November 2018, the Yellow Vest movement demonstrated every Saturday. Whilst there have been discussions around police violence against the Yellow Vests, the brutality shown to protestors in Belarus cannot be described as extremely small.

The EU has condemned the violent repressions in Belarus and called the elections neither free nor fair: "State authorities deployed disproportionate and unacceptable violence causing at least one death and many injuries. Thousands of people were detained and the crackdown on freedoms of assembly, media and expression intensified. We call on the Belarusian authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all detained. Furthermore, credible reports of domestic observers show that the electoral process did not meet the international standards expected of an OSCE participating State."

Regarding the widespread protests against racial injustice and police brutality, these broke out in the US after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020. The protests followed several high-profile incidents involving African Americans and the police, invoking debates about racism in the US. Despite high polarisation in the US, the unrest is not a civil war. The situation was very tense and protests spread to all 50 states of the country. However, top military officials and police officers worked to de-escalate the situation and demonstrations became largely peaceful.

Meanwhile, in Belarus, despite the narrative of Lukashenko, protestors, journalists or even random people on the streets going to fetch groceries were taken and detained by unidentified people working for the police. Cases of torture and frightening and humiliating treatment plus threats of gang rape were documented. Many people ended up in hospital following beatings in detention. Bodies of people beaten to death were found in the forest: including that of Konstantin Shyshmakov after he refused to sign a false protocol during the elections, and that of Mikita Kryutsov who took part in the protests on 12 August. The internet was shut down on several occasions.

More cases about Belarus can be seen at the following links: The EU criticised the elections and repression in Minsk, but in fact, the EU and its members have the same lack of democracy and repression, The protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to Maidan scenario, Russia has neutralised many Western attempts to topple the Belarusian government, The EU continues to support a colour revolution in Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: EU, Belarus, US, France
  • Keywords: US racial justice protests, Repression, yellow vests, Council of Europe, Protest, Human rights

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Belarusian opposition’s white-red-white flag was the flag of Nazi collaborators

The Belarusian opposition’s white-red-white flag was the flag of the Nazi collaborators during the occupation.

A certain #DejaVu. #Ukraine cannot be completely dismissed. There, @ARDMoscow calls the white-red-white flag with the Pahonya emblem an “opposition flag”. What is not mentioned by colleagues, the flag was the flag of the Nazi collaborators during the occupation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting anti-government protests as Nazi and Fascist.

The white and red Belarusian flag has been a symbol of Belarus’ national movement since the end of the 19th century and was the national flag of Belarus from 1991-1995. The first Belarusian national congress was held under white-red-white flags.

Soros controls current political elite in Ukraine and plays important role in the events in Belarus

It is Soros who controls the current political elite of Ukraine and, most likely, plays an important role with his money in the events in Belarus (although the performers there, of course, are mainly from the Polish arbour).

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives about the American billionaire and the philanthropist George Soros, presenting him as a person who aims to control political systems in countries around the world.

No evidence given. Previously, pro-Kremlin media spread the same message about protests and political parties in Romania, in Ukraine and in Moldova, claiming that protests in these countries are not spontaneous, but controlled from abroad by interested groups or persons.

The US administration waits for a repetition of the Ukrainian scenario in Belarus

The US is waiting for specific conditions for the repetition of the Ukrainian scenario in Belarus.

The current US administration will not send all its forces to the Belarusian putsch, as Barack Obama’s team did with regard to Ukraine. [The] best specialists in Washington were working on the implementation of the Euromaidan. […]

If the United States suspects that the situation in Belarus is gradually going beyond American interests, the envoys are quickly sent over here.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's statehood which claims that the Euromaidan protests were organised by foreign forces and combined with the recent protests in Belarus, which erupted after thousands of people took to the streets to contest the results of the Presidential election in Belarus, that are considered fraudulent by a large part of society.

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014. The spontaneous onset of massive Euromaidan protests was a reaction of the Ukrainian population to the sudden departure of President Yanukovych from the Association Agreement with the European Union and to the brutal dispersal of student protest actions on 30 November 2013.