Disinfo: Belarusians want to have the Western “right” to be unemployed and homeless instead of having free education and social security


As the last country in Europe, the Belarusians want to taste the liberal capitalism hoping that they will not face the fate of the Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians or the Poles, who have moved to the West trying to make money for a living working at various “low-level” jobs. The Belarusians are tired of President Lukashenka, so they have a right to taste the West, have a right to be unemployed or homeless. They do not want to pay symbolic costs for municipal services, cheap and qualitative medication, free education and social security. It is a freedom of choice.


This message distorts the presentation of the socio-economic situation in Belarus and the EU – Belarus is presented as a highly developed Communist-style welfare state, while EU countries face challenges such as unemployment and homelessness. The statements that Belarusians “pay symbolic costs for municipal services”, “have cheap medicine”, “free education” and “social security” do not have anything in common with the real socio-economic situation in the country. One of the main reasons for the current protests in Belarus is the dramatic reduction of the level of life of the population, which has been taking place during recent years. At the present moment, Belarus is one of the poorest countries in Europe – it has a lower GDP per capita than any EU member state. Other socio-economic indicators also prove that Belarus has a substantially lower level of life than any other EU member state – life expectancy (74 – one of the lowest in Europe), minimal salary – 124 EUR (lowest in Europe), unemployment benefit – from 9 to 18 euros per month (a “symbolic” payment); average salary – 440 EUR. In terms of the “symbolic cost of municipal services”, the Belarusian authorities recognise that the population pays 83% of the market price of these services. Today, the population pays market price for all services with the exception of hot water and heating (as for 2020). In terms of “free education”, 54% of the students of the Belarusian universities pay for their studies.


  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: EU, Belarus
  • Keywords: Socialism, fake statistics, West, Protest, Alexander Lukashenko, Capitalists, Economic difficulties


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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Poland uses the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in order to trigger anti-Russian sentiments for further militarisation of this country

The current Polish authorities love historical anniversaries – Mike Pompeo arrived in Warsaw on August 15, which was the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw. It is clear that there was a plan to use the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in order to underline the alleged Russian threat. However, none of the current events or statements of the Russian politicians confirms this “threat”. The Polish authorities use the politicised narrative of the year of 1920 to trigger the feeling of a threat from the East. This step is necessary in order to reach a very concrete goal: further militarisation of Poland and the increase of the number of US troops deployed in this country.


This message is a part of the Kremlin's widespread narrative about Russophobia and militarization of Poland. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies. Within this narrative, the "Russophobic" policies of Poland are often explained by the claim that the United States fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country (presenting Poland as an American "puppet-state" or a "banana republic"). The main current Russia-related concerns of Poland are a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's armed military aggression in Ukraine. The Polish government shows its full support to solving the Russia-Ukraine conflict and complete restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine. The deployment of NATO troops in Poland increases the domestic security of Poland – two-thirds of the Poles have a positive opinion about NATO's activities. See other examples of similar messages claiming that constant intimidation with Russia is used to make Poland economically dependent on the USA, the Polish authorities created an insane hysteria of intimidation with Russia, used for the needs of domestic politics and the national security strategy of Poland is a manifestation of traditional Russophobia of the Polish authorities. This message appeared in the same article as two other disinformation messages about Poland having a plan to interfere in Belarus and Poland and Lithuania realising Washington’s policy of destabilising the post-Soviet region.

Poland wishes to annex Lithuanian territory

Poland has old territorial claims against Lithuania. In 1922-1939, a significant part of the territory of modern Lithuania, including its capital Vilnius, was part of Poland. And Poland still has the idea of regaining it. Polish authorities has been creating such conditions, under which Lithuania will depend on Poland politically and even military. The last step in this process could be the merging Lithuanian territories under the pretext of uniting efforts against Russia. At least Warsaw can at any moment intensify such discussions which will lead to the joining of a part of Lithuanian territory to Poland. […] Lithuania should be on the alert while completely trusting Poland. Following the citizens leaving for work in Poland, Lithuania may lose also part of its territories.


Disinformation about relations between Poland and Lithuania. The countries are neighbours, close partners and NATO allies. Lithuania and Poland have a long and shared history. The 1994 Polish-Lithuanian Friendship Treaty lays down the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity as a foundation of bilateral ties, and affirms that the two countries "do not have territorial claims against one another, nor will they issue any such claims in the future" (Art. 2(2)). The disinformation message appeared in the context of the Lublin Triangle cooperation format, which is a new regional initiative signed by Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian ministers of foreign affairs. In a Joint Declaration, the foreign ministers of the three countries emphasized that the countries are committed to upholding the international law, to broaden military-to-military cooperation, to further support the Eastern Partnership program, to provide support in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, to promote mutual trade and investments, and to secure better access to regional infrastructure. Pro-Kremlin disinformation frequently presents Poland as having imperial ambitions, see previous related disinformation cases here.

In Belarus, Poland and Lithuania implement Washington’s policy of destabilising the post-Soviet region

[In terms of the current events in Belarus], there is no doubt that Poland and Lithuania are one of the subcontractors of the destabilisation policy of the post-Soviet region, consistently implemented by Washington for many years. Pompeo acknowledged that the Belarusian issues were discussed during his visit, most probably Poland simply received concrete instructions from the USA on this issue.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, alleging that the United States fully controls the foreign policy of the EU member states, including Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states (these countries are often presented as American “vassals” or puppet states). The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland and Lithuania of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies. Poland and Lithuania are independent states, which shape their own foreign and domestic policies without any “dictate” from the USA. The claim that Poland and Lithuania try to “destabilise the post-Soviet region” is a classical Kremlin’s conspiracy theory. See other examples of this message claiming that Polish policy towards Ukraine is shaped by the Americans, the US keeps Poland on a short anti-Russian leash, and Poland is a Trojan Horse of the United States. This message appeared in the same article as two other disinformation messages about Poland having a plan to interference in Belarus and Poland and Poland using the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw in order to trigger anti-Russian sentiments for further militarisation of this country.