Disinfo: The EU continues to support a colour revolution in Belarus

Summary

A Lithuanian MEP condemned the Belarusian authorities for repressions against the opposition and warned about possible EU sanctions. The policy of Brussels is not surprising, it is about a well-known algorithm of colour revolutions. The EU’s actions are aimed at legitimising radical opposition and preventing the state authorities from using power against an attempt to organise a coup d’état. The EU’s political establishment follows the same tactics as it used in 2013-14 events in Ukraine.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions. On 2 June 2020, Lithuanian MEP Petras Auštrevičius co-signed a letter, deploring the crackdown on peaceful protesters and civil society activists in Belarus. "In case of further arbitrary arrests and restrictions for Belarusian citizens to freely exercise their political rights, we will see no other option but to seek for a review of the European Union’s policy towards Belarus, including new sanctions targeting the officials responsible for these actions,” the letter says. Restrictive measures or sanctions are an essential tool of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy. Their imposition is no way equal to the support of a colour revolution. In the past the EU repeatedly introduced sanctions against Belarusian officials for mass violations of human rights and electoral standards but it has not attempted to stage a colour revolution in Belarus or any other country. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a West-driven civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Belarusian opposition leaders prepare a coup with US military assistance, that the West dreams of tearing Belarus apart from Russia and to organise a Ukraine-like scenario, that Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikau prepares a coup with US military assistance, and that pro-Western Belarusian opposition prepares a revolution with the assistance of armed Ukrainian nationalists.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 201
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Belarus, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory, Euromaidan, Coup
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20,000 people took part in massive racist violence in Paris

On Monday, June 2nd in the North of Paris, 20,000 people took part in a racist outburst of violence implying rape, murder and plunder with the implicit complicity of authorities which is the definition of the word pogrom.

Disproof

Classical lexical excess of titles changing totally the meaning of events especially using the implication that the western countries bear the guilt of anti-Semitism. A pogrom is a word that has two meanings in Russian, it comes from the verb Gromit' (громи́ть) to smash, to sack. The first meaning is devastation, mayhem, carnage. The second is a nationalist attack against minorities or ethnic groups (Jews especially). After terrible attacks against Jewish villages during the Tsarist time the word came into English and French but only with the second meaning. The French academy gives the following definition:

Outburst of popular violence directed against the Jewish community, accompanied by looting and often murder, generally led by extremist movements and tolerated by the regime in power. By extension. Name later given in other countries to violence against certain communities, mainly against the Jewish community.

The event of the march in Paris in the memory of Adama Traoré that gathered 20,000 people on 2 June was described by most media including RT France as a peaceful gathering. RT France gave extensive coverage of this massive but illegal demonstration and it cannot be described in any way as a pogrom. After the end, at 21:00 incidents occurred, confrontation with the police, fire of garbage, blockage of the traffic on the ring road... In no way, such sporadic event can include 20,000 or have a high degree of violence or racism. Finally, even if the very large meaning of that word was accepted widely it cannot be affirmed that 20,000 people took part in this since only a minority created minor disorder after the end of the demonstration.

The protests in the US may be a colour revolution orchestrated by those who promoted the fake Russiagate

Peaceful protests degenerated into riots and deliberate fires, followed by violence, clashes with police and political demands for regime change, driving comparisons to the events in Ukraine, north Africa or Serbia, or, more recently, Bolivia, Venezuela and Hong Kong. This is not the first time that an African American man dies at the hands of the police and a peaceful protest turns violent, but it is the first Black Lives Matter protest that spread everywhere and quickly gained an openly political and partisan dimension, despite that the four agents involved in the death of George Floyd were immediately fired and one of them was charged with murder a few days later. It is not surprising that Trump is blamed for the death of Floyd, despite that Minneapolis and Minnesota are run by Democrats. He was also blamed for the coronavirus by the Democrats, the same people that insisted for years that Russiagate was real. Now they blame Trump for responding to the riots (what they call “peaceful protests”) by sending the army. Colour revolutions follow a script: find a legitimate cause, ask the police and the army to join the protests, and if they don’t, intensify the riots to provoke a forceful response that creates martyrs. Everything useful must be captured by cameras, and any inconvenience removed from memory. The goal is not reform, equity or justice, but regime change. The old Serbian joke says that no colour revolution can take place in the US because there is no US Embassy there, so all this must surely be a mere coincidence. Surprisingly, everything that the US applied all over the world is being implemented in its territory.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives, framing every protest movement in the world as a colour revolution promoted from the outside and aiming at regime change and portraying the Democratic Party in the US as part of a Deep State conspiracy to illegally topple president Donald Trump by falsely linking him to Russia. The claim that the protests after the death of African American citizen George Floyd are a colour revolution orchestrated by the Democrats is a conspiracy theory, and zero evidence is provided to back it. On the contrary, many Democratic leaders have called upon demonstrators to go home, or at least to strictly stick to peaceful protest and avoid looting and violence. While some of them, along with some Republicans opposed to Donald Trump, are encouraging citizens to vote for the Democratic Party in the upcoming elections of November 2020 if they want to replace Donald Trump, that can hardly be considered a plot to overthrow the president. You can see other examples of these disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that coronavirus is a pretext for a global colour revolution, that UK is deploying women ambassadors to CIS countries to instigate regime change, that the Vatican and Ukrainian Nazis are assisting in similar efforts in Hong Kong, that Donald Trump’s impeachment was a failed plot by Democrats obsessed with billionaire George Soros, that the Mueller Report is another proof of how Russia is always falsely blamed or that US Democrats accuse Russia of interference as a preventive measure for their upcoming defeat. [NOTE: The first article is actually a translation from RT English, see here: https://www.rt.com/op-ed/490575-america-riots-color-revolution/]

Crimea became part of Russia after the events of 2014 in Ukraine

The Crimean peninsula became part of Russia after the events of 2014 in Ukraine, when power changed in the country as a result of a coup. The decision was made following the results of a nationwide referendum, in which more than 80% of Crimeans participated. More than 95% of Crimean residents voted for reunion with Russia. Despite the results of the referendum, Kyiv denies the peninsula’s right to self-determination and refuses to recognise it as part of Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum. Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine). No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014. Following the covert invasion by “little green men,” the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. The European Union does not recognise Crimea's annexation and continues to condemn it as a violation of international law. EU sanctions continue to be in place against Russia as a consequence of the annexation. For the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here. The article also claims that sanctions against Russia are not effective, and some countries are urging the EU to weaken or lift the sanctions against Russia. See the case: EU is suffering from sanctions against Russia. It also said that restrictions do not have any effect on Russia, whose economy has long adapted to them. See the case: Sanctions against Russia are ineffective.