Disinfo: The EU wants Belarus to lose its independence

Summary

Belarusian democratic opposition prevents Belarus’ rapprochement with Europe by insisting on the introduction of EU sanctions. When the Belarusian authorities have a thaw with the EU, the opposition does its best to cast a shadow over it. It also starts organizing protest actions and rallies. They do everything to tarnish the reputation of the country in the field of human rights. Until Belarusian opposition exists, Belarusians will not become a part of the European community. European politicians are not interested in a better relationship with Belarus either. It seems their plan is to give the Belarusian government hope for it and then to overthrow the authorities by the hands of the opposition. Hence Minsk should not believe any of the EU’s promises. Games with the EU pose a risk of losing independence; this is what numerous EU programs aim to do. [Europe] does not need an independent and integral Belarus, but a poor, easily manipulated anti-Russian country. Integration with Russia is the only right political course and the only way to secure Belarus’ well-being.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory which is consistent with recurring Belarus-related pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about a subservient Belarusian opposition, and Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. In recent years, relations between the European Union and Belarus have gone through a number of stages. The Belarusian authorities' December 2010 post-election crackdown and their imprisonment of opposition leaders led to a number of restrictive measures being applied by the European Union, as well as a wider policy of critical engagement. Over the past two years, there has been some positive progress in EU-Belarus relations. Belarus has been participating more proactively in the Eastern Partnership, particularly in the multilateral formats, while negotiations on a Mobility Partnership were concluded and Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements are to be launched soon. Read more about EU-Belarus relations here. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West destroyed the USSR and is currently targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that the West has again ordered Belarusian opposition to take over power by force, that the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian, and that Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikau is preparing a coup with US military assistance.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: Union State of Belarus and Russia, Anti-Russian, European Union, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory
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Washington has intervened in Bolivia

For the first time, the United States indirectly intervened in the internal political conflict in Bolivia, reaching out to the country’s military and political elite. The technology of the organisation of the coup, used by the United States in Venezuela and Bolivia, can be applied in Russia. Unlike the classic examples of Ukraine, Georgia and Hong Kong, the trouble in Bolivia, Venezuela is not “colour revolutions” – it is an apostate coup d’etat, organised by agreement with individual elite groups.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory; no evidence given.This narrative falls within the broader pro-Kremlin disinformation efforts attempting to deny the existence of genuine grass-roots protests, portraying them as foreign-led efforts and fake colour revolutions. This is also part of a disinformation narrative about US-led regime change operations against left-wing governments in Latin America. You can see other examples of this narrative in the database, such as the alleged presence of a US marine in the Venezuelan barricades and the promotion of a Ukraine-style 'colour revolution', the training of Venezuelan exiles in Guyana for military operations inside the country, preparations for a military intervention after forcing Brazil to join NATO, deliberate blackouts in South America caused by the US, or the existence of plans for the secession of oil-rich regions in both Venezuela and Mexico. Although the United States "applauds the Bolivian people for demanding freedom", there is no evidence to suggest that the US was directly involved in Evo Morales' resignation. Morales’ resignation came during mass protests in the country after the Organisation of American States (OAS) reported “extensive irregularities” in the election for his fourth term. Morales had invited the OAS to observe the vote, and the group called for the election to be annulled. Read full debunk by Polygraph. Read the statement from the EU's High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini on the situation in Bolivia here. For additional cases on the current situation in Bolivia, see here.

Washington is likely to launch a war against Russia

There are two scenarios of the US launching war against Russia. The first envisages a US military attack using all available means, including nuclear weapons. The second scenario envisages Russia’s economic isolation in order to induce a “change of political leadership”. The likelihood of combat action is quite real, as Washington may urgently need a “fairly large war”.

Disproof

This claim involves speculation without evidence. It is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia, US/NATO military aggression towards Russia, and alleged US funding of "colour revolutions" in Russia and other post-Soviet states. It also plays into the oft-used narrative that the West wants to conquer and subdue Russia, in order to portray Russia as the victim of unjustified aggression against which it must defend itself. For similar cases about US and NATO warmongering towards Russia and its neighbours, see here.

Washington is using NATO for military confrontation in the Arctic

The military-industrial complex in Washington is determined to extract as much cash as possible from the Arctic, and the planned peaceful development of the region by Russia is a disturbing complication. Washington is using NATO as a front to establish an Arctic Circle of military confrontation in the hope that this will prevent Russia from exploring the region for oil and gas and extracting the resources known to be there.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US, claiming - on the basis of no evidence - that American and NATO policies are a threat to world peace and security. US policy towards the Arctic emphasises science and international collaboration, tending to neglect strategic and geopolitical considerations. In June 2019, the US Department of Defense released its updated Arctic Defence Strategy. This document focuses on threats posed by Russia – which is building up and upgrading military infrastructure in its Arctic region – and by China. Previously abandoned Cold War-era military installations have been reopened and incursions by Russian aircraft and submarines into or close to other countries’ Arctic spaces have become more frequent. However, contrary to the claim made in this story, US experts argue that the Arctic Defence Strategy does not commit the necessary resources to address these challenges, nor does it provide clear policy recommendations. The US and NATO are reviewing their policies in the Arctic region because of the increasing military activities of Russia and in China in the Arctic. For similar cases, see here, here, and here.