Disinfo: The Guardian challenges Poland’s right to export “democracy” to Belarus


The Polish government is persistently trying to overthrow Alyaksandr Lukashenka. In its controversial aspirations, Warsaw is hiding behind brave mottos about defending democracy in neighbouring Belarus, while in Poland itself democracy is having a difficult time, writes The Guardian. Recently, Poland and Belarus celebrated presidential elections. Though nobody calls Andrzej Duda “a dictator” after his reelection, he and his ruling Law and Justice Party are putting liberal values to a stress test.


This is a deliberate distortion of the original article published in The Guardian, which, though critical on the Polish government, doesn’t include any of the sentences stated above, does not criticise Poland’s stance regarding Belarus, and does not compare the two countries in any sense.

Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introduce a distorted message as if it was part of the original article. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that British outlet The Guardian pointed out to ruling elite as the real instigators of the racial crisis in the US or reported that the EU remained silent as the Europeans couldn’t buy food for the first time in 75 years; that Newsweek magazine explained how US coup in Iran will end; that Soros’ structures saw an opportunity in the coronavirus pandemic to attack the “bad guys”; that the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre put Wikileaks at the same threat level as jihadist organisations in its last report; or that the US special envoy for Syria admitted that Washington’s goal was to defend terrorists from Russian attacks.


  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Belarus, Poland
  • Keywords: Alexander Lukashenko, The Guardian


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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WHO says that the Sputnik V vaccine is in Phase 3 of clinical testing

On August 20, the World Health Organisation recognised around 140 projects to fight Covid-19, but only a handful of them are on Phase 3, which is the clinical testing in humans at a massive scale. One of them is the Sputnik V.


The claim is false. On August 20th 2020, the World Health Organisation published a landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines that considered the Russian project developed by Gamaleya Research Institute (registered as Sputnik V) as being still in Phase 1 of clinical testing.

The WHO initiated talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine, though it refused to endorse it right away and expressed some reservations about the procedure followed by Russia given that the country hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy and experts consider that rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.

The West tries to destabilise the situation in Minsk

The West tries to destabilise the situation in Minsk.

Certain outside forces are making attempts to destabilise the situation in Minsk.

Russia was appealing to countries in the West, especially the US and the European Union. You should be aware of those circles which, let’s say, in Poland and Lithuania, are expressing their dissatisfaction with the fact that the situation in Belarus is normalising. Therefore, they are trying to provoke violent actions in order to trigger a corresponding reaction by the (Belarusian) security forces.


This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign about Belarus based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, portraying the West as aiming to destabilise the situation in Minsk and to provoke military actions on the Belarusian borders.

There is no evidence that that West in general, nor Poland and Lithuania in particular, try to destabilise the situation in Belarus. Poland and Lithuania support the independence and territorial integrity of Belarus and they do not have any territorial claims against their neighbours.

Many questions to be answered on Navalny blood tests in Berlin

In the blood tests, Charité [hospital in Berlin, where Navlany is treated] finds signs of cholinesterase inhibitors, a group of drugs used in fertilizers, medicines, insect sprays, but also warfare agents. The only possible conclusion is that Putin has poisoned Navalny.

The Russian tests did not discover cholestesterase-inhibitors.


Now it is a finding against a finding. Statement against statement. The German government supports the Charité doctors and demands an investigation from Russia, knowing full well that demonstrative external pressure on the Russians is always counterproductive. Media are foaming up, a perfect background noise.

There are questions to be answered: Who had access to the patient Navalny after he landed [in Berlin]? Who was in the Bundeswehr transport? Who had access to him in the clinic? In which hands were his samples? Where are the pictures, the surveillance camera from the clinic?

With all due respect, this is not the first case of the Charité acting as a contract clinic for special patients with geopolitical implications. Charité patient Viktor Yushchenko was examined here in 2004. Dioxin poisoning was detected in him. The diagnosis was a decisive factor in his election. Yushchenko became Ukrainian President. And thus he had all the levers in his hand to stifle the investigation of his own poisoning.


Conspiracy theory about the poisoning of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny presented as a series of rhetorical and leading questions, suggesting manipulation of the test results.

The doctors of the Berlin Charité Hospital announced that initial findings point to poisoning of the Kremlin critic Navalny. The official Charité-statement reads: