Disinfo: The time for a union on equal terms with Russia may be over; Belarus will beg to become a part of Russia

Summary

Belarus’s place belongs to the union with Russia only. Furthermore, the time when such a union could be on equal terms is gone. However, if Belarus does not become part of it, after a couple of years in the present-time independent status, Belarus will be begging to become an autonomous region of Russia.

Disproof

This is a classic pro-Kremlin claim consistent with recurring propagandistic narrative about Belarus as an integral part of the Russian world. It promotes a false dilemma for Belarus's development and which paints very bleak prospects for Belarus up to the complete loss of sovereignty and independence in case it does not proceed towards a very close integration format in relations with Russia.

See earlier disinformation cases promoting a similar false dilemma and alleging that Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation, that the only possible scenario for Ukraine and Belarus to prevent their descent into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes is to become a Russian western federal area, and that the direction of Belarus and other post-Soviet countries' political development is either a union with Russia or unavoidable degradation.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 194
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Belarusian, Russian
  • Country: Russia, Belarus
  • Keywords: Union State of Belarus and Russia, Russian world

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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The West hates Russia because of its strong state and traditional value system

Recent years have brought the United Kingdom and the West, in general, a new reason for the hatred of Russia. After Russia had managed to rise from its struggling condition after the 1990s, it started, like the Soviet Union did before it, to offer an alternative to the world built by the Anglo-Saxons. Britain demands of Putin, day and night, to cease to undermine the world order.

One wonders here: What is the nature of this “undermining”, and what is the secret behind the exaggerated reaction to it? Ultimately, Russia cannot challenge the West economically; it even depends on it. Militarily, Russia is several times weaker than NATO and cannot, by definition and common sense, initiate any aggression against the West. Russia cannot impose its will on the West in any way.

But it is simply because the Anglo-Saxon Empire, like any large empire, is on the way to collapse from within, under the weight of accumulated economic distortions, pervert and unsustainable social relations. This cannot be described as a struggle of political ideologies, especially since Russia, unlike the Soviet Union, no longer has an ideology. So the conversation here is about something much deeper than that; it is about the collapse of the value system.

Russia adopts a strong state model that is based on conservative and traditional values. It refuses to accept same-sex marriage, maintains the family value as one of the undisputed values, and proposes and defends that vision as an alternative.

Disproof

This message is in line with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's moral decay aimed at portraying Russia as superior to the West in terms of values and morals. This narrative often claims that President Vladimir Putin saved Russia’s values and identity from the threat of Western decadence and that he is the only world leader that protects traditional European and Christian values. “Threatened values” is one of the most common narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets.

According to these narratives, the liberal societies of the West are depravedthey seek to destroy traditional values and to promote deviant sexual behaviour.

Russia is accused of US election meddling and the Skripals’ poisoning without proofs

China, of course, is outraged by the US allegations of concealing information and by the currently discussed version that the pandemic resulted from a leak of the virus from a laboratory in Wuhan. No evidence, but a lot of screeching. We saw it already more than once: for example, when Russia was accused of interfering in the American elections or when Russian intelligence services were accused of poisoning the Skripal family in the UK. But anti-Russian sanctions are a reality.

Disproof

A collection of unfounded claims.

A recurring narrative on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. Although Robert Mueller's investigation was concluded with no proof of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, it did conclude that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election". It led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further election meddling.

Ukrainian Russophobes behind La Stampa’s anti-Russian disinformation campaign

The Italian newspaper La Stampa says, on behalf of all Russophobes, that “80% of the equipment” provided was of little or no use. In fact, the Russian Federation, at the request of the Italian government, had sent 15 transport aircraft with medicine, medical equipment and doctors to Italy. This aid helped Lombardy stem the uncontrollable spread of the Coronavirus in the region.

Such behaviour is predatory, especially so when such libel is published at the behest of Russophobes from “across the pond” who pay for such reports. In addition, individuals with anti-Russia views who have already “proven their worth” are being used in the current information war. That [sic] admissions made to Ukrainian internet publication Obozrevatel lend further evidence to the fact that Ukrainian Russophobes in Italy, among others, are behind La Stampa’s disinformation campaign.

Disproof

The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative which frames any criticism of Moscow's foreign-policy decisions as a symptom of Western Russophobia.

On 25 March 2020, the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa reported, citing unnamed high-ranking Italian officials, that the Russian aid was mostly of limited value to Italy’s efforts in fighting the epidemic. Another La Stampa piece later reported the concerns of some military and security experts that Russia’s aid operation in Italy could be used for intelligence purposes by the GRU (Russian military intelligence).