Disinfo: The West has again ordered Belarusian opposition to take over power by force

Summary

The Belarusian National Congress (BNC), chaired by opposition politician Mikalai Statkevich, is a real aggressor. It is aggressive towards the Belarusian government, president, the Kremlin, and Belarusian people. Under the cover of peaceful protests, they continue calling people to protest and to burn rubber on Maidan. Such calls will intensify on the eve of Belarusian parliamentary and presidential campaigns. They would not boycott elections as in 2015, because this time the West tasked the BNC with violent take-over of power in Belarus.

Disproof

This is a collection of conspiracies and ungrounded claims aimed to discredit the US and the West, Mikalai Statkevich and the democratic Belarusian opposition. This disinformation message is consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives about subservient Belarusian opposition and independent media and Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus. Mikalai Statkevich is a Belarusian politician and activist. He was a candidate at the 2010 presidential election in Belarus. After the election day crackdown, he was arrested and put in prison. On 26 May 2011, he was sentenced to 6 years in a medium-security penal colony. Amnesty International recognised him as a prisoner of conscience. The EU considered Statkevich as a political prisoner and repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to release him. Statkevich was released on 22 August 2015 on the presidential pardon. Since then he was repeatedly detained and faced short-term prison terms on political grounds. This disinformation case about Mikalai Statkevich is not unique. Earlier disinformation stories alleged that in 2017 Statkevich's team attempted to carry out a terrorist act during the mass protest action in Belarus and that he proclaimed a crusade against the Orthodox Church in Belarus. See also a similar recent disinformation case alleging that another Belarusian opposition leader - Andrei Sannikau - prepares a coup with US military assistance.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 158
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/06/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: West, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory
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The United States has full control over sovereign Poland

Through the deployment of additional US troops, Poland is ready for aggression, a direction the US will steer it in. New drones are not defensive weapons, they are offensive weapons. Poland is on the warpath and does not want good neighborly relations with Russia. The United States almost has full control over sovereign Poland.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US presence in Europe, encircled Russia and alleged belligerence and lack of sovereignty of Poland (see a similar cases: Poland provokes Russia and violates treaties by hosting US military and Poland is the Trojan horse of the US). The disinformation message - like manyothers - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of anagreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies. Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy.

The US uses the territory of Ukraine to bury its nuclear waste

The USA uses the territory of Ukraine to bury its nuclear waste. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed an agreement with Washington for the disposal of nuclear waste in the Sumy region.

Disproof

There is no evidence for this claim, which is part of the recurring disinformation about Ukraine, describing it as a testing ground for different things, e.g as a nuclear dump site for the West. This story is also part of the ongoing disinformation campaign against Petro Poroshenko. The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine responded as follows to this disinformation circulating in the Russian media: "The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine within the framework of its competence, reports about false distribution in the Russian media of information on import of radioactive waste of the American production to the territory of Ukraine and their burial in the Sumy region." "Please note that, in accordance with the requirements of Article 53 of the Law of Ukraine" on the Use of Nuclear Energy and Radiation Safety," transportation to the territory of Ukraine of radioactive waste from the territories of other states is prohibited, except for the resulting services that were provided to Ukraine by another state and which are subject to action a contract agreement between them on the return of such waste to Ukraine," added the Inspectorate.

Ukrainian language law prohibits use of Russian, Hungarian, Romanian languages

This law is not about protecting the Ukrainian languages, but about prohibiting Russian language, and at the same time Hungarian, Romanian and other minority languages. This law divided the population, as was the intention of previous authorities.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian language law. The Verkhovna Rada passed, on April 25, the law "on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media, education, science, etc. However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies. Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement. In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force. Similar disinformation cases are here and here.