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
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: The West, Belarus
  • Keywords: Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
  • Outlet: Grodnodaily.net
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The population of non-government controlled areas in Ukraine don’t see themselves as part of it any more

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Disproof

A manipulative claim, part of a Pro-Kremlin narrative about the impossibility to reconnect the Russia-controlled regions to Ukraine.

According to a survey held by the Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in 2017, more than half (56%) of the population of so-called self-proclaimed "republics" (LNR and DNR) see their future as part of Ukraine.

Belarusian opposition treats Belarusian people as cannon fodder for American missiles

The Belarusian opposition supports pro-Western propaganda and blames Lukashenko and Putin for everything. It misrepresents the situation alleging that American missiles in Poland are directed against Lukashenko and Putin personally. Hence, it calls people to take part in protests and to overthrow the dictatorship, otherwise the missiles will strike ordinary people. This is slave’s rhetoric because the missiles are targeting all, including opposition members.

Instead of protesting against it, the opposition asks for more American missiles against own people. The opposition treats the Belarusian people as cannon fodder and disrespects it to the extent that this can provoke a global war. Even in case of real military actions, the opposition will be vehemently arguing that the West is good while Russia is bad. Belarusian independent media will support any American military provocation launched from the Polish territory.

Disproof

A collection of conspiracies and ungrounded claims aimed to discredit the US and the West and the democratic Belarusian opposition.

The disinformation message is consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives about subservient Belarusian opposition and independent media, alleged plans of the Belarusian opposition to stage a coup in Belarus with US military assistance, Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and belligerent West.

2014 Ukrainian coup led to civil war, Crimea referendum

Following the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kyiv, a civil war broke out in east Ukraine and the residents of Crimea held a referendum to rejoin Russia.

Disproof

This concise claim combines no fewer than three key narratives of Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine: that the 2014 Euromaidan revolution was a Western-backed coup; that Crimea "rejoined" Russia in a democratic "referendum"; and that the bloody conflict in east Ukraine is a civil war. By implication, the claim also paints Ukraine as a helpless non-entity caught between the meddling of Western governments and the incompetence of its own leaders.

The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts 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 here. See some more recent debunks of this claim here and here.