DISINFO: The West began destabilising Belarus through religious issues and Kurapaty memorial site
  • Outlet: Berestje News (archived)*
  • Date of publication: April 12, 2019
  • Outlet language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 148
  • Countries / regions discussed: Belarus
West Orthodox Church Colour revolutions Conspiracy theory

DISINFO: The West began destabilising Belarus through religious issues and Kurapaty memorial site


The West began generously paying Belarusian opposition for mixing politics and religion. This decision was made after failures to destabilize the country through social and political spheres. As a result, Belarusian opposition began a crusade against the Orthodox church from Kurapaty memorial site. Nobel prize winner in literature, Svetlana Aleksievich, a number of civic activists, opposition politicians and a member of parliament Anna Kanapackaya declared war against the Orthodox Church.


Conspiracy theory consistent with the pro-Kremlin narratives about Western attempts to stage a colour revolution in Belarus and that the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is favoured by the West in order to organise a full-scale split from the Russian Orthodox Church and to disrupt Russia-Belarus ties. Neither Noble prize winner Svetlana Aleksievich nor other individuals mentioned in the publication declared a war or hostile activities towards the Orthodox Church as alleged. Kurapaty is an area on the outskirts of Minsk, where at least 30,000 people (according to some estimates, up to 250,000 people) were executed for political reasons by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, in the period between 1937 and 1941. In 1993 the site was included in the register of the Cultural Properties of Belarus as the first-category of cultural heritage. On 4 April 2019, the Belarusian authorities, without a prior notification began digging up wooden crosses at the Kurapaty memorial site. These actions provoked protests from the population in Kurapaty, critical statements by various public figures and disapproval from representatives of the Orthodox, Greek-Catholic and Catholic churches. Many other religious organisations are also speaking out against them (including the Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church) because they consider Kurapaty an important memorial site. See an earlier disinformation case alleging that Kurapaty memorial site is a Western project to ruin Belarusian statehood.


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