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.


  • Reported in: Issue 148
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Belarus
  • Keywords: West, Orthodox Church, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy


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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Totalitarian sectarians financed by the West aim to destroy Orthodox church in Belarus

Opposition leader Mikalai Statkevich, a chairman of totalitarian Satanist sect Narodnaya Hramada (People’s Assembly) proclaimed a crusade against the Orthodox church in Belarus. He is supported by the self-proclaimed Belarusian National Congress and a sectarian protestant community named in honour of John the Baptist. Svetlana Aleksievich, a Noble prize winner in literature, also called for a sectarian coup.

Leanid Akalovich of the Belarusian Authocephalous Orthodox Church is the political face of this group. His mission is to orchestrate the Ukrainian scenario in Belarus. Hence in the post-Soviet space, an open war of Authocephalous churches is unfolding against the Orthodox church, the former supported by the Belarusian opposition. And as long as the Western sponsors feed them, they will bark like dogs.


Conspiracy theory consistent with the pro-Kremlin narrative that the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (BAOC) is favoured by the West in order to organise a full-scale split from the Russian Orthodox Church and to disrupt Russia-Belarus ties.

Politician Mikalai Statkevich called followers of all religions to gather for a public prayer for the victims of Soviet political repressions in Kurapaty rather than for a crusade against the Orthodox church as alleged. The Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People's Assembly) is an unregistered social democratic political party in Belarus rather than a "totalitarian satanist sect" as alleged. The claim that the whole Belarusian opposition supports the BAOC are ungrounded as most of Belarusian opposition parties and movements have never voiced their support for BAOC or publicly spoken about this issue at all.

Lithuania promotes terrorism in Belarus

Lithuania plans to commemorate Polish revolutionary Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski who it is claimed, without good reason, to be Belarusian. In their own interests, the West and Russophobia advocates have seemingly selected the little-known terrorist Kalinowski, as a Belarusian national hero, to promote terrorism. This encourages Belarusians willing to commit crime to obey orders from Western curators.


This message is built around conspiracies and ungrounded claims consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Western strategy to promote terrorism in Belarus and to make the country an anti-Russian bastion.

Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski, also known as Kastuś Kalinoŭski was a 19th-century writer, lawyer and revolutionary. As one of the leaders of the Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish national revival and the leader of the 1863-1864 uprising (also known as January uprising) against Imperial Russia, Kalinowski is considered a national hero in Belarus, Lithuania and Poland.

Kyiv admitted that Russia is protecting the residents of Donbas

Ukraine recognised that Russia is protecting the residents of Donbas. The country’s leadership said that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to ease the procedure for obtaining Russian passports for residents of Donbas in order to be able to protect the citizens of his country.


The news in the Russian media appeared against the backdrop of a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin dated May 1 about the simplified granting of Russian citizenship to residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine - those who lived in Crimea before annexation, but left the peninsula after the Russian seizure, as well as those who now live in areas controlled by militants, so called "LNR" and "DNR".

Claims that Ukraine admitted Russia is protecting residents are not true. Ukraine did not make such statements. On the contrary, after the signing of the Russian decree in Kyiv said that Putin had taken such measures in order to destabilise the situation in Donbas, legalize the "LNR" and "DNR" militants, and protect them from the Ukrainian court after the end of the war and the de-occupation of the Ukrainian territories.