Disinfo: The West betrayed Lukashenka, as it always does with rulers who become too friendly with it

Summary

Belarusian president Alyaksandar Lukashenka forgot the fate of the rulers that tried to get close and please Washington and Brussels, seduced by their promises of “disinterested” help. It seems that the experience of Muammar Khaddafi, murdered in 2011, or Saddam Hussein, hanged in 2006, taught nothing to Lukashenko, who started to be too friendly to the West, trying to balance NATO and Moscow, even denouncing its “big brother”, Russia. Then, Washington’s strategists decided that it was time for the president of Belarus to leave.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West, portrayed as an aggressive entity always conspiring to overthrow governments and which can never be trusted, especially if getting close to Western capitals means leaving Moscow’s orbit. No evidence is being provided to support the claim. This is part of an ongoing Russian disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus, framing popular protests against the election result as caused by foreign interference through a ‘colour revolution’.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticize them in Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks in Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claims that “Belarusian opposition is guided from a psy-op centre in Poland under NATO and CIA control” and “Foreign TV stations instigated violence in Belarus, advising provokers on how to attack policemen.”                     

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: EU, Iraq, Libya, Russia, Belarus, US
  • Keywords: Saddam Hussein, Alexander Lukashenko, NATO

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 Guardian challenges Poland’s right to export “democracy” to Belarus

The Polish government is persistently trying to overthrow Alyaksandr Lukashenka. In its controversial aspirations, Warsaw is hiding behind brave mottos about defending democracy in neighbouring Belarus, while in Poland itself democracy is having a difficult time, writes The Guardian. Recently, Poland and Belarus celebrated presidential elections. Though nobody calls Andrzej Duda “a dictator” after his reelection, he and his ruling Law and Justice Party are putting liberal values to a stress test.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of the original article published in The Guardian, which, though critical on the Polish government, doesn’t include any of the sentences stated above, does not criticise Poland’s stance regarding Belarus, and does not compare the two countries in any sense.

Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introduce a distorted message as if it was part of the original article. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that British outlet The Guardian pointed out to ruling elite as the real instigators of the racial crisis in the US or reported that the EU remained silent as the Europeans couldn’t buy food for the first time in 75 years; that Newsweek magazine explained how US coup in Iran will end; that Soros’ structures saw an opportunity in the coronavirus pandemic to attack the “bad guys”; that the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre put Wikileaks at the same threat level as jihadist organisations in its last report; or that the US special envoy for Syria admitted that Washington’s goal was to defend terrorists from Russian attacks.

WHO says that the Sputnik V vaccine is in Phase 3 of clinical testing

On August 20, the World Health Organisation recognised around 140 projects to fight Covid-19, but only a handful of them are on Phase 3, which is the clinical testing in humans at a massive scale. One of them is the Sputnik V.

Disproof

The claim is false. On August 20th 2020, the World Health Organisation published a landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines that considered the Russian project developed by Gamaleya Research Institute (registered as Sputnik V) as being still in Phase 1 of clinical testing.

The WHO initiated talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine, though it refused to endorse it right away and expressed some reservations about the procedure followed by Russia given that the country hasn’t completed large trials to test the vaccine’s safety and efficacy and experts consider that rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger people who receive it.

The West tries to destabilise the situation in Minsk

The West tries to destabilise the situation in Minsk.

Certain outside forces are making attempts to destabilise the situation in Minsk.

Russia was appealing to countries in the West, especially the US and the European Union. You should be aware of those circles which, let’s say, in Poland and Lithuania, are expressing their dissatisfaction with the fact that the situation in Belarus is normalising. Therefore, they are trying to provoke violent actions in order to trigger a corresponding reaction by the (Belarusian) security forces.

Disproof

This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign about Belarus based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, portraying the West as aiming to destabilise the situation in Minsk and to provoke military actions on the Belarusian borders.

There is no evidence that that West in general, nor Poland and Lithuania in particular, try to destabilise the situation in Belarus. Poland and Lithuania support the independence and territorial integrity of Belarus and they do not have any territorial claims against their neighbours.