Disinfo: The West is behind the protests in Belarus

Summary

Protests continue in Belarus related to the results of the presidential elections in August. According to the Central Electoral Commission, Lukashenko won with 80.1 per cent of the vote, but the opposition disagrees. The President believes that the West is behind the rallies.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing popular protests as Western-backed 'colour revolutions', part of a campaign to portray massive mobilisations in Belarus as a destabilisation effort orchestrated from abroad. No evidence is provided to support the allegations.

Tens of thousands of protesters opposing long-time President Alexander Lukashenko are still protesting. More than 30,000 people have been arrested in Belarus since mass protests began after the contested presidential election on August 9, human rights observers say.

Contrary to the claim about colour revolutions, protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a large part of the Belarusian society. Mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actors, opposition politicians, and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement.

On 19 August 2020, the European Council called the Belarus elections neither free nor fair and on 2 October 2020, the Council imposed restrictive measures against 40 individuals identified as responsible for repression and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators, opposition members, and journalists, as well as for misconduct of the electoral process. The Council added 15 members of the Belarusian authorities, including Alexandr Lukashenko, as well as his son and National Security Adviser Viktor Lukashenko, to the list of sanctions, on 6 November 2020.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; and that protests in Belarus held by foreign scenarios.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: West, Protest, Colour revolutions
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Lithuanian judges broke the law in the case of January 13th

The Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) charged, in absentia, the Lithuanian judges which passed an illegal judgement in the case of events of January 13, 1991, in Vilnius. The ICR said that the Lithuanian judges know that events in Vilnius happened at the moment when Lithuania was part of the USSR. During the events of January 1991, Soviet troops acted according to Soviet law to ensure public order.

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On January 13., 1991, during an armed confrontation near the TV tower in Vilnius, 14 people died and more than 600 were injured. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Lithuania claims without any evidence that victims were killed by Soviet soldiers.

Disproof

The case contains historical revisionism and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the events of January 13th, 1991.

The statement by the Investigative Committee of Russia against the Lithuanian judges is an attempt to exert pressure on Lithuania, its courts, and law enforcement officials.

Ukraine's anti-corruption bureau is an element of external control over Ukraine's politicians

NABU [National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine] began to perform the functions for which this “anti-corruption system” was created. It is a club against any Ukrainian politician, official, or businessman who dares to be arbitrary (i.e. go beyond the limits set by the system of external control).

Disproof

This is an example of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Ukraine is under external control.

NABU is a state law enforcement agency that independently investigates the corruption of public officials and prepares cases for prosecution. The bureau was created in 2014 after the National Anti-Corruption Committee did not fulfil its obligations. NABU is accountable to the Parliament of Ukraine through the law on the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and the law on prevention of corruption.

The Western elite and their Ukrainian puppets set up MH17 crash

More and more experts agree that the Western elite and their Ukrainian puppets orchestrated the crash of the Malaysian Boeing MH17. Each such statement is accompanied by a number of facts. The current situation casts a shadow on the competence of the Hague Court and casts doubt on Russia’s guilt. The US and Ukrainian authorities were involved in this tragedy.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of Flight MH17. No serious expert view the “Western Elites” as responsible for the crash.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with one missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.