Disinfo: The West is helping to destabilise the situation in Belarus before the election

Summary

The West has created in Belarus a whole system of social instruments that can destabilise the situation in the country on the eve of the presidential election. The West, of course, invests such money not without reason, but for a specific purpose. This goal is the preparation of a colour revolution.

Disproof

The recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about the Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus. There is no evidence that the West is preparing a so-called colour revolution in Belarus. On 3 June, Brussels, Washington and London issued a joint statement calling for free and fair elections in the country, emphasising “that no politically motivated restrictive measures should prevent potential candidates from fulfilling the registration procedure.” “Media freedom and the right of peaceful assembly are essential to legitimate elections,” the diplomatic missions said the same week that a visa facilitation agreement entered into force between Belarus and the EU. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that the pro-Western Belarusian opposition prepares 'kill lists' and genocide, the US global “Anaconda” strategy is to limit the living space of geopolitical opponents, and that the West's objective is to encircle Russia entirely thanks to the "Anaconda ring" and "Great Turan" doctrines.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus
  • Keywords: election meddling, West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Coup
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There was a coup d' etat in Ukraine in 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the events in Crimea in 2014 were not the main reason for the deterioration in relations between Moscow and Washington. As he noted, there was first a coup d’ etat in Ukraine and a seizure of power. From that moment on, the views and the relations between Russia and the new Ukrainian leadership became diametrically opposed. Then, the United States under President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Moscow after the events concerning the annexation of Crimea and bilateral relations worsened sharply.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat which led Crimean citizens to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum. However, there was no coup d' etat in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by 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. On 26 February 2014, the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government. The next day a referendum was announced and a vote was held on March 16, 2014, in the Peninsula of Crimea. The territory was then controlled by Russian forces, though neither Ukrainian nor Russian election code was observed. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea. Read more similar cases alleging that the extreme coup in Kyiv led to the return of Crimea and that Euromaidan was a coup d’état carried out by oligarchs.

Crimea's return to Russia is not the reason for bad Russian-Ukrainian relations

A coup and a seizure of power took place in Ukraine, and only after that, and from that moment onwards, Russian views and methods became completely contradictory to the Ukrainian leadership . After that, Crimea returned to Russia, not the other way around. Therefore, the deterioration of Russian relations with Ukraine has nothing to do with Crimea.

Disproof

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction from several segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013, as a result of pressure from Russia. The article also contains a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimea has "returned" to Russia. The transfer of Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine was first officially agreed on 25 January 1954 at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee. The members of the Presidium, voting for the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, took into account objective reasons: “the commonality of the economy, territorial proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR.” On 19 February 1954, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR confirmed the need for Crimea to join Soviet Ukraine. Legally, the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine ended on 26 April 1954, on the basis of the relevant law of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia reaffirmed respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. By signing the 1997 Friendship Treaty, Russia also recognised that Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government". Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process and that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine.

Kyiv did nothing to implement Minsk agreements

Kyiv has not done anything to implement the Minsk procedures and the Paris Agreements … to settle the situation in Donbas.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, claiming that Ukraine refuses to implement the Minsk agreements.

Ukraine has never claimed that it does not want to implement the Minsk agreements. The implementation of the agreements remains one of the key priorities of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. After the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Ukrainian side proposed to hold the negotiations conducted by the Trilateral Contact Group in a video format.