DISINFO: The West is manipulating Ukrainian secret service to pit Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians against each other
[The detention of 33 Russian citizens in Belarus] is a wake up call for Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, to stop and think about what happens when we are played off against each other. When secret services of Ukraine are exploited [by the West]. […] I hope that Belarus will draw right conclusions, that regardless of the fact that Ukrainians are brothers, but they are also puppets in the hands of CIA and the rest of Russophobes.
Conspiracy theory. The disinformation message appeared in relation to the detention of 33 Russian citizens by the Belarusian authorities, who are alleged to be members of Wagner group, a private Russian military company. Ukraine has requested the extradition of a number of detainees over suspicions that they have participated in hostilities in East Ukraine. There is no reliable evidence to suggest that Ukrainian secret services act under the command of the United States or were involved in the detention of the members of the Russian private military company Wagner in Minsk. The claim presented during the TV broadcast is based on reporting of the Russian outlet "Komsamolskaya Pravda", which claims to have uncovered the plot of Ukrainian secret services behind the detention of Russian citizens. However the independent Russian investigative site the Insider has debunked the reporting of Komsamolskaya Pravda. The disinformation message also reinforces a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about lost sovereignty, suggesting that the West is aiming to sow discord between Russia and its neighbors. See earlier related disinformation cases: US agents attempt to overthrow Lukashenka along the Ukrainian scenario; the US wishes to destabilize Belarus and provoke a war; the West sows animosity towards Russians among little Russians. Updated 21 August 2020: clarified language in the third paragraph of the debunk.