Disinfo: The West tries to destabilise the situation in Minsk

Summary

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. According to Reuters, Lithuania declared it does not pose a threat to Belarus. “The Belarus crisis is a political one, and any allegations by the Belarus leadership about foreign countries’ interference or about threats they pose are an attempt to shift blame and justify its own actions,” said Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis. Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius said Lukashenko’s statement about a military buildup “is a lie” and is meant to create an excuse to call for help from Russia. Lithuania hosted military manoeuvres on Aug. 2-14, which included 1,100 of its own troops and 200 U.S. soldiers and 10 U.S. military helicopters arriving from Poland. Also, Poland refutes accusations about alleged military provocations towards Belarus and attempts to destabilise the neighbouring country. An aide to Poland's president, Krzysztof Szczerski stated that such accusations were unacceptable and that no one in Poland would take advantage of the political turmoil in Belarus. Read similar disinfo cases alleging that the US wishes to destabilise Belarus and provoke a war, Polish ruling elites dream of military intervention, that the EU stance on Belarus is all about geopolitics, not human rights or democracy and that West wants to take advantage of political instability in Belarus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Poland, US, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia
  • Keywords: Sergei Lavrov, security threat, election meddling, West, Protest, Manipulated elections/referendum
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The Eastern Partnership's aim is to tear the ex-Soviet countries away from Russia

The programmes promoted by the European Union, called the Eastern Partnership, for the European countries of the former Soviet Union and Transcaucasia as well as individual activities carried out by the United States in the post-Soviet space, are all aimed at keeping these countries apart from the Russian Federation.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that the Eastern Partnership and the West are separating Russia from its neighbours.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The West is arranging provocations towards Russia

An unpleasant tendency is observed: first a Russian diplomat is expelled by Norway, then Slovakia, now Austria, and all this over the past two weeks. Provocations and incitement to hostility towards Russia are played out according to an old scenario that has been rolled out by the West.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's alleged anti-Russian activities. The Austrian authorities declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata and expelled him from the country, Deutsche Welle reported. The diplomat is suspected of industrial espionage. It is reported that the employee of the Russian embassy committed acts that violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

On 19 August, Norway expelled a Russian diplomat following revelations of a spy scandal and the week before, another NATO country, Slovakia expelled 3 Russian embassy staff over abuse of visas in a case which media linked to the murder in Berlin of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a Georgian citizen, and Chechen critic.

Dangerous American labs close to the Russian border

The coronavirus pandemic should prompt many civilian institutions to take a fresh look at the Pentagon’s bio-labs. The first and only protest to date has taken place in Ukraine. There are 15 laboratories in this country, in which the United States sponsors biological research. Nobody builds biological facilities that run on dangerous toxins and pathogens in densely populated areas. But the Americans went even further, not only to transfer their laboratories from their densely populated areas, but to transfer them to other countries. Such laboratories close to the Russian border are simply pushing the Americans into dangerous experiments. And the existence of unfriendly countries like Ukraine and Georgia fuels this desire.

Disproof

This is a recurring conspiracy theory alleging that the United States develops biological weapons around the world, consistent with the Pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against biological laboratories in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and other countries. The conspiracy about US biolabs in countries bordering Russia aiming to encircle Moscow and spread infectious diseases is a part of a years-long disinformation campaign led by the Kremlin. In fact, biological laboratories are involved in preventing the risks of complex diseases and, together with other similar projects, counteracting bioterrorism. In Ukraine, the claim often refers to the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), which is an intergovernmental organisation established in an international agreement in 1993. Its mission is to support civilian science, technology partnerships and collaboration through chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear risk mitigation. The projects of STCU partners include research on adjuvant for improvement of cancer vaccines, detecting trace impurities in biological tissues, human vision diagnostics, and therapy among many others. In Georgia, it is the Richard Lugar Centre for Public Health Research, which is a facility of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). It is a top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system. Read more about the disinformation campaign surrounding the Lugar Laboratory on Myth Detector. Furthermore, the US Department of Defence’s Biological Threat Reduction Programme collaborates with partner countries to counter the threat of outbreaks (deliberate, accidental or natural) of the world’s most dangerous infectious diseases. Read a similar case that the US tests biological weapons on Ukrainians to further attack Russia.