Disinfo: The West will have to avoid the previous “air raid” pressure on Belarus because its political system did not collapse

Summary

The West does not give up the idea of destabilising the situation in Belarus and separating this country from Russia. At the present moment, the West is deciding about the format of pressure on Belarus. Possibly, the West will change its approach towards this country from the unprecedentedly strong and unlawful pressure realised after the recent elections to more elegant, subtle and smarter actions. As it appeared, the Belarusian political system did not collapse, there was no confrontation on the streets and the task of separating Belarus from Russia was postponed for a long time. In this situation, [the West] will have to present a more careful approach and loyal rhetoric to the world and Belarusian society, possibly, avoiding the previous “air raid” pressure.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus.

There is no basis for the claims that the Western countries have been trying to “organise a colour revolution in Belarus” or that they occupy a hostile position towards Belarus. The narrative about the West standing behind every revolution taking place in the former Soviet countries (Euromaidan, 2018 Armenian revolution, etc.) is a widespread disinformation message.

The pro-Kremlin media actively present Poland and Lithuania as the main Western countries, which try to destabilise the situation in Belarus. Poland and Lithuania respect the principles of international law and do not intervene in the domestic affairs of any country.

On August 12, the Parliaments of Poland and three Baltic States presented a joint statement protesting against political repressions taking place in Belarus and appealing to the country to organise free and democratic elections. The EU member states perceive the situation in Belarus in a unanimous way, appealing to the Belarusian authorities to stop violence, release political prisoners and organise democratic elections in Belarus.

See other examples of similar messages: Poland and Lithuania directly sponsor extremist actions against BelarusPoland and Lithuania send Belarusian opposition instructions on how to make explosives and CIA, and Pentagon prepares Belarusian protestors in Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 235
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Russia, EU, US
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia, Union State of Belarus and Russia, Alexander Lukashenko, Colour revolutions, Anti-Russian, Protest, West
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ECHR's Navalny ruling is an attempt to meddle in Russian affairs

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On 2 February, a Moscow court ruled that Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves-Rocher embezzlement case be converted to a real prison term of two years and six months. The claim that Navalny is a victim of repression has already been refuted by the ECHR itself; the latter found no evidence of political persecution in the Yves-Rocher case.

Disproof

The claim is part of an ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign targeting Russian activist Alexei Navalny.

The story grossly misrepresents the ECHR’s interim ruling concerning Navalny’s arrest. The Court is not seeking a reversal of Navalny’s conviction, but merely imploring Russia to respect the defendant’s rights under the Convention. The ECHR press release summarising the above-mentioned ruling reads:

No evidence Russia waged disinformation campaign targeting Western coronavirus vaccines

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Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19 and to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The claim that the West is trying to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine is unfounded.

Experts' reports conclude that Russia has perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

The ECHR refuted that Navalny is being persecuted for his political activity

By defending Alexei Navalny, Josep Borrell doesn’t even respect the resolutions of the Court in Strasbourg. The claims that Navalny is persecuted for his political activity were refuted by the European Court of Human Rights, which didn’t find any political intrigue in the case open against him after the denunciation of the company Yves Rocher.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that sentences handed down by Russian courts against Alexei Navalny and his brother on financial charges were “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable”. In a second rulling in 2019, the ECHR determined that Russia had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by placing Navalny under house arrest and said it was "apparent that he had been treated in that way in order to curtail his public activities." Given these precedents, in February 2021 the ECHR demanded that Russia release Navalny.