Disinfo: The West destroyed Ukraine, plans to do the same with Belarus

Summary

NATO Former Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke about the scenario made by the West for Belarus. This, in fact, is an Ukrainian scenario, with all its tragic consequences for the country, for all its inhabitants, for its relations with Russia.

Disproof

In fact, in his interview with Ukrainian media outlet Liga.net., Rasmussen said that Russia is likely to have the worst-case scenario in store for Belarus.“The key risk is the repetition of the Ukrainian scenario that includes war and annexation in Belarus. If the country fails to start reforms, it will face such a scenario. I would advise Belarus to introduce reforms leading to democracy and freedom,” he said.

The West has been supporting and cooperating with Ukraine on multiple levels. After the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Donbas provoked by Russia, the Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA) was established by decision of the President of the European Commission in April 2014. The EU is unwavering in its support for the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty and sees the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a sustainable, political solution to the conflict in the east of the country. Since spring 2014, the EU has stepped up its support for economic and political reforms in Ukraine.

The US have confirmed their support multiple times, including in September 2018 when Washington said it was ready to expand arms supplies to Ukraine, in order to build up the country’s naval and air defence forces in the face of continuing Russian support for eastern separatists, according to the US special envoy for Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 140
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/02/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarusian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Sphere of influence, Donbas, NATO, Crimea
  • Outlet: Regnum
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The destruction of the Russian language in Belarus public spaces is a state policy

The Belarusian authorities are destroying the remainders of the Russian toponyms. The destruction of the Russian language in the public space is a determined state policy. In the Minsk, where most people are Russian speaking, almost no signs in Russian are left; names of state institutions are exchanged from Russian to Belarusian ones. This is happening within another wave of “Belarusianisation” or “de-russification”, which was sanctioned by the Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko.

 

 

 

Disproof

The Belarusian constitution provides equal status of the two official languages – Belarusian and Russian (Article 17). This implies an equal right to use either of the languages in public spaces. In practice, however, the majority of official correspondence, state media and education, as well as the toponyms in Belarus are still done in Russian.

Belarus' biggest airport – Minsk International – has three languages on its direction plates and screens since 2017 – Russian, English and Chinese, but no Belarusian.

Yulia Skripal in maternity hospital for 1.5 months now, pregnant since April 2018

Yulia Skripal has been confined in a maternity hospital for 1.5 months now. It is unusual for a woman to spend so much time in a maternity hospital – let alone the fact that a simple calculation shows she got pregnant in April 2018, a month after her poisoning, when she was in coma according to the British side.

Disproof

No evidence given of either hospitalisation or pregnancy, and no verifiable source has confirmed the report.

Consistent with a multitude of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the Skripal case.

Belarus has no education institution with Russian as the only language of instruction

The creation of a university with Belarusian as the only language of instruction would violate the Belarusian constitution, which guarantees the equal status of the two official languages – Belarusian and Russian.

There are no education institutions in Belarus, neither on pre-school nor on higher education level, with Russian as the only language of instruction.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative, forwarding allegations of a persecution of the Russian language in Belarus; see similar cases on the Belarusian language here.

According to the Belarusian Statistical Committee, the number of children in pre-schools with Belarusian as the language of instruction has dropped from 12.8% to 9.7%, whereas Russian-language ones increased from 87.2% to 90.3% from 2010 to 2016 (see p. 34 of the document). The rest are taught in Polish and Lithuanian (in the areas where these minorities live). 91.8% of city school children are taught in Russian, 8.2% - in Belarusian; in the countryside the proportion is different though – 86.6% are taught in Belarusian and 13.4% - in Russian (see p. 67 of the document).