Disinfo: Thousands of foreign militants assist pro-Poland opposition in Belarus

Summary

It is clear that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s warnings about foreign militants were not empty words. A few thousand militants from Poland, Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, many times more than Lukashenka thought, apparently came to Belarus. Many Russian media along with Ukrainian and opposition Belarusian media support militants just as tasked by the Western curators. Some people saw that unknown people were paying citizens for participation in unrest. The heads of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia as puppet states advocate for the plan on how to resolve Belarus’s crisis, which does not correspond to the national interests of the Belarusian people. Petro Poroshenko, who seized power in Ukraine after a coup and organised a civil war, calls upon Lukashenka to negotiate with the organisers of unrest. The situation is developing in lines with the Ukrainian scenario, including the destruction of the Union State and the creation of an anti-Russian alliance. Simultaneously the West organises protest actions in Russia. Anglo-Saxons have 300-years-long colonial experience. They know how to bribe local authorities, to manipulate public opinion, to organise unrest, etc. Belarusian opposition can lead the people to colonial dependence, a collapse of the national economy, and impoverishment of the population. The pro-Poland political grouping wants to establish an EU- and US-supported anti-Russian dictatorship and terror just as in Ukraine.

Disproof

This is a mixture of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Western attempts to stage a colour revolution in Belarus, West's and Anglo-Saxons' aggressive actions towards Belarus and Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries as puppet states, and a coup d'etat in Ukraine in 2014. It also seriously misinterprets intentions of the Belarusian opposition and puts forward fake allegations about thousands of foreign militants in Belarus. There is absolutely no proof of any Western or Ukrainian involvement and presence of 'militants' either among Belarusian or foreign citizens in the widespread protests in Belarus. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have been protesting against a massive vote-rigging and police violence since 9 August 2020. On 16 August 2020 Belarus witnessed the largest rallies in the city of Minsk and dozens smaller towns and localities in its history. Neither Belarusian, Ukrainian or Russian media are subservient to 'Western curators' as alleged. The claim about payments to protesters is also groundless and not supported by any evidence. Poland, the Baltic states, and Ukraine have not supported any 'plan' for Belarus as alleged. On 11 August foreign ministers of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine issued a joint statement urging Belarus's authorities not to use force and release detained protesters, and to engage in dialogue with alternative civil and political actors. On 12 August the parliaments of the three Baltic states and Poland called on the Belarusian authorities to end the use of force and persecution and to initiate a genuine social dialogue. On 19 August 2020 the European Council called Belarus's elections neither free nor fair, condemned the violence against peaceful protesters, called for a complete and transparent investigation into all alleged abuses, and announced its decision to impose sanctions on a substantial number of individuals responsible for violence, repression, and election fraud. The opposition forces, including the Coordinating Council initiated by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, are not pro-Polish and did not call for any anti-Russian actions as alleged. The geopolitical issues are not on the protests' agenda at all. Poland and the Baltic states are sovereign countries, which shape their own foreign and domestic policies. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Russia has neutralised many Western attempts to topple the Belarusian government. the West pursues Maidan policy towards Belarus to encircle Russia, the US wishes to destabilise Belarus and provoke a war, Polish ruling elites dream of military intervention, and that NATO pays the Belarusian opposition $1 per one person infected with the coronavirus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, UK, Poland, US, Belarus, Baltic states, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Anglo-Saxon, Alexander Lukashenko, Conspiracy theory, Petro Poroshenko, Coup
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The West wants to take Belarusian industry under control

The Western interest in [the protests in] Minsk can be explained by its interests “in privatisation: in order to take control over its industry and its economy.”

Disproof

There is no evidence of any of the Western country planning to take control of the Belarusian industry and economy. See similar disinformation messages the pro-Kremlin media used in the past to target Ukraine: West controls economy in Ukraine and Ukrainian economy will not survive without Russia. As for the protests in Belarus, they erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections in Belarus on the 9th of August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The EU has said that the deterioration in the political climate culminated in neither free nor fair elections and an outburst of repressive violence.

George Soros' funds prepared the ground for future coups in former Soviet states

By the beginning of the 2000s, hundreds of George Soros’ funds were already preparing the ground for future coups in the former republics of the Union and in Eastern Europe.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the billionaire and the philanthropist George Soros, presenting him as a person who aims to control political systems in many countries, and presenting George Soros' Open Society Foundation as a tool for organising colour revolutions. Earlier pro-Kremlin media also accused George Soros' Open Society Foundation of provoking Anti-Russian protests in Georgia, being a threat to the national security of Armenia, and George Soros' network being directly involved in the presidential elections and the government crisis in Romania. The Open Society Foundation, is indeed sponsored by George Soros. It is a network of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance and human rights in different parts of the globe. The first international foundation was created in Hungary in 1984. Now, the Open Society Foundations support projects implemented by NGOs or state institutions in more than 120 countries. Soros has been accused (without evidence) of a wide range of 'sins': destabilising Europe, organising colour revolutions, attacking churches and traditional values as well as sponsoring the film "Joker" as a tutorial for colour revolutions. Read more about how pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets target George Soros.

Poland uses Lublin Triangle and ongoing protests in Belarus to revive its domination in the region

In the situation of intense protests in Belarus, the Baltic states and, particularly, Poland, showed unusual political activity. Unexpectedly, Warsaw called upon the EU to affect the situation in Minsk imposing the sanctions against Moscow. This situation is not a coincidence. The Poles have dreamed about the domination over the region since the times of Rzeczpospolita, which included Lithuania, part of modern Ukraine and Belarus. Today, the idea of Marshal Pilsudski to revive Poland “from Sea to Sea” is more popular than ever. Eleven days before the Presidential Elections in Belarus, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine established a new union – the so-called Lublin Triangle, by analogy with the Union of Lublin, which laid the foundation for Rzeczpospolita in 1569. Belarus was immediately invited as a member of honour. There is one more interesting detail – since 2008, Warsaw has been actively issuing to the former USSR citizens the Card of Pole – the Belarusians have received the largest number of these Cards. The ongoing disturbances in Belarus is a good and long-awaited chance for those who are looking for a revanche [Poland].

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism alleging that Poland has imperialist plans for Belarus. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland in Russophobia and attempts to “subordinate Belarus and Ukraine”. Moreover, the Kremlin propagandist messages repeatedly claim that all the regional organisations established by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are aimed against Russia (Eastern Partnership, Three-Seas Initiative, Lublin Triangle, etc.). Poland fully supports the independence and territorial integrity of Belarus, it does not have any territorial claims against its neighbours, and it rejects any “imperial” ambitions towards other countries. The Lublin Triangle is a new regional initiative that will focus on developing and enhancing the economic, political, and cultural ties of Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania. It will also serve as an important mechanism for strengthening Central Europe and promoting Ukraine's European and Euroatlantic integration. In a Joint Declaration, the foreign ministers of the three countries emphasized that the countries are committed to upholding the international law, to broaden military-to-military cooperation, to further support the Eastern Partnership program, among other things. Recently, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Lublin Triangle members have presented their common statement protesting against massive violence against peaceful protestors carried out by the Belarusian authorities. Read related examples of the Russian disinformation messages: The Lublin triangle is an anti-Russian coalition of Russophobes, Polish authorities are obsessed with an idea of reconstruction of a modern Polish empire, The Giedroyc Doctrine is an edition of the Polish imperialism and Poland continues to tear off Ukraine and Belarus from Russia even during the pandemic.