Disinfo: Ukraine plans to destabilise Belarus through its TV channel

Summary

One of Ukraine’s foreign policy objectives is identical to the West’s, i.e. to democratise Belarus, to overthrow Alexander Lukashenko, to impose Euro-Atlantic integration on Belarus and to rip it off Russia. With this aim, Kyiv has been attempting to broadcast its UATV channel on Belorussian TV to spread its content in the country. Furthermore, Ukraine tolerates arms trafficking to the territory of Belarus. Therefore, whereas Belarus plays the role of security donor for Ukraine, Ukraine undermines Belarus’ security.

Disproof

No evidence given for the EU's or Ukraine's plans to destabilise Belarus or to change its political regime. Neither the EU nor Ukraine have such foreign policy objectives. As for the alleged arms trafficking from Ukraine to Belarus, in late 2018, the heads of the Ukrainian and Belarusian state border committee publicly acknowledged that no organised channels of arms trafficking exist. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the threat of Ukraine's TV channel to Belarus, Maidan protests ignited by the West and about Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in the EU neighbourhood and to organise Ukraine-like Maidan protests in Belarus. Ukrainian UATV was allowed to broadcast in Belarus based on the decision on the Belarus' Ministry of Information. The decision was made based on the positive conclusions of the Ministry's special committee, which analysed whether or not the TV channel spread information outlawed by Belorussian legislation. Furthermore, the fact that UATV has been included in the list of foreign TV channels allowed to broadcast in Belarus, does not necessarily mean that cable TV operators will regularly or even ever include this channel in their TV packages. So far no evidence exists that any Belorussian cable TV operator started broadcasting UATV.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 136
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/01/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Ukraine
  • Keywords: West, Propaganda, Colour revolutions, Euromaidan
see more

In Russia, Ukrainian journalists are free to go anywhere and ask any question

In Russia, Ukrainian journalists are free to go anywhere and ask whatever questions they want. No one threatens them.

Disproof

There are many examples of Ukrainian journalists being banned from entering Russia. There are recorded cases of banning journalists from Crimea, too. For example, in 2018 Russia's FSB banned the journalist Alyona Savchuk (who reported on the ever-mounting number of political prisoners in Crimea) from entering Crimea for 10 years, claiming that she posed a threat to Russia’s defence capability, security or public order. There are also cases of journalists imprisoned in Russia; for example, Roman Sushchenko was illegally arrested in Russia on charges of espionage in 2016 and has since been detained there. According to the Freedom in the World 2018 index, Russia is regarded as not free. Disinforming outlets have a track record of claiming freedom in Crimea (which is a part of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia).

Russia has the lowest child mortality rate in the world

Russia has the lowest child mortality rate in the world. It is an official UN data. Last year, we had a record low child mortality rate.

Disproof

According to the data for 2017, provided by the UNICEF, a specialised UN agency, child mortality rate (under age 5, per 1,000 live births) in the Russian Federation equals 7.6. It is one of the highest in Europe. The child mortality rate in the US is 6.6, in the UK – 4.3, in Belarus and Germany - 3.7, in Estonia – 2.7. The lowest child mortality were noted for Norway (2.6), Finland (2.3), and Iceland (2.1). The same data is provided by the World Bank.

Neo-Nazis are increasingly influential in the Ukrainian parliament and government

In Ukraine, neo-Nazis are increasingly influential in the parliamentary system and government. Their presence in political system is the result of the Maidan coup in Ukraine. “Reports about the murderous activities of the neo-Nazis and their dominating influence on parliament and government are completely taboo”. “The East Ukrainian population resisted the Maidan coup and since then has to suffer Poroshenko leading one military attack after another against them”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the Nazis that has been repeated since the outbreak of the Euromaidan revolution and coup in Ukraine. There are no Nazis in the government nor in the parliament of Ukraine. The insignificance of the "Right Sector" is evident from the election results – their candidate received 0.7% of the vote in the May 2014 presidential elections, and the party received 1.8% of the vote in the October 2014 parliamentary elections. It is far short of the threshold needed to enter the parliament. Currently, only 7 out of 450 deputies in the Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada represent the so-called right-wing forces: 6 deputies from the "Svoboda" party and one from the "Right Sector". Therefore they do not have any significant influence on the decision making neither in Ukrainian parliament nor in government. For background: The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. There were democratic Presidential elections held on 25 May 2014 in Ukraine. The OSCE characterised the elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." This fact was reconfirmed by the parliamentary elections of 26 October 2014. The OSCE characterised the vote as "an amply contested election that offered votes real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms". Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf