Disinfo: Ukrainian secret services might have planned terrorist attacks in Belarus

Summary

[The detention of Russian citizens in Belarus] was a huge operation, which was planned for at least half a year. I doubt that Ukrainian secret services were capable of organizing it themselves. Given the earlier phone call records between Biden and Poroshenko, the American masters are well aware of all operations planned by their Ukrainian puppets.

The operation was blessed by the Americans, but the execution was purely Ukrainian. […]

I cannot exclude that  as a part of this operation, one or several terrorist attacks on the territory of Belarus were planned by the Ukrainian saboteurs. And Russians citizens would have been blamed for it.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory advancing recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Ukrainian statehood, Joe Biden and alleged Western attempts to drive a wedge between Russia and Belarus.

The disinformation message refers to the detention of 33 Russian citizens by the Belarusian authorities, who are alleged to be members of Wagner group, a private Russian military company. Ukraine has requested the extradition of a number of detainees over suspicions that they have participated in hostilities in East Ukraine.

There is no reliable evidence to suggest that Ukrainian secret services were planning terror acts on the Belarusian soil, acted under the command of the United States or were involved in the detention of the members of the Russian private military company Wagner in Minsk. The disinformation claim in the TV broadcast is based the “investigation” originally published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda, which alleges the Ukrainian involvement in the affair based entirely on the manner in which the plane tickets were acquired. The claims of the Komsomolskaya Pravda have been debunked by the Russian investigative journalism site The Insider.

See related disinformation cases alleging that the West is manipulating Ukrainian secret service to pit Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians against each other; arrest of Russian ‘mercenaries’ in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation.

Updated on 21 August 2020: clarified language in the third paragraph of the debunk. 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 207
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine, Belarus
  • Keywords: Joe Biden, Secret services, Ukrainian statehood

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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EU reaction to Lukashenka’s presidential win is an example of Western double standards

Following Belarusian President Lukashenka’s re-election victory, the European Council announced plans to hold a meeting on the imposition of sectoral sanctions against Minsk. Why did the European Council not hold a meeting about the recent presidential election in Poland? Among other things, Poles were prohibited from casting their votes from abroad.

Disproof

The claim is false.

Polish citizens abroad were allowed to vote in the 2020 presidential election, regardless of their country of residence. Guidelines and regulations for prospective voters abroad were published by the Polish Foreign Ministry. Although administrative issues prevented some to cast their ballots in time, the Ministry reported record turnout at foreign polling stations, with 311,124 votes cast in the first round and 415,951 in the second.

The West is manipulating Ukrainian secret service to pit Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians against each other

[The detention of 33 Russian citizens in Belarus]  is a wake up call for Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, to stop and think about what happens when we are played off against each other. When secret services of Ukraine are exploited [by the West].

[…]

I hope that Belarus will draw right conclusions, that regardless of the fact that Ukrainians are brothers, but they are also puppets in the hands of CIA and the rest of Russophobes.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory.

The disinformation message appeared in relation to the detention of 33 Russian citizens by the Belarusian authorities, who are alleged to be members of Wagner group, a private Russian military company. Ukraine has requested the extradition of a number of detainees over suspicions that they have participated in hostilities in East Ukraine.

Poland is scared of Russia’s missiles, according to leading Polish expert

In the last decades, the capabilities of the Russian army expanded significantly and Russia is now able to strike Poland and many western countries, Andrzej Wilk from Warsaw’s Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) said in an interview. There is no reason to doubt the power of the missiles of the Russian Federation, therefore, Poland would be scared of the Russian “mallet”, the expert said. We must say that Russia’s Ministry highlighted many times that Moscow has no intention to attack anyone, but according to several Polish citizens, given that the Russian Federation has powerful weapons, it is better that Warsaw maintains a good relation with its neighbour.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of expert Andrzej Wilk’s original interview with Polish radio station Polskie Radio, who never said that there are no reasons to doubt the power of Russian missiles and that Poland is scared of them. Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introduce a distorted message as if it was part of the original article, in this case recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia’s military might, its “peaceful goals” and the need for its neighbours to yield to its requests in order to maintain good relations.

The following cases are examples from our database where distorted quotes have been omitted to serious publications: pro-Kremlin media claimed that British outlet The Guardian pointed to the ruling elite as the real instigators of the racial crisis in the US or reported that the EU remained silent as Europeans couldn’t buy food for the first time in 75 years. The pro-Kremlin media also claimed that Newsweek magazine explained how a US coup in Iran will end;  that The Guardian claimed that Soros’ structures saw an opportunity in the coronavirus pandemic to attack the “bad guys”; or that the US special envoy for Syria admitted that Washington’s goal was to defend terrorists from Russian attacks.