Disinfo: The US aims to take Russia out of the post-Soviet space following a RAND corporation plan

Summary

Those who believe that the latest events in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Nagorno-Karabakh and possibly upcoming tensions in Moldova are the mere result of popular discontent and infighting among clans and elites or among regions are wrong. It is all due to a ruthless geopolitical, geoeconomic, ideological and informative struggle carefully planned since long ago by US strategists and set in motion to liberate the post-Soviet space from Russia’s influence. For Washington and its unconditional satellite Brussels, creating around Russia as much instability focus, tension and local conflicts as possible, would lead its government to despair in its impossible attempt to fill all the holes, and to the weakening of Vladimir Putin’s government, which wouldn’t have time to support Syria, Venezuela, Iran and Libya. More than one year ago, the think tank Rand Corporation published a report where it analyses Russia’s anxieties and vulnerabilities and advises on how to exploit them. According to Rand’s analysts “the US main task is to weaken, outbalance, overextend and take Russia out of the post-Soviet space”. Some of the points of the report have been implemented, such as destabilisation in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan and others. It is significant that two of its proposals, related to sanctions against Russian energy projects and the deployment of a “western information campaign” on the anti-corruption fight, are implemented in the media campaign related to the “poisoning” of Alexei Navalny. Another revealing chapter is devoted to “geopolitical measures” against Russian influence: given the recent events in the post-Soviet space, the same list of measures looks like a scenario that is implemented in front of our eyes.

Disproof

This is a deliberate misrepresentation of the content of the original report of the Rand Corporation, in order to support recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia as the ultimate target of international events, the West as an aggressive evil power aiming to encircle Russia, popular protests as Western-led colour revolutions and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny as a set up framing Russia. Though the report is openly oriented to “define areas where the United States can compete [with Russia] to its own advantage” in the framework of “great-power competition with Russia”, there is no evidence that it is related at all to events in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan or the Navalny case. Contrary to the claim, the report never states that “the US main task is to weaken, outbalance, overextend and take Russia out of the post-Soviet space”. The measures it proposes towards the Caucasus are promoting a closer NATO relationship with Georgia and Azerbaijan and to try to induce Armenia to break with Russia, not to escalate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Regarding Central Asia, it suggests increasing trade and technical agreements and further engagement with the Eurasian Economic Union, not a colour revolution in Kyrgyzstan. And though it examines the potential benefits for the US of regime change in Belarus, it talks about “helping the opposition parties reach the end state of being a free and democratic Belarus”, not about engineering unrest. See other examples of these disinformation narratives, such as claims that clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh are part of an Anaconda Ring plan against Russia, that events in Belarus are part of a hybrid war organised from abroad, that Moscow prevented a colour revolution in Kyrgyzstan, that extremists and Nazis are being trained in Ukraine to act in Belarus, or that Angela Merkel is the handler of Belarusian and Russian opposition leaders Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Kyrgyzstan, EU, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, US, Belarus, Russia
  • Keywords: Nord Stream 2, Encircling Russia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Alexei Navalny, Alexander Lukashenko, Colour revolutions
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Colour revolution in Belarus failed

The Belarusian opposition is so unlucky that it has every chance of losing even in the “Loser of the Year” nomination. The circumstances beyond its control and its own leaders play against the opposition. The latter issue such enchanting initiatives that it is generally unclear how to rake them up without heavy reputation and image losses. It is not surprising that the protests in Belarus are steadily moving towards their increasingly inevitable failure. And by doing so, the republic will hammer its nail into the coffin of the worldwide myth of the colour revolution.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing popular protests as Western-backed 'colour revolutions', part of a campaign to portray massive mobilisations in Belarus as a destabilisation effort orchestrated from abroad. No evidence is provided to support the allegations. On the contrary, for the 10th weekend in a row, tens of thousands of protesters opposing long-time President Alexander Lukashenko marched through the capital despite threats of force from authorities to open fire. Contrary to the claim about colour revolutions, protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a large part of the Belarusian society. On 19 August 2020 the European Council called the Belarus elections neither free nor fair and on 2 October 2020, the Council imposed restrictive measures against 40 individuals identified as responsible for repression and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators, opposition members, and journalists, as well as for misconduct of the electoral process. Mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actors, opposition politicians, and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticise them in Minsk; that the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks in Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Russians are one single nation.

Turkey, UK and Ukraine are preparing a plot against Russia

In such an “alliance” Ukraine can only be assigned the role of a forward base for Britain’s anti-Russian actions, primarily in the Black Sea region. And by some strange “coincidence”, the British have sharply intensified their large-scale special operations against Russia, such as the “poisoning of Navalny”, whose British “roots” are indicated by too many facts, which cannot be ignored. The events in Belarus are also very likely organised by [MI-6]. There is a reason to believe that Tskikhanouskaya was recruited by MI-6 a long time ago. Most likely Turkey will play the role of a main “strike force” and Ukraine will have to provide conditions for its actions.

Disproof

Conspiracy with no evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that Ukraine and the West liaise over anti-Russian policy mixed with narratives about foreign interference into the political situation in Belarus and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. There is no evidence that Turkey, UK, and Ukraine are preparing any anti-Russian actions in the Black sea region or elsewhere. They are sovereign states that are free to decide their foreign policy and conclude treaties. In recent weeks, Ukraine has signed inter-state agreements with the UK and Turkey in a range of fields that must improve bilateral relations. They are not directed against Russia. There is no evidence that the UK poisoned Alexey Navalny or staged a "colour revolution" in Belarus. See other examples in our database, such as claims that Ukraine is being prepared for a full-scale war with Russia, that Berlin sets a course of containment towards Russia, that events in Kyrgyzstan are a test before a colour revolution in Russia or that Euro-Atlantic powers want to use Navalny's case to foil Nord Stream 2.

The West turns Ukraine into a staging ground for an attack on Russia

Already at least two countries that are members of NATO have declared their readiness to deploy their military bases on the territory of Ukraine. The main task is to get as close to Russia as possible.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and encircled Russia. There is no evidence that Ukraine will be used by any NATO country as a ground against Russia. So far, no country has expressed its willingness to deploy a military base in Ukraine. Speculations over this started after joint Ukraine-UK military exercises this year. At the moment, Ukraine and the UK are planning to cooperate in the development of the Ukrainian sea fleet. The UK also expressed its willingness to help in the modernisation of Ukrainian naval infrastructure. Also, the US Armed Forces provide assistance in improving naval infrastructure in Mykolaiv oblast. In general, deploying foreign bases on Ukrainian territory is prohibited by the Consitution of Ukraine. However, they may be deployed on a basis of a bilateral treaty. NATO, its member countries, and Ukraine conduct regular military exercises and implement a range of non-military projects aimed at increasing operability of the armed forces and effectiveness of the civilian authorities. All military exercises on the territory of Ukraine are regulated by a law. See similar disinformation cases like claims that Ukraine is under obvious external control, that Ukraine is stirring up revolutions in Belarus and Russia under the control of Rand corporation, that NATO troops' presence in Ukraine is illegal, that Ukraine has lost its economic and military independence, or that Ukraine is being prepared for a full-scale war with Russia.