Disinfo: USA admits that they support strikes in Belarus

Summary

Stephen Biegun, US Undersecretary of State, has announced that the US supports the strikes and protests in Belarus and asks Russia not to interfere. The US State Department says it is not meddling, not supporting anyone, and at the same time, it says it supports the strikes and protests, and Russia must stay out of it. Shouldn’t Russia, too, learn how to do things this way?

Disproof

This is a deliberate misinterpretation of US Undersecretary of State Stephen Biegun's words, and a a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative related to Belarus. The US diplomat did not speak about supporting the protesters - he condemned the violence against Belarusians by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. The US Undersecretary of State has called for the immediate release of all political prisoners, as well as illegally detained citizens. The diplomat warned that Russia should not "support such a regime that uses violence against civilians. Also earlier, the American diplomat stressed that the United States does not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus and that it is up to the Belarusian people to decide the course of events in their country. Stephen Biegun has said:

"We urge the government of Belarus to accept the OSCE chair's offer to facilitate dialogue and engage all stakeholders... The United States cannot, and will not, decide the course of events in Belarus. This is the right of the Belarusian people"

Rallies of thousands broke out after Aleksandr Lukashenko declared that he had “won a convincing victory” in the elections.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Belarus, US
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia, Protest, Anti-Russian, Manipulated elections/referendum, Russophobia, Elections

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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NATO tries to impose its will on independent states through murder or war

Georgian Prime Minister Georgy Gakhiria described “Noble Partner 2020” exercises as a “guarantee of peace”. According to him, the exercises are not directed against any countries, they solve global problems and “contribute to maintaining a stable and secure environment in the Black Sea region.” Despite the beautiful words, everyone understands very well what the real motives of NATO are. NATO tries to impose its will on independent states, moreover, it does so through murder or war. That is why there is a possibility that the alliance will try to advance its “democracy and peace” in Russia through the Caucasus.

Disproof
This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia particularly in the Caucasus. The claim came after the launch of Noble Partner 2020 and appearance of NATO military personnel and technique in Georgia. Noble Partner is multiannual military exercise cooperatively led between the Georgian Armed Forces and U.S. Army Europe. The exercise is designed to enhance regional partnerships and increase U.S. force readiness and interoperability in a realistic, multinational training environment. NATO's exercises and military deployments in the Black Sea are not directed against Russia – or any other country. Exercises are designed to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently, transparently and publicly over the past 29 years. For more information about NATO-Russia relations and disinformation narratives about NATO, see here and more about myths and realities can be read here. See other examples of disinformation on NATO alleged goals in Crimea and its intentions to introduce a fleet to the Azov Sea, provocations against Russia in the Black Sea or the dangers created by the Alliance’s activities in those waters, or EU plans for destabilising the Caucasus and about US and NATO actions for escalating tensions in the Caucasus.

Navalny poisoning: A massive disinformation campaign against Russia 

Groundless attacks on Russia continue. A massive disinformation campaign has been launched. This clearly indicates that its initiators’ main task is not taking care of Alexei Navalny’s health and finding out the true reasons for his hospitalisation, but mobilising sanctions sentiments.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, portraying Western governments and institutions as inherently Russophobic and trying to harm Russia. A prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell il during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalised in Omsk, at the request of his family he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin. Clinical findings at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests provided unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms. Pro-Kremlin disinformation is trying to link this story with various factors - the US' fight against the Russian vaccine, the fight against Nord Stream 2, the fight against Putin, to curb his desire to interfere in Belarus’ affairs. See related disinformation cases alleging that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny as with Skripal and Litvinenko; the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia, that the West needed the pretext to open sanctions against Russia, and that there is no evidence Navalny was poisoned.

US sends a message with Navalny poisoning: buy our LNG, because we kill “only” black people

No one has any doubts that this story is not about Navalny, but about Nord Stream 2 – immediate transfer of Navalny to a German clinic and intense media attention forced Chancellor Merkel to comment on this situation, making herself and Germany hostages in the ongoing fight against Nord Stream 2. The public opinion receives the following message: they [Russia] are poisoning their oppositional politicians and you still want to do business with them? Buy our [American] LNG, because we kill “only” black people. It is clear that one not “fully poisoned” Navalny is worth more than ten killed and 2891 wounded Yellow Vest protestors in France and over twenty killed and several thousand wounded protestors in the USA.

Disproof

This message about Alexei Navalny's poisoning is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, which explains his poisoning with a "US operation" aimed at stopping of the Nord Stream 2. There are no grounds for connecting the cause of Navalny's poisoning with the construction of Nord Stream 2. The claims that Navalny "was not poisoned at all" or "was poisoned by the USA in order to promote the American LNG" are a conspiracy theory. A prominent Russian opposition figure, Alexey Navalny fell ill during an internal flight in Russia and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. The German federal government said that toxicological tests provided "unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group" in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms. Read similar disinformation messages alleging that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia, that only traces of alcohol and caffeine were found in Navalny's blood, that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko or that US used Navalny case to block Russian vaccine against COVID-19.