It is a bit incorrect to compare events in Belarus with the events in Ukraine in 2014, but it is worth noting that Western countries do not lose hope of turning Minsk into Kyiv six years ago. For example, Lithuania and Poland (by the way, it is known that it is the Polish special services that oversee the Belarusian opposition) offered Belarus a visa-free regime. But the prospect of becoming another Slavic migrant workers does not tempt Belarusians at all. The Ukrainian government, of course, supports the Belarusian opposition. And this is not surprising. The current government is taking its seats solely thanks to the overthrow of Yanukovych. But ordinary Ukrainians dissuade Belarusians from trying to overthrow the president and tell what will happen to their country if they make a fatal mistake: “Shove Lukashenko off, and that’s it, you will become beggars.”
We (Russia) have repeatedly stated that, unlike Western countries, neither the Soviet Union nor Russia, have ever performed research or experimental projects under the code “Novichok”.
This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. The test proving Navalny's poisoning was conducted in a special German military lab. It was something far more dangerous, requiring the attention of the Army’s chemical weapons specialists. The claim that research and experimental projects under the code "Novichok" have never been implemented in Russia or USSR is not true. The name Novichok means "newcomer" in Russian, and applies to a group of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. They were known as fourth-generation chemical weapons and were developed under a Soviet programme codenamed Foliant. In 2017, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed the full destruction of the 39,967 metric tons of chemical weapons possessed by Russia, but Novichoks were never declared to the OPCW and were not included in the Chemical Weapons Convention until 2019. After the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal with Novichok in Salisbury in 2018, Dr. Vil Mirzayanov said that “many countries could have had test samples, but production was only refined in the U.S.S.R. and Russia” and that Russia had to be behind the attempt on the Skripals because it “is the country that invented it, has the experience, turned it into a weapon... has fully mastered the cycle”. German Die Zeit says Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the newest type of chemical warfare agent Novichok - slower in effect than the already known Novichok, but more dangerous. According to some media, the new poison could not be created in any other conditions, except for the laboratories of the special services. See similar cases claiming that Russia doesn’t have Novichok anymore, that Poisoning of Navalny is a provocation to stop the construction of Nord Stream 2, that Navalny case is a special operation used to put pressure on Putin and just a pretext for the West to enforce Russophobia, and that the Novichok group doest not exist.