Disinfo: Violent protests in Belarus are a pretext for foreign interference and destabilisation

Summary

There are clear attempts of foreign interference, aiming to cause a division in society and to destabilise the situation [in Belarus]. The Kremlin observed an unprecedented pressure by individual foreign partners on Belarusian authorities. Brussels and Washington started using post-electoral violence and the measures adopted by Minsk to contain these riots as a pretext to present new accusations against the country.

Disproof

This is part of an ongoing Russian disinformation campaign about post-electoral protests in Belarus, portraying demonstrations against president Alexander Lukashenko as a Western-led violent colour revolution. Contrary to the claim, anti-Lukashenko protests have been mostly peaceful, and violence has come from Belarusian police and authorities against demonstrators, including beatings, torture and excessive force. These human rights violations are not a pretext used by Western powers to pressure Minsk, but rather Washington, Brussels and other Western capitals protested them as a reaction to Lukashenko’s abuses. There are also strong evidences pointing that the election was rigged.

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 criticize them in Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: EU, Russia, Belarus, US
  • Keywords: Protest, Alexander Lukashenko, Colour revolutions

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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The West is behind the failed coup attempt in Belarus

There are very specific people behind provocations in Belarus, those who have been attempting to encircle Russia with enemies in the last years. […] In Belarus, they wanted to act according to the Ukraine scenario, though this time Western elites feared to openly make a coup. Nobody was sent to the country to distribute cookies, and it wasn’t possible to force youngsters to organise a tent camp in one of the squares. This signals that in the coming days, the protest wave in Belarus will fail. The opposition and the enemies of Lukashenko abroad won’t agree with the election results for some time, but this won’t change anything. The West failed in its coup in Belarus.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives as part of an ongoing disinformation campaign on the events in Belarus, portraying every popular protest in the world as a Western-backed colour revolution and as an attempt to encircle Russia. No evidence is provided to support the claim.

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 which criticize Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and 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.

EU tries to force regime change in Belarus in every way possible

The EU is pressing every way to change the regime in Belarus, and does not even hide this in public discussions. This has for long been known and understood.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus and the EU.

The EU continues a step-by-step approach in its engagement with Belarus, supporting its civil society and victims of repression. It has also said that the   elections were neither free nor fair. However, the protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which are considered fraudulent by large part of Belarusian society.

The US has complete control of the internet

The United States has complete control over the Internet administration system, and the identification of “IP” addresses, which is unacceptable.

Disproof

A baseless claim that the US controls the internet or its IP addresses.

On the 1st of October 2016, the internet witnessed its biggest change when the US government officially transferred control of the internet address system to the “the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers” (ICANN), an international governing body, to assure that the internet of tomorrow remains as free, open and accessible as the internet of today.