DISINFO: West is eager to stage coup d'état in Belarus
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya took some photos with US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her meetings with them. They promised her to continue with their attempts to stage a coup d'état in Belarus. It is a message to Belarusians both in Belarus and abroad, as well as to aggressive centres along the Belarusian border in the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.
This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that the West is plotting against Minsk in an attempt to overthrow Belarus's illegal dictator Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
In reality, the West does support the Belarusian opposition and makes no secret of it, hoping for a free, democratic and non-violent transfer of power from within the country rather than from abroad. As a symbol of peaceful Belarusian protest, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who is thought to have won last year’s presidential elections in Belarus, has been travelling around the world and meeting foreign leaders. She has met US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders. Some countries regard her as Belarus’s only legitimate leader.
The European Union rejects the legitimacy of Lukashenka’s regime. Tsikhanouskaya herself says that the members of the opposition's coordination council are “the only legitimate representatives of the Belarusian people.” . See here and overiew of the EUs policy towards Belarus.
This is not the first attempt to frame the collective West as the only one responsible for the events in Belarus. In late August 2020, Belarusian authorities have accused NATO of building up its military at the western border and mounting pressure in order to destabilise the situation. NATO rejected these claims. In September 2020, Lukashenka claimed that his security service had intercepted a conversation between two Western spies named Mike and Nick, which he passed off as proof that Western powers stood behind both the Navalny case and the protests in Belarus. Russian security agents detained several opposition-minded Belarussian intellectuals in Moscow in April 2021, who were later accused of plotting to kill Lukashenka and his sons. One of the Belarusian propagandists’ latest reports was a news story about a drone with a canister with explosives attached to it, which was intercepted by Belarusian border guards at the border with Lithuania in July 2021.
Read more disinformation narratives about the West’s alleged attempts to remove Lukashenka by force.