May: Monitoring Of Anti-belarusian Propaganda

May: Monitoring Of Anti-belarusian Propaganda

May Monitoring by ISANS

Morningbrew, Unsplash
25.06.2020 Andrei Yeliseyeu

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  1. Elections are approaching, the West is advancing
  2. False dilemmas again, salvation is only possible in alliance with Russia
  3. Pre-election stuffing: a gay minister and the popular Rumas
  4. Synchronous bell ringing as an anti-coronavirus agent
  5. Lithuania is sinking to the bottom like the Titanic 
  6. Belarus could grow territory at the expense of Ukraine

Elections are approaching, the West is advancing

The West pays for every person infected with coronavirus and a parade boycott

The regional network of propaganda sites continued to rush to the bottom, promoting conspiracy theories that NATO ordered the Belarusian opposition to infect the population with the coronavirus. The pseudo-Hrodna website even provides price quotes for this kind of service:

“Converting the currency, Americans pay 1 dollar for each infected with ‘corona.’ It would be interesting to know how much they pay for every soldier, officer, or general. How much are they willing to pay for a bureaucrat, a politician, or the president himself? Surely the opposition’s ‘business plan’ contains all these costs. How much, interestingly, will they be paid for the infection of their close relatives – their father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, sister, or children? After all, it has long been known that the opposition is ready to sell their own mother to the State Department for a dollar.”

Conspiracy theories about the coronavirus being a NATO biological weapon have been in circulation from the very beginning of the year. We wrote about this back in our January issue.

According to the regional network of pro-Kremlin sites, it was possible to make even more money on Western operations in May, considering the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II. The Belarusian opposition was willing to pay people not to go to the parade, writes the pseudo-Mahilou site:

“The most interesting thing is that the opposition, not being afraid of contracting the virus, actively encouraged supporters to participate in an anti-parade, while others who went to the real parade were harshly discouraged and even offered money for their participation – real greenbacks from Uncle Sam and the Department of State.”

At any rate, “surely the worst thing during the period of the pandemic was done to our country by Europe,” another article of the regional network explains to readers. It offers fascinating theories on the purpose of 60 million euros the European Union allocated to Belarus to combat the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic:

“Is it clear now why Europe is playing with these 60 million euros? And who will receive the money in the end and for what? Most likely, they were intended either for the authorities if they were to cancel the May 9th parade or for the opposition if they were to orchestrate a coup. So much for all that European humanitarian aid.”

Another article develops the “bad West” narrative and offers its readers to unite with Russia:

“A real business is being conducted for the Victory in World War II. And now, more than ever, we need to unite with Russia and restore the memory of the valiant deeds of our soldiers.”

In our April issue, we wrote about other disgraces of the West published by the regional network of websites, such as West’s payments to the opposition for attacking the Ministry of Health through the internet, for the persecution of Christians, and for the disruption of the military parade and the glorification of Nazism, as well as for the genocide of Belarusians.

 

The pro-Nazi West will plague Belarus and Russia

Outside of the propaganda network of pseudo-regional sites, the narrative of an aggressive West also reigned in May.

RuBaltic “recalled” how in 2017 the West, primarily through the efforts of Lithuania and Poland, tried to stage armed protests in Belarus. This is the so-called case White Legion case, in which 35 people were arrested and charged with rioting and the creation of an illegal armed group. These criminal cases, however, were officially closed for lack of evidence later that same year.

RuBaltic does not seem to be bothered about this fact, though. “In a country located on the border of Russia and the West there must be war, not peace,” the publication “discloses” aggressive Western goals.

May publications in pro-Kremlin websites offered parallels between the West and Nazi Germany, a classic modification of the bad West propaganda narrative. And so, we have Imhoclub.by promoting the Aftershock.info’s publication with the telling title “The Ecologization of Frontiers as an Element of Russia’s Security” about the modern “Drang nach Osten.”

The article claims that today Western states dream of enslaving Russia just like “Grandpa Adolf did in his time, after which the German proletariat brazenly shot and burned their [class] brothers in the USSR.” The article also claims that until the “Anglo-Saxons” reach Russia they would gladly topple the economies of Latvia and Ukraine.

Interestingly, this is not the first publication where this particular pair of countries is discredited. In our April issue we wrote about the RIA Novosti column published by Sputnik Belarus about how Ukraine and Latvia have slipped into myths, rural pseudo-folk, and degradation.

One of Sonar2050’s May publication also equated modern Baltic countries and Ukraine with Nazi collaborators:

“Why are the authorities of the Baltic republics and Ukraine so zealous today in falsifying the history of the Great Patriotic War? Precisely because they are no different from the former pro-fascist puppets in the Baltic states and Banderites during the Great Patriotic War.”

According to the article, Nazism flourished in the Baltic states and Ukraine after they joined the EU and signed the association agreement with the EU, respectively. The publication also likens the people promoting the idea of Belarus’s integration with the European Union to Nazi collaborators.

Imhoclub.by also reposted Teleskop’s publication which explicitly equates the current European Union with Hitler’s concepts:

“There is no difference between Hitler’s “New Europe” and the modern European Union, since it is a Europe of capital and elites, and not a Europe of nations. The destruction of the USSR, NATO’s advance to the East, Banderites in Ukraine, and the revival of neo-Nazism in the Baltic states are all part of the same long-known Western policy of “Drang nach Osten.”

All in all, multiple publications that scare Belarusians with the pro-Nazi European Union and present Russia as the only savious, were published by pro-Kremlin online sources in May. More on this below.

False dilemmas again, salvation is only possible in alliance with Russia

In light of conspiracy theories about various West’s tricks to conquer Belarus, publications offering a solution to this problem in the form of a close alliance with or even an accession to Russia, deserve special attention.

In our April issue, we cited a number of publications alleging that “Russia is saving Belarus from imperial Poland.” This topic continues to be actively amplified by the pro-Kremlin media. One of the brightest May examples is Ukraina.ru interview with the telling title “Belarusian expert Dzermant: Without Russia we cannot defend ourselves from the colonial policies of Poland.”

In May, the message about the vital union with Russia was particularly also actively promoted by Zviestki, Teleskop and Politnavigator.

Belarus has only two realistic development scenarios, one of Politnavitor’s commentators said.

One is “a quasi-independent colonial pseudo-statehood controlled by the US, which include the looting of the country, the destruction of the economy, and the incorporation of plundered Belarusian territories into a common sanitary cordon from the Baltic to the Black Sea.”

The alternative scenario is “the return to Russia as a number of regions, possibly as a separate federal district.”

Point taken.

One of Teleskop articles resonates with this false dilemma. Belarus can “make a complete return to the Russian world, which will preserve its own cultural uniqueness and gain the possibility for further sustainable development,” it says.

In the worst case, Teleskop writes alarmingly, the Belarusian state expects “a phantom existence in the form of a frontier with a rapidly decreasing population and, most likely, a shrinking territory.”

Zviestki.com also stated that an inextricable link with Russia could be an alternative to degradation resulting from cooperation with the European Union. The same site published a number of publications in May with telling titles:

We have repeatedly written about false dilemmas on the political development of Belarus in our previous issues:

Therefore pro-Kremlin outlets have drawn a very bleak alternative to the union with Russia in the form of a looted western colony with a reduced territory, civil war, and genocide of the Russian-speaking population amid the loss of statehood.

Pre-election stuffing: a gay minister and the popular Rumas

With the approach of presidential elections in Belarus, articles on this topic have become frequent, often containing various conspiracy theories and misinformation. The most striking examples in May, perhaps, concerned the (already former) Prime Minister Siarhei Rumas and Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei.

A few websites, including Politnavigator, posted an article titled “Belarusian Foreign Minister is at the center of a gay scandal.” The conspiracy theory about allegedly pro-Western Makei’s plans to become Lukashenko’s successor is not new. A number of pro-Kremlin websites have been writing about this for several years. The novelty is here is an allegation about his homosexuality. The article states:

“Having this kind of incriminating evidence, Lukashenko is calm about his rival and uses his [Makei’s] connections in the West to continue pursuing a “multidirectional policy.” And Makei’s connections are strong.”

An interesting conspiracy theory is also offered in a Strategic Culture Fund article. It alleges that Lukashenka’s press secretary Natalya Eismant, along with her husband, the head of the Belteleradiocompany, imposed a faulty anti-coronavirus strategy on Lukashenko in order to damage his rating. Moreover, the Eismant couple are just tools:

“Of course, this married couple does not act independently. Behind them is, we presume, a giant of the Belarusian political scene, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei, massaged by the US State Department and the Soros Foundation. He is the main beneficiary of any problems Lukashenka faces.”

Another fairly well-known pro-Kremlin website referred to an anonymous Telegram channel presenting the results of a telephone survey that allegedly pointed at the high electoral rating of Prime Minister Siarhei Rumas (27.8%). The aforementioned Makei (18.4%) and Lukashenka (11.2%) are lagging behind him. The names of the most popular opposition politicians are not on the mysterious survey list at all.

Synchronous bell ringing as an anti-coronavirus agent

A number of pro-Kremlin websites, including Teleskop, shared the article “Bell Ringing Against Coronavirus”, which allegedly contains a “scientifically-based evidence” of the antiviral effect of synchronous bell ringing:

“On the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church there is a powerful potential for effective therapeutic and preventive effects on the COVID-19 virus. Its use does not require additional resources, cost or investment. We are talking about the use of the synchronous bell ringing technique.”

From a practical point of view, it turns out that “it is important to use the maximum number of bell ultrasound sources synchronously, at the same time, optimally 4 times a day to create a spiral resonance.”

Some pro-Kremlin websites also continued looking at the coronavirus pandemics through the prism of secret global elites’ actions.

“The purpose of this ‘world pandemic’ was originally to create a panic that was convenient for manipulating consciousness. If there is more fear in society, it will take control of logic and people will dutifully follow authorities without asking unnecessary questions,” a Sobesednik article says.

The article “Covid-1984,” drawing parallels with Orwell’s book, also hints at mass psychosis advances by influential global forces:

“Here I just want to draw your attention to the fact that citizens are clearly and creatively brainwashed, splitting their minds and driving them to panic… Coronavirus is a psychosis. And these bright guys got their way. The psychosis took place on a global scale.”

Those articles by pro-Kremlin sites that do not deny the existence of coronavirus and the risks of the epidemic continue to search for its positive sides. An RIA Novosti op-ed, republished by Sputnik Belarus, writes:

“Paradoxically, it is this bleak situation that could become an important factor for preserving peace on the planet: if the US economy was in a better shape, then Washington could well take the opportunity to implement some adventurous geopolitical plans towards China or Russia.”

The statement about the pacifist consequences of the pandemic is not unique, we earlier wrote a lot in our March issue titled, “EU as a pest house, Russia is doing great”.

Allegations about the novel coronavirus as Western/NATO creation also continued, particularly in the form of publications about the US biological bases “encircling” Russia. As Sonar2050 writes:

“Russia is encircled by not only the military, but also by biological bases. The new virus has clearly shown how quickly the infection can spread and what the consequences are for the whole world. US bio-laboratories have begun to be created regularly in post-Soviet republics.”

Imhoclub echoes this claim focusing on China:

“Interesting questions concern bold biological experiments in America. There are no answers to them either – but the fact that the US has developed and is financing a network of about 400 biological laboratories in its satellite and politically weak countries on the borders of China and Russia is very interesting in and of itself.”

Our April issue reported about the poem “Virus the Monster,” which alleged that the coronavirus is nothing for “Aryan Russians.” Even earlier, we gave examples of articles claiming the catastrophic consequences of the epidemic for the West in contrast to Russia’s successful actions.

Lithuania is sinking to the bottom like the Titanic 

Sputnik Belarus continues to offer different interpretations of Lithuania’s actions regarding the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. One of the latest deserves special attention.

Sputnik Belarus claims that criticism of the Astravets nuclear power plant stems from a pathological hatred of the Lithuanian political establishment towards Belarus and Russia and is used to solve domestic problems. Sputnik’s commentator compared the Lithuanian economy to the Titanic after its collision with an iceberg:

“The ship is sinking, the lower decks have long been flooded. The passengers have gone out one ship’s side. The remainder of the orchestra plays farewell music. And the duty officer, maybe even the captain, thinks only about whether the uniforms are well ironed.”

Against the background of “complete economic and political bankruptcy” and economic disaster, the Belarusian nuclear power plant serves as a “universal lifesaver” and “ideal target” for Lithuanian class in order to divert Lithuanians’ attention from economic turmoil.

The pseudo-Hrodna website also dedicated a separate article to “a country without a president”:

“A country without a president – that is exactly what Lithuania can be called, because the president there only serves as a puppet of the EU government. It remains only to sympathize with Lithuanian citizens who, due to the carelessness of the government, have lost their sovereignty at the count of two.”

Socio-economic degradation in the Baltic countries and their non-sovereign and puppet status are classic narratives of pro-Kremlin media. Earlier we wrote about Lithuania’s comparison with a “NATO lap dog”.

Belarus could grow territory at the expense of Ukraine

As part of a propaganda narrative about the inevitable collapse of Ukrainian statehood, publications about how neighboring Poland, Hungary, and Romania want to slice off a piece of Ukrainian territory for themselves are not uncommon. For example, within the past few months a long article on the Imhoclub website was devoted to the relationship between Kyiv and Budapest and hinted that Ukraine could negotiate its interests in Transcarpathia for money:

“And now the main question remains: can millions of euros from Hungary triumph over Ukrainian ‘principled behavior?’ As the practice of recent years shows, the principles of the Ukrainian government end when it comes down to a lot of money”.

A statement of one commentator for Politnavigator about Belarus’s chances to enlarge at the expense of Ukraine was new in this respect:

“Ukraine may lose several of its regions bordering other states that are actively issuing passports in neighboring territories. Moreover, the threat concerns not only Transcarpathia or Bukovina, but also the Chernihiv region, where the percentage of Belarusian passport holders is already high”.

Needless to say, the speculation about high numbers of Belarusian passport holders in the Chernihiv region is ungrounded.

Propaganda narratives about the “Ukrainian way” for Belarus continued in April. Additionally, a pseudo-Brest website put the European Union, Ukrainian nationalists, and Ichkeria terrorists in the same basket:

“Again, a violent scenario is being developed for the takeover of the House of Government or Parliament. Who motivates them to do this? Europe, Ukrainian nationalists or Ichkeria terrorists who have already had dealings with the Member of the House of Representatives and TBM (trans. note – Tavarystva bielaruskay movy, or the Belarusian Language Society ) Chairwoman Alena Anisim. It is difficult to imagine how far they can go to seize power by force, which is why they need to be checked now so as not to repeat a ‘Ukrainian Maidan scenario”.

Earlier we wrote in more detail about propaganda narratives concerning the “Ukrainian way” looming in front of Belarus and about fires allegedly set in the Chernobyl zone to harm Belarus.

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Материал доступен на русском языке: Май: топ антибелорусской пропаганды и конспирологии