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  • Monitoring of Pro-Russian Propaganda in Belarusian Media


    1. The main mon­i­tor­ing pur­pose was to deter­mine the pres­ence of the Russ­ian agen­da and pro-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da in the media work­ing in Belarus.

    The mon­i­tor­ing results were expect­ed either to con­firm or to refute the the­sis about the weighty influ­ence of the “Russ­ian World” (russkij mir) ideas on the media real­i­ty offered to the Belaru­sian audi­ence.

    The mon­i­tor­ing applied quan­ti­ta­tive and qual­i­ta­tive research meth­ods.

    2. Mon­i­tor­ing dura­tion — from Novem­ber 16 through and includ­ing Decem­ber 16 (with Novem­ber 16–25 as the test peri­od).

    The media were mon­i­tored in the con­text of the Kerch Strait con­flict, the Belarus-Rus­sia dis­pute regard­ing the “tax manoeu­vre”, and the “yel­low vests” protests in France. Dur­ing the mon­i­tor­ing peri­od, a group of Russ­ian jour­nal­ists vis­it­ed Belarus, and a meet­ing of the heads of the EAEU states took place.

    3. The fol­low­ing aspects were mon­i­tored:

    3.1. The per­cent­age of TV prod­ucts pro­duced in Rus­sia or in coop­er­a­tion with Rus­sia in the broad­cast­ing pro­grammes of the TV chan­nels includ­ed in the com­pul­so­ry pub­licly avail­able TV chan­nels pack­age, approved by the Gov­ern­ment of the Repub­lic of Belarus (Res­o­lu­tion #407 of May 13, 2015, “On approval of the pst of TV chan­nels includ­ed in the com­pul­so­ry pub­licly avail­able TV pack­age, and on deter­min­ing the dis­tri­b­u­tion sequence there­of), except for the Belarus 5 sports chan­nel. The list of the chan­nels under mon­i­tor­ing includ­ed Belarus 1, ONT (Nation­al Tele­vi­sion), STV (Min­sk City Tele­vi­sion), Mir TV, Rus­sia-Belarus (RTR-Belarus), NTV-Belarus, Belarus 2, and Belarus 3.

    For this pur­pose, the observers reg­is­tered the total num­ber of TV pro­grams on each of the above TV chan­nels and the num­ber of the Russ­ian-made TV prod­ucts at the prime time (from 19:00 to 24:00).

    All the pro­grams (news, movies, talk shows, sports, con­certs) were count­ed, includ­ing those that start­ed or end­ed beyond the prime time, but par­tial­ly fell with­in the prime time.

    The num­ber of infor­ma­tion­al and pub­licis­tic pro­grams (includ­ing polit­i­cal talk shows) and the num­ber of the Russ­ian-made pro­grams of the genre were cal­cu­lat­ed sep­a­rate­ly.

    3.2. Pres­ence of the Russ­ian agen­da in the major Belaru­sian state-fund­ed media:

    — the news­pa­per SB. Belarus Today (found­ed by the Admin­is­tra­tion of the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Belarus),

    — evening news on Belarus 1 (the chan­nel belongs to Bel­tel­era­dio­com­pa­ny and is posi­tioned as the “main nation­al TV chan­nel”): Mon.-Sat. Panora­ma (21:00), Sun. — Major News (Glavnyj efir) (21:00),

    and the Sput­nik Belarus web­site (the Belaru­sian branch of the Sput­nik infor­ma­tion agency and radio chan­nel, owned by the Rus­sia Today state news agency and intend­ed for the for­eign audi­ences) — the news feed, includ­ing radio and video reports.

    All pub­p­ca­tions fea­tur­ing the Russ­ian actors or news top­ics relat­ed to Rus­sia were record­ed, regard­less of whether those mate­ri­als were relat­ed to the Belarus-Rus­sia rela­tions (includ­ing mate­ri­als relat­ed to sports, cul­ture, acci­dents, etc.).

    3.3. The mes­sages of the Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da in the media men­tioned in para­graph 3.2, the mes­sage car­ri­ers, the fre­quen­cy of mes­sage rep­e­ti­tion in the pub­li­ca­tion, the atti­tude of the media towards the mes­sages.



    The per­cent­age of TV prod­ucts pro­duced in Rus­sia or with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of Rus­sia in the broad­cast­ing pro­grams of the TV chan­nels includ­ed in the com­pul­so­ry pub­lic TV pack­age, approved by the Gov­ern­ment of Belarus:

    Percentage of Russian-made programs on TV channels included in compulsory publicly available TV package at prime time

    Thus, pro­grams pro­duced in Rus­sia made about 49% of the prime-time con­tent on the TV chan­nels includ­ed in the com­pul­so­ry pub­lic TV pack­age. Four TV chan­nels, includ­ing the Belaru­sian chan­nels RTR-Belarus, NTV-Belarus and ONT, offered more than 60% of Russ­ian-made prod­ucts at prime time.

    Mean­while, the total pres­ence of the Russ­ian TV prod­ucts on air is much high­er (as a result of the demon­stra­tion of films and seri­als). Thus, on Belarus‑1, the Russ­ian seri­als took 71 hours out of 105 hours of the prime time, that is 67.61% of the air­time.

    The total num­ber of socio-polit­i­cal pro­grams and talk shows at prime time dur­ing the mon­i­tor­ing peri­od made 363. 111 (30.57%) of them were Russ­ian-made.

    The pres­ence of the Russ­ian agen­da and pro­pa­gan­dis­tic mes­sages of in the cer­tain media (the news­pa­per SB. Belarus Today; the on-line media Sput­nik Belarus — the news feed, includ­ing radio and video reports; evening news on the Belarus 1 TV chan­nel (Panora­ma, Mon.-Sat. 21:00, Major News (Glavnyj efir) (Sun. 21:00), and oth­er prime time pro­grams announc­ing the top­ics under the mon­i­tor­ing).


    SB. Belarus Today Newspaper

    Monitor’s Eval­u­a­tion

    There were few pub­li­ca­tions there con­tain­ing the explic­it pro-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da mes­sages (20 news­pa­per issues; 50 pub­li­ca­tions with the Russ­ian agen­da or pro-Russ­ian mes­sages; 20 pub­li­ca­tions with the mes­sages).

    On the whole, the pub­li­ca­tions about the Belarus-Rus­sia rela­tions were of neu­tral and secure nature. In oth­er words, the pub­li­ca­tions expressed uncon­di­tion­al sup­port regard­ing all the Belaru­sian author­i­ties’ attempts to pft the restric­tions on the activ­i­ty of the Belaru­sian pro­duc­ers at the Russ­ian mar­ket and to obtain the fur­ther Russ­ian sub­si­dies to the Belaru­sian econ­o­my.  The arti­cles lacked a crit­i­cal atti­tude to the east­ward steps tak­en by the Belaru­sian pub­lic author­i­ties and showed very mod­er­ate crit­i­cism towards the Russ­ian part­ners. Basi­cal­ly, there were some hints there regard­ing the “incor­rect” behav­iour of the gov­ern­ment and the cer­tain Russ­ian agen­cies reg­u­lat­ing the econ­o­my. There was no crit­i­cism towards the Russ­ian pres­i­dent in these pub­li­ca­tions.

    The main author of the pro-Russ­ian mes­sages was the head of the Belaru­sian state when talk­ing to the Russ­ian audi­ence at the meet­ings with the Russ­ian jour­nal­ists or Russ­ian politi­cians, in the inter­views for the fed­er­al media, for exam­ple, Rus­sia-24 TV chan­nel — the SB. Belarus Today news­pa­per cov­ered those events. There were a few oth­er sources of pro­pa­gan­da mes­sages there. Most often, those were exter­nal experts or polit­i­cal sci­en­tists who were not direct­ly relat­ed to the news­pa­per edi­to­r­i­al office and were invit­ed by the news­pa­per to com­ment on the cer­tain events. As for the SB. Belarus Today in-house jour­nal­ists, they tend to cov­er polit­i­cal top­ics face­less­ly or cit­ing a third per­son. How­ev­er, the newspaper’s colum­nists often keep attack­ing oppo­nents of the gov­ern­ment or the “West­ern World”.

    When com­pared to the past years, the per­cent­age of his­tor­i­cal and nation­al (Belaru­sian) themes has increased, includ­ing pub­li­ca­tions in the Belaru­sian lan­guage. The news­pa­per makes state­ments with restraint, try­ing to bal­ance the coun­try spe­cif­ic agen­da and the dom­i­nant line of behav­iour — the exal­ta­tion of “the Sovi­et” over “the Belaru­sian”.


    Belarus‑1 TV Channel (Evening News)

    Monitor’s Eval­u­a­tion

    The news on the Belarus 1 TV chan­nel reflects the inter­nal con­cep­tu­al (log­i­cal) con­flict relat­ed to the offi­cial infor­ma­tion: a blurred nation­al iden­ti­ty (e.g. Lukashenko declar­ing in St. Peters­burg: “I am a guest here — but I am at home!”) adjoins dec­o­ra­tive demon­stra­tions of Belarus’ “sep­a­rate” sig­nif­i­cance (rang­ing from the Junior Euro­vi­sion host to the “peace donor” sta­tus). The mantras about “our peo­ple” and “fra­ter­nal” Russ­ian peo­ple are fol­lowed by the president’s emo­tion­al speech about the vital impor­tance of the nation­al sov­er­eign­ty.

    Mean­while, the degree of sov­er­eign­ty is obvi­ous­ly dis­trib­uted uneven­ly. The sud­den ner­vous remarks made by the first per­sons and the pub­lic “trade war” style debates obvi­ous­ly con­tra­dict the adja­cent joy­ful reports about the suc­cess­ful Belarus-Rus­sia coop­er­a­tion (often with­in one and the same news release). The president’s emo­tion­al reproach­es of “nation­al ego­ism” addressed to Rus­sians rhyme weak­ly with his own assur­ances of the invari­abil­i­ty of the east­ern partner’s pri­or­i­ty sta­tus for Belarus.

    On the one hand, we see the unequiv­o­cal Rus­sia-cen­tered­ness of the eco­nom­ic and cul­tur­al sec­tors (clear­ly spelled out even at the lev­el of the lat­est “non-fra­ter­nal” dis­agree­ments with the Krem­lin, which are rather an attempt to reach “a fair mar­riage con­tract” than “a divorce”), the con­stant ref­er­ences to spir­i­tu­al affin­i­ty, cre­ative alliances, Belaru­sians’ suc­cess­ful projects in the Russ­ian regions (as a rea­son to wait for suc­cess of the sim­i­lar projects… in Africa), the good news about the new flights to Rus­sia, a joint paint­ing exhi­bi­tion, and a vis­it of the Belaru­sian cadets to the Moscow Ball. All of the above favours the fur­ther rap­proche­ment, which is inter­pret­ed as some­thing obvi­ous and indis­putable, and clear­ly hav­ing a high val­ue poten­tial.

    On the oth­er hand, we observe the demon­stra­tive “sep­a­rate­ness” of the nation­al polit­i­cal posi­tion and polit­i­cal choice, the “sov­er­eign­ty” rhetorics under the slo­gan of pro­tect­ing the inter­ests of the Belaru­sian peo­ple, and the marked­ly strung com­mu­ni­ca­tion mode in the nego­ti­a­tions with the Russ­ian author­i­ties.

    The polit­i­cal con­flict is explain­able. In fact, we are talk­ing about the self-preser­va­tion tac­tics cho­sen by the exist­ing Belaru­sian polit­i­cal regime in the shad­ow of a sig­nif­i­cant play­er — the Russ­ian polit­i­cal elites (it is telling that dur­ing the Kerch Strait con­flict Belarus‑1 uncon­di­tion­al­ly accept­ed the Russ­ian inter­pre­ta­tion of the events as the basic con­cept).


    Sputnik Belarus On-line Media

    Monitor’s Eval­u­a­tion

    The sit­u­a­tion is tru­ly dif­fer­ent here. While the per­cent­age of the “Russ­ian World” mes­sages is low­er, the num­ber of them is much high­er. The “inde­pen­dence of the Belaru­sian state” is declared more qui­et­ly and cau­tious­ly (although this top­ic is present in the pub­li­ca­tions).

    On aver­age, 15–20 out of 80 news items per day relate to the Russ­ian top­ics. The first dai­ly news, head­ed “On This Day”, which offers infor­ma­tion about impor­tant events that occurred on that day in the past, is of inter­est for our mon­i­tor­ing. As a rule, these are the dates of birth of the Sovi­et celebri­ties and the Ortho­dox Church hol­i­days. There are much few­er ref­er­ences there to the Belaru­sian and world celebri­ties and events.

    In addi­tion to news reports, the web­site struc­ture also pro­vides for radio com­men­taries, radio pro­grams, and video talks. With­in the mon­i­tor­ing peri­od, most of the com­ments were made by the Russ­ian experts who kept to the Kremlin’s hard line (please see Table 2 for the pst of experts); the TV-hosts (espe­cial­ly Vladimir Shara­pov and Andrei Kachu­ra) demon­strat­ed a clear­ly pro-Russ­ian posi­tion, for exam­ple, when dis­cussing the Kerch con­flict. Twice dur­ing the mon­i­tor­ing peri­od, the Russ­ian-Ukrain­ian con­flict was pre­sent­ed as a “famous astrologer’s fore­cast” (video).

    Regard­less of the pro­por­tion of the Belaru­sian and Russ­ian agen­da on a par­tic­u­lar day, the home (tabloid) page of the web­site usu­al­ly pre­sent­ed pub­li­ca­tions relat­ed to the Russ­ian agen­da as the top news and the “most viewed” con­tent.

    Dur­ing the mon­i­tor­ing, there were no explic­it mes­sages there, like “Belarus will go to rack and ruin with­out Rus­sia”.

    How­ev­er, the mes­sage “We are stronger togeth­er” is still artic­u­lat­ed, as well as the mes­sage about the “weak­en­ing West­ern democ­ra­cy”, which is repeat­ed fre­quent­ly and in dif­fer­ent forms.





    The USSR is our com­mon his­to­ry. It is our shared mem­o­ry, com­mon vic­to­ry (in the WWII). The West fal­si­fies the his­to­ry of the Great Patri­ot­ic War (WWII). The col­lapse of the USSR is the great­est geopo­lit­i­cal cat­a­stro­phe.


    “The Union of Belarus and Rus­sia and their fra­ter­nal friend­ly rela­tions are the great­est wealth!”

    There is no alter­na­tive there to the coop­er­a­tion between Belarus and Rus­sia. It is our strate­gic choice to deep­en the inte­gra­tion. Togeth­er Belarus and Rus­sia are not afraid of any sanc­tions.


    There are the cer­tain prob­lems there and they need to be addressed. “We are broth­ers, but we need to be bet­ter friends.”  Rus­sia is eager to help Belarus, but it must uphold its own inter­ests too. In order not to incur loss­es, it is impor­tant for Belarus to reach an agree­ment with Rus­sia. Lukashenko and Putin will put the things right.


    Rus­sia and Belarus strug­gle against all. Anti-Russ­ian steps have become the norm on the Euro­pean agen­da. Belarus is Russia’s out­post in the West. The NATO and the EU are going to arrange a colour rev­o­lu­tion in Belarus. Belarus is unable to stand under pres­sure with­out Rus­sia.  The West applies dou­ble stan­dards to sep­a­rate us.


    With­out Rus­sia, no impor­tant coop­er­a­tion issues may be resolved. Rus­sia is the geopo­lit­i­cal cen­tre. Rus­sians are the best in many areas and can­not be on the side­lines. Sta­bi­liza­tion of the oil mar­ket was achieved by the Russ­ian diplo­ma­cy. Unlike oth­ers, Rus­sia is fair (has con­science). Rus­sia lives under the fun­da­men­tal law.


    The EU is rot­ting, col­laps­ing and brin­ing chaos. The EU faces a threat of dis­in­te­gra­tion due to the refugee cri­sis. As soon as the protests begin, Europe for­gets about human rights and starts vio­lat­ing them. The Euro­pean sys­tem of pber­al­ism and tol­er­ance towards any­thing and every­thing is break­ing down beneath our eyes.


    The EAEU is devel­op­ing bet­ter than the EU. It pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to resist the pres­sure on the part of the polit­i­cal oppo­nents. We need to strength­en the inte­gra­tion of the EAEU to achieve clos­er inte­gra­tion. The insta­bil­i­ty and eco­nom­ic wars give a chance for the EAEU to devel­op.


    The Unit­ed States are a threat to the world peace. The U.S. are guilty of the with­draw­al from the INF treaty. The U.S. have entan­gled in their own dou­ble stan­dards. The U.S. super­vise the Kiev regime. The U.S. pur­sue anti-Russ­ian pol­i­cy, and the Euro­peans are play­ing along. The Euro­pean busi­ness is in cri­sis and is shocked by the U.S. pol­i­cy.


    Ukraini­ans pro­voked Rus­sians in the Kerch Strait in order to dis­rupt the elec­tions. It has been sheer chaos in Ukraine after the Maid­an coup. Ukraine is turn­ing into a state with a mil­i­tary and auto­crat­ic lead­er­ship style. Poroshenko’s regime is try­ing to switch to a mil­i­tary jun­ta regime. Ukraine is going to exac­er­bate the con­flict. The anti-Russ­ian atti­tudes are the Ukrain­ian author­i­ties’ last trump card; they have noth­ing else “to sell”. Poroshenko’s deci­sion to ter­mi­nate the treaty of friend­ship with Rus­sia harms the inter­ests of the Ukrain­ian peo­ple. Ukraine is a dan­ger to the neigh­bour coun­tries. The West, the U.S.A. are the main spon­sors of the events in Ukraine. The auto­cephal­i­ty is Poroshenko’s polit­i­cal project, backed by the West­ern god­less elites who will be anath­e­ma­tized.







    Tele­vi­sion remains the main source of the pro-Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da in Belarus. Despite the desire to increase the Belaru­sian con­tent in the TV media declared by the Belaru­sian author­i­ties, four out of nine TV chan­nels, includ­ed in the gov­ern­ment approved com­pul­so­ry pub­lic TV pack­age, are based on the Russ­ian TV prod­ucts and broad­cast more than 60% of Russ­ian-made TV pro­grams at prime time. More­over, the time tak­en by the Russ­ian TV prod­ucts on the Belaru­sian TV chan­nels is even longer because of the demon­stra­tion of long films and seri­als.  Thus, while the num­ber of the Russ­ian pro­grams on Belarus‑1 at prime time made 38.18% of the total num­ber of pro­grams, the Russ­ian TV seri­als only took 67.61% of the air­time. In sum, the Russ­ian con­tent obvi­ous­ly pre­vails on our TV at prime time.

    Rel­a­tive­ly few explic­it pro-Russ­ian pub­li­ca­tions with the Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da mes­sages were record­ed in the SB. Belarus Today news­pa­per and in the evening news on the Belarus 1 TV chan­nel. On the whole, pub­li­ca­tions about the Belarus-Rus­sia rela­tions were of neu­tral and secure nature and inter­nal­ly con­tra­dic­to­ry (rang­ing from the inter­pre­ta­tion of the fur­ther inte­gra­tion with the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion as hav­ing an undoubt­ed­ly high val­ue poten­tial — to “sov­er­eign­ty” rhetorics under the slo­gan of pro­tect­ing the inter­ests of the Belaru­sian peo­ple). The mod­er­ate crit­i­cism towards the Russ­ian part­ners does not cast doubt on the “union inte­gra­tion” and does not rise above the lev­el of the gov­ern­ment and the cer­tain Russ­ian agen­cies that reg­u­late the econ­o­my.

    The per­cent­age of pub­li­ca­tions with the Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da mes­sages, as com­pared to the total num­ber of pub­li­ca­tions on the Sput­nik Belarus web­site, was even low­er than that on the Belarus 1 TV chan­nel. How­ev­er, it should also be not­ed that only the evening news was mon­i­tored on Belarus 1, while in case of Sput­nik Belarus the entire news feed, includ­ing enter­tain­ment con­tent, etc., was mon­i­tored. The total num­ber of such pub­li­ca­tions on Sput­nik Belarus was very high, and the hosts in the video clips were obvi­ous­ly biased. A third of the pub­li­ca­tions car­ry­ing the Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da mes­sages were of a pro­nounced anti-Ukrain­ian char­ac­ter.

    In gen­er­al, the mul­ti-lay­ered pres­ence of “the Russ­ian” in the Belaru­sian infor­ma­tion space may be not­ed: a) at the lev­el of the glob­al con­text, the over­all Russ­ian-cen­tred world map, b) at the lev­el of the local con­text, in the form of the pro-gov­ern­ment iden­ti­ty (the sov­er­eign­ty with “a touch of” Moscow), c) at the lev­el of enter­tain­ment con­tent. Thus, the rel­e­vant ide­o­log­i­cal and cul­tur­al ori­en­ta­tions are pro­grammed not only at the con­cep­tu­al lev­el of “direct” mes­sages, but also through the media rhetorics, and through the emo­tion­al and sub­con­scious depen­dence of the aver­age per­son on the Russ­ian con­tent. The cumu­la­tive effect is greater and stronger than the impact of the “frontal” pro­pa­gan­da.

    The mea­sures tak­en by the Belaru­sian author­i­ties to pro­tect the country’s infor­ma­tion space seem to be inad­e­quate to the real threats. The Belaru­sian audi­ence receives, sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly and reg­u­lar­ly, pre­dom­i­nant­ly the Russ­ian media agen­da and the pro-Krem­lin vision of the major world events (includ­ing from the state-run media financed from the Belaru­sian bud­get). This is also true, yet to a less­er extent, when it comes to the Belarus-Rus­sia rela­tions.




    We have com­mon his­to­ry, fra­ter­nal rela­tions and we must solve prob­lems togeth­er — and togeth­er fend off the exter­nal pres­sure.

    “Tak­ing a clos­er look, Belaru­sians and Rus­sians look as pke as two peas!” — Alek­san­dr Lukashenko (Belarus 1, Decem­ber 11, 2018)

    “His­tor­i­cal­ly, we are rel­a­tives and have always found solu­tions on dif­fi­cult, some­times even sen­si­tive issues. Nei­ther Belaru­sians, nor Rus­sians need addi­tion­al argu­ments to under­stand how impor­tant our Union is.” — Poli­na Shu­ba, TV host, Belarus 1 (Decem­ber 13)

    “You (the Russ­ian region­al jour­nal­ists) are the real win­dow to our Rus­sia! Our kind of peo­ple, our broth­ers live there! (…) You have felt the lev­el of coop­er­a­tion between Belarus and Rus­sia. This is the clos­est con­nec­tion! (…) I don’t even men­tion the spir­i­tu­al [kin­dred]. No one will ever tear us apart! (…) We will nev­er betray you!” — Alek­san­dr Lukashenko (Belarus 1, Decem­ber 14)

    “He said: ‘Belarus will not sur­ren­der you!’ This is a very shrewd remark!” — Vladimir Mamon­tov, Russ­ian jour­nal­ist, Moscow Talk­ing TV talk show, Belarus 1, Decem­ber 15.

    “Cold War 2.0 is already the real­i­ty. (…) But we feel the same about it: Belarus will not betray [Rus­sia], will not sur­ren­der, and will keep its word. (…) Our Union inte­gra­tion is a nat­ur­al process for the both states and nations.” — Andrei Krivosheyev, polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor, Belarus 1, Decem­ber 16.

     “We must ensure the work of the Union! (…) Our main part­ner is not Ger­many, but the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion!” — Alek­san­dr Lukashenko (Belarus 1, Decem­ber 6)

    “By the end of the year, the prob­lem­at­ic issues will have been dis­cussed sev­er­al times in a vari­ety of for­mats, and there is no doubt that every­thing will be resolved as com­mon sense requires — unless, of course, Ger­many has real­ly become dear­er than we are.” — Ivan Eis­mont, TV host, Belarus 1, Decem­ber 9.

    “They are press­ing on Rus­sia from every side, I see how you are fight­ing back there. (…) We are the proud Sovi­et peo­ple (…). This (inte­gra­tion) is also a strug­gle for Rus­sia!” — Alek­san­dr Lukashenko (Belarus 1, Decem­ber 1)

    “You see what is hap­pen­ing in Ukraine. They are approach­ing Belarus. The NATO are almost ready to admit us, of course, only if the gov­ern­ment changes, there is more democ­ra­cy here, and some­thing else. They did not talk about that before. There is a strug­gle there, and one of the direc­tions is when they try to make Rus­sia toe the line. It is not going to be easy, so we need to get on point, set the goal and pur­sue it.” — Alek­san­dr Lukashenko, SB. Belarus Today, Decem­ber 15.

    “Quite recent­ly, at the meet­ing with Grig­o­ry Rapota, the Sec­re­tary of the Union State, the experts spoke about the Union State’s media and the infor­ma­tion coun­ter­mea­sures, tak­en by the cer­tain media resources. We have per­formed a detailed analy­sis of the audi­ence of the YouTube chan­nels that con­front us, and found out that it totals about half a mil­lion peo­ple. This is quite a seri­ous num­ber, and we need to seri­ous­ly think about the counter-influ­ence instru­ments, espe­cial­ly since those are not some dash­ing stu­dents, but well-orga­nized struc­tures.” — Alek­sey Dzer­mant, Belaru­sian expert (Sput­nik Belarus, Decem­ber 11).

    The west­ern world is rot­ting down and col­laps­ing, brin­ing chaos and caus­ing a threat.

    “Trav­el to Paris… and die. Or be wound­ed. Beat­en up. Robbed. The crowd is mov­ing near­er. They are smash­ing the shops and passers-by. They do not yet over­throw the gov­ern­ment, but they shat­ter the nation­al sta­bil­i­ty. The City of Love is agleam with Christ­mas lights, the Fifth Repub­lic is on fire as the first Rome. Free­dom, equal­i­ty, broth­er­hood. Democ­ra­cy. And, seem­ing­ly, social secu­ri­ty. (…) France again. The fire swal­lows new ter­ri­to­ries and peo­ple. “Do not divide us: we are one peo­ple, the left, the right, city peo­ple, coun­try folk”. A heart-rend­ing cry of pain and despair. The lan­guage under­stood every­where, pke fire. All cities on fire look the same. Paris… Tripoli… Dam­as­cus… We saw it. Mil­lions of sur­vivors. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of the dead. Why? What for? With their moral order recipe, the west­er­ly winds have brought only death and destruc­tion to their lands. Street democ­ra­cy, burn­ing like a sand­storm in the Arab spring. Now it is blow­ing in the oppo­site direc­tion. The best PR-cam­paign in his­to­ry called “street democ­ra­cy” is now devour­ing its chil­dren. Devour­ing the for­mer observers. Blood, sweat and tears. The eyes of peo­ple in the cen­tre of Paris. They are stand­ing and watch­ing. Look­ing at the blood. At the wreck­age. At the bro­ken glass. At the wreck­age of the qui­et life. One can see the ques­tion in their eyes, “What is going to hap­pen next?” To them, to us, to me? We will see…” — Alek­sey Volkov, cor­re­spon­dent, Belarus 1, Decem­ber 8.

    “Now it’s dead seri­ous! Paris has been look­ing like Kiev five years ago for sev­er­al weeks already: the same tires, the same bar­ri­cades, the same clash­es with the police, the same vic­tims, the same slo­gans about the rogue regime, the same “they-are-just-kids” kneel­ing down. Yes­ter­day a clas­si­cal fea­ture of any Maid­an appeared there — a piano. The reflec­tive vests are the only thing that dis­tin­guish­es the French pro­test­ers from the Ukrain­ian ones. They use them not because they are “light war­riors”, but in order not to vio­late the law! Seri­ous­ly! To avoid being arrest­ed for step­ping on the road­way. But, after all, this is not the only dif­fer­ence — all of a sud­den, the seeds sown in many coun­tries of the world, includ­ing East­ern Europe and some attempts in our coun­try, sprang up on their own fields — on the Champs-Elysées. Now this is a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent sto­ry, this is some kind of improp­er rev­o­lu­tion, just like the “improp­er hon­ey” in the famous [Win­nie the Pooh] car­toon. And we do not hear any cries from the domes­tic and West­ern human rights defend­ers about the pro­tec­tion of the free­dom of speech and the inad­mis­si­bil­i­ty of a crack­down on the pro­test­ers. The for­eign ambas­sadors do not hand round cook­ies near the Eif­fel Tow­er. The press do not pub­lish heart-break­ing head­lines, like “They are just kids! What are you are doing?!” Instead of reports about the burn­ing Paris, dozens of the injured and thou­sands of arrest­ed peo­ple, the inde­pen­dent Belaru­sian media rou­tine­ly cov­er repairs in entrance halls in the qui­et Min­sk apart­ment blocks. After all, this rev­o­lu­tion is an improp­er one.” — Ivan Eis­mont, TV host, Belarus 1, Decem­ber 9.

    “Paris is on fire, dozens have been wound­ed, thou­sands have been arrest­ed. Mean­while, human rights defend­ers keep silent, there are no heart-rend­ing screams about vio­la­tions of the free­dom of speech, and some of our inde­pen­dent media have shut up like an oys­ter too. They say, that’s per­fect­ly fine.  (…) Once pub­lic safe­ty is in ques­tion, the beau­ti­ful words about democ­ra­cy have fad­ed away.” — Yevge­ny Kononovich and Kon­stan­tin Bakun, jour­nal­ists, SB.Belarus Today, Decem­ber 11.

     “The tough mea­sures tak­en by Macron to sta­bi­lize the sit­u­a­tion are sort of “the woe of the doomed”. There is no way out of this sit­u­a­tion, and the pub­lic emer­gency will make lit­tle dif­fer­ence. Europe is on the road to a seri­ous polit­i­cal cri­sis.” — Armen Gas­paryan, Russ­ian expert, Sput­nik Belarus, Decem­ber 12.

    Ukraini­ans pro­voked Rus­sians in the Kerch Strait in order to dis­rupt the elec­tions.

    “Polit­i­cal sci­en­tists point out to anoth­er impor­tant aspect: impos­ing mar­tial law implies impos­ing cer­tain restric­tions on the rights and free­doms. Mean­while Ukraine is approach­ing the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Ques­tions can­not but arise here.” — Sergey Gusachenko, TV host, Belarus 1.

    “With­in the next few days, Kiev is going to arrange an armed provo­ca­tion at the con­tact line, tak­ing advan­tage of the mar­tial law regime imposed in the Donet­sk and Lugan­sk regions, so that to orga­nize a swift attack in the Mar­i­upol direc­tion in order to cap­ture the ter­ri­to­ry of Pri­a­zovye con­trolled by Donet­sk and to approach the bor­der with Rus­sia.” — Maria Zakharo­va, spokesper­son for the Russ­ian For­eign Min­istry (Sput­nik Belarus, Decem­ber 13).

    “Hav­ing torn Ukraine apart, Poroshenko and the whole bunch of yobs from Maid­an will then tour the world with lec­tures on the ben­e­fits of democ­ra­cy, as Saakashvili is doing it now. They have already “made peace” in the Don­bass. Now they have set to the Kerch Strait. They are high­way ban­dits. And they use law­less meth­ods: first, they pro­voke us, then they pres­sure, and after that they accuse us of aggres­sion.” — Maria Zakharo­va, spokesper­son for the Russ­ian For­eign Min­istry (Sput­nik Belarus, Novem­ber 26)

    “The elec­tion will be can­celled at the next step, because with his rat­ing, Poroshenko has sim­ply noth­ing to do in this game with stakes high­er than life. After all, he will have to be respon­si­ble for every­thing that he has done for the recent years.” — Armen Gas­paryan, Russ­ian expert, Sput­nik.


    Alek­san­dr Lukashenko: “This is a chance, a great chance for us, while this quar­rel is going on, we can unite and add even greater momen­tum to our eco­nom­ic union. Let’s do it, because it depends on us sit­ting here round this table. Belarus is ready for this.” (Sput­nik Belarus, Decem­ber 06).

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