Belarusian authorities are helpless before information and psychological attacks from Russia

Photo: Voyenno-politicheskoie obozreniye

Photo: Voyenno-politicheskoie obozreniye 

Belarus, News

Article by: Belarus in Focus

Information attacks from Russia in light of tension in Russo-Belarusian relations have demonstrated Minsk’s inability to counteract them efficiently. Belarus’ costly propaganda machine was unable to act without a clear guidance from the top, while the leadership was unprepared to react promptly and set clear tasks.

While Belarusians were busy discussing the prospects of the Russian military invasion under the guise of the “West-2017” military exercise, Moscow stroke a blow with a series of information attacks.

Early February was marked by several information and psychological attacks from Russia. Russia abruptly introduced border controls at the Russo-Belarusian border, produced false reports about Belarus’ withdrawal from the CSTO and the EEU, and accused the Belarusian authorities of undermining Russia’s security, all of which destabilized Belarus’ information space and prompted discussions among politically engaged and apolitical Belarusians alike.

As a result, a world, where Russia was a close and reliable ally has collapsed before the eyes of many Belarusians. The reaction of the Belarusian authorities was frankly nervous: the Belarusian Ambassador to Russia came to the Russian television in person to provide explanations, which was unprecedented.

The Belarusian authorities made very vague statements about Belarusian-Russian relations. The state media, not having any clear guidance, mostly quoted Belarusian officials: it did not have any action plan or a strategy to respond to Russian attacks.

During his more than seven-hour and very chaotic speech on February 3rd, Lukashenka only confirmed that Russo-Belarusian relations were in a crisis on multiple fronts. He did not outline any prospects for the future normalization. All that only reinforced the impression of confusion among Belarusian officials.

It should be noted, that the recent information attack from Russia was a limited one. However, it was enough to demonstrate how helpless the Belarusian state propaganda was.

This, in turn, could prompt the Kremlin to a large-scale operation aiming at psychological impact and misinformation against Belarus. In the given circumstances, the Belarusian authorities have only one protection tool – to restrict dissemination of information, including on the Internet.

This article was originally published by the Solidarity with Belarus Information Office (SBIO) is a Warsaw-based non-profit, non-partisan organization working closely with Belarusian and international journalists and expert community to overcome Belarus’ isolation by promoting democratic values and transformation, and is republished with permission.



Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , , ,

  • Mephisto

    why are the Russians attacking their only ally?

    • Alex George

      Possible Reasons why include:
      * President Lukashenka stated publicly on Saturday where Putin could stick his request to build a Russian airbase in Belarus. Russians have been asking this for the last two years, but this time Belarus gave a straight reply.
      * Belarus is suing Russia over failure to supply gas (and now oil). Russia says Belarus hasn’t paid for previous gas, whereas Belarus says Russia is price-gouging.
      * Lukashenka says they no longer need Russian gas anyway.

      Real question is why is Belarus needling Russia now? Possible reasons:
      * Belarus believes Putin is too committed in Ukraine to take any action against it
      * Belarus nomenklatura have always viewed EU as just as powerful as Russia. They do not want to take sides;
      * Lukashenka may have made his peace with his own nationalists, i.e. believes they are more likely to support him than attack him, in event of a confrontation with Russia.

      • Oknemfrod

        All excellent points, Alex.

    • veth

      Lack of brains.

  • Alex George

    “This, in turn, could prompt the Kremlin to a large-scale operation aiming at psychological impact and misinformation against Belarus.”

    Somehow I think the Ukrainians would cheerfully swap for the rather different sort of attacks they have been receiving.

    • Mick Servian

      You guys hate belorussia as much as Russia…lol

  • Mephisto
    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Old news, the dwarf has already bought Marine Le Pen, “la putain de Putin”. She has openly admitted receiving millions from Dwarfstan.

  • Xeroi Ato

    Russia has permanent miltary base, and aircraft base in Belarus with the agreement of “The Union State”.

    Half of the military equipment stationed in Belarus doesn’t belong to it. Why would Russia need to “invade” anything.

    • Alex George

      Why cite an article about a political concept which the article itself admits hasn’t happened? The idea of a Union State has been effectively dead for years.

      And the article you cite says nothing at all about permanent military bases or aircraft bases or military equipment.

      • Xeroi Ato

        The Union state is dead, though it is an official agreement, yet “teh invasion” of Belarus is somehow now a given fact. Logic 101.

        • MichaelA

          are you thick or just pretending?

        • Alex George

          No, sorry but that is just BS. Nobody has suggested that an invasion of Belarus has occurred or necessarily will occur.

          if you are going to state a source, try reading it first. The idea of a Union State has been effectively dead for years, and the article you cite says nothing at all about permanent military bases or aircraft bases or military equipment.

  • Kruton

    Only one way to deal with Russians,bullets!

    • Xeroi Ato

      Get off your armchair right now, and join the ATO, hero. Go kill some Russians, just be warned, bullets go both ways. It’s not like fighting on the internet with driveby shit posts.

      • MichaelA

        so why are you fighting on the internet you miserable little coward

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      There’s also economic strangulation. Kick Dwarfstan out of Swift, and boycott its oil. Then sit back and watch how quickly the country collapses.

      • Mick Servian

        wet dream