“A color revolution, instigated by the Anglo-Saxons/America/the West” – is the knee-jerk reaction of pro-Kremlin media whenever crowds gather in the streets to protest corruption, government abuse and curbing of civil rights: in Georgia, in Armenia, in Hong Kong, even in the US. But most of all, of course, it applies to Ukraine and the Euromaidan protests that took place in 2013 – 2014.
In fact, most of the disinformation tropes targeting popular protests were first coined by pro-Kremlin media during the Euromaidan protests. These were depicted as a color revolution and a coup d’état, orchestrated and funded by America and Europe, incited by secret services, fueled by neo-Nazis and Russophobes, leading to economic and political chaos.
The Euromaidan, guided by a spirit of transparency and democracy, was an abomination in the eyes of the pro-Kremlin media and a warning about the power of genuine grassroots protests. This explains why, almost seven years later, pro-Kremlin outlets continue to circulate the same disinformation clichés regardless of whether it targets public protests in Yerevan, Minneapolis, or Minsk.
When it comes to Belarus, pro-Kremlin media were in no rush to defend embattled incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Evening news reports on Russian state-controlled TV channels showed crowds in Belarus chanting “go away” to Lukashenka, as he tried to rally industrial workers at a factory in Minsk (a segment that was censored from Belarusian state TV). On Sunday evening, the Kremlin’s propagandist Vladimir Solovyev lamented violence against the protesters, not least because several Russian journalists, including employees of Sputnik news agency, were caught up it.
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