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Issue #3
September in the midst of protests in Belarus

Protests after the presidential elections in Belarus continued throughout September alongside an increase in brutal state security repression. Several international organizations have warned against the Belarussian state’s massive human rights breaches as it violently represses protesters. The European Union refused to recognize the elections and called on Alexander Lukashenko to respect human rights and freedoms.

During this time, dozens of dis-informative articles, from slightly manipulative messaging to outright conspiracy theories, started appearing in both Czech and Slovak online space. Many directly replicate or are very similar to Alexander Lukashenko’s statements or official Russian media narratives. Accordingly, our main effort last month was to set the record straight.

  • The events in Belarus are NOT A WESTERN EFFORT to overthrow Lukashenko.
  • Just like the displays in the Czech Republic and in Czech non-governmental organizations, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine, the protests are NOT ORGANIZED BY A FOREIGN ENTITY.
  • The protesters in Belarus ARE NOT BEING PAID.
  • “Ukrainian fascists” did not incite “Belarussian nationalists” to start a BELARUSSIAN MAIDAN REDUX.
  • The Belarussian protests are NOT IN SUPPORT OF LUKASHENKO.
  • The white-red-white flag used during the protests is NOT A SYMBOL OF FASCIST IDEOLOGY.

Tímea Miková exposed the most common deceptive narratives about Belarus in an article published by Denník N.


Especially during events like the protests in Belarus, we can see the utmost importance of quality journalism, including public media, of providing objective information that educates and explains, not obfuscates. Every democratic country must protect its independent and public media and their hardworking journalists.

Social media platforms and big tech companies can and should do more to safeguard the stream of verified information and official news sources from fringe websites and online conspiracy theories. Even those who make the effort to obtain quality information can drown in the flood of disinformation and manipulative narratives and cynically feel that nothing can be trusted. Then the truth just seems further relativized.

The non-governmental sector and journalists should pour their resources into investigating the sources of disinformation channels and websites as well as their financial and personnel structures. Their high production values and daily multitude of new articles suggests significant manpower and hefty coffers. To do right by the people of Central Europe, these authors should be identified and exposed for their malicious activities.

This newsletter includes outputs from the project of the European Values Center for Security Policy focused on training non-governmental sector representatives, including investigators and bloggers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. More information can be found on our website.

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European Values Center for Security Policy

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