Updated at 18:18,16-07-2018

Threat not to Lukashenka, but to entire country. Why Russian media attacking Belarus

Usevalad Shlykau, belsat.eu

Russian state media keep blasting Belarus, but Belarus remains silent.

Fairly recently, cases of Russophobia in our country were reported only by notorious Russian media outlets, e.g. Regnum. Last week, however, Kremlin-run Channel 1 raised the issue of Belarusians alternative vision of history. Its journalists stressed that the same situation was seen in Ukraine shortly before the conflict. According to a number of Belarusian experts, such wake-up call should not be ignored.

One should not be shy away from messages from Moscow, especially those of Russian state-controlled media. They indicate the direction in which Russian policy is developed and implemented in respect of Belarus, political analyst Pavel Usau said.

And indeed, after the above talk show, Russian media outlets were delivered of dozens of articles: Belarus signs agreement with European Union, boosts cooperation with NATO, derails Russias energy trade such was last weeks information picture drawn by Kremlin mouthpieces RIA Novosti and TASS and others.

By comparing Belarusians to Ukrainians and saying that the latter overlooked they are drawing a direct parallel, which may be one of the first attempts of forming public opinion and proving that Belarus is no longer a friend of Russia, political commentator Paulyuk Bykouski told Belsat TV.

Just in the thick of the information attack, odious propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, an embodiment of pro-Kremlin media and star of TV channel Russia 1, came to Minsk and held an evening here. In the Palace of the Republic he was welcomed by dozens of protesting activists of Young Front, a dense ring of men in civilian clothes and a half-empty hall. Later, Soloviev complained that his performance was almost canceled and Belarusian special services were keeping an eye on him.

Minsk loves me, Belarusians love me and I love them. But disgusting Nazi monsters and rotten journos the shame of Jewry does play their part, he said.

Two Russian goals

The situation is reminiscent of the year 2010, when Russian TV released a series of documentary films The Godfather that discredited Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka. As nowadays, at that moment Minsk was trying to mend ties with the West, and Minsk-Moscow relations were tense tension. According to the experts, the difference is that six years ago the message was sent to the Belarusian nation, and now its target is Russian society.

Firstly, they want to make Russian audience ready, to show them that there are destructive forces iwho are trying to U-turn Belarus and prove that a change in the Kremlins policy towards Belarus is crucially needed. Undoubtedly, it is quite a different message, it is a threat not only to Lukashenka, but to entire Belarus, Usau believes.

Neither Belarusian authorities nor Belarusian state media have ever repelled the information attack. Minsk is apparently unwilling to quarrel with Moscow, the experts stress.

The regime is not making hand or foot; on the contrary, they ban or restrict Western media, including Belsat TV. They take no action to limit the impact of the information field created by Russian media, Usau stresses.

It is noteworthy that the aim Russians set when televising The Godfather was reached a short liberalization ended up with a brutal crackdown on post-election protests.

Under an optimistic scenario, the current anti-Belarusian media campaign is an attempt to force our country to make concessions to Russia in a long gas conflict which was not solved even during the bilateral talks. If, however, a worst scenario is being played out, they are preparing the ground for seizing Belarus by the 2018 Russian presidential elections then Vladimir Putin might be in need for a cheap and spectacular victory, the expert says.