What Russian TV Says About Belarus

Systematic dissemination of disinformation has long been at the forefront of Russian information policy. While a major target is Ukraine as part of Russia’s hybrid aggression, in 2020, Belarus has become another focus of Russin propaganda.

How did Russian state-controlled media cover events in Belarus in 2020?

The key topics and narratives served to pursue the traditional goals of Russian disinformation, among which:

  • discrediting protests and any pro-democratic movements;
  • demonizing the image of the “collective West”;
  • justifying the authoritarian regime’s illegal actions.

Look at our infographic above to learn what Russian TV says about Belarus. The narratives appear in the order of their significance, i.e. what their share of mentions was on the top-3 Russian channels:

  • relations between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation – 36%;
  • pro-democracy protests – 30%;
  • coronavirus pandemic – 23%;
  • Russia and Belarus’s common past – 11%;
  • rigged presidential election – 8%;
  • detention of Wagner PMC members – 6%.

The infographic was prepared within the study Russian Disinformation About Belarus: Main Topics and Narratives of 2020, conducted within a joint project with the Estonian Centre for International Development.