The Center for Countering Disinformation at the NSDC of Ukraine informs about the risks of information manipulations in covering the “migrant crisis”
The “migrant crisis in Belarus” is accompanied by a coordinated Russian-Belarusian information campaign.
The main elements of the manipulation campaign:
- The Russian-Belarusian point of view dominates in the information space.
- A large number of Belarusian representatives of state and pro-government media are on the scene non-stop.
- Distribution of a large number of videos on social networks that are professionally shot and reflect the Belarusian stance.
- Using the theme of affected women and children in covering the “migrant crisis”.
- Dissemination of information on the presence of a NATO base with a many-thousands-contingent on the Polish border.
- Use of the term “refugee” in messages instead of the term “migrant”.
- The Belarusian authorities and law enforcement agencies are presented as purely humanistic.
- Messages are focused on “the indifference of European officials and the cruelty of Polish law enforcement officers”.
- Ukraine is positioned as the main transit country for illegal migrants to EU countries.
Examples of topics and messages that have manipulative elements or are complete disinformation:
- Polish border guards use pepper spray against children, while there is evidence that cigarette smoke was blown into their eyes to make them cry and provide a “picture” as evidence.
- On November 14, Belarusian security forces spread information among migrants that Germany had sent coaches that were not let through by the Polish side. The aim was to provoke a border storm.
- The Belarusian authorities sheltered migrants in the trade and logistics center, provided hot tea, dry clothes, and special forces are extremely friendly to refugees.
- Polish and Lithuanian border guards systematically detain only Ukrainian carriers of illegal migrants in cars with Polish license plates.
- On November 18, a group of Afghans and Pakistanis were detained in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone and were to be transferred from Ukraine to the EU. The message was accompanied by a staged video.
- After the NSDC decision on additional security measures due to the “migration crisis”, some telegram channels reported that the Ukrainian authorities plan to stimulate racial intolerance to migrants from the Middle East among the Ukrainians.
The Center for Countering Disinformation at the NSDC of Ukraine draws attention to the fact that massive disinformation campaigns partly precede real provocations and sabotage. We ask journalists and citizens to check the messages and not to disseminate information that contains signs of disinformation – excessive sensationalism, doubtful sources, lack of references to the original source, etc.