Just about a month ago, summing up the outcome of the recent deployment in Ukraine of Belarusian pseudo-opposition figures, I noted that it took the West more than six years to understand that Russia poses a threat to the entire civilized world. However, now the West is yet to realize, while its security agencies – completely reconsider their approaches to the fact that a wide range of projects aimed to promote democratic values and fight corruption, funded by European and American taxpayers, have benn badly penetrated by Russian agents. And that their seemingly pro-Western, humanistic, and pro-democracy rhetoric shouldn't fool anyone.
Since then, certain events unfolded in Ukraine, Belarus, and the rest of the world, which, alas, didn't bring our Western partners an inch closer to grasping the fact that even opposition to dictatorship and "voices of democracy" could be nothing but a cover to put into life plots of an even more bloody and brutal regime.
For example, a pseudo-opposition's Svetlana Tikhanouskaya, who has fled to Lithuania, has been granted protection by President Gitanas Nauseda and offered guarantees that her case will be raised at the European Council level. It's interesting though, what's exactly the case we're talking about here? The case of her cowardly flight or lack of competitive support from voters? Or the case of her direct affiliation with the Russian intelligence?
Be that as it may, but Gitanas Nauseda is becoming a victim of the traditional Western kind-heartedness, in relation to everything that puts on the label of "persecuted" and "deprived". Sometimes it seems to me that if there were "opposition" in ISIS ranks, it would have been offered shelter in the EU with a loyal quota for committing one terror attack per month.
But, let's move on...
While Western politicians put on sad faces and prostrate themselves in front of the pseudo-opposition permeated with the roots of Russian special services, Western media are frantically and greedily quoting these very opposition information platforms. Sometimes they do this without even delving into the fact that their reporting dramatically lacks objectivity, so revered in the European media.
For example, the NEXTA Telegram channel has become the leading source of information on Belarus protests. And this is where it gets interesting.
NEXTA supports no specific candidate, but purposefully calls for the overthrow of Alexander Lukashenko and supports street protests ... So it turns out that it's just for the sake of protests or what? Chaos for the sake of chaos?..
NEXTA's founder is the "opposition" guy Stepan Putila, who used to work for the Polish-Belarusian channel Belsat and is now living in Poland. NEXTA's editor-in-chief is journalist Roman Protasevich, who is also currently a Polish resident. That is, Poland has sheltered two "opposition" figures, whose information resource over an extremely short period of time and under extreme conditions became the main supplier of news content from protest-engulfed Belarus?
Given the current location of both founder and editor-in-chief of the resource, suspicion may immediately arise of some sort of "western trace", but the thing is that NEXTA receives its main funding from Russia, spins pro-Russian content, while collecting information not through Elon Musk's SpaceX satellites, but rather via an extensive human asset network Belarus.
What's most interesting is that NEXTA in the shortest possible timeframe gained more than a million subscribers thanks to the constant, 24/7 reposting of its messages by a swarm of Telegram channels administered by Russian security agencies: Protestnaya Rossiya [Protest Russia], Podyem [Rise], Navstrechu Transferu [Toward Transfer], and many others.
I've already noted that those recently and massively created information platforms that covered street protests in Russia's Khabarovsk, employing harsh anti-Kremlin rhetoric, suddenly also started covering Belarus!
It would seem that at first glance there should be nothing strange in this. Suddenly, out of nowhere, information platforms that have gained tens of thousands of readers in a matter of days, who are well versed in the intricacies of the Khabarovsk Territory and the Kremlin clan pyramid, start supporting the same kind of a rebellious Belarusian protest spirit! Sure, nothing strange here, especially considering that the protest movement in the Khabarovsk Territory has been under the GRU supervision, while Belarus became its operational domain back in 2019.
And therefore, indeed, Western politicians and media are yet to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Opposition figures who emerged out of nowhere, built their election campaign with Gazprom's money, received total media support from Alisher Usmanov's media resources, and hired PR technologists including among GRU operatives, now resurface in the West as martyrs, and in Russia – as proof of the "Western trace ".
Rather than delivering outstanding unbiased and sober opinions, based on analysis they relay calls for riots and even the armed overthrow of the incumbent government, as well as resort to manipulation and even outright fake news (recall at least the report with the little girl in the paddy wagon, who was never there). Still, they are gradually becoming reliable sources for many.
Actually, Belarus has passed its test of temptation, but what about Europe? Apparently, not everything is so unambiguous there …