300 days. That is how long Andrzej Poczobut has been sitting in a Belarusian prison on fabricated charges. The authorities accused him of “inciting hatred on the grounds of nationality”. He may face a dozen or so years of labor camps.
Amid Russia’s growing military build-up along Ukraine’s borders, the Slovak pro-Kremlin media are increasingly turning to aggressive rhetoric directed against NATO and Ukraine.
The chair of the Law and Justice (PiS) suggests that under his rule Poland is fighting on two fronts and is generally a victim of an international conspiracy in which Lukashenka, the Czechs, and the European Commission work together.
With the help of Poland’s right-wing PIS government, the Belarusian leader Lukashenko engineered a humanitarian crisis on Europe’s doorstep. In doing so, he is successfully eroding the European Union’s remaining claim to moral authority.
Following the example of the Belarusian and Russian state-controlled media, Slovak disinformation websites also capitalize on the harrowing images of human suffering at the EU borders.
With the help of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, the INESS hosted two Belarussian opposition activists on October 13, 2021. The main focus of their visit was on economic reforms in Belarus. Therefore, the meeting was devoted primarily to the experience of Slovak economic reforms since 1989.
Poland has imposed a state of emergency along its border with Belarus, holding back small groups of men, women and children who are refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, and other countries. They are without shelter, clean water, food, and access to medical help.
On August 10, the Slovak cabinet approved a series of changes to the COVID automat – an emotionally charged topic that had led to several anti-government protests in recent weeks. The new changes are due to come into force on August 16. They come after the last set of restrictions regarding the border regime was suspended by the Slovak Constitutional Court, giving the people who only got the 1st dose of vaccine the same rights as those who are unvaccinated.
President Vladimir Putin is proposing to renew cooperation with Europe, which is to be welcomed because Russia is an important country. I believe, however, that in taking this step we should remember the history. We understand the pain of the former members of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, President Putin should equally understand the pain of those nations that suffered great injustices from the Soviet Union.
The disinformation actors also stick to their traditional topics including Covid-19 and anti-vaccination narratives. The passing of a popular Slovak presenter Julo Viršík at the age of 56 due to cardiac arrest, who was recently vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine, served as a pretext for the renewed spread of anti-vax narratives by the disinformation media.