Belarusian TV dedicatedly follows the selected course of disinformation and provocation
On 26 February the “Focus of Attention" program on the Belarusian TV showed falsified poll reports allegedly found in the office of the unregistered civil initiative Partnership. State Security Committee officers demonstrated “the results of the exit polls” allegedly prepared by the Lithuanian department of the American Gallup Institute. The polling reports had the following date printed on them - 19 March. According to this text, the united opposition candidate Aliaxandr Milinkievich polled 53.7% of the vote, Aliaxandr Lukashenka – 41.3%, the chair of the Social Democratic Party Hramada Aliaxandr Kazulin 3.8%, and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Siarhei Haidukievich 1.2%. The commentary to the coverage said that the opposition “has been preparing for large scale manipulation of the voting results”. Valiery Nadtachaeu, the head of the Information and Public Relations Centers of KGB, argued that the initiative Partnership is allegedly financed by the US National Democracy Institute through its Kiev Branch.
The head of the Lithuanian branch of the Gallup Institute Rasa Alishauskene calls this Belarusian TV coverage to be falsification: “This is falsification. A form was shown, which is not the kind we use. They gave our name, but we do not have anything to do with the case. The form had some dates, and my understanding from what I saw on TV these dates are the election day. This forged document does not have anything to do with us”. Rasa Alishauskene also said that the institution, of which she is the head, is not going to conduct any exit polls during the presidential elections in Belarus. The Lithuanian Branch of Gallup Institute released through the media a special statement.
Prof. Aleh Manaeu, the head of the Independent Institute of Social and Economic and Political Research (liquidated in Belarus and registered in Lithuania) views this reports as provocative: “I know these people and the institution they represent very well. We cooperated with them over the past few years. This is a very respected and professional organization. So, preparing these reports in advance is absolutely out of question for them. So, I am positive that this is 100% provocation on the part of some Belarusian special services".
On 21 February KGB agents detained in Minsk four activists of the Partnership initiative – Mikola Astreika, Enira Branitskaia, Aliaxandr Shalaika and Tsimafei Dranchuk. All of them are in the detention center of the KGB. They are suspected of heading an organization that violates civil rights. This article of the Criminal Code provides for punishment ranging from six months to three years in prison. The case was transferred to Minsk Procurator's Office, the detention measure selected is arrest.