Integration or Absorption? Analyzing the Propagandist Narratives Generated by Russia-Backed Online Regional Media in Belarus
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 28, Number 3, Summer 2020
- pp. 461-484
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- Additional Information
This article analyzes the plethora of disinformation materials that emerged during the most recent negotiations between Russia and Belarus on “further integration”—that is, the process of “political and economic absorption” of Belarus—that took place between December 2018 and April 2019. Russian media used deceptive news articles to put forward their agenda and interpellate support among Belarusian citizens. The paper uses framing theory to identify the characteristics of pro-integration discourses in resources launched by the Russian authorities in the Belarusian regions between December 2018 and April 2019. The media disguised themselves as “objective” regional Internet media by publishing neutral articles, but came to disseminate disinformation and materials that promoted Russia’s agenda.