Feature

Turning Poles into the new big threat.

The week's news at a glance.

Belarus

Viktor Yanin
Gazeta.ru (Russia)

Belarus has reached a new low in propaganda, said Viktor Yanin in the Russian Web daily Gazeta.ru. The Belarusian KGB has produced what it is implausibly calling a “documentary” about Polish spies in Belarus. Agent 590, which ran on state television last week, consists mostly of interviews with KGB employees whose faces are blacked out. A few juicier denunciations are provided by figures filmed from behind who are identified as “Polish spies who have repented.” All the narratives are quite similar, and all are “equally unconvincing.” Poland became the whipping boy for Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka a few months ago, when the Polish government complained of discrimination against the ethnic Polish minority in Belarus. Lukashenka promptly expelled several Polish diplomats and began encouraging even more nationalism and xenophobia in his Stalinist-style state. But next door in Poland, Poles interviewed by this newspaper don’t seem to be taking their new status as scapegoat very seriously. Marek Butko, one of the first Polish diplomats to be expelled from Minsk, Belarus’ capital, asked whether the film portrays him “eating a small Belarusian child for breakfast.”

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