Sum of all Belsat’s funerals

The media controlled by the Lukashenka’s regime have published unusually high numbers of articles about Belsat for the past few weeks. They are set in the context of ongoing political changes that influence Polish public broadcasting companies. So many pieces discuss the premature “end of Belsat” that making a special report on the matter is worth creating. This level of attention is a testament to the success and impact of Belsat’s work and should be considered a positive rating for the organization. Thank you, Lukashenka’s propagandists, for promoting our TV station!

Lukashenka’s media have recently devoted way more coverage to Belsat than usual, even though, in their opinion, Belsat no longer exists – or has almost disappeared. Graphics: Belsat

There has been a month-long harsh dispute between two main political groups in Poland over public media, including TVP (Polish Television), which Belsat is a part of. Although no decisions have been made on any changes in Belsat, however, under this pretext, the Belarusian state media published a number of more or less serious lampoons against our channel. They mainly mix speculative and sometimes contradictory media reports with the Belarusian propagandists’ projections of Belsat’s desired future.

On December 24, BT1, the first channel of the Belarusian regime’s television, asked, “How will the carnage of the Polish state media end?” Both sides of the political dispute were presented as violating the principles of democracy, and there were also references made to martial law – the communist military dictatorship in Poland during the 1980s. It is necessary to mention that for dictators like Lukashenka, all democratic politicians, as well as democratic societies in the West, are seen as weak and ineffective. Furthermore, Western democracies, including the United States, have recently provided dictatorships with unnecessary propaganda material through various actions and policies.

But of course, from the point of view of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s propagandists, Belsat is a priority subject to discuss. The conclusions of such discussion create this analysis.

– It is unclear how many journalists will lose their jobs this time, just as history is unknown. However, it is noteworthy that the Belsat information sewage dump, developed by TVP, has also gone under the ice. That’s where they are heading – we read in the last paragraph of BT1 propaganda comments.

On December 28, BT1 made a statement regarding freedom of speech in Poland, where they claimed that Warsaw had initiated the process of shutting down state media. It’s worth noting that Belsat, a channel recognized as pro-Polish, has been targeted by Lukashenka trolls and bots in Poland who try to spread anonymous comments stating that Belsat is anti-Polish.

– The official purge targeted Polish Television, Polish Radio, and the Polish Press Agency. Additionally, the new Prime Minister, Tusk, dismissed the managers of these state-owned media outlets. The Head of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Sienkiewicz, stated that the liquidation procedure of these companies is meant to ensure their continued operation and necessary restructuring. The extremist, pro-Polish Belsat also came under the control of the Polish management, and the threat of liquidation loomed over it like the sword of Damocles – we read.

According to another BT1 report on the same day, there is a media crackdown happening in Poland, and extremist and anti-Belarusian media outlet Belsat is in danger of being completely shut down. This information may not be new to some readers, as it has already been reported in other materials.

– Now, the fun part begins! Public contributions finance Polish state media and must adhere to an impartial editorial policy by law. It is the clearest example of how European rulers juggle the law. There is another intriguing event in this democratic large-scale purge. The extremist anti-Belarusian advocate, Belsat, was also embroiled in the chaos. The threat of total liquidation hung over it. Let’s see if it sinks.

Of course, the Belsat again is the main subject and the ending conclusion of the entire analysis.

In the BT1 program entitled “Trends”, on January 4, an interview with “independent Polish journalist Agnieszka Piwar” was broadcast. Lukashenka’s and Putin’s media often quote little-known foreign commentators to support their line, presenting them as the authentic voice of public opinion in the West.

– I believe that people are unhappy with a TV channel that doesn’t have much of an audience. Its primary purpose is to create conflict between neighbors. Moreover, I am concerned that the channel may have intentions to participate in a plan to overthrow the government in Belarus, as this is what propaganda media are typically used for, says the BT1 guest commentator, who has also made similar statements in smaller media outlets that support Lukashenka’s regime.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s media seem to give much attention to Belsat despite being a medium with a “relatively small audience”. Those who doubt the effectiveness of Belsat should note that we have 13 thematic channels on YouTube in 4 different languages, with a total of 2.7 million subscribers. Our videos on these channels have been viewed almost 628 million times in the last year alone!

STV (Stolichnoye Televideniye) writes on its website that “the scandal surrounding state television is not going away in Poland; Belsat has also been affected”. It quotes the leading Lukashenka propagandists Ryhor Azaronak and Aliaksei Dziermant, who are pleased with the alleged “liquidation of the anti-Belarusian TVP channel”. As usual, there is no shortage of scatological rhetoric, in which Belsat employees are called “shit” and director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, among others, with a vulgar nickname “gangrene”.

– She is doing everything to ruin our country and make us become part of Poland. She is the daughter of an “equally outstanding’ Solidarity activist. And yet they perceive our regime, as they say, as neo-Bolshevik, neo-Communist – Azaronak further complains.

Interestingly, the word “toad” was among the epithets used by Azaronak. It was shortly after the Ukrainian Armed Forces sank a Russian Ropucha – class (Polish “toad”) landing ship. A Freudian slip of the tongue? Moreover, reading the propaganda of “Russkiy Mir” can be interesting from an analytical and cognitive perspective if you interpret it oppositely, like a psychological projection. It can reveal what the creators of the propaganda are hiding, denying, afraid of, hoping to achieve, and unable to achieve.

Then Azaronak shifts into a defensive position:

– Our regime is not a regime. It is a Slavic government for the people. I hope the Polish nation also has the same desire. We inform them that they, too, can have a genuinely independent and sovereign Slavic government that will reject nonsensical ideas. It will lead to cooperation with us and a better everyday life in general.

The the portal (former Sovetskaya Belorussiya, the press organ of the Lukashenka administration, previously the communist party) stated in an opinion’s column on December 22 that “the new Polish broom sweeps brutally”.

– We in Belarus could only wish the landlords [“Polish landlords” is a phraseological compound still used by Soviet propaganda –] success in wrestling about power and plucking out feathers from each other if only the TVP was not the place of birth of extremist sewage called Belsat. This TV channel has been pouring slop on the Belarusians since 2007. In light of everything happening in Poland, Belsat has no prospects. And they understand it very well there. For the third day, there has been persistent silence on the Belsat channel and website about the events in Warsaw. There hasn’t been any communication about a change in management. However, the former director, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, attempted to express her displeasure on social media and even appealed to her team. Despite this, the team did not show any support for the dismissed leadership. A “coordinated team” now remains silent and is afraid to take any unnecessary actions or say anything that could draw unwanted attention to itself. However, since the carnage on TVP is in full swing, they will also attack Belsat. It’s only a matter of time – we read in Alena Krasouskaya‘s opinion column.

A few days later, the portal announced “the termination of the activities of the most hostile television station towards Belarus – the Polish Belsat”, which was “closed (…) temporarily for now”.

– This is a station that, throughout its existence, provoked the fall of the Belarusian authorities. That nearly led to its demise. – it was written.

As you can see, Belsat is still active and has not stopped working – even “temporarily”.

The Lukashenka administration-associated website and social media channel Zheltye Slivy (Yellow Leaks pretending to be constantly “well-informed”) announced on December 28 the liquidation of Belsat, along with TVP. On January 8, referring to a text published on the Polish website Business Insider, they write that “the reason for this woman’s [Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy’s –] crying and distress is an age-old problem compared to prostitutes who are afraid that will no longer receive payment for their services”.

On January 12, they write:

HAHAHAHA, Director of the extremist branch of Pshek [the meaning is a common Russian ethnic slur for Polish –] TVP complained that the management of the opposition’s sewage channel, Belsat, was deprived of financial power.

On the same day, Azaronak writes about “salaries amounting in millions”, which refers to the earnings of other TVP channels high-position employees, revealed recently:

– How do you like the earnings at Belsat? Propagandist Paweł Gajewski lies for around 250,000 dollars a year. And they said it was only for the sake of the idea.

Yet it doesn’t matter to Azaronak that the mentioned Paweł Gajewski has never been an employee of Belsat.

On January 13, Yellow Leaks again predicted “the downfall of Belsat” and the beginning of the end of Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy.

– The situation with Romaszewska and her team is approaching its logical end (…) The state of affairs took a new turn after disclosing details about the earnings of leading Polish propaganda figures, including Belsat employees (…) Interestingly, information about multi-million wages was revealed by Belsat employees themselves – we read.

A day earlier, Minskaya Prauda wrote that “the annual income of a standard TVP propagandist, which created its ‘daughter’ Bel*at, is million Polish zlotys, which is about 250,000 dollars, amounting approx. to 21,000 dollars per month. (…) Poland has a social dispute going on now. There seems to be a grave with Bel*at’s name on it anyway. Tusk will not tolerate other people’s savage propaganda in Poland”.

The reader might be curious about using “Bel*at” instead of “Belsat”. Minskaya Prauda attempts to suggest that the name of the TV station is a piece of offensive information and should be censored because the channel is associated with an extremist organization. It is actually another way of complimenting this media outlet. However, some may perceive and interpret it as a way of downplaying the importance of Belsat.

It is another “news update” about the demise of Belsat, which did not happen. On the same day, the portal Homielskaya Prauda called Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy “prima donna”, which is a civilizational progress, in a way, compared to how Azaronak and other propagandists called her:

– It is worth noting that this prima donna says precisely how things are once for a change in her message. Belsat was unexpectedly and openly called an instrument of “soft power” and not an independent medium. I strongly suggest you consider this a mitigating circumstance to be presented in court later. Agnieszka is not losing her positive attitude and encourages her employees to follow her example and not be afraid of the end – we read in the Homielskaya Prauda.

As you can see, the standard Soviet propaganda method to refer to the person only by their name to establish a sense of dominance is used here.

On January 13, Yellow Leaks went even further in attacking Belsat and Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy that anti-Semitism seems to have crept in: 

– Agnieszka Romaszewska, the director of bel*at, has been whining on “Peyesbook’ for 24 hours now [this is a game of playing with words, consisting of replacing “face” in the name of Facebook with a similar-sounding word “peyes” in Yiddish or “payot” in Hebrew, meaning Jewish sidelocks –]. The day before, she had received an email notifying her that she had been taken from a manger. A personal meeting was declined because this deceitful Law & Justice right-wing populist has disgusted everyone by now. In the comments, Agnieszka admits that it’s over, finito. The funniest thing is that the thieving wh*re was removed from finance after the leak of information about the salaries of Polish propagandists – we read, noting that Belsat is again mentioned as bel*at, and this time with a lowercase letter. 

Moreover, on January 15, Yellow Leaks wrote about Belsat again. As they claim, “Polish propagandists channel failed the mission entrusted to them” and are now waiting for euthanasia. The article also contained vulgar language:

– The project was too expensive and turned out to be ineffective. Its maintenance costs Polish taxpayers a considerable sum – according to rumors – up to EUR 60 million a year, and this informational sewage almost does not perform its tasks (…) Belsat’s Editor, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, likes to refer to their approach as “soft power,” claiming that they are subtly implanting their ideology into the minds of the Belarusians. However, the reality is that their practice is so weak that it cannot infiltrate the intended target.

The channel with the very appropriate name Cannibals writes on January 13 that “the extremist Belsat has not yet completely parted, strangled by the iron fist of the new Polish government.” Still, the Cannibals are already happy about the outcome. They envision an event that “we will have to thank Poland” for “removing Romaszewska from power”. They are activating the use of the scatological vocabulary again.

– Unless there is a significant political shift, Belarus’s citizens will likely no longer have to endure the foul odor of this news station sewage. The new Polish authorities have opted for a more constructive approach instead of using Belarus as a scapegoat to justify tightening restrictions. “On the other hand, if they intend to shut down Belsat completely, we may need to do Poland a favor in return. That’s the way politics works. We will have to push for something equally significant. We’ll find a solution, but for now, I’m in a much better mood, wrote the “analyst” from the Cannibals channel.

All this above is just part of the virtual “funeral of Belsat” by Lukashenka’s propaganda, which has been ongoing since the end of last year. There are many more materials of this type, and quoting them all could end up writing an entire book. Furthermore, since 2007, Lukashenka’s media have announced multiple “funerals”, and “praises” of Belsat, amounting to several volumes if collected.

16 years with Belsat: from Belarusian satellite television to an international multi-media platform
2023.12.11 14:39

The situation is no laughing matter because there is real human suffering behind their propaganda activities. In Belarus, any association with Belsat or even reading our posts online can result in a sentence of many years in a labor camp, with the possibility of dying without a death sentence. This is no longer funny even if it seems so.

Marcin Herman, cez, NZ/ 

Translated by PEV