Information channels spreading fake news have stepped up their activities, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he addressed a meeting to discuss important social, economic, and political matters in Minsk on 25 May, BelTA has learned.
“I have noticed that the so-called fake channels, Telegram channels and the like have been snapping at the authorities at every occasion recently. They are trying to cause a scandal over underpaid money in some specific organization, be it money for doctors or teachers and so on. I told Natalya Kochanova [Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly] to call all the governors and ask them to deal with all the issues on the ground,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state illustrated his point with a specific example: “Let's take this Bobruisk emergency medical service. If they are really on the front line, we should support these people. This costs next to nothing for the country. On the other hand, we should keep in mind that we cannot offer equal bonuses for those who work in the green zone and in the red zone. Otherwise, we will offend those who work in the red zone with coronavirus patients.”
“Therefore, there should be no one-size-fits-all approach. But the difference is really small,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
The head of state stressed that those who publish fakes do not care, for example, about doctors. They just want to create some hype. “These doctors are not the most important thing for them. The main thing is to hype,” the president said. “This is not our way. But we have to be patient. We will deal with them. I told you yesterday: the time comes, we will take action on them,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that people should speak their minds. “A journalist, if he/she is a journalist, a blogger or someone else should write honestly, present the information in an objective manner rather than seek to create hype. If you give untrue information, you should be held responsible for that. As was the case with the Russian First Channel,” the head of state emphasized.
The president added that now Russia itself demands that a western publication should offer apologies for the false information on the coronavirus topic. “Why then did Russian channels do the same to us?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.
“I support Russians – no one has the right to play upon this topic. Those are people's lives. I stand with Russians in this, but I want to say: you too should act responsibly towards other countries,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
He once again called to be patient as the most important thing is saving people's lives. “We need to go down this path the same way as we have started. After this, people will sort out who is right and who is not. All Belarusians have already had vaccination and developed immunity against these scoundrels [authors of fake news]. Yes, people read this, but they take it in the right way. Those who don't – they just want to understand it wrong. We will hardly re-educate them and show them the right way,” the head of state believes. “This is a certain group of people. They have hated and continue to hate Lukashenko and believe that they should heap more problems on him, so that he stumbles and falls. We have seen this before and we see this now. We need to stay calm and simply tell people the facts,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.