На русском языке:
«Не сидел в бункере, не кололся ботоксом». На кого намекают беларусские пропагандисты?
На беларускай мове: «Не сядзеў у бункеры, не калоўся ботаксам». На каго намякаюць беларускія прапагандысты?
It seems that the two Union states have been a little on edge with each other. Belarusian TV hosts were openly dragging their Russian colleagues through the mud and praised Lukashenka for not making Botox injections and not hiding from the people in a bunker during the COVID-19 epidemic. Actually, later they said that they were talking about Joe Biden. We are trying to understand the reasons for the quarrel between fraternal propaganda and find out the opinion of political scientists on this matter.
Over the weekend, Eugeny Pustovoy, the host of the Belarusian state TV channel STV, in his column «Politics without ties and bills», praised Lukashenka for his courage in the face of COVID, comparing him to another head of state who makes Botox injections and sits in a bunker.
"Lukashenka is the only president who didn't hide from the people in a bunker during the COVID-19 pandemic, and from ministers and journalists through teleconferences. [...] Sleepless nights of worries were reflected on the head of state's face – he doesn't use Botox".
The words about the «bunker» and «Botox» are traditionally addressed from the Russian opposition to President Putin, as in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, he avoids public events, and holds meetings via videoconferences from a windowless office resembling a bunker. As for Botox, it began to be associated with Putin 10 years ago, when his appearance underwent unexpected changes.
The attack on an unnamed president who uses Botox and hides from the people in a bunker has been noticed by many pro-Kremlin publications. For example, when talking about the incident, Lenta.ru called STV «the federal channel of Belorussia«. Belarus has never been a federation, and Russia is the only federal state with which it borders.
Харизматичный лидер, который не прячется от ковида в бункер и не использует ботокс. Так описали Лукашенко на федеральном канале Белоруссии.
Кажется, они на кого-то намекают pic.twitter.com/shWjowQFdA
— Лента.ру (@lentaruofficial) October 24, 2021
The attack on Putin was also noticed by Moskovsky Komsomolets, calling the incident «the first such a noticeable case of attacks on the Russian leadership from the screen of Belarusian television«.
Stanislav Belkovsky, Russian political strategist, called the incident an open insult in his Telegram channel:
After such a reaction, Belarusian propagandists started to make excuses and brought US President Joe Biden up – Eugeny Pustovoy was talking about him, not Putin, they tried to explain.
The words about Botox did come to Biden from his opponent Trump. But the U.S. president has not yet been reproached for being in a bunker during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike Putin, Biden personally addressed the Senate after taking office, regularly met with journalists at press conferences in the United States and abroad. Relevant photos are published by Serge Haritonov, iSANS media expert, in his channel:
In addition, not only Botox president heard a lot from the Belarusian propagandists this weekend. Serge Haritonov noted that the hosts of the BT TV channel call Russian TV journalists «media bastards».
Tina Kandelaki, Russian TV host, who was called one of the «media bastards» on the air of BT TV channel, commented on this episode in her telegram channel:
«I like the employees of the Belarusian NKVD of the 2021 sample, who have access to the broadcast. […] A direct journalistic question about the situation with Gennady Mozheiko, who could simply have been stolen by the Belarusian KGB, is considered a criminal dissent by these NKVD officers. […] Thank you for not writing a denunciation of me, although this dialogue can pass for it.»
It is worth noting that Tina Kandelaki is not only a TV host, but also the Director General Deputy of Gazprom Media and a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.
What’s going on in the relationships between Belarus and Russia, if the Belarusian propaganda is absolutely rude to Russian colleagues and half-rude to Putin?
Serge Haritonov believes that Eugeny Pustovoy «was given the task of verbally smearing feces on the President of the Russian Federation» in response to the deterioration of relations between Putin and Lukashenko:
«In addition to the anti-Russian sentiments that are unpleasant for the Kremlin, [the sociology of VTsIOM] also showed the catastrophic anti-rating of Lukashenko, Kochanova, and Makei inside Belarus.
Around this time, information appeared that Alexey Venediktov was preparing for an interview with Svetlana Tihanovskaya on the Echo.
Of course, it is too early to talk about a change of course in the Kremlin, but the junta is sent a clear signal on the eve of the meeting between Lu and Pu on November 4«.
Artem Shraibman, Belarusian political analyst, believes that what is happening was initiated from below, by belarusian propagandists themselves, who caught Lukashenko’s desire not to succumb to the «coronapsychosis» and decided to compare him with Putin favorably due to this.
«For some reason, it is important [for Lukashenko] to stand out against the background of the Russian government. Maybe this all is for the Russian deep electorate of convinced Covid dissidents, people ideologically close to Lukashenko.
And since he recently had a new surge in the fight against COVID, it was important for his loyal fighters from STV TV channel to support his emotion. Yes, Father, you are a real man, you are not afraid to lower the mask in an infectious disease sector. You don’t have to hide or prick your cheeks. That’s why sometimes you look tired: because you think about the people«.
According to Piotr Kuznetsov, the founder of the publication Strong News, Gomel, whoever took the initiative to support Putin on the air of Belarusian TV, as a person with a «strong leader» image, he is obliged to answer on the merits. Otherwise, his silence will set a precedent and send an undesirable signal to the Belarusian side.
«The answer will be, and it will be given the way that everyone remembers everything including this episode, and everyone will understand that it is impossible. And if there’s no answer, it will undermine some of the basics of the Russian system and hit Putin and his imperial ambitions hard. Because it will become clear to everyone that the boundary of what is permissible and not very permissible in relation to him is very conditional«.