Lukashenka urges scholars to fend off information war

Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Wednesday called on Belarusian scholars to fend off what he described as a "global" information war waged through the media.

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"We get an incorrect opinion of what is taking place in the world's worst trouble spots… because the media are used, particularly by leading powers, for disorienting their own and, unfortunately, our societies," Mr. Lukashenka said while speaking at the Second Congress of Belarusian Scientists.

He insisted that the media and the Internet were used to spread misinformation aimed at "destroying stability and peace in our society."

"Recipes for controlling people's conscience are being created today," he said. "These technologies are also being used outside the country, mainly through the media and the Internet, not always to the benefit of Belarus."

Belarus needs to learn to fend off information warfare and make its citizens greater patriots, said Mr. Lukashenka, urging scholars to "predict topical problems" and help the state "find proper answers to new present-day challenges."

Foreign information attacks should be repelled by "authoritative pro-state scholars," said Mr. Lukashenka. "How many of the thousands of our pro-state scholars are known to the public?" he wondered. "Where are these patriotic scholars who should defend the state in this information war?"

Mr. Lukashenka called on scholars to appear on television more often. "This is your work today," he said. "You should go to this front, so that there is no other one."