To navigate through the rampant rainforest of pro-Kremlin disinformation, a special compass comes in handy. But in the disinformation world, instead of pointing to the Earth’s magnetic north pole, the needle points judgmentally to the West.

Thus, with the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea approaching, sport comes high on the propagandists’ agenda. The new message is that international sports organisations have been captured by the “Anglo-Saxon sports mafia”.

Russia, the logic goes, with its doping scandals serves as a scapegoat for the Western powers who “turn a blind eye to their own doping terminators”. Here, we hear an echo of the more than a year-old disinformation campaign accusing the West of conspiring against Russia and using a doping agency for that.

The story travelled from the English language page of Katehon.com to the Czech disinformation outlet Zvedavec.org. The President of the supervisory board of Katehon is Russian businessman Konstantin Malofeev, who is on both the EU and US sanctions lists for supporting and funding the separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

Malofeev is also the founder of the pro-Kremlin media group Tsargrad that promotes “Orthodox values” and frequently spreads disinformation. Its previous masterpieces include a report of the CIA planning the “physical elimination” of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Katehon, for its part, ran a scoop in July that there was a coup in the US and that the US Congress had declared an economic war both on Russia and the EU.

Haven’t heard about it? Neither have we.

Russian state Channel One used Mikheil Saakashvili’s Facebook page as a “proof” that he is a US puppet.

Along with the Olympics, Russia’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup also comes closer, so disinformation concerning sport is really flourishing. One of this week’s pieces managed to bring together no less than three beloved components of pro-Kremlin conspiracies: 1. Former Odessa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili as a US puppet 2. Saakashvili [crossing the border to Ukraine] fulfils a secret CIA plan 3. The aim of the plan is to disrupt both the football World Cup in Russia and the Presidential elections.

Some old storylines also made a comeback this week, including 9/11 being supposedly plotted by the US authorities as well as the claim of biological weapons being created by American laboratories in Georgia. See here and here our collection of these myths and how they have been spread during the last two years.

Disinformation cases reported in the previous week

U.S evacuated ISIS leaders and field commanders from the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor
Additional details: US Air Force helicopter has evacuated 2 Daesh field commanders of "European origin" with members of their families from an area located to the north-west of Deir ez-Zor at night. According to a source, two days later, US choppers transferred 20 Daesh field commanders and militants close to them from an area south-eastern of the city of Deir ez-Zor to northern Syria.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://ria.ru/syria/20170907/1502010574.html
Disinforming outlet(s): ria.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation that the Coalition against Daesh is aiding Daesh. No evidence given. No explanation given as to why the Coalition fighting Daesh would evacuate the very forces they are fighting. As reported by DFRLab, copies of stories alleging that the United States rescued ISIS commanders were shared more than 14 thousand times in total, generating thousands of impressions and clicks without a shred of evidence to support it. Further debunking by DFRLab https://medium.com/dfrlab/questionable-sources-on-syria-36fcabddc950

Keywords: Syrian War, Terrorism, Daesh
Countries: US, Syria
More
Saakashvili fulfils a CIA plan to deprive Russia of the World Cup
Additional details: Mikheil Saakashvili and his destabilizing activities are part of a CIA plan aimed at disrupting the 2018 football World Cup in Russia and to influence presidential elections there.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Reported by: Promote Ukraine NGO
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory not supported by any facts.

Keywords: Mikheil Saakashvili, Secret services
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
US refuses to cooperate with other countries in fight against terrorism
Additional details: The fight against terror must be conducted not only by force but, above all, by political means. Americans refuse to do it. They refuse to cooperate with other countries in the fight against terrorism. And till now, they are pretending to fight against terrorism. In fact, they are creating additional turbulence in other countries.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGRu0oJUz18
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 2:15
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

The US has created an international coalition consisting of dozens of countries to combat Daesh. http://www.inherentresolve.mil/

Keywords: Terrorism, Daesh
Countries: US
More
US authorities are supporting terrorists who destroyed American skyscrapers on September 11
Additional details: US at least supports the very same terrorists that carried out the September 11. ... At least, it is supporting! Considering the situation inside the US, it is possible to assume that it was a conspiracy conducted by the US intelligence services and Mr. Cheney against [President] Bush!

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGRu0oJUz18
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 13:35
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

One more conspiracy, no evidence given. The 9/11 conspiracy theory has been refuted several times – also by “9-11 Commission" conducted by the US legislators. https://9-11commission.gov/report/

Keywords: 9/11, Terrorism, Secret services
Countries: US
More
US will replace Poroshenko with Saakashvili, because Poroshenko didn't start a full-scale war with Russia
Additional details: The President of Ukraine Poroshenko didn’t fulfil the main US demand - to declare a full-scale war with Russia. So, now he is out of White House's favour and will be replaced by Mikheil Saakashvili.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Voennoe Obozrenie
Reported by: Promote Ukraine NGO
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence whatsoever.

Keywords: Mikheil Saakashvili, Petro Poroshenko
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
US is the main terrorist in the world and destroyed the former Yugoslavia
Additional details: The main terrorist of today's world is the US! And before September 11, US was also the main terrorist, who had just destroyed Yugoslavia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGRu0oJUz18
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 4:11
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. The US heads the anti-terrorist alliance fighting against Daesh. http://www.inherentresolve.mil/About-Us/
The former Yugoslavia had collapsed before the US and UN started their missions in the region. https://www.britannica.com/place/Yugoslavia-former-federated-nation-1929-2003

Keywords: Terrorism
Countries: Yugoslavia, US
More
EU may solve Ukrainian issue without Ukraine
Additional details: EU is ready to solve the issue of Donbas and make compromises with Russia without Ukraine. That’s because of the suspicious political events in Ukraine, like Mikheil Saakashvili raiding Ukraine, and because Ukraine doesn't do anything to reach peace in Donbas.


Ukraine's policy openly concentrates on involving Russia to the civil conflict.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RuEconomics.ru
Reported by: Promote Ukrane NGO
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Ukraine is a regular participant of the Minsk negotiations and one of the four members (Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany) of the Normandy contact group tasked with resolving the situation in the East of Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine is not a civil war.
The situation in Ukraine has been under the the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court preliminary examination since 25 April 2014. In their Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2016, they conclude that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT.

More information about Russian troops in Ukraine is the following reports: http://bit.ly/1i9fChX, http://bit.ly/1JUXaQB, http://bit.ly/1RbWQU5, http://bit.ly/1L6f6J6, http://bit.ly/1GpWmnW.

Keywords: EU, Abandoned Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
Russian hacker detained in CZ was tortured by the FBI
Additional details: Russian hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin was put into a mental hospital where he was tortured by Czech police and FBI. American security services wanted to force him to confess that he manipulated the US presidential election.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): aeronet.cz
cz.sputniknews.com
ac24.cz
Reported by: Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI)
Disproof note:

No evidence given. While it is true that Mr. Nikulin was temporarily hospitalised due to mental issues, but there is no evidence behind the speculations that he was tortured nor that the FBI were involved. https://iz.ru/642773/dmitrii-laru/v-chekhii-rassleduiut-zaderzhanie-rossiiskogo-khakera; https://www.seznam.cz/zpravy/clanek/hra-o-hackera-nikulina-cesky-soud-rozhodl-ze-smi-byt-vydan-do-usa-i-do-ruska-32195

Keywords: FBI, Manipulated elections/referendum, US presence in Europe, Secret services
Countries: Czech Republic, Russia, US
More
EU wants to transform Moldova into a platform for European products
Additional details: Europeans invest significant financial resources in developing the road infrastructure in order to transform Moldova into a platform of [selling] the EU goods.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Moldova
Disinforming outlet(s): Moldavskie Vedomosti
Reported by: BDR Associates
Disproof note:

No evidence given.
EU financial aid to Moldova has funded numerous and diverse projects, including: improving public administration and financial management; reform of the social aid system; emergency aid responding to increases in heating tariffs; energy production based on solar and agricultural waste, waste collection; health care reform and equipment; care centres for the young and old; natural disaster relief; rural economic activity; water supply and waste water treatment infrastructure.

The EU also imports products from Moldova: (machinery and appliances, textiles, agricultural products and beverages, iron and steel). Following the application of the Association Agreement, EU imports from the Republic of Moldova increased by 5.5% in 2015 and by 7.7% in 2016.
https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/moldova/1538/republic-moldova-and-eu_en

Keywords: EU, AA/DCFTA
Countries: Moldova
More
American laboratory in Georgia creates biological weapons
Additional details: The American Lugar laboratory is carrying out dangerous experiments on people and animals.  Americans spent tens of millions of dollars to build the Lugar Centre for Public Health Research, however this centre did not bring any benefit to Georgian society, on the contrary, such laboratories, up to 400 all over the world, create a danger of uncontrolled spread of viruses.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: Printed newspaper
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgian and the World, page 11
Reported by: EEAS Tbilisi
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation see e.g https://euvsdisinfo.eu/shock-conspiracy-chemical-attack/. Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), which became operational in August 2013. The Lugar center is top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory of the Georgia’s public health system. http://www.ncdc.ge/en-US/LaboratoryNetworksAndBS

Keywords: Biological weapons
Countries: US, Georgia
More
Ukrainian secret service may be behind the phone terror in Russia
Additional details: Ukrainian secret service may stand behind the last wave of phone terrorism in Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://svpressa.ru/accidents/article/181369/
Disinforming outlet(s): Svobodnaya Pressa
Reported by: Promote Ukraine NGO
Disproof note:

No evidence for the speculation that the calls originated from the territory of Ukraine or were conducted by the Ukrainian secret service. Russian authorities haven't officially commented who is suspected to be behind the fake bomb threats. https://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2017/09/15/733866-vlasti-ne-kommentiruyut

Keywords: Terrorism, Secret services
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Washington has declared a war to Moscow with placing military bases around Russia
Additional details: Military bases [of the US and NATO]! Around Russia - [Are these bases created] against terrorism? Listen! The war was declared to us, in fact.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35vN5B5u9hk
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 18.33
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. US has not declared a war against Russia.
As already explained by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, geography and physics make it impossible for the NATO system to shoot down Russian intercontinental missiles from NATO sites in Romania or Poland. Their capabilities are too limited, their planned numbers too few, and their locations too far south or too close to Russia to do so. Russian officials have also confirmed that the planned NATO shield will not, in fact, undermine Russia's deterrent.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's missile defence envoy, said on January 26, 2015, that "neither the current, nor even the projected" missile defence system "could stop or cast doubt on Russia's strategic missile potential" (http://bit.ly/1XKby93).

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Missile defence system, NATO
Countries: Russia, US
More
European leaders have accepted the loss of Crimea
Additional details: European leaders, who create the political climate in the world, have accepted that Crimea is lost and never mention it in meetings any longer.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: http://www.myvideo.ge/?video_id=3375046
Disinforming outlet(s): Interview on Kavkasia talk show
Reported by: Myth Detector
Disproof note:

The EU has reconfirmed the non-recognition policy for Crimea in declarations by the High Representative on behalf of the EU of 16 March 2015, 18 March 2016 and 18 March 2017.

Whenever Russia refers to Crimea and Sevastopol as part of the Russian Federation in multilateral fora, such as the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and WTO, the EU makes a statement in response to remind the world that it does not recognize the illegal annexation.

On June 19, 2017, the European Council extended the restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia until 23 June 2018. The sanctions include prohibitions on imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU; investment and tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol; exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies, as well as technical assistance, construction or engineering services related to infrastructure. On August 4, 2017, the European Union imposed sanctions on three Russian nationals and two companies after gas turbines sold by Germany’s Siemens were diverted to Ukraine’s Russian-annexed Crimea region. Read more: https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage_en/22959/The%20EU%20non-recognition%20policy%20for%20Crimea%20and%20Sevastopol:%20Fact%20Sheet

Keywords: EU, Crimea, Europe
Countries: Ukraine, Georgia
More
Bucharest authorities are supporting immigration regardless of what the constitution says
Additional details:  
Although according to the Constitution of Romania (article 3), the Romanian territories cannot be colonized by foreign populations, the authorities in Bucharest are supporting immigration and the refugees, measures imposed by the EU.

Language / Targeted audience: Romanian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik.md
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence provided. Accepting refugees or migrants would not contradict the Romanian constitution that states "No foreign populations may be displaced or colonized on the territory of the Romanian State."
http://www.cdep.ro/pls/dic/site.page?den=act2_2&par1=1#t1c0s0sba3

Keywords: Demography, Migration crisis
Countries: Romania
More
Ukraine is deepening the seabed for a NATO fleet at the Sea of Azov
Additional details: Ukraine is deepening the seabed for the NATO fleet at the Sea of Azov.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://www.ntv.ru/novosti/1928661
Disinforming outlet(s): NTV, RBK, Pyatyi Kanal, Trud, Dni.ru and others
Reported by: The Insider
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The disinformation refers to "local journalists" and their reports that do not exist. There is only a short note on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry for Infrastructure confirming the deepening the seabed. There are no grounds to link it to NATO. http://mtu.gov.ua/news/29090.html

Further debunking: http://theins.ru/antifake/71064

Keywords: NATO
Countries: Ukraine
More
OSCE has changed its attitude towards the question of Crimea
Additional details: OSCE has changed its attitude towards the question of Crimea and takes it now calmer than before.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): ria.ru
Reported by: The Insider
Disproof note:

No evidence given. See the OSCE draft resolution from July http://ft.dk/samling/20161/almdel/OSCE/bilag/19/1756707.pdf and the declaration adopted by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly where it reaffirms its full respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders, which include the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. https://www.oscepa.org/documents/all-documents/annual-sessions/2017-minsk/declaration-25/3555-declaration-minsk-eng/file
Further debunking: http://theins.ru/antifake/71480

Keywords: Abandoned Ukraine, OSCE, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
U.S evacuated ISIS leaders and field commanders from the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor
Additional details: US Air Force helicopter" had evacuated 2 Daesh field commanders of "European origin" with members of their families from an area located to the north-west of Deir ez-Zor at night. According to a source, two days later, US choppers transferred 20 Daesh field commanders and militants close to them from an area south-eastern of the city of Deir ez-Zor to northern Syria.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation that the Coalition against Daesh is aiding Daesh. No evidence given. No explanation given as to why the Coalition fighting ISIS would evacuate the very forces they are fighting. As reported by DFRLab, copies of stories alleging that the United States rescued ISIS commanders were shared more than 14 thousand times in total, generating thousands of impressions and clicks without a shred of evidence to support it. Further debunking by DFRLab https://medium.com/dfrlab/questionable-sources-on-syria-36fcabddc950

Keywords: Sputnik
Countries: US, Syria
More
By controlling international sports structures, representatives of the Western countries allow their athletes to dope
Additional details: The Anglo-Saxon sports mafia stands for both the IOC and WADA (the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency). Controlling international sports structures, representatives of Western countries allow their athletes to dope. Russia serves as scapegoat.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Katehon.com, Zvedavec.org
Reported by: European Values
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given. From 115 members of the International Olympic Committee, Western countries represent less than a quarter. To compare the numbers, USA and Russia are equally represented by 5 members. Also, representation in WADA is allocated to countries across continents.
Read more about Anti-Doping Rule Violations:
https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/2015_adrvs_report_web_release_0.pdf

Keywords: IOC, Doping, WADA, The West
Countries: Russia
More
EU ensures military influence through its programs, and this is why NATO was founded in 1949
Additional details: EU ensures military influence through its programs. This is the reason why NATO was founded in 1949.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): CZ Sputnik News
Reported by: European Values
Disproof note:

Nonsense. European Union was established in 1993 upon the foundations of the pre-existing European Economic Community. NATO was founded long before the EU as a separate organization with different mission and structure. Even today, both organisations only cooperate on issues of common interest, and membership is only partly overlapping.
http://nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/declassified_139339.htm
https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/history_en

Keywords: Military, EU, NATO
Countries: EU
More
In order not to aggravate people of other religions, there was no Christmas tree in Brussels
Additional details: Last year there was no Christmas tree in the centre of Brussels - a trait of a Christian holiday- in order not to disturb people of other religious confessions than Christian.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: TV interview
Disinforming outlet(s): Director of the media holding "Akhali Saqartvelo" (New Georgia), in an interview with ‘Kviris Palitra’
Reported by: Myth Detector
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation, we have seen it before regarding for example Sweden https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/christmas-lights-are-banned-in-sweden-because-of-tolerance-towards/. In neither cases are the statements true, there was in fact a Christmas tree in Brussels also in the year of 2016 https://visit.brussels/en/sites/winterwonders/m_article/video-2016. A similar Christmas market is planned for this year https://www.brussels.be/winter-wonders-and-christmas-market-2017.

Keywords: Brussels, Christmas, Christianity
Countries: Georgia, Belgium
More
The public broadcaster Czech Television openly promotes sex with black people and LGBT
Additional details: The Czech Television openly promotes sex with black people and LGBT. Two Czech films that were broadcast by the Czech Television (Fifty and Embarrassing, Offside) are open propaganda of sex with black people with incentives for Czech girls.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): Novarepublika.cz, Zvedavec.org
Reported by: European Values
Disproof note:

Both films are comedies. Regardless of the content quality, their broadcast can hardly be considered propaganda. The Czech Television acts in accordance with the Act on the Czech Television and the Czech Television Code. Violations of impartiality and independence are subjected to the Board of the Czech television.

Keywords: Mainstream media, Propaganda, LGBT
Countries: Czech Republic
More
Hundreds of thousands of Arabs are waiting for the Czech citizenship and a social benefit of 21,000 CZK per month
Additional details: If the Czech Republic wants to stay in the EU, it will have to accept the relocation quota. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs are waiting for the Czech citizenship and a social benefit of 21,000 CZK per month.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): Aeronet.cz
Reported by: European Values
Disproof note:

According to the relocation system, the Czech Republic should accept 2 691 refugees from Greece and Italy. Refugees are not automatically granted pocket money or social benefits. Asylum seeker or person enjoying supplementary protection can apply for state social support, the request is assessed individually by the Labour Office taking into account the particular situation of the applicant. Also granting of the Czech citizenship is not automatic, but it is thoroughly evaluated by the Ministry of Interior.

More:
Relocation quota: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/press-material/docs/state_of_play_-_relocation_en.pdf
Czech citizenship: http://www.mvcr.cz/clanek/udeleni-statniho-obcanstvi-ceske-republiky.aspx
Social benefits for immigrants: https://www.hatefree.cz/blo/hoaxy/2220-21000

Keywords: Migration crisis
Countries: Czech Republic, EU
More
The Istanbul Convention is a Targeted Attack against Georgian Traditions and Identity
Additional details: The European Convention adopted by the Council of Europe on May 11, 2011 is yet another attack against Georgian traditions, identity and everything national.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2eETzjC
Disinforming outlet(s): Geworld.ge
Reported by: Myth Detector
Disproof note:

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) is the most comprehensive international agreement in terms of preventing violence against women, which was signed by Georgia on June 19, 2014. The Parliament of Georgia ratified the Istanbul Convention on April 5, 2017 and it entered into force on September 1, 2017.

The purposes of the Convention are to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence; to contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and promote substantive equality between women and men, including by empowering women. Read more: http://www.coe.int/en/web/istanbul-convention/home?desktop=true

Keywords: Council of Europe, Human rights
Countries: Georgia
More

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