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.
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
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
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).
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.
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
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
Ukraine's policy openly concentrates on involving Russia to the civil conflict.
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 Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests 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 https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf.
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.
Conspiracy theory, no evidence whatsoever.
Conspiracy theory not supported by any facts.
The US has created an international coalition consisting of dozens of countries to combat Daesh. http://www.inherentresolve.mil/
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
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/
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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."
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
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
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