Christmas came early for the Kremlin this year in the form of Vasiliy Prozorov, an alleged defector from Ukraine’s state security service, who is zealously promoting all manner of conspiracy theories about his homeland.

In Russia, where he is currently taking “refuge”, Prozorov has predictably received star treatment. On Monday this week, the Kremlin rolled out the red carpet for a highly-publicised press conference that gave a serious platform to Prozorov’s fever dreams. He promoted a smorgasbord of the Kremlin’s favourite anti-Ukrainian narratives: that Ukraine, naturally, was responsible for the downing of Flight MH17; that Kyiv was never interested in a peaceful resolution to the war in Donbas; that fascism is spreading wildly among the ranks of Ukrainian military and police; and that the upcoming presidential elections will be rigged.

But it is also important to give credit where credit is due, and Prozorov unquestionably deserves some points for originality. As it turns out, the Ukrainian secret police apparently established a clandestine torture prison in Mariupol called “The Library” where inmates are dehumanised and referred to as “Books”. Hundreds of people have been tortured here, and at least two killed. As “evidence” to support these claims, Prozorov even brought props to the event: a handful of vague and entirely unverified documents and photographs purporting to show the facility and injured prisoners.

The Kremlin’s newest star also revealed that officials from the CIA and MI6 are training Ukrainian special forces to carry out terror attacks in Donbas in order to undermine the local resistance. Some Russian parliamentarians were quick to jump on the bandwagon and are already demanding that the US and Britain investigate these allegations.

Prozorov’s performance also had the Russian state media frothing at the mouth in excitement. They reported on the press conference in real time to maximise its impact, churning out sensationalist headlines and uncritically repeating Prozorov’s claims.

NATO: Ever the Aggressor

March 24th marked the twentieth anniversary of NATO air strikes against Serbia, then still part of Yugoslavia, in response to the killings of Kosovar Albanians. The occasion was eagerly exploited by the pro-Kremlin media to push the false narrative that NATO is a belligerent, imperialistic power hell-bent on the destruction of Russia and other countries deemed problematic to its interests. NATO has long been a favourite topic of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, but this week they went into overdrive with efforts to show that, twenty years after its “criminal” bombing campaign against Serbia, NATO has devolved into the world’s largest terrorist organisation.

Disinformation about NATO typically involves elements of both historical revisionism and fearmongering about the alliance’s alleged hostile intentions. We are told that NATO “destroyed” Yugoslavia because it was an obstacle to US plans for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and because it prohibited the Western Balkans from joining the EU. The 1999 bombing campaign was a “genocide” that deliberately aimed at environmentally dangerous targets to ensure as much death and destruction as possible. But these Russian narratives about Yugoslavia, which have always framed NATO intervention as illegitimate and ruthlessly destructive, grossly distort this sensitive and complex issue.

As the humanitarian situation in Kosovo deteriorated, fuelling pressure for international intervention, NATO bypassed the UN to authorize air strikes unless Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević agreed to get “Serbs out, peacekeepers in, refugees back [to Kosovo].” After Milosevic refused the terms and NATO began its air strikes against government infrastructure, Serb security forces escalated their violence and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Finally, in June 1999, after approximately 500 civilian deaths from the strikes, Milosevic agreed to allow international troops into Kosovo. From the beginning of Operation Allied Force, NATO pledged to minimise civilian casualties.

In the world of pro-Kremlin disinformation, however, there is no room for nuance. Today, we are told that NATO is as aggressive as ever, with imminent plans to invade Russia. Thousands of troops are already stationed along Russia’s border for this very purpose! Alternatively, NATO’s future military campaign against Russia will use Ukraine as a springboard, which is why the West is presently seeking to gain control of the Ukraine-Russia border.

We are told that NATO poses a serious threat to other countries as well. In Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia, NATO is perceived as a dangerous weapon of the United States, deployed only in pursuit of its own imperialistic agenda. And the alliance is accused of conquering Ukraine and attempting to destroy Venezuela – which is ironic, considering it was Russia that invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, and continues to wage war in the east, and that it was Russian planes carrying troops that landed in Venezuela earlier this week. By contrast, NATO activity in Ukraine has been limited to joint military exercises, and no NATO troops are present in Venezuela.

Ukraine was involved in the shooting down of MH17
Additional details: The Ukrainian side is involved in the catastrophe of the shooting down of MH17 over the Donbas.

The plane crash was followed by a phenomenally rapid reaction by the Ukrainian government. It is clear that President Poroshenko and his press service were informed in advance. The fact that the airspace over the war zone had not been closed is also an indication. Two high-ranking Ukrainian security officers were directly involved in the tragedy.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory that the Ukrainian side was involved in the shooting down of MH17, with no evidence provided. An example on the many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

On 24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research. Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available. Analysis of these produces a number of characteristics. The combination of these is so special that that can be considered as a fingerprint. This fingerprint has been compared with numerous images of BUK-TELARS, both Ukrainian and Russian ones. The only BUK-TELAR on which this combination of characteristics was also  found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. 

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017. During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group. Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border. He held these functions at the time of the downing of MH17.

The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability

On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable.

The US has supported the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia.

Keywords: Conspiracy, MH17
Countries: Ukraine
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Russian take-over of Crimea prevented Belarus from becoming a vassal state under the US and Poland
Additional details: If Russia hadn't taken over Crimea and the peninsula had come under the military control of the US and NATO, the existence of Belarus would be threatened. After the USSR's collapse, Poland's revanchism and hopes to establish a state stretching from the Baltics to the Black sea manifested themselves.

In 2006, the Polish government adopted a programme of developing the Fourth Republic (IV Rzeczpospolita), with the aim of strengthening Poland’s cultural influence and establishing political domination over the areas which were part of the First Republic (I Rzeczpospolita). In 2015, Polish president Andrzej Duda called to prepare to "take back eastern territories". Although Duda's statement concerned western Ukraine, it is also relevant for Belarus, as parts of it belonged to Poland in the interwar period.

In practice, the revanchist plans envisage Belarus as a vassal, anti-Russian state controlled by the US and Poland, with Belarus' western part being an eastern part of a new Polish state. The remaining Belarus' part will function as an anti-Russian buffer zone.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Together with Russia, Politring
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Poland's plans to partition Belarus and establish the Fourth Republic, Western plans to partition Ukraine and to disrupt Belarus-Russia ties.

No state programme on developing the Fourth Republic was adopted by Poland and no statements of Polish president were made to take over western Ukraine or Belarus. IV Rzeczpospolita, or the Fourth Republic, was a plan for political change put forward in the late 1990s by the Polish conservative philosopher Rafał Matyja. It was used in public discourse to describe the 2005-2007 period, when the government of Law and Justice was in power. However, this concept has nothing to do with establishing a Polish empire at the expense of Poland's eastern neighbours, including Ukraine and Belarus - it is a conspiracy theory. Read more about the use of conspiracy here.

Both the EU and US respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Belarus and Ukraine.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: West, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland
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Venezuela crisis caused by US sanctions
Additional details: The crisis in Venezuela is caused by US sanctions and asset seizures, which together amount to an economic war on the Latin American country.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Venezuela.

The current and most acute stage of the Venezuelan economic crisis was caused largely by the 2014 oil price crash. However, the national economy had suffered from mismanagement and over-reliance on crude exports since at least mid-2000s; shortages of consumer goods -- which had become a chronic issue by 2010 -- have been linked to government and military corruption, overspending, and price controls.

By the time the first round of US sanctions was imposed in 2017, the Maduro administration had already started deploying the term "economic war" to explain away its own policy failures and to trivialise the scale of the crisis. A 2015 government pamphlet dismissed inflation as a "fascist" concept that "does not exist in real life" (pp. 5, 8), and gave assurances that money-printing was a sound fiscal practice (p. 7).

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Economic difficulties, Sanctions
Countries: Venezuela, US
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Poroshenko plans an attack against OSCE to get a pretext for cancelling the elections
Additional details: The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has decided to employ a plan to cancel the elections and advance his positions in Donbas. The spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the People's Republic of Donetsk reports that they posses intelligence data confirming Ukraine planning to targeting an OSCE patrol with an explosive device, placed on the road. This way, Poroshenko would have a pretext to cancel the elections. OSCE would withdraw its personnel from Donbas and leave the field open for Ukraine's army.

 

 

 

Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Ukraine elections 2019. See EUvsDisinfo coverage of narratives about Ukrainian elections here.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Donbas, Petro Poroshenko, Conspiracy
Countries: Ukraine
More
Russophobic fascist West wants Ukraine to destroy Moscow
Additional details: The Russophobic collective West currently pursues the same policy towards the Ukrainian authorities as it did in 1938 towards Nazi Germany, that is the policy of appeasement and pushing for war with Russia. The anti-human/anti-Russian policy of Ukrainian nationalists is a manifestation of European values. Through the calls to destroy Moscow, Ukrainian nationalists voice the secret intentions of the so called Western democracies. In reality, Western countries have nothing to do with democracy, they pursue fascist and racist policies.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Together with Russia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about western support of Ukrainian authorities as part of anti-Russian policy, about the West preparing a war against Russia, and about the Russophobic and Nazi collective West.

See previous disinfo cases drawing parallels with Nazi Germany and the 1938 Munich agreement.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, European values, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, NATO, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Russia, Ukraine
More
2014 Crimea referendum on reunification with Russia was democratic and held in compliance with international norms
Additional details: In 2014, Crimean residents voted for the reunification with Russia in a democratic manner and in full compliance with the UN Charter and international law.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Ossetia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27th of February and held less than three weeks later.

On March 27th 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula.

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised April 17th 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion" (Interfax).  Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

See here for the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation.

Keywords: Russian expansionism, Ukrainian disintegration, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
By not inviting Russia to commemorate the start of the WWII, Poland wants to destroy the world order
Additional details: Poland did not invite the Russian leadership to the commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, due to the fact that in 1939, it wanted to divide the USSR and seize part of its territories. Poland is also trying to break up the world order, which was established after the end of the Second World War.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.1tv.ru/shows/vremya-pokazhet
Disinforming outlet(s): Channel One TV, Vremya Pokazhet (20:08, 31:58, 35:38)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Office of the President of Poland, on March 19, stated that states' representatives, invited to the mourning events dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, include member states of the European Union, NATO and Eastern Partnership.

Claims about Poland wanting to “tear off part of the territory of the USSR for itself” in 1939 is a conspiracy theory without evidence. In the secret protocol of the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact, signed in 1939, the Germans and the Soviets agreed that Poland should be divided between them. After Germany invaded Poland from the west on September 1, 1939, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east on September 17.

Pro-Kremlin outlets often use WWII narratives, both to strengthen the myth of the Red Army and to accuse other countries of aggressive behaviour.

 

 

Keywords: World War 2, USSR, WWII
Countries: Russia, EU, Poland
More
Ukraine has banned a number of life-saving medicines
Additional details: Ukrainians will be left without a list of necessary medications for daily use. 18 brands of antiseptic will disappear from Ukrainian pharmacies forever. Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine, Ulana Suprun, and her medical reforms are personally to blame for the ban on medicines.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Antifashist.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A misrepresentation of facts. The State Service of Ukraine on Drugs Control recalled 18 drugs from an experimental plant as they belonged to a contaminated batch. The plant will start production again once the factors which led to contamination have been eliminated.

Debunk by StopFake.

Keywords: Drugs
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine does not allow international human rights defenders to annexed Crimea
Additional details: International human rights organisations cannot access the Crimea due to the destructive policies of the Ukrainian government. For its part, Russia provides full and unrestricted access to international observers on the peninsula - the Kremlin does not violate the rights of Crimeans, unlike the countries of the European Union, which imposed anti-Crimean sanctions.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Crimea.ria.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Russia has been systematically manipulating the topic of access of any international organisations to the annexed Crimea for five years now. The Kremlin declares its readiness to let observers to the peninsula, but on one condition: the mission must go to the Crimea through Russia. That is, Russia is forcing international organisations to violate the laws of Ukraine and get to the peninsula through non-existent checkpoints. Thus, Russia wants to try to legalise the occupation of the Ukrainian Peninsula.

Russia is not interested in the access of observers to the Crimea for one more reason. Any independent observers on the peninsula will be able to make an objective assessment of what is happening in Crimea, the Russian leadership will not be able to influence their reports. In this way, the wider international community can find out what the state of Ukrainian political prisoners really is in Crimea. For example, Russia has repeatedly refused to allow observers from the International Committee of the Red Cross into the occupied Ukrainian territories.

Keywords: Human rights, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
US withdrew from the INF Treaty to forward a principle of nuclear first strike
Additional details: The new US nuclear strategy has dropped the principle of deterrence, which until now has prevented the outbreak of a nuclear war. Washington’s new nuclear strategy has instead embraced the principle of a “nuclear first strike” aimed at destroying any country that is viewed by Washington as an “enemy” merely on the basis of suspicions that it might attack the US or that it has the capability of doing so.

The natural consequence of this new US “first strike” strategy – and of the vast US program to build-up and modernise its nuclear arsenal – is Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the INF Treaty, which makes a nuclear holocaust increasingly likely.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that US and NATO policies are bringing the world closer to nuclear war. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF treaty.

The current US nuclear strategy is detailed in the Nuclear Posture Review [NPR] , issued by the Department of Defence in February 2018. Deterrence continues to be the central principle of US strategy. The NPR states that “the highest US nuclear policy and strategy priority is to deter potential adversaries from nuclear attack of any scale”, and that  US nuclear forces play a critical role in “deterring nuclear and non-nuclear attack”.

Furthermore, the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) does not state that the US may use nuclear weapons against a country just because Washington suspects that the latter might have the intention or the capability of attacking the US. The Review states that the use of nuclear weapons will only be considered under “extreme circumstances”. It defines “extreme circumstances,” to include “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” against “U.S., allied or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities”.

See the NPR.  See also the Brookings' Policy brief on the latest NPR.

 

 

 

Keywords: Nuclear issues, Missile defence system
Countries: US
More
Venezuela bustling with life, contrary to mainstream narratives
Additional details: While the mainstream media continue to portray Venezuela as a crisis-stricken and impoverished country, the actual situation there is far from grave.

The UN claim that 3.4 million Venezuelans have fled the country is disputable; last year, school enrolment actually increased by 7%, and 120,000 Colombians settled in Venezuela.

Western media outlets focus on hyperinflation and its impact on the country's living standards, but never mention that many goods and services are still cheap.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT News @ RT (rt.com), time 09:50
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The story accuses mainstream media outlets of producing alarmist reports on the situation in Venezuela and demonizing President Nicolas Maduro, and thus fits the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the situation in the country.

The estimate of 3.4 million Venezuelan emigrants was jointly produced by the UN's Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Institute of Migration (IOM), and is based on data from national immigration authorities and other sources.

Primary school enrolment has actually declined since the onset of the economic crisis in 2013, dropping 7% by 2017.  During that period, the number of out-of-school children doubled and has likely continued to rise, as parents increasingly struggle to furnish their children with basic school supplies.

The most recent Venezuelan census (published in 2011) put the number of Colombian-born residents of Venezuela at just under 722,000 (p. 41). The alleged influx of 120,000 Colombians in 2018 is difficult to verify, particularly given the Maduro government's habit of manipulating demographic data.

In 2015, President Maduro reported that a whopping 5.6 million Colombians resided in the country, whereas the IOM estimated the 2015 figure at less than 1 million (p. 76). Between mid-2017 and mid-2018, 250,000-300,000 Colombians left Venezuela according to UNHCR and Colombia Migration, citing respectively the progress in Colombian peace talks and the worsening living conditions in Venezuela.

Hyperinflation has rendered nearly all goods in Venezuela prohibitively expensive, as consistently noted in RT's pre-2019 reporting.

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Mainstream media, Propaganda, Economic difficulties, Migration crisis
Countries: Venezuela
More
Five years after the referendum, the well-being of Crimea’s population has significantly improved
Additional details: Five years after the referendum that decreed the return of Crimea to Russia, signs of significant improvement of the Crimean population’s social and economic well-being are visible.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin with Russia through a legal referendum and that the annexation of Crimea brought economic and social benefits to the population.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on the 16th of March 2014. Even Russian President Putin has publicly declared that the plans on annexing Crimea were launched weeks before the so-called referendum. See here the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation by Russia.

The human rights situation in Crimea significantly deteriorated after Russian occupation, with “multiple and grave violations” committed by Russian state agents as clearly stated in a report by the UN Human Rights Office.

From an economic point of view the situation in Crimea has not improved after Russian annexation. Read more here and here.

The current unemployment rate is slightly higher (5.9%) than in 2013 (5.7%), but  the most serious issue regards inflation. In 2017 point prices in Crimea had increased by an average of 95% compared to before the annexation.

Tourism, once one of the most important source of Crimean economy, has significantly decreased with the number of spas and hotels falling from 825 in early 2014 to 550 in mid-2018.

In 2016 when Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Crimea, he was confronted by a pensioner who complained about his small pension. Medvedev had to admit that the peninsula was in dire straits and that there was no money.

 

 

Keywords: economy, illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
EU to introduce visas for US citizens in 2021
Additional details: The EU has decided to introduce visas for the US citizens in 2021 to improve security and avoid problems with illegal migration and terrorism.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The EU is not planning to introduce visas for the US citizens in 2021. The EU will put into operation the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) in 2021. The ETIAS is intended for citizens of all 61 nations which currently enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Zone, who will need to register on ETIAS website before travelling to the EU. It will be a “completely electronic system which allows and keeps track of visitors” from countries whose citizens are eligible to travel to the Schengen Zone without visas. Those visitors will need to fill out an ETIAS online form and receive an electronic authorization.

 

Keywords: Schengen, US presence in Europe
Countries: United States, EU
More
Ukraine is NATO's springboard for its future military campaign against Moscow
Additional details: Ukrainian authorities aim to make Ukraine a NATO springboard for its future military campaign against Moscow. It is no coincidence that after establishing control over Kyiv, Western Russophobes propose to also establish international control over the Russia-Ukraine border. This situation is comparable to the 1938 Munich agreements. Fascist regimes will be established in Donbas if the Ukrainian authorities reach the Russian border.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Together with Russia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives on Ukraine and NATO and Western belligerence towards Russia. See an earlier similar case which drew analogues with Munich agreement of 1938.

Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, NATO
Countries: West, Russia, Ukraine
More
International law experts have denied the claim that Crimea had been annexed
Additional details: International law experts have repeatedly denied the claim that Crimea has been annexed.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27th of February and held three weeks later on 16th of March 2014.

On March 27th, 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula.

A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court 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 26th 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".

For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

 

Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, War in Ukraine, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Moscow did not trigger the conflict in eastern Ukraine
Additional details: It was not Moscow that triggered and started the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

 

 

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in eastern Ukraine.

The war in eastern Ukraine was provoked by Russia. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “[t]he 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.”

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in the strongest terms and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted military presence of Russia in Ukraine in 2015.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
US general confirms Washington is obsessed with preventive nuclear strike policy
Additional details: The United States is obsessed about the right to use nuclear weapons first. Washington must not abandon the preventive strike policy, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said in the Senate.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on Western Militarism. The implicit messagt that Washington is more trigger-happy than Moscow in this regard constitutes disinformation.

As mutually assured destruction remains the pillar of the nuclear deterrence strategy since the Cold War era, neither the United States in its latest Nuclear Posture Review nor Russia in its Military Doctrine have adopted the No First Use policy. The only nuclear powers to have pledged not to use nuclear weapons first are China and India.

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen Dunford, asked if the United States must adopt the No First Use policy with respect to nuclear weapons, said [49:30-50:08 mins of the video] that the “current policy complicates an adversary’s decision-making process. I would not recommend any changes that simplifies an adversary’s decision-making calculus.”

 

Keywords: Nuclear issues
Countries: United States, US
More
UK destroys evidence related to the Salisbury incident and prepares to announce Skripal's death
Additional details: The Sunday Times writing about the allegedly deteriorating state of health of the ex-Colonel of the GRU Sergey Skripal is example of “controlled leakage”, evidence of a link between the intelligence services and the British media. The British are preparing the information background in order to announce the death of the Russian citizen and the destruction of evidence related to the Salisbury incident.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the poisoning of Sergey Skripal, his alleged death and UK’s attempts to destroy evidence.

Great Britain’s ambassador to Russia, Sir Laurie Bristow, told Interfax that Sergey and Yuliya Skripal are both alive.

The disinformation messages around Skripals have been created as a series of inconsistencies, implying a British government conspiracy behind the Skripal case. British police have presented a solid chain of evidence about the Skripal case, including pictures, that connects the two identified suspects to particular locations in the case. UK’s authorities and independent experts found that the Skripals were poisoned by Novichok nerve agent. They brought charges against two Russian citizens. Parts of this material have been released to the public.

See here for many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
US promises loans to Belarus only if the opposition controlled by the West gets 45% of votes in the parliament
Additional details: Washington and London press President Aleksandr Lukashenko to conduct a political reform, consisting in the opposition, controlled by the West, receiving at least 45% votes in the parliament. Lukashenko would have 30% of seats in the parliament and the remaining ones will be given to marginal parties, including 2% for the quickly created pro-Russian ones. Only then would the US promise loans to Belarus.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/polit/2586955.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. No evidence that that such negotiations are taking place between Lukashenko and the US and British authorities. The constitutional reform in Belarus is now under discussion.

This story is part of the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West trying to “buy” Belarus and remove it from Russian sphere of influence.

Keywords: Alexander Lukashenko, Conspiracy, The West
Countries: UK, Belarus, US
More
The Atlantic Council is a NATO propaganda organisation
Additional details:
Facebook turned to the Atlantic Council, which is an organisation for NATO propaganda, for services to identify fake pages. 


Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqSrm8cP1Ro
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence provided. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about US and social media.

The Atlantic Council is an international think tank that is registered as a nonprofit organisation. The policy of the Atlantic Council also includes intellectual independence. One of the paragraphs of this policy details how the organisation must not adopt or advocate positions on particular matters.

Facebook alone decides which pages break its rules, with input from various research partners, as they explained in January 2019 when removing hundreds of Russian-linked pages.

Facebook launched a partnership with the Atlantic Council in 2018 to use its Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions during elections and other sensitive moments. As the company states, it allows it to monitor misinformation and foreign interference and also to help educate citizens as well as civil society. The Atlantic Council is not the only organisation which cooperates with Facebook in the fight against disinformation.

Keywords: Facebook, Propaganda, NATO
Countries: International, US
More
EU refuses to admit that Russian border guards prevented the armed conflict that Kyiv was trying to unleash
Additional details: The EU included eight Russians in the sanctions list due to the incident that occurred in the Kerch Strait on 25 November 2018. Ukrainian ships staged a provocation in the territorial waters of Russia and were detained by the FSB border guard service. The EU refuses to admit that Russian border guards prevented the armed conflict that Kyiv was trying to unleash.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is one of the main narratives of the Kremlin propaganda about the Azov Sea incident.

According to Bellingcat, the Russian Navy vessels first rammed and then, later, fired on and captured three Ukrainian Navy vessels. This marked the first time Russian-flagged military units had officially attacked those of Ukraine.

Official statements from the US Department of State confirm the same, claiming that this incident represents a dangerous escalation and a violation of international law.

A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

See more disinfo cases on the Kerch Strait incident: here and here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Azov sea, Kerch, Military, Provocation
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
The West incites anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine
Additional details: The US and the EU do not help Ukraine to build a strong state. They build anti-Russian sentiment in their own interests. They fight, introduce sanctions and weaken their geopolitical enemies.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUOQOElxIu0
Disinforming outlet(s): @ Nash TV Channel (nash.live) (1:23-1:42)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western Russophobia and alleged anti-Russian projects in the West (in this case the EU and US).

Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically elected president and parliament.

The EU and US. supports the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect toward territorial integrity and political independence.

Relations between Ukraine and the EU are based, inter alia, on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, which recognises and reaffirms independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders.

NATO’s goal is to support a sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, committed to democracy and rule of law. The alliance provides Ukraine with comprehensive support in the security and defence sector.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, The West
Countries: United States, Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
Ukraine risks on being ripped apart
Additional details: The conflict in Donbas will not end until there is a regime change in Kyiv. As long as the nationalists rule Ukraine there can be no change in the situation. But whoever wins the Ukrainian elections will continue to serve the interests of the US. Ukraine will be torn into two parts, a Western and an Eastern state. The Donbas will not likely ever return to Ukraine; it has developed its own managerial system, culture and economy. The "Donbas model" suits the needs of the Eastern part of Ukraine better than the Kyiv model.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front Hungary
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives on Ukraine's elections and about Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood.

Similar cases can be found here and here.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian disintegration
Countries: Ukraine
More
US is supporting Ukraine for staging provocations against Russia
Additional details: The US is doing in Ukraine what the UK did in Poland in the 1930s. Before World War 2, UK obliged Poland to stage provocations every week on the Polish-Soviet border. Now, Donald Trump will supply weapons to Ukraine to perform provocations, similar to what happened in the Kerch Strait.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front Hungary
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Kerch Strait incident, being a Ukrainian provocation, and questioning Ukraine's sovereignty

The situation in the Sea of Azov was addressed by the 2003 bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia, which defined these territories as internal waters of the two states and gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels; whereas both the 2003 agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for the freedom of navigation.

Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, but the bilateral agreement on the Sea of Azov remains in power. Read more here.

Moreover, the claims about the interwar Polish leadership being controlled by the UK and performed provocations against the USSR are unfounded.

Keywords: Ukraine, Kerch, New Cold War
Countries: Poland, UK, Russia, Ukraine, US
More
Crimea was not annexed, but returned to the homeland as a result of a democratic referendum
Additional details: The image of Crimea, shown by the Western propaganda, is drastically different than reality, said German delegation visiting Crimea.

The delegation saw joy and happiness in the eyes of Crimean citizens. This best proves that it was not annexation, but realisation of the people's dreams to return to the homeland. All political myths have disappeared after the visit.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.

Following the covert invasion of “little green men,” power in Crimea was vested in a makeshift executive headed by Sergey Aksenov, a former mafia enforcer. The new Crimean regime conducted the referendum hastily and at gunpoint, barred impartial observers from entering the peninsula, and instead invited dozens of fringe politicians and activists to “monitor” the procedure, most of them far-right Kremlin loyalists.

A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order.

For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

The German delegation visiting Crimea in February 2019 was not official and it was criticised by German government as well as by the AfD party, whose members were taking part in the visit.

Further debunking by StopFake.

Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The US and EU countries are Russophobic, fascist and Nazi regimes
Additional details: Western corporate Russophobia is a real danger to humanity. The characteristics of fascism such as racism, xenophobia, hate and violence dominate the minds of the Western ruling elite. Hitler was not less a democrat than French President Macron, Polish President Duda and other European leaders. The US and EU countries support Russophobic, neofascist, terrorist political parties and movements in the post-Soviet space.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Together with Russia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent narrative on "fascism" and "russophobia". See earlier disinformation cases on EU and Russophobia and alleging that western countries are Nazi or support Nazis. The allegation about support of neo-fascist and terrorist movements in post-Soviet space by U.S. and EU is a conspiracy theory.

The claim that U.S. and EU countries represent fascist regimes does not stand from the point of view of political science. Western countries are placed in the top of the democracy rankings, be it Democracy Index by Economist Intelligence Unit, or the Democracy Ranking compiled by the Association for Development and Advancement of the Democracy Award.

 

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Terrorism, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Russia
More
Robert Mueller's report: There are no traces of Russia's interference in US elections
Additional details: Robert Mueller's report found no trace of Russia’s interference in the 2016 US elections.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti.ru
Tsargrad TV
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring narrative on Russian interference in 2016 US elections.

Although Robert Mueller's investigation was concluded with no proof of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, it did conclude that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election".

Further debunking by The Insider.

 

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller
Countries: Russia, US
More
Kyiv was never interested in a peaceful solution of the conflict in Donbas
Additional details: Kyiv never had any interest in reaching a peaceful settlement on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The plans for the so called Anti-Terrorist Operation in Donbas were set up on 29 April 2014, before the conflict even started. This proves that already in April 2014, Kyiv was aiming for a military solution of the conflict. This was disclosed at a press conference by Vasiliy Prozorov, a defecting ex-officer of Ukraine's State Security Services.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
South Front
Komsomolskaya Pravda
TV Zvezda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded, recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on the conflict in Donbass

Examples of similar cases can be found here and here.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
By promoting colour revolutions, the West is threatening the world peace
Additional details: The West has a powerful arsenal of interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, which has become a serious threat to the international security.


All colour revolutions have the same 'modus operandi'. The West provides informational and economic support to protesters and applauds the overthrow of governments by force, while bringing their puppets to power. Then a country that suffers from the coup becomes dependent on the outside, which ruins its economy, impoverishes the population and triggers crime and abuse.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Mundo
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the West or the US behind colour revolutions, with no evidence. It has been applied, among others, to Ukraine, to Venezuela and yellow vests protests, as well as to justify a deceiving narrative on the aggressive West, preparing new coups.

Keywords: War preparation, Sovereignty, Colour revolutions, Coup, The West
Countries: International, The West
More
NATO is the 'North Atlantic Terror Organisation'
Additional details: NATO is the world's largest terrorist organisation, the 'North Atlantic Terror Organisation'. It is the biggest criminal, the biggest terrorist organisation in the world, which not only camouflaged its crimes in Serbia 20 years ago, but is still doing so today, all over the world, for example, right now in Venezuela; it has also conquered Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ihi5l30LKE
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a terrorist organisation, a threat to peace and having a belligerent agenda.

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. It is regularly updating the military requirements for civilian infrastructure, at a time when there are increased challenges to security.

NATO has not conquered Ukraine. It is Russia who intervened militarily in Ukraine, not NATO. See here for more information.

Keywords: Russophobia, NATO
Countries: International
More
If Poroshenko wins the elections, he will start a war against Russia
Additional details: If the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wins the upcoming elections, he will have to start an armed conflict with Russia to help the US in weakening it.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: utro.ru/politics/2019/03/23/1394426.shtml
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Ukraine elections 2019 and West's meddling.

In fact, it was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. 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 2014 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.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

Keywords: election meddling, War preparation, Petro Poroshenko, Elections
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
Kyiv conspiracy against Trump uncovered
Additional details: The history of foreign interference in the US elections has turned upside down: There are signs that Kyiv and Hillary Clinton are guilty in meddling in the 2016 US election.


 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: utro.ru/politics/2019/03/21/1394209.shtml
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying Russia's interference in US election.

No evidence given of Ukraine's interference in American election. For background read here.

Keywords: Donald Trump, Conspiracy
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
NATO is a real danger in the Western Balkans and has destroyed Montenegro's army
Additional details: In Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia NATO is seen as a weapon of the United States and a danger to the countries own security challenges. NATO expanded in 2017 to Montenegro and the consequences have been harmful. Montenegro no longer has an army to secure the Otranto Canal or the means to fight against the urgent threat from Islamic Jihadism.

To the Western Balkans, NATO is the real danger.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bs5BAgZrQQs
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded claims on NATO. Similar cases can be found here and here.

After Montenegro joined NATO, the defence spending in the country has increased with the intention of investing 2% of GDP in defence by 2024.

The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro applied to NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in June 2003. Montenegro declared independence on 3 June 2006, subsequently joined PfP and then NATO itself without Serbia.

The reaction of the Russian government to Montenegro′s bid to join NATO had been increasingly hostile culminating in an attempt to stage a coup d'état on 16 October 2016, on the day of the parliamentary election that allegedly would have included assassination of Montenegro′s prime minister. Montenegro opened an investigation and indicted Russian GRU officers, Serbian and Montenegrin nationals.

Keywords: Western Balkans, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: United States, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro
More
Ukraine responsible for MH17 downing
Additional details: The Ukrainian government is complicit in the 2014 downing of the MH17 passenger craft over east Ukraine. The incident has long been blamed on anti-government forces in the Donbas, but new findings by a Ukrainian whistle-blower implicate the Ukrainian security services in the tragedy.

Given the extraordinarily quick reaction of the Kyiv authorities to the incident, President Poroshenko and his press service were bound to have advance knowledge of the downing. Moreover, Ukraine failed to close its airspace before the plane crash occurred, even though the Donbas hostilities had been under way for months.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative blaming Ukraine and various non-Russian actors for the MH17 crash.

The "whistleblower," a former Ukrainian Security Service official, does not cite any evidence linking the Ukrainian government to the tragedy, and merely relates the "impression" he got from the supposedly swift reaction of Kyiv.

The claim that Ukrainian airspace had been open prior to the crash is false -- all traffic over the conflict zone had been prohibited to craft flying below 32,000ft; MH17 passed the area at 33,000ft. There was nothing to suggest at the time that the presumably ill-equipped pro-Russian separatists would have access to sophisticated weapons capable of shooting down an air plane at that height.

Background

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

Keywords: DPR, Donbas, Conspiracy, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia killed thousands
Additional details: The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia which began on 24 March 1999 and ended on 10 June of the same year, according to sources, killed up to 2,500 people in the country. The official pretext for the launch of the operation was the protection of the Kosovo's Albanian population "against ethnic cleansing and the humanitarian catastrophe". 

Thus, the West reacted to the Serbian police and army operations to crush the resistance of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which is considered to be a terrorist in Serbia. Albanian terrorists committed their first attacks against Serbian civilians and policemen in Kosovo in 1996. 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik France, RT French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the number of civilian casualties of NATO bombing, debunked by Polygraph three years ago.

The primary purpose of the campaign was to end violence and repression and force Milosevic to withdraw his military, police and para-military forces from Kosovo. (See NATO statement from 1999.)

Since the start of 1998, until the end of 2000, 13,500 persons lost their lives in clashes in Kosovo, out of which approximately 10,800 Albanians, 2,200 Serbian and around 500 Roma and other non-Albanians. United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia exhumated mass graves of Kosovo Albanians discovered on the territory of Serbia proper, for which almost no one has been indicted before domestic courts.

Keywords: Yugoslavia, Kosovo, NATO
Countries: Kosovo, Serbia
More
The US will win the elections in Ukraine
Additional details: The US embassy will definitely win the elections in Ukraine. Zelensky, Poroshenko and Tymoshenko will all be good American puppets.

There will be no transparency in the election process, as nobody will see what will really happen in the Ukrainian polling stations.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about the Ukrainian elections.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world but violated by Russia.

Democratic elections were held in Ukraine in 2014 and recognised by the world community. International observers will be present during the election.

Keywords: Ukraine, election meddling, Democracy, Petro Poroshenko, The West
Countries: The West, Ukraine, US
More
Large-scale falsifications to take place during Ukrainian elections
Additional details: Monstrous, giant scale falsifications will take place during Ukrainian elections. Whoever becomes president will be controlled by the West.

The West is actually supporting Poroshenko, it just does not want the fraud / falsifications to be public.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/exclusive/20190322/1023059065.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine's elections and West's meddling.

The European Union supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all its citizens. Democratic elections were held in Ukraine in 2014 observed and recognised by the world community.

Read more about Ukraine's presidential elections here.

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Petro Poroshenko, Elections, The West
Countries: West, Ukraine
More
NATO destroyed FRY because it was preventing the Western Balkans to join the EU
Additional details: Pro-Russian Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) was preventing the Western Balkans to join the EU and represented an obstacle for US' plans on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. This is the reason of NATO's aggression against FRY.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The primary purpose of the campaign was to end violence and repression and force Milosevic to withdraw his military, police and para-military forces from Kosovo (see NATO statement from 1999).

At the North Atlantic Council meeting on April 12, 1999, NATO expressed support for the "political aims of the international community: a peaceful, multi-ethnic and democratic Kosovo in which all its people can live in security and enjoy universal human rights and freedoms on an equal basis".

The NATO's military intervention was not intended for the facilitation of EU integration or gas plans, but ensure that "all the countries of south-eastern Europe to enjoy peace and security".

Find more disinformation narratives on NATO and Yugoslavia here.

Keywords: Yugoslavia, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: Yugoslavia, EU, US
More
Fascism is spreading among the ranks of the Ukrainian military
Additional details: Fascism is spreading among the personnel in the Ukrainian military and police. In the volunteer battalions one always sees swastikas and similar Nazi symbols, but recently Fascism is spreading into the regular army and the National Guard. This was disclosed at a press conference in Moscow by a former officer of the Ukrainian State Security Services, Vasiliy Prozorov, currently a refugee in Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
South Front
Komsomolskaya Pravda
TV Zvezda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded, recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on fascism in Ukraine

Examples of similar cases can be found here and here.

 

Keywords: Military, War in Ukraine, Conspiracy, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Poland and Ukraine established institutions to lie about history
Additional details:

The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance and The Institute of National Remembrance in Poland were founded to lie about history. Both institutions aim to create and establish in the social consciousness a new founding myth for the corresponding states.

Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance or Ukrainian Institute of National Memory (UINM) is the central executive body operating under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Established on 31 May 2006 as a special organ for the restoration and preservation of national memory of the Ukrainian people.

The main goals of the UINM are to shape and carry out the historical policies in Ukraine, to study the issues of the Ukrainian liberation movement, Ukrainian revolution of 1917 – 1921, wars, victims of the Holodomor of 1932 – 1933, mass famine of 1921 – 1923, 1946 – 1947, political repressions and individuals who defended the Ukrainian independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, etc.

The Institute of National Remembrance in Poland was established in 1998 following the resolution made by the coalition of parties, stemming from the Solidarity movement (which took over the power from the post-Communist coalition) and was connected with an attempt to solve the problem of documents left after the Communist State Security Bodies dissolved in 1990. This concerned the establishment of an institution which was apolitical and independent from the government.

The institution would take control over the archives of the communist political police which were controlled by Secret Service. It would also make the documents available to people who were objects of state supervision. The Institute of National Remembrance is a special institution having the functions of state and justice administration, of an archive, an academic institute, an education centre and (since 2007) of a body which conducts vetting proceedings.

Keywords: Holodomor, Historical revisionism
Countries: Ukraine, Poland
More
The elections in Ukraine are controlled by the SBU
Additional details: The elections in Ukraine are rigged. The IT Department of SBU, the State Security Service of Ukraine, is controlling the Ukrainian e-voting system, "Vybory". A few weeks before the election, the staff of the IT Dept suddenly gets a big pay rise. The SBU is totally under President Poroshenko's control, and all is done to secure his victory in the elections.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
South Front
Komsomolskaya Pravda
TV Zvezda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded, recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on the upcoming elections in Ukraine.

Examples of similar cases can be found here and here

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, Elections, Conspiracy, SBU
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian Secret Police has established a secret torture prison in Mariupol
Additional details: Ukraine has set up a secret torture prison in Mariupol, called "The Library". The inmates are referred to as "books". At this facility, hundreds of people have been tortured, and two have been killed. This was revealed at a press conference in Moscow, when a former officer of the Ukrainian state security services, the SBU, presented photos and other evidence for the prison in Mariupol. At the photos one can see men in various ages with clear traces of violence. Russian politicians demand the UN to set up a tribunal to address Kyiv's violations.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
South Front
Komsomolskaya Pravda
TV Zvezda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded, recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on human rights' violations in Ukraine. The photos presented as "evidence" are impossible to link to any site, perpetrator or victim.

Examples of similar cases can be found here and here

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Human rights, Conspiracy, SBU
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
EU and NATO's version of what happened in the Kerch Strait is stimulating war-mongering mood in Kyiv
Additional details: Solidarity of the EU and NATO with the Ukrainian version of what happened in the Kerch Strait is only stimulating war-mongering mood in Kyiv and supports those who strive to continuous confrontation.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There are no viable alternative versions of what happened in the Kerch Strait.

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after opening fire at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen.

The use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov is regulated by a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004. According to the document, the Sea of Azov is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

Accusing Ukraine of aggressive tendencies and violating Russian territorial integrity in the Sea of Azov is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine.

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, War preparation, NATO
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
UK and US specialists are training Ukrainians to perform terror attacks
Additional details: Instructors from MI-6 and CIA are training Ukrainian special forces to perform terror attacks in Donbass. This was revealed at a press conference in Moscow by Vasiliy Prozorov, a former officer of the Ukrainian state security organ, the SBU. Russian parliamentarians demand US and UK investigate the claims.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
South Front
Komsomolskaya Pravda
TV Zvezda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded, recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on foreign military involved in fighting in Ukraine.

Examples of cases with accusations of foreign military in Ukraine can be found here, here and here.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Terrorism, Conspiracy, Foreign mercenaries
Countries: UK, Russia, Ukraine, US
More
Ukrainian Secret Services defector reveals the truth behind MH17: it was the Ukrainians
Additional details: Vasily Prozorov, a former officer of Ukraine's State Security Services, the SBU, revealed at a press-conference in Moscow that Ukraine is behind the MH17 tragedy.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
South Front
Komsomolskaya Pravda
TV Zvezda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine's aggressive and provocative behaviour.

See examples of disinformation cases on MH17 here.

Background

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Conspiracy, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
NATO is preparing an invasion of Russia
Additional details: NATO is sending troops to the Russian borders, said Deputy Security Council Secretary of Russian Federation Mikhail Popov. He said that the size of the contingent of the alliance of rapid reaction in two years has increased from 25 to 40 thousand people.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: cont.ws/@re1x4fhvvh6j4/1264454
Disinforming outlet(s): cont.ws, ruskline.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence provided. This disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the belligerent West attempting to encircle and weaken Russia.

According to the official website, "the Alliance has deployed four battle-groups to Poland and the Baltic States and additional multinational brigades to Romania. NATO’s Readiness Action Plan bolsters the number of forces deployable in an emergency to over 40,000 and establishes a spearhead Very High Readiness Joint Task Force which is positioned to deploy a 5,000-man brigade anywhere in the Alliance in 2 to 7 days".

NATO is not a threat to Russia. NATO's official policy towards Russia was most recently articulated by the heads of state and government of the Alliance at the Warsaw Summit in July 2016. They stated that "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest".

NATO is not encircling Russia. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members.

Keywords: War preparation, NATO
Countries: International, Russia
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The DniproHES dam will wash Ukraine into the Black Sea in 2020
Additional details: In August 2016, a delegation of US engineering troops (USACE) visited Ukraine with the aim of examining the state of the DniproHES dam.The American military experts noted urgent needs for maintenance. Without measures securing the construction, the dam would burst and wash Ukraine into the Black sea by 2020. President Poroshenko was informed by the disastrous state of the DniproHES dam, but has not taken any serious measures to reinforce the DniproHES.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/exclusive/20190313/1022952321.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine as a state on the verge of a collapse.

The expert team from the USACE recommends the reconstruction of the DniproHES and the expansion of the Dnipro Waterway.The report describes issues that need to be addressed and suggests measures to take.

In 2018, a large-scale reconstruction of the DniproHES started. The project includes the complete restoration of three hydroelectric units of the turnkey station by specialists of the Austrian company ANDRITZ HYDRO. After the installation of the new equipment on the facility, the working capacity of the station will increase. In addition, a number of modern "green" solutions will be introduced during the reconstruction of DniproHES.

 

 

Keywords: Abandoned Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
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Ukraine is becoming an unsolvable problem for US and EU
Additional details: On January 6, US senators said in their meeting with representatives of Ukrainian social organisations that Ukraine was becoming an unsolvable problem for the United States and the European Union. In particular, they claimed that President Poroshenko persecuted his political opponents and that the courts were controlled by politicians and oligarchs and were therefore not independent.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The primary source of information about US senators' meeting with Ukraine's civil society representatives is the article "The Only Way Out For Ukraine Is National Reconciliation Not Political Persecution", marked as "sponsored content" on the website "International Policy Digest" (not registered as media), from January 4, 2019. Russian State agency RIA Novosti resumed the piece on January 6, 2019. RIA Novosti provides hyperlink to "International policy Digest" in its publication.

RIA Novosti says: "In particular, the senators said that Ukraine had become an unsolvable problem for the United States and the European Union". But there is no such quotation in the original reporting by "International Policy Digest".

"International Policy Digest", referring to "our source who wishes not to be named", announces: "Today, Ukraine is an ally of both the U.S. and the EU, but it is also a failed state at war with Russia and with itself.[...] The courts, which are controlled by these politicians and oligarchs, and, are not truly independent, often render verdicts that advance the agenda that is motivated by efforts to eliminate political opponents rather than advance interests of justice or welfare of the Ukrainian people. The current trial of the former president, Victor Yanukovych, is an example of such extra-legal execution. [...] According to open source and our contacts in the Republican Party, the Trump administration is concerned about growing political persecutions in Ukraine in light of upcoming presidential elections there. [...] Getting Yanukovych involved can be an effective option in reaching a peaceful settlement salvaging Ukraine’s national identity."

No official statements on Ukraine as "unsolvable problem", "failed state" or about political prosecution of Victor Yanukovich were formulated by any US senators.

Background: 

The European Union supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all its citizens. The EU is unwavering in its support for the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty and sees the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a sustainable, political solution to the conflict in the east of the country. Since spring 2014, the EU has stepped up its support for economic and political reforms in Ukraine.

Keywords: Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko
Countries: Ukraine, EU, US
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The EU sanction lists against Russia are illegal
Additional details: The European Union took the outrageous decision to include a number of Russian citizens on illegal sanction lists. The lists now include Russian border guards involved in the suppression of the provocative actions by the Ukrainian special forces (in the Kerch Strait incident) .

 
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine violating Russian territorial integrity in the Sea of Azov.

The EU imposed sanctions against the Russian individuals involved in the conflict adding them to the list of people and entities who have been hit with sanctions for undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Background:

On November 25 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels, a tug boat and their crews after opening fire at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen.

For more background, see a collection of disinformation cases about the Kerch Strait incident.

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
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Lithuania fights against Belarusian NPP on the orders of Sweden and Finland
Additional details: Lithuania's allegation about insufficient security of the Belarusian nuclear power plant are ungrounded. Lithuania opposes the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets on the orders of Sweden and Finland.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. On 20 April 2017, the Lithuanian parliament passed a bill imposing a ban on import of electricity from Belarus' nuclear power plant in Astravets. This position is based on security concerns rather than orders by Sweden or Finland.

Lithuania's grids are still synchronised with Russia and Belarus. The Baltic states agreed to become a part of continental Europe's energy system by 2025.

On 7 June 2011 Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on Astravets nuclear power plant case. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations.

More information regarding the position of Lithuanian MFA concerning this issue to be found here.

For more disinformation cases on Astravets nuclear power plant see here.

Keywords: Nuclear issues, Conspiracy
Countries: Lithuania, Belarus, Finland, Sweden
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The Bulgarian people support Venezuela
Additional details: The Bulgarian people support Venezuela. On 23 February, people gathered in Sofia to partake in an anti-US rally to support Venezuela. The US intervention in other countries domestic politics truly infuriates Bulgarian people.

All progressive people believe the US is a sponsor of terrorism and upheaval in the world. Nowadays, the US criminal authority is illegally transporting weapons into Venezuela, which is eerily similar to the situation in Ukraine in 2014.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front Hungary
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on US interference in Venezuela, presented without evidence. Similar cases can be found here and here. See background information on other Venezuela-related conspiracies.

The claims that the "Bulgarian people supports Venezuela" seem overstated. The pictures, provided by the disinformation outlet, shows a rather small number of participants in the demonstration in support of Venezuelan President Maduro.

 

Keywords: Coup
Countries: Venezuela, US
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