Russian filmmakers were not successful at this year’s Oscar award ceremony. It might have been different if pro-Kremlin outlets were part of the competition. Their ideas are at least as creative as the best products from the Dream Factory. 

If such a category existed, the Oscar for the fantasy movie would go to those pro-Kremlin outlets who told a story about Poland building an empire, stretching from the Baltics to the Black Sea. In order to do that, Poland would first need to make Ukraine collapse, swallow up its western part and also organise a military intervention in Belarus. In this movie, Poland would support Nazis in Ukraine and do whatever it takes for Ukraine to disintegrate. As the movie progresses, we find out that Polish alleged plans of taking over the East are part of a bigger Western concept to encircle Russia and/or start a war against the country. False narratives like these deserve a false Oscar for exploiting historical precedents in order to spark conflict among neighbours and stir controversies.

Best non-documentary 

The award for the best non-documentary feature goes to the story without any documented evidence. According to one of the disinforming outlets, Latvia is supporting barbaric whale killings, by buying whale meat from Norway. The publicly available data on trade was simply ignored here.

Best film editing 

In the disinformation world, an Oscar for best film editing would go to RT for a story about Venezuela and its supermarket full of products available to citizens. The video shows one supermarket in an upscale neighbourhood in Caracas and is supposed to convince us that food shortages in Venezuela are just an invention of the mainstream Western media. It also feeds into another disinforming narrative, describing the aid from the West as means to prepare for a foreign military invasion. Messages like this one were observed in several languages in which RT operates (English, Spanish, and Russian). According to RT, people don’t get hungry in Venezuela – an interesting shift in reporting about the situation in the country, where previously, until rallies in support of Juan Guaido started, the country was pictured as suffering from food and medicine shortages. One may then wonder why Venezuela actually accepted Russian aid.

Best adapted screenplay

The award committee was unanimous here: the Oscar for the best adapted screenplay would go to the story about Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who, according to the pro-Kremlin outlets, are either already dead or will soon die in an ‘accident’ procured by the West. Disinforming outlets carried on with this and other narratives about the Skripals even after the British ambassador in Moscow confirmed that they are alive and well. Almost a year has passed since the poisoning of the Skripals and a certain infamous trip by Russian ‘tourists’ to Salisbury – and apparently, despite the overwhelmingly well-evidenced involvement of Russia, it does not mean that the disinformation wave on this incident is going to end. Disinformation’s endurance in this area may deserve another fake award.

The quality of disinforming stories is very far from the great Russian movies “Leviathan” or “Loveless”, nominated for real Oscars in recent years. But you can judge yourself by looking into the whole collection of cases in our database.

Theresa May was probably behind poisoning of Skripals, to compensate for Brexit negotiations failure
Additional details: The poisoning was meant to turn public attention away from Theresa May's Brexit-associated problems and to demonize Russia. Theresa May herself probably ordered the Skripals' poisoning. No evidence of Russia's involvement in the Skripals' poisoning was produced. All accusations against Russia turned out to be groundless. There was no certainty concerning the form of the poisonous substance. If Novichok had been brought to Salisbury, its entire population would have died. Documents published by hacker group Anonymous prove that the poisoning was a distraction. 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: cont.ws/@plohoyzyalt/1250541
Disinforming outlet(s): Cont
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of the UK behind poisoning of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

By March 2018, EUvsDisinfo had already collected 20 different narratives about the Skripal case. It had catalogued over 100 disinformation messages around the Salisbury attack. The disinformation messages implying UK government conspiracy behind the Skripal case are often-used method of applying a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury poisoning.

British Police has presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal Case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public.

See EUvsDisinfo analysis on how pro-Kremlin media covered one year since the Salisbury attack and a variety of conspiracy theories behind the Skripals' poisoning.

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Theresa May, Information war, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
European Council complicates visa-free regime for Ukraine
Additional details: The European Union has decided to make it more difficult for Ukrainians to enter the EU by introducing paid special permits for Ukrainian citizens. Not all Ukrainians will be permitted to enter Europe. The regime of visa-free trips to the EU for Ukrainian citizens will be subject to new administrative restrictions, the European Council decided.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestia, Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. All conclusions of the European Council's decisions can be found here. No decision was made about paid entry permits for Ukrainian citizens.

The story misrepresents the implementation of the new European travel information and authorization system (ETIAS). This is an electronic travel authorisation system for visitors to the EU from non-EU countries that have been granted visa-free access to the EU and Schengen countries. The introduction of this system is in no way tied to Ukraine - changes to the EU's border control system are independent and were known long before the Ukrainian visa-waiver was approved. According to the new rules, which will enter into force around 2021, residents of visa-free countries will merely have to fill out an electronic application once every three years and pay a fee of seven euros, after which they will receive a positive response within minutes. The electronic application for ETIAS has nothing to do with the Schengen visa program. The new EU safety rules will affect 61 states.

Further debunking by StopFake.

Keywords: European Council, Schengen, Visa liberalisation
Countries: Europe, Ukraine, EU
More
British special services will eliminate Yulia Skripal
Additional details: Yulia Skripal will be eliminated by the British special forces as an unnecessary witness of the Salisbury poisoning. For now, Britain needs her alive so that it can continue manipulate public opinion.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Federal Press
TV Centre
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Sergei Skripal and the alleged British conspiracy surrounding the case.

There are many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Provocation
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Venezuelan food shortages are mainstream media propaganda
Additional details: Mainstream media outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, and Bloomberg portray Venezuela as a country where food and other basic commodities are unavailable or unaffordable for the vast majority of citizens.

A supermarket in Caracas is shown brimming with a wide selection of produce and toiletries. The issue is not a shortage of consumer goods but Venezuelans' buying power, which has been destroyed by currency speculation and pro-opposition capitalists who are profiting from Washington's economic war on the country.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT (rt.com)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The report relies on footage from a single supermarket, which it says is located in an "upscale neighbourhood in Caracas." It advances the recurring Kremlin narrative that the mainstream media produces biased accounts of foreign events, in concert with the Western powers-that-be.

The issue of food scarcity and its impact on Venezuela has been documented in multiple independent studies and widely attributed to the country's dependence on agricultural imports and the fiscal policies of the Maduro government.

The story does not provide any evidence linking the "capitalist elements" of the opposition to the shortages. Conversely, a 2016 investigation documents the Venezuelan military's takeover of domestic food management, with multiple corruption schemes and smuggling operations overseen by the Defence Minister Padrino.

According to a nationwide poll from September 2018, 30.5 percent of Venezuelans said they ate only one meal per day, while 78.6 percent reported problems with food security.

The story marks a striking about-turn in RT's coverage of the economic situation in Venezuela, given that its previous reports consistently identified food and medicine shortages as a grave concern for the country. The narrative shift took place throughout January and February 2019, after President Maduro's legitimacy had been challenged by the Western-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Keywords: food, Mainstream media, Propaganda, Economic difficulties
Countries: Venezuela
More
US plan a large-scale act of provocation in Venezuela
Additional details: Apparently in a state of provocative frenzy, Americans, who are currently preparing an egregious, unquestionable act of provocation on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, scheduled for 23 February, got  carried away.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Rossiya predupredila, chto SShA gotovyat vopiyushchuyu provokatsiyu v Venesuele @ Sputnik-Abkhazia (sputnik-abkhazia.ru), time 19:17
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that US-backed acts of provocation, or even coup-d'état, are imminent in Venezuela. See similar disinformation cases here, here, and here.

Deadly clashes broke out in Venezuelan border towns on Saturday 23 February 2019, as President Nicolás Maduro blocked humanitarian aid from crossing from Colombia and Brazil. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the attacks on civilians.

Read the EU's statement on this incident here.

 

 

Keywords: Provocation
Countries: United States, United Nations, Venezuela, Russia
More
Allegations about Russia's violation of the INF treaty are false
Additional details: US allegations that Russia's 9M729 missile violates the INF Treaty are false. They are based on intelligence fabricated by the CIA and the US Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
Language / Targeted audience: Italian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its noncompliance in several areas, and that Russia is fully compliant with the treaty.

Pro-Kremlin outlets often claim that the US and other Western intelligence agencies fabricate intelligence reports in order to mislead Western decision-makers into adopting anti-Russian policies, or in order to justify them.

The US government issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US noncompliance with the INF Treaty (see previous cases on the subject). In July 2014, President Obama officially accused Russia of testing an intermediate-range land-launched missile in violation of the treaty. Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on December 4th 2018. NATO allies share the US government’s assessment that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.

In a statement released on February 1st 2019, the North Atlantic Council noted that Russia had “taken no demonstrable steps toward returning to full and verifiable compliance” and that “Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the Treaty.”

More disinformation cases on the INF treaty can be found here, here, here and here.

Keywords: Nuclear issues, Missile defence system, CIA
Countries: Russia, US
More
Only Russian observers would not turn a blind eye to election violations in Ukraine
Additional details: The only election observers who would not turn a blind eye to election violations in Ukraine are Russian observers. Poroshenko's victory would be beneficial for other countries interested in Ukraine. Therefore, Russia should not recognise the election results in Ukraine.

After the EU managed to negotiate an agreement over Nord Stream 2, Ukrainians were given a consolation prize. Ukraine was given permission to deny access to Russian election observers. Russia may thus question the legitimacy of the next Ukrainian president.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (06:01 - 06:35)
60 minut @ Rossiya 1 (01:00)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence. Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the presidential election in Ukraine.

The decision to block the participation of Russians from the ODIHR election observation mission in Ukraine was taken by Ukrainian authorities, and by them alone, and approved by the Ukrainian parliament.

See also EU statement on Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine and illegal occupation of Crimea.

 

 

Keywords: Nord Stream 2, election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe
Additional details: Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe, after five years of failed democracy.
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

According to Transparency International and its Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, Ukraine is ranked 120th out of 180 countries.

Describing Ukraine as the most corrupt or failed state is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative, the aim of which is to undermine Ukraine's credibility. For further disinformation cases, see here.

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords: Corruption
Countries: Ukraine
More
Radical Islam in Kosovo and the Balkans exploited by the US and UK to weaken Russia
Additional details: The US and Britain are using the trend of radical Islam in the Balkans to encircle and weaken Russia. Kosovo, situated in the heart of the Balkans, is the centre of radical Islam in Europe and is a crucial instrument of the West’s strategy against Russia.

Since the British and Americans have failed to create an Islamic caliphate in Syria, their strategic goal now is to support the growth of radical Islam in the Balkans, with the ultimate aim of establishing a caliphate that will then be able to threaten the Caucasus. For this purpose, the US and UK have moved some Syrian jihadist groups to the Balkans.

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

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US and the West creating and/or supporting radical Islam and Islamist terrorism in the Middle East, as well as working with ISIS/Daesh. The West has been fighting an intense and multidimensional global terrorist threat since 9/11. There is no evidence whatsoever that the US, NATO, or the EU have supported Daesh or other jihadist groups in Syria. The US-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq has clearly targeted Daesh and other jihadist organisations. More disinformation cases can be consulted here and a recent case can be found here.

Although there have been several instances of terrorist foreign fighters who travelled from Kosovo to Syria and Iraq, the notion of Kosovo as the "centre of radical Islam in Europe" does not reflect reality. Kosovo's population is overwhelmingly secular or otherwise practises an open and tolerant version of Islam. According to the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies, only around 400 Kosovo citizens have travelled to the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Of these 400, only 250 individuals are considered to be foreign fighters, whereas the rest are women and children.

Furthermore, Kosovo applies effective counterterrorist policies, with support and financial assistance from the US and the EU, and is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. See the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2017. In 2015, the government of Kosovo approved the National Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation and has drafted and adopted  several other legal and policy documents, including the Law against Terrorism, the Strategy against Terrorism, The Law on Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism".

Further background can be consulted here and here.

 

 

Keywords: Western Balkans, Jihad, Military, Islamic extremism, Anti-Russian, Terrorism
Countries: Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Greece, Kosovo, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Bulgaria, UK, Russia, US, Syria, Saudi Arabia
More
Moldova leases Nistru river to Ukraine
Additional details: The authorities in Chisinau have signed a document leasing the Nistru River to Ukraine for 49 years. This agreement was made by oligarchs from Ukraine and Moldova.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Actualitati.md
Kp.md
News.mail.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No such agreement has been signed.

More detailed research shows that the information published on February 21st 2019 (while the electoral campaign was in full swing) was distributed by two sites - bloknot-moldova.md and kp.md - already a year and a half ago on October 22nd 2017. The primary source is a text published on the Kp.md site by environmental expert Ilia Trombitschi. This article covers the dangers of signing such an agreement with the Ukrainian side and does not state that a contract has been signed.

Further debunking from Stopfals.md.

Keywords: Oligarchs, Transnistria, election meddling
Countries: Moldova, Ukraine
More
The US is preparing a Maidan in Moldova
Additional details:

The US is preparing a Maidan in the Republic of Moldova. Many media institutions have cited a note from the US Embassy in Moldova warning American citizens to avoid demonstrations that might take place after the February 24th parliamentary elections, "as in the past, large public demonstrations are possible". Post-election events in Moldova may be similar to those that occurred in Kyiv in 2013-14 or those taking place now in Venezuela. References are made to the statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry on US involvement in the Moldovan elections.


 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik.md
Stiri.md
Moldovatimes.com
News-front.info
Reported by:
Disproof note:

In fact, such notices appear frequently on the US Embassy's website. Under the heading "Messages for American citizens," a series of warnings about protests, such as the invalidation of the Mayor of Chisinau's elections last summer, or security alerts, can be found.

Further debunking from Stopfals.md.

Keywords: election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, Euromaidan, Elections
Countries: Venezuela, Moldova, Ukraine, US
More
Poland has aggressive intentions towards Russia
Additional details: The strengthening of Poland's defence system reflects its aggressive intentions towards Russia. The Polish leadership celebrates arms purchases from the US, conducts recruitment campaigns throughout the country, and conjures up a threat from Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western belligerence in general and Poland's aggressive behaviour in particular.

In February 2019, Poland signed an agreement with the US on future deliveries of HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System). Poland and the US have also signed a contract for the supply of Patriot systems. The deployment of these anti-aircraft missiles on Polish territory is scheduled to begin at the end of 2022. Warsaw is also planning to develop an air defence weapon together with Kyiv.

 

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, War preparation, Missile defence system, The West
Countries: Russia, US, Poland
More
Ukraine prohibits speaking against the EU and NATO
Additional details: Following the adoption of the Law on Amendments to Certain Items of the Constitution of Ukraine, it will now be illegal to oppose Ukraine’s policy towards the European Union and NATO. Even anti-European  thoughts will now be considered unconstitutional. Ukraine will thus begin the criminal prosecution of eurosceptics.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring disinformation narrative about NATO and Ukraine's pro-Western course.

On February 21st 2019, the Law on Strategic Course for the Acquisition of Full Membership of Ukraine in the European Union and NATO entered into force in Ukraine. The updated Constitution directs the legislative efforts of deputies to follow European standards. The guarantor of the implementation of these laws is the president. As a result of the amendments, all references to the deployment of foreign troops on the territory of Ukraine were removed. However, there are no points on any prohibition of freedom of expression in the new law.

Keywords: Euro-scepticism, European army, EU/NATO enlargement, EU, NATO
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
The West has an anti-Russian "Great Turan" doctrine
Additional details: The West's objective is to encircle Russia entirely. To the south, this is achieved through the "Great Turan" doctrine. This is comparable to the "Anaconda Ring" plan along Russia's western borders. The West is attempting to pull Kazakhstan into this anti-Russian "Great Turan" doctrine.

The transition of the Kazakh alphabet from Cyrillic to Latin and Kazakhstan's plans to host two US military bases on the Caspian Sea are two indicators of success of the West's agenda.

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

No evidence is provided about the "Great Turan" doctrine according to which the West is allegedly attempting to create a ring of unfriendly states along Russia's southern border.

The allegations that Kazakhstan is allowing foreign militaries to establish bases on its territory are false. Claims that Kazakhstan plans to host foreign military bases on the Caspian Sea were officially denied by the Kazakhstani embassy in Moscow in 2018.

This disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the belligerent West attempting to encircle Russia (see an earlier example here).

Keywords: Military, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian
Countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus
More
Kyiv prepares new provocation in Kerch Strait involving NATO
Additional details: Ukrainian authorities are planning to send military ships back to the Kerch Strait in order to violate Russian naval territory. 

They are preparing to attempt a new illegal entry of the Kerch Strait without any prior request, without observing security measures, and without a pilot. They asked NATO countries to deploy representatives on Ukrainian ships in order to cross the Kerch Strait illegally. 

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

No evidence given. This is a continuation of the pro-Kremlin narrative that, on November 24th 2018, Ukrainian ships approached the Kerch Strait without giving any warning, leading the Russian side to open fire.

According to a Bellingcat investigation based on geolocated video footage, Ukrainian ships did enter Russian-claimed territorial waters. They are, in fact, only Russian-claimed territorial waters, rather than internationally recognised boundaries. 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.

Based on information provided by the Russian FSB, which appears to incriminate the agency, the shooting of the ‘Berdyansk’ ship (the most serious incident) most likely took place in international waters. For further details about the incident, see the Bellingcat investigation.

More cases about the Kerch Strait incident are available here.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, NATO
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Russian takeover of Crimea prevented Polish coup d'état in Belarus
Additional details: Russia is the only state genuinely interested in Ukraine's integrity. Western countries want Ukraine as a state to disappear. The US was only interested in Crimea as a springboard for US missiles, to create a deadly threat to Russia and Belarus. If Crimea were under the Pentagon's control, the situation in the whole region would change radically for the worse, and provoke Poland's aggression. If Poland wouldn't execute an outright military intervention in Belarus, it would have at least organised a successful coup d'état.

 

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

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Russia's true peaceful intentions that contains disinformation elements about the war in Ukraine and the West's aggressive intentions. It is consistent with other recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that Russia did not contribute to the disintegration of Donbas and that there are no Russian soldiers in Ukraine. For similar cases see here.

There is absolutely no evidence that the US planned a takeover of Crimea or planned to place any missiles on the peninsula. 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 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."

There is no evidence given for the claim that Poland was or would have prepared an aggressive operation against Belarus. This is another recurring disinformation narrative, as shown in previous cases here and here.

Keywords: Missile defence system, Sovereignty, Colour revolutions, War in Ukraine, Coup, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, US, Poland
More
The US introduced anti-Russian sanctions that are illegal under international law
Additional details: The US introduced anti-Russian sanctions that are illegal under international law. In recent years, the US has pursued a policy towards Russia that can hardly be described as friendly. Russia's interests are ignored while anti-Russian activities are pursued. Without any provocation whatsoever from Russia, illegal sanctions under international law are imposed repeatedly.
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about international sanctions against Russia.

In December 2018, the US imposed sanctions on Russian persons "in response to Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, election interference, malicious cyber-enabled activities, human rights abuses, use of a chemical weapon, weapons proliferation, illicit trade with North Korea, and support to Syria".

Earlier, In August 2017, the US imposed sanctions on Russia over its alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election, its annexation of Crimea, and its involvement in Syria’s civil war. At that time, sanctions were introduced against entities doing business with Russian military or intelligence agencies, companies involved in Russian off-shore oil projects, and those participating in Russian oil or gas pipeline construction within Russia.

The economic sanctions imposed on Russia were a reaction to Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Sanctions were imposed not only by the United States, but also by Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and other European countries outside the EU, including Ukraine.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, International Law, Russophobia, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, US, Germany
More
White Helmets are involved in organ trafficking in Syria
Additional details: The White Helmets volunteer group is running a cross-border organ trafficking operation in Syria, according to a report presented during a UN Security Council Panel of Experts in December 2018. The report provides overwhelming evidence of the abuse perpetrated against Syrian civilians living under the occupation of the White Helmets. The UK and other countries that are financing the White Helmets are ignoring this evidence.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The news item presents an unverified report to advance the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about crimes and hoaxes perpetrated by the White Helmets.

The report in question was presented by Maksim Grigoryev, a member of Russia's Civil Chamber, and bases its claims on a "fact-checking" methodology consisting solely of purported witness testimony and unverifiable hearsay. The presenter himself pointed out that Grigoryev's findings are merely "evidence heard" at this point, as the UN has yet to assess their veracity and take an official stance on them.

Russian officials and media outlets have previously used dubious witness accounts to support the Kremlin's narratives about Syria. An interview with an 11-year-old Syrian boy was filmed at a Russian army base and broadcast on the state-owned Rossiya-24 channel as proof that the Douma chemical attack had never occurred. A similar tactic was used at an OPCW hearing in The Hague, where the Russian delegation presented a group of Syrian nationals as supposed witnesses to the fact that the chemical attack never took place.

Keywords: Douma, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, UN, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Poland is ready to recognize the independence of Donbas in order to destroy Ukraine
Additional details: If Russia agrees, Poland is ready to recognize the independence of Donbas in order to destroy Ukraine. But Russia does not agree - Russia stands for Ukraine's territorial integrity.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Poland strongly supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and has no intention of recognising the independence of Donbas.

For more information, see our story on this case here.

It was Russia that provoked the war in Ukraine. More background here.

 

Keywords: Sovereignty, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Poland
More
CNN is the right hand of NATO and the US State Department
Additional details: CNN is behaving like the right hand (or the left, or even a leg) of NATO and the US State Department.
Language / Targeted audience: German
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6I4DQz4Bwk
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence. Consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attacking and discrediting Western media. More examples are available here and here.

CNN has no connection either to NATO or to the US State DepartmentCNN, an American news-based television channel, was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner and is now owned by Turner Broadcasting System.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Media, CNN, NATO
Countries: Russia, US
More
Trump asks Europe to withdraw its ISIS mercenaries from Syria
Additional details: US President Donald Trump called for European countries to withdraw their mercenaries from Syria, which are fighting on behalf of ISIS/Daesh. There are thousands of mercenaries from European countries fighting in Syria.
Language / Targeted audience: Spanish, Castilian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

In a tweet, President Trump said: “The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them”.

The article twisted President Trump's meaning using the words “withdraw their mercenaries” to suggest that ISIS combatants are mercenary fighters sent by European governments. In fact, EU countries are part of the global coalition fighting the Islamic State, not supporting it.

The same narrative is repeated in at least four other articles published on February 17th and 18th 2019, reporting on the debates in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Britain, and France about the repatriation of ISIS/Daesh prisoners. One focuses on the last part of Trump’s tweet about releasing the combatants, under the headline: “Trump threatens Europe with ‘unleashing ISIS dogs’”, and includes a cartoon of Trump holding a group of dogs – one of them with something resembling the Islamic State logo on the side – against the terrified leaders of Britain, France and Germany.

Keywords: Donald Trump, Syrian War, Foreign mercenaries, Daesh
Countries: Europe, Syria, Spain
More
The US transported Syrian gold stolen by ISIS via helicopter
Additional details: US military helicopters landed in Hajin, Deir Az Zor and Dashisha, to pick up several Daesh leaders who handed themselves over to US forces. As a reward for saving them, these leaders told US troops where they kept over 40 tons of stolen gold, which the US carried away via helicopter.
Language / Targeted audience: Spanish, Castilian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US support for ISIS that is presented entirely without evidence.

The source for this story is an article by SANA, which is an official organ of the Syrian government that seeks to promote the idea of cooperation between the US and Jihadist forces.

Other recent examples of this narrative are here and here.

Keywords: Jihad, Military, Syrian War, Daesh
Countries: United States, US, Syria, Spain
More
Ukraine is prepared to refuse participation in Eurovision-2019 because of Russia
Additional details: Kyiv wishes to avoid explanations about the absence of “friendship” with Moscow, and therefore plans to refuse participation in Eurovision-2019. This was confirmed by a statement from Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister, Viacheslav Kyrylenko.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): MK Russia, Moskovskyi Komsomolets, Argumenty i Fakty, Znaj Ukraine
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Deputy Prime Minister Kirilenko's Twitter comments on Ukraine's participation in Eurovision-2019 only reflect his personal point of view, and not the official position of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA PBC), which is responsible for the selection process of the nation's entry act.

On February 27, UA PBC issued a statement declaring that this year, Ukraine will not participate in the Eurovision contest. The reason for that is pulling out of Maruv, the singer who won the public vote, but refused to sign a contract with UA PBC.

Keywords: Eurovision
Countries: Ukraine
More
The current government in Kyiv is responsible for war
Additional details: The current regime in Kyiv has brought conflict to Ukraine: war, the loss of Crimea, shootings at Maidan, economic collapse, impoverishment of the people, and much more.

The basis of the conflict is a coup d'état. If there hadn’t been a coup d'etat, early elections would have taken place, and Crimea and Donbas would have remained in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GejnVlkJ4Y
Disinforming outlet(s): Velyke Intervyu @112 Ukraina time 1:13:00-1:13:25 and 1:23:50-1:24:05
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Euromaidan and events in Ukraine.

The Euromaidan demonstrations were a spontaneous civic reaction by the Ukrainian people to former President Yanukovych’s unexpected rejection of the highly-anticipated EU Association Agreement in November 2013.

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 in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded that Russia stop its aggression and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and away from the country’s border.

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

In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin finally admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine and Russian involvement in the occupation of Crimea. The so-called referendum was organised in a matter of weeks by self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings. The EU does not recognise the referendum as legitimate. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262, adopted on March 27th 2014 and supported by 100 states, asserts that Russia's actions in Crimea, as well as the referendum itself, violate international law.

In March 2014, the European Council agreed the first diplomatic measures in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Following the Kremlin's continued destabilisation efforts in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Euromaidan, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
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Poles are stoking nationalist sentiment in Ukraine in order to annex Lviv
Additional details: Poles are seeking to promote nationalist and Nazi sentiment in Ukraine, because fascism may lead to Ukraine's disintegration. And Poland hopes to acquire Lviv. If Ukraine does disintegrate, Poland has the right to occupy [the historic area of] Galicia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minutes (16:07 - 16:30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the disintegration of Ukraine.

There is no evidence given about Poland's alleged attempts to stoke nationalist sentiment in Ukraine.This narrative exploits difficult issues in Polish-Ukrainian history, without any factual basis.

Poland adheres to international law regarding state borders and has no territorial claims upon Ukraine.

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine, Poland
More
Donald Tusk betrayed his homeland, his nation, and Polish history
Additional details: Speaking before the Ukrainian parliament, Donald Tusk betrayed his homeland and his forefathers. He betrayed the history of his nation and the memory of those who saved it from the brown plague. He repeated the slogan "Slava Ukraini" that was used when his fellow countrymen were killed by Ukrainian nationalists.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (11:07 - 11:23)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

While speaking before the Ukrainian parliament, Donald Tusk expressed the EU's continued support for Ukraine. Likewise, Donald Tusk's home country of Poland has repeatedly expressed its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

Keywords: Donald Tusk, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine, Poland
More
European politicians, including Donald Tusk, are doing everything they can to increase Poroshenko's ratings before the election
Additional details: Prominent EU politicians are using all means possible to raise Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's ratings before the upcoming election. Speaking before the Ukrainian parliament, Tusk served as a mouthpiece for Washington to attack Russia and Putin and to increase the ratings of the current Ukrainian authorities.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minutes @ Rossiya 1 (8.14 - 9.07)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. No evidence given.

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the presidential elections in Ukraine.

Keywords: election meddling, Donald Tusk, Petro Poroshenko, Elections
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
London will fake an accident when it no longer needs Yulia Skripal
Additional details: British secret services will fake an accident to eliminate Yulia Skripal once London no longer needs her. Currently, Britain needs the Skripals to justify sanctions against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. There are many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.

British police and intelligence investigations have produced sufficient hard evidence to charge two Russian nationals for the attack on the Skripals. These two individuals have been identified as officers of the GRU, the Russian military Intelligence service. More British public documents and statements on the case can be found here and here.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Secret services, Sanctions
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Poroshenko may provoke a military clash with Russian forces in order to postpone election
Additional details: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko may provoke a direct military clash with Russian forces before the election - that way, voting will be postponed and he will remain in power. But since Poroshenko is not an independent figure and does not make military decisions himself, this strategy would be part of unified plan led by NATO and the US, just as it happened in August 2008 in Georgia. Alternatively, if the elections take place after all, this orchestrated clash would help Poroshenko mobilise voters in his favour.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (08:04 - 09:45)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. This case is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the election in Ukraine. For similar cases see: Kerch confrontation - part of Poroshenko's plan to postpone the Ukrainian election.

This disinformation case occurred in the context of President Poroshenko's address to the UN, where he declared his expectation that the UN will continue with its peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine.

Keywords: Military, Provocation, NATO, Petro Poroshenko, Elections
Countries: United States, Ukraine, US
More
RT is outperforming CNN; this is why CNN demanded the suspension of RT’s Facebook accounts
Additional details: RT is completely outperforming CNN, and as a result, the latter has demanded the suspension of RT’s Facebook accounts.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zis3Xx4gTSU
Disinforming outlet(s): Polnyi Kontakt @ Vesti FM
Reported by:
Disproof note:

RT's accounts were suspended by Facebook for failing to disclose that they were backed by the Russian government.

Facebook later restored the suspended accounts after they disclosed their affiliations with the Russian government.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that RT is outperforming CNN.

 

Keywords: social media, Media
Countries: Russia
More
Ukraine has failed to become Europe
Additional details: Ukraine, in spite of all the hatred towards Russia cultivated by the authorities in Kyiv, has failed to become part of Europe.

The coup in Ukraine was the beginning of a new history of the country. Ukraine was struck by a deep economic and social crisis, accompanied by the collapse of the national currency and investment outflow, as well as the armed conflict in Donbas, which claimed thousands of lives and destroyed the region’s industrial potential.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): NTV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This case involves several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives: Ukraine as a failed country, its failure to become European, and that Maidan resulted in coup.

Several international institutions show that Ukraine’s economy has returned to growth after the recession of 2014-15 and accelerated in the first half of 2018. After 2.5% growth in 2017, real GDP growth picked up to 3.1% in the first quarter and 3.8% in the second quarter of 2018, but dropped again in the third quarter (2.8% according to provisional data). Real GDP growth for the whole of 2018 is now forecast at around 3.3%.

There was no coup in Ukraine in 2014. The demonstrations, which began in Kyiv in November 2013, were not provoked from outside but were the result of Ukrainians' frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn on the highly-anticipated EU Association Agreement. After seven years of negotiations, Yanukovych refused to sign the agreement due to Russian pressure, and thereby halted Ukraine's progress towards a closer relationship with the EU.

Similar cases about the alleged coup d'état in Ukraine can be found here and here. Similar cases about Ukraine failing to become European can be consulted here and here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Abandoned Ukraine, Ukrainian disintegration, Coup
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The Kremlin does not interfere with the editorial policy of private or state-owned media
Additional details: The Kremlin doesn't interfere with the editorial policy of private or state-owned media.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputniknews.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Kremlin exercises direct control over the dominant Russian media.

Independent Russian journalists have documented how the Kremlin controls domestic reporting of news, including weekly meetings with the Kremlin where chief editors receive these instructions.

Whistle-blowers have also described the daily work in a government-controlled media organisation; in some cases, even printed versions of the Kremlin’s instructions have surfaced.

Russia ranks 148th among 179 countries according to the World Press Freedom Index 2018. According to Reporters without Borders: "Between draconian laws and website blocking, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin in 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence."

See our story on this issue here.

Keywords: Censorship, Media
Countries: Russia
More
Moldovan parliament ready to give up on Transnistria for the EU and NATO
Additional details: The Moldovan parliament is ready to give up on Transnistria in order to join the EU and NATO. Romania announced that it wants to make Moldova part of a Great Romania.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): "Itogi nedeli" on NTV @ 17:45
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Moldova and Romania, specifically focused on questioning Moldova's integrity and undermining Moldova's EU aspirations.

There is no evidence that Romania is considering annexing Moldova.

Regarding Transnistria, the speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, Andrian Candu, said in an interview: "I am sure that once - although, unfortunately, not tomorrow and, apparently, not in the near future - but in the medium term, we will be able to agree on the return of Transnistria in the status of autonomy and the beginning of reintegration".

Keywords: Transnistria, EU/NATO enlargement
Countries: Romania, Moldova, Russia, EU
More
Muslim immigrants are provoking a new Holocaust
Additional details: Muslim immigrants are currently provoking a new Holocaust. Islamists are demonstrating freely in European cities under the slogan "All Jews to the furnace!". And the elimination of Jews is just the beginning of the Islamic conquest. 

Victims of migrant anti-Semitism are also old Holocaust survivors, who are being assaulted with knives and thrown from balconies by their Muslim neighbours.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Islamisation of Europe and migrants as threats to security.

The immigrants are not provoking a Holocaust.

See the report on anti-semitism by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and learn more about the EU measures to combat anti-semitism here.

Keywords: migration, Holocaust, Jews, Conspiracy, Migration crisis
Countries: Europe, EU, France
More
Poroshenko is preparing new provocation in the Kerch Strait in order to destroy his political enemies
Additional details: Ukraine is preparing another provocation in the Kerch Strait. Such a provocation would help initiate new sanctions against Russia and increase Poroshenko's ratings ahead of the election. The provocation would help make an unpopular candidate popular. Poroshenko will impose martial law, postpone elections, and start looking for "Moscow agents" to destroy his political competitors.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmFUqIqFrN4
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (10:46 -13:20)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given.Ukrainian ships, sailing through Ukrainian waters cannot be viewed as a "provocation". 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.

Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Azov Sea and presidential elections in Ukraine.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Provocation, Petro Poroshenko, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
Europe brings totalitarian feminism to Belarus to destroy social values
Additional details: Europe is breaking down under the weight of feminism. Feminist bullying of men who display any sexual interest in women has provoked a situation whereby even thinking about women in Europe is considered to degrade their honour and dignity. As a result, men in Europe have begun thinking about other men. This development is encouraged by laws on same-sex marriage in Europe.

This is what "innocent" gender equality leads to and what the Belarusian opposition wants to have in Belarus through the use of Swedish grants for the promotion of gender quality. Totalitarian feminism in some aspects is scarier than Ukrainian nationalism. Totalitarian feminism brings a collapse of the whole system of values including education, culture, religion, and politics.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Berestje News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This disinformation message is related to the pro-Kremlin narrative on homosexuality propaganda in Europe and wrongly equates the concepts of feminism and gender equality with persecution for sexual abuse.

The EU advances gender equality between women and men as a fundamental human right.

 

Keywords: Western values, European values, LGBT
Countries: West, Ukraine, Belarus, Sweden
More
Both Skripals are dead; the Reuters video is fake
Additional details: The video of Yulia Skripal's interview, published by Reuters in May 2018, is fake. It was filmed in New York, as the background sounds suggest, and it features a sick Ukrainian woman, not Yulia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru
Federal Press
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury attack and the conspiracy theory about the Skripals' death. There are no grounds to believe that the Skripals are dead rather than in hiding from those who attempted to murder them.

Recently, Sir Laurie Bristow, Britain's ambassador to Russia, confirmed that Sergei and Yulia Skripal are both alive. He told Interfax that neither party was interested in talking to Russian officials. The ambassador emphasised that if the Skripals want to meet with representatives of Russian officials, the British side will facilitate such an opportunity.

There are many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.

Read Yulia Skripal's interview here.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
The UK is bullying Russia about the Skripal case
Additional details: The Skripals have been kidnapped and isolated from the rest of the world in order to keep them silent. London is afraid that Sergei Skripal will tell journalists the truth about what really happened.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Salisbury attack.

British police have presented a solid chain of evidence about the Skripal case, including pictures, that connects the two suspects to particular locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public.

This is one of many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
London doesn't know what to do with the dead Skripals
Additional details: Nobody has heard from the Skripals for quite a while. They are most probably dead and Britain is preparing the public for news of their death.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: utro.ru/life/2019/02/22/1391364.shtml
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripals' alleged death.

Recently, Sir Laurie Bristow, the British ambassador to Russia, confirmed that Sergei and Yulia Skripal are both alive. He told Interfax that neither party was interested in talking to Russian officials. The ambassador emphasized that if the Skripals want to meet with representatives of Russian officials, the British side will facilitate the opportunity.

This is one of many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media about the Skripal poisoning.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
John McCain pushed Saakashvili to start the war with Russia
Additional details: US senator John McCain pushed Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili to start the war with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Asaval – Dasavali
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

In 2008, Russia exercised military aggression against Georgia, a sovereign and independent country. Russia has a long history of provocation in the region.

Keywords: War preparation, Russo-Georgian War, John McCain
Countries: Russia, Georgia
More
Yulia Skripal was raped and is pregnant
Additional details: Yulia Skripal is pregnant and was probably raped. Soon, we may find out that the father is Sergey Fedotov, the third alleged suspect in the Salisbury poisoning. In this way, the British media, on orders from London, try to distract the public from problems associated with Brexit.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru
Vista News
Vecher s Vladimirom Solovjovym on Rossiya 1 @ timing 01:30
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is another case of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Skripal poisoning. For more examples see here.

British police and intelligence investigations have produced sufficient hard evidence to charge two Russian nationals for the attack on the Skripals. These two individuals have been identified as officers of the GRU, the Russian military Intelligence service. More British public documents and statements on the case can be found here and here.

Recently, Bellingcat announced that a third GRU officer, under the name Sergey Fedotov, was present in the UK during the time Sergey and Yulia Skripal fell into a coma. This third suspect in the poisoning was identified as high-ranking GRU officer Denis Sergeev.

 

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Brexit, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Ukraine is preparing a new provocation in the Kerch Strait
Additional details: Ukraine is preparing a new provocation in the Kerch Strait. Currently, three new military boats of the Ukrainian navy, and according to some information, with NATO officers on board, are planning to break through the Kerch Strait.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (01:28)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given, neither about the claims of a planned provocation, nor about NATO personnel being aboard. This is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Azov Sea and presidential elections in Ukraine.

The article used as a source for the claims about the alleged provocation also refutes this information: "Meanwhile, the border service of the Federal Security Service of Russia told the channel that they did not have any evidence of this information. Sources in the Ukrainian Navy said to "Strana" that ships will not go to the Kerch Strait".

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.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, Azov sea, Kerch
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
US goal is to split Syria and create quasi-state
Additional details: The US is attempting to split Syria and create a quasi-state on the east bank of the Euphrates River because Washington opposes the return of Syria's north-east to the Syrian government. US plans to transfer control in Syria's buffer zone are illegitimate. Also, Washington prohibits its allies from investing in the redevelopment of other liberated parts of Syria, now controlled by the Syrian government.
Language / Targeted audience: Azerbaijani
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Azerbaijan
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The US supports the unity and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as a political solution to the conflict, led by the UN process in Geneva that includes constitutional reform, UN-supervised elections, and compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

In 2017, the EU, together with ministers of Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the US emphasised that recovery and reconstruction support for Syria hinges on a credible political process leading to a genuine political transition that can be supported by a majority of the Syrian people.

€10m was also made available by the EU in 2018 to enable demining in liberated areas. This demining work is intended to make infrastructure and land safe for use once again, and also includes mine risk education for local populations, for returnees, and for displaced people.

Keywords: Sergei Lavrov, Syrian War
Countries: United States, United Nations, US, Syria
More
White Helmets kidnap children, traffic human organs, and stage chemical attacks
Additional details: The White Helmets kidnapped children to stage chemical attacks and for organ trafficking, from locations including eastern Aleppo and eastern Ghouta. They are accused of doing so in cooperation with al-Qaeda. There are videos showing that the White Helmets had themselves participated in terrorist atrocities against Syrian civilians. Evidence against this organisation is accumulating exponentially. A former MI6 agent is involved in propaganda about the White Helmets. There are doubts if the British government undertook all necessary precautions to ensure that it did not allow the presence of terrorists [White Helmets] on British soil.
Language / Targeted audience: French
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News FR
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This piece refers to an unverified report aimed to advance the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative of crimes and hoaxes perpetrated by the White Helmets.

The report in question was presented by Maksim Grigoryev, a member of Russia's Civil Chamber, and bases its claims on a "fact-checking" methodology consisting solely of purported witness testimony and unverifiable hearsay. The presenter himself pointed out that Grigoryev's findings are merely "evidence heard" at this point, as the UN has yet to assess their veracity and take an official stance on them.

 

Keywords: Douma, Aleppo, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Terrorism
Countries: Syria
More
Ukrainia's elections are a competition among Washington's puppets
Additional details: Ukrainians are part of an all-Russian nation, along with Great Russians and Belarusians. Despite the high number of registered candidates for Ukraine's presidential elections, no actual elections will take place. In fact, this event will merely be a competition among Washington's puppets. The person that Washington chooses will become Ukraine's new president.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus Time 8:43 - 9:20
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given about alleged US influence over the Ukrainian electoral process. This is a recurring disinformation narrative about Western meddling in Ukraine's elections (see earlier case).

The "all-Russian nation" is an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians as well as these countries' sovereignty. An earlier example can be seen here.

 

 

Keywords: election meddling, Puppets, Elections
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
Unhappy with shift towards multipolar world, the West starts an information war against Russia and Belarus
Additional details: At the beginning of his term, US President Donald Trump secretly proposed a plan to China and Russia to divide the world into spheres of influence. However, China and Russia refused. Thus, the current transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world order is very hard for the West to swallow. To contain Russia's growing global role, the West introduced sanctions against Russia and instigated an information war against Russia and Belarus.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus Time (3:20 - 5:50)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given. There is no proof that President Trump made such a proposal to China and Russia.

This is also part of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about sanctions. Western countries have progressively imposed sanctions against Russia in response to the latter's illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

See earlier cases of pro-Kremlin disinformation about Western-led information war.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Secret elites / global elites, Information war, Conspiracy, Sanctions
Countries: China, West, Russia, Belarus, US
More
The West has an anti-Russian plan named "Anaconda ring"
Additional details: The West has an old anti-Russian plan called "Anaconda ring". Its aim is to encircle Russia with hostile states, to rip Belarus away from Russia, and to eventually partition the Russian Federation. The Baltic States and Ukraine are already part of this ring, while the only remaining state on Russia's western border that is not yet part of it is Belarus. The West plans to organise a Ukrainian scenario in Belarus and provoke military clashes upon its territory. A federal state joining Russia and Belarus would guarantee Belarus' peaceful development and well-being.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus Time (6:30 - 7:40), (9:45 - 11:03)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given. Read more about the concept of big conspiracy here.

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about a belligerent West aiming to encircle Russia and about Western plans to instigate a colour revolution in Belarus in order to disrupt its relations with Russia.

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy, The West
Countries: West, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
More
Crimeans were always eager to reconnect with Russia
Additional details: There was no need for rigging the referendum in 2014. The Crimean population was always eager to reconnect with their Russian homeland.

NATO and the European Union have every interest in maintaining a conflictual situation.
Language / Targeted audience: French
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 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).

No evidence given to support that "NATO and the European Union have every interest in maintaining a conflictual situation" in Ukraine.

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, NATO, Crimea
Countries: West, Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
Poland wants to dismember Ukraine and reestablish a Polish empire
Additional details: The Polish doctrine of IV Rzeczpospolita (The Fourth Republic) is part of the US doctrine of global dominance. Poland plans to reestablish a Polish empire stretching from the Baltics to the Black Sea. Poland's neoimperialist activities were one of the main reasons for the catastrophe in Ukraine. A coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014 was in Poland's interests. A few years earlier, Polish media speculated that Poland will not be able to digest the Russian part of Ukraine, though it could swallow Ukraine's western part. Thus, Poland is invested in Ukraine's collapse.
Language / Targeted audience: Belarus
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus Time 15:30 - 17:40
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given.

IV Rzeczpospolita, or Fourth Polish Republic, was a plan for moral revolution and political change put forth in the late 1990s by the Polish conservative philosopher Rafał Matyja and 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 - 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 Ukraine, contrary to this recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about plans by the West in general and Poland in particular to divide Ukraine. Earlier examples of such disinformation can be found here and here.

Furthermore, the claim that the concept of The Fourth Republic falls under US doctrine of global dominance is part of a broader conspiracy theory that has also been repeatedly used in pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives: the US plans to partition Ukraine between a number of states in pursuit of US interests.

 

Keywords: Secret elites / global elites, Ukrainian disintegration, Coup
Countries: United States, Ukraine, US, Poland
More
The US government silenced hackers that threatened to expose its involvement in 9/11
Additional details: In the last days of 2018, the hacker group known as "The Dark Overlord" announced that it had stolen thousands of documents proving the involvement of the US government in the 9/11 attacks, in exchange for which they requested 2 million dollars. After not receiving the payment, they crowdfunded and published the first two batches of documents. But nothing else has been heard from The Dark Overlord for more than a month, so there are two options: either they got the money from the US government, or they were silenced by other means.
Language / Targeted audience: Spanish, Castilian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence as an "analysis".

It relays a recurring narrative that suggests US government involvement in the 9/11 attacks; an unfounded claim that has been extensively refuted. In this case, baseless speculation adds a new layer to the conspiracy, with claims that US authorities may have somehow 'dealt' with people who intended to expose evidence of such involvement.

You can see other examples of this narrative here, here and here.

Keywords: 9/11, Cyber, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, US
More
A unit of female snipers from the Baltic States has arrived in Donbas
Additional details: A group of female snipers from the Baltic states has arrived in Donbas.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): riafan.ru
novorosinform.org
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

Disinformation about foreign mercenaries in Ukraine has been appearing in disinformation outlets since 2015. In some cases, these were allegedly Baltic snipers, while in others they were snipers from Georgia, female snipers from Poland, and even a whole NATO brigade.

This narrative seeks to suggest that EU Member States pose a threat to their neighbours.

EU countries, including the Baltic States, condemn Russia's aggression in Ukraine, as clearly expressed in numerous resolutions and decisions on sanctions for this aggression.

The presence of female snipers from the Baltic states has been something of an urban legend in Russian military folklore for several years, beginning as early as during the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the early 1980s.

Keywords: Donbas, Foreign mercenaries, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia, Ukraine, Baltic states, Estonia, Lithuania
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Latvia supports barbaric whale killings
Additional details: Latvia is one of the main whale meat importers from Norway, thus participating in and supporting the barbaric whale killings.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Baltijas Balss.lv
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

According to the data of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, there is no import or export of whale meat at all [nomenclature codes 02084010 and 01061200].

Norwegian sources confirm this fact: trade statistics show that Norway mainly exports fish, crustaceans, mollusks and aquatic invertebrates to Latvia, but neither whale meat products nor fresh whale meat.

The European Parliament directive 2017/2712 says that Member States (including Latvia) signed up to the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking and calls on the Commission to look into all possible ways of ensuring that whale meat is no longer legally allowed to transit through EU ports, including by recommending a ban on such transits as an exceptional measure.

Keywords: Trade
Countries: Norway, Latvia
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The West and Ukrainian elites would benefit from the death of Petro Poroshenko
Additional details: Poroshenko's disappearance, and indeed his death, would be beneficial for the West and Ukrainian elites, because Russia would be the first to blame. That would create an opportunity for the West and Ukrainian elites to shape the election outcome according to their interests and deepen the divide between Russia and Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (19.01 - 21.56)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Petro Poroshenko and elections in Ukraine.

Keywords: election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, Petro Poroshenko, Elections, The West
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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The West is getting rid of the Bulgarian weapons supplier to Ukraine
Additional details: The West is getting rid of Bulgarian weapons supplier to Ukraine, Emilian Gebrev, for two reasons. On the one hand, the West wants to accuse Russia of poisoning him. On the other hand, it wants to get rid of witnesses to military crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning. For more examples see here.

Gebrev admitted that he had contracts with Ukraine, but insisted they were "peanuts, small amounts, low tech".

For background:

Emilian Gebrev fell into a coma in April 2015, along with his son and one of his company directors. They survived the suspected poisoning, but the case was never solved. On March 4th 2018, the Skripals were poisoned in Salisbury with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. In October 2018, Gebrev approached Bulgarian prosecutors with the results of laboratory tests from 2015, which he believed showed he could have been poisoned with a nerve agent similar to Novichok.

Britain and Bulgaria are currently jointly investigating the 2015 poisoning of a Bulgarian arms dealer to determine whether it involved Novichok.

Novichok is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s. It is so unusual that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance. See reports by CNN, BBC, the Guardian.

 

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, The West
Countries: West, Bulgaria, UK, Russia
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Kerch Strait incident was a rehearsal for a larger provocation to drag Russia into war
Additional details: The Kerch Strait incident was merely a rehearsal for a larger provocation to drag Russia into war. Such attempts have been going on for five years. But it did not work. Ukraine expected that all 24 sailors would die, but only 3 were injured.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (15:22 - 17:20)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Azov Sea incident. For earlier examples see here. 

For background:

On November 25th 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However, 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.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Military, Provocation, Anti-Russian, War preparation
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Novichok: The West is trying to block the TurkStream project in Bulgaria
Additional details: The alleged Novichok poisoning in Bulgaria is part of the West's scenario to block the TurkStream project in Bulgaria.


The West is trying to blame Russia and to remove Bulgaria from the implementation of this project. American influence is clearly visible here.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning. For more examples see here.

Emilian Gebrev fell into a coma in April 2015, along with his son and one of his company directors. They survived the suspected poisoning, but the case was never solved. On March 4th 2018, the Skripals were poisoned in Salisbury with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. In October 2018, Gebrev approached Bulgarian prosecutors with the results of laboratory tests from 2015, which he believed showed he could have been poisoned with a nerve agent similar to Novichok.

Britain and Bulgaria are currently jointly investigating the 2015 poisoning of a Bulgarian arms dealer to determine whether it involved Novichok.

For background:

Novichok is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s. It is so unusual that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance. See reports by CNN, BBC, the Guardian.

Keywords: novichok, TurkStream, Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy
Countries: Bulgaria, UK, Russia
More
Ukraine is an anti-Russian project
Additional details: Ukraine is an anti-Russian project and it is only in this capacity that Ukraine interests Europe.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kw1Rz6DRaE
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (2:26 - 2:35).
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Ukraine is a sovereign nation-state, not an anti-Russian project.

This is an example of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Western Russophobia and alleged anti-Russian projects in the West.

Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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