What do you do when your disinformation campaign is running both out of time and oxygen?

You start artificial respiration.

As we head toward the trial of four suspects for downing MH17 and murdering all 298 people on board, set to start in March next year, there is increasingly less room for the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign to mislead audiences about Russia’s responsibility for the tragedy.

Yet we can see that pro-Kremlin actors are persistently trying to use every opportunity to keep disinformation high on the agenda, promoting its lies with the help of social media channels.

The latest round of disinformation, after the Dutch-led international investigation team announced that the suspects will be prosecuted, has focused on recycling old claims how “all the evidence points to Russia’s non-involvement”, about the “information dumps designed” to accuse Russia, and that the missile could have been fired only from an area controlled by Ukraine. All these disinformation messages were already debunked four years ago – see the respective links.

Disinformation agenda on social media

Artificially  boosted or not, pro-Kremlin sources seem to be successful in their disinformation promotion task. Let’s take a step back and see how they have performed during the past year.

Data from Buzzsumo shows that, altogether, 12,759 articles on MH17 were publicly posted on social media between June 2018 and June 2019, gathering 1.6 million engagements on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

Of the top 30 most engaging domains covering MH17 over the given period, five pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets appear on the list: RT in English, Russian and German, news agency RIA Novosti, and Sputnik in English.

Russia Today (RT.com) is the fifth most engaging outlet on social media (to compare: BBC is the second, The Daily Beast is the first).

Next target: Georgia

Keep your oxygen mask on – there was also another disinformation frontline opened this week. The protests in Georgia against a Russian MP who took the Georgian Parliament Speaker’s seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy triggered an angry reaction from the Kremlin, coupled with an aggressive disinformation campaign.

It reactivated some of the most repeated messages targeting Georgia and its European integration, aiming to silence any kind of criticism towards Russia, which occupies one fifth of the country’s territory after the 2008 war: it brought back the false claims of Georgian snipers behind Maidan and “forces” conspiring both in Ukraine and Georgia to organise colour revolutions, Soros as an “anti-Christ” bringing chaos to the post-Soviet space, conspiracies of the CIA aggressively promoting gay pride to take over Georgian resources, and the US preparing a “massive group of protesters” to capture the Georgian state.

Now, take a deep breath of fresh air and have a look at all the disinformation cases exposed this week, going beyond targeting the MH17 and Georgia. We offer only one spoiler: No, Sweden is not teaching immigrants to have sex with Swedish women.

NATO might kill some of their own officers to provoke a war in Ukraine
Additional details: Bearing in mind that Americans are performing inspections at the Ukrainian front-line more and more often, a set-up is very much likely, where someone from a Nato delegation is killed. That would be organised as a "involvement of a third party" or just a shooting, where the blame will be put on the home-guard of Donbas. After all, would Pentagon really hesitate to kill a colonel or diplomat or two in order to instigate a war?

The well-oiled machinery of Western propaganda would spring into action immediately and blame the home-guard of Donbas or directly on Russia. Then the cannons will start talking. It's a hard-working system, applied many times; for instance in former Yugoslavia. The concept of setting up the death of NATO representatives is, according to rumours from the Ukrainian ministry of defence, already discussed.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): REN-TV
News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. Claims on provocations and "false flag operations", performed or planned, is a frequent manoeuvre by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets.

Keywords: false flag, Provocation, NATO, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Russia, Ukraine
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In Donbas, all provocations and conflicts are started by the Ukrainian army
Additional details: All provocations and conflicts (in Donbas) are started by the Ukrainian army.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OClATJwBCso
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (from 40:15)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This statement is false. There have been dozens of bombings and numerous instances of shelling coming from the territories of so called Donetsk and Luhansk National Republics. This narrative is linked to a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukrainian provocations and is also a piece of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) reports on ceasefire violations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in both government-controlled and non government-controlled parts.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Provocation, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Anti-Russian sanctions have a positive effect
Additional details: According to experts, as a result of sanctions, Russia lost about $50 billion, the EU - $240 billion, the USA - $17 billion, Japan - $27 billion. The sanctions have had a positive effect on the Russian economy, forcing the country to develop domestic production capacity and technology.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/news/20190620/1023967539.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western sanctions on Russia. You can see other examples of this narrative on the 'illegitimate' and 'useless' sanctions against Russia here and here.

According to the Washington Post, sanctions imposed on Russia after the Crimea annexation and Russian meddling in the US elections sapped Russian economical growth, including very modest growth despite the rise in hydrocarbon prices, the stagnation of salaries and growing inflation.

Sanctions have knocked 6 percent off Russia's GDP since 2014, a Bloomberg report noted recently. The GDP of the "world's biggest energy exporter" is now 10 percent smaller than might have been expected at the end of 2013, before the Crimea crisis, it said.

The figures mentioned are not true, and there are no sources, from where they were taken.  The share of goods banned from export to the Russian Federation in 2014 is very small and amounts to only 0.3% of the EU-28 exports to third countries. The EU has successfully diversified. The increase in exports of agricultural products to third countries from the EU-28 in 2014-2017 is worth more than triple the reduction of exports to Russia: EUR 18 billion versus 5.4 billion.

The effect of sanctions on the US economy has been extremely limited, largely due to the relatively small share of Russian trade within the wider US economy. GDP growth in the US has remained positive since the imposition of sanctions, although export and import trade volumes with Russia have decreased in the years following.

The top 5 countries most affected by the decrease in exports to the Russian Federation in 2014-2017 are Lithuania (5% reduction), Estonia (4.3%), Finland (4%), Slovakia (3.7 %) and Latvia (2.5%), i.e. the countries that do not voice opposition to the sanctions.

 

Keywords: Vladimir Putin, Sanctions, Europe
Countries: Russia, EU, US
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President Zelenskyy does not control the Ukrainian military forces
Additional details: There are two risk factors for resuming military actions in Donbas. First of all, there has been no ceasefire for a long time. Secondly, the new Ukrainian President does not have full authority over the Ukrainian security services, including the military.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message aims to question the power and legitimacy of Ukrainian authorities and is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukrainian statehood.

President Zelenskyy is the Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Army. There have been no statements made by President Zelenskyy or his representatives concerning alleged insubordination of certain military units deployed in Donbas.

The claim concerning President Zelenskyy’s lack of authority over the Ukrainian Army units is based on a statement of the head of the representative office of the unrecognised Donetsk People's Republic and has not been confirmed by other independent sources.

See a similar case here.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Military, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
The West and its allies are lobbying for and legitimising perversion
Additional details: The West and its allies are lobbying for perversion, degeneration and, moreover, are legitimising it.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.iravunk.com/news/86210
Disinforming outlet(s): Iravunk.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aimed at portraying Europe as immoral, degenerate, and a threat to traditional values (e.g., as a promoter of sodomy). The narrative of 'threatened values' is one of the most common narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets.

Find more examples of similar disinformation cases here.

Keywords: Religion, Western values, Perversion
Countries: Armenia, Europe, The West
More
Poland is a country with the highest social inequality in the EU
Additional details: As a result of the market reforms of the 1990s, Poland lost its chance to establish a just social system. Today, Poland is a country with the highest social inequality in the European Union.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative on the poor economic situation and failed market reforms in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (see a similar example here).

According to the Gini coefficient statistics, Poland has lower social inequality than the average EU level. The most socially unequal EU countries are Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. Poland's Gini coefficient is similar to Germany and France.

According to the data of the OECD, the income inequality indicator for Poland is as high as 0.28 (where 0 means complete equality and 1 - complete inequality), which puts Poland on the 9th place among the EU countries.

Keywords: Economic difficulties
Countries: Poland
More
While in Chisinau the government changed, on 13 and 14 June, US military have trained, in Romania, to attack Transnistria
Additional details: An operation conducted by U.S. Army in Europe during the exercise ”Swift Response 2019”, is presented as a preparation for an assault on the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vedomosti.md
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This story is in line with the encircling Russia and belligerent NATO narratives.

The official website of the exercise  informs that it is an exercise taking place from June 11-24 at various locations in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. The aim is ”to demonstrate the strategic employment of the GRF and validate U.S. European Command’s ability to send high readiness forces into a designated area while advancing airborne interoperability among NATO allies”.

No reference is made to Transnistia or Moldova.

Similar article here.

 

 

Keywords: Transnistria, Transnistria
Countries: Moldova
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Further deployment of US troops in Poland is a violation of the Russia-NATO Act of 1997
Additional details: Further deployment of US troops in Poland will be a violation of the Founding Act signed between Russia and NATO in 1997.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe and hostile NATO plans against Russia (see examples here and here).

On June 12th 2019, the United States and Poland signed a Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation. The main agreements are to increase the presence of the US military and create special bases for them in Poland. Currently, about 4,500 US troops are based on a rotational basis in Poland. It is assumed that in the near future, the contingent will increase by another 1000 troops (relocated from the US military in Germany).

The Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation signed in 1997 does not prohibit the deployment of NATO troops from other countries on the territory of new NATO members in Eastern and Central Europe. Thus, NATO treaties with Russia will not be violated, as the total number of military personnel in the European Union will not change, only a redeployment of troops will take place.

Keywords: US presence in Europe, NATO
Countries: Poland, United States, Russia
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NATO bombed Serbia in order to make it its member
Additional details: NATO bombed Serbia in order to make it a member of the Alliance. This goal, which for understandable reasons was not so obvious immediately after the air raids, became more and more obvious over time.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Disinformation narrative consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about NATO aggression.

NATO's military intervention was not intended to make Serbia a member of the alliance. It launched a campaign of air strikes against Serbia beginning on the 24th of March 1999 to stop Belgrade's crackdown against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The primary purpose of the campaign was to end violence and repression and force Milošević to withdraw his military, police and para-military forces from Kosovo (see NATO statement from 1999).

Cooperation and dialogue between Serbia and NATO has been developing since 2006, when the country joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), a multilateral forum for dialogue which brings together all Allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO is an Alliance that consists of 29 independent member countries, every country decides for themselves if they want to join the Alliance or not.

See more disinformation cases about NATO and the Balkans here.

Keywords: Western Balkans, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: Serbia, The West
More
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 killed thousands of Serbs
Additional details: The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 killed thousands of Serbs.

In 1999, NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days. The exact number of victims of the Alliance's air operation was not officially reported, but according to Serbian estimates, between 1200 and 2500 people were killed and around 6000 injured.

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

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the number of civilian casualties of NATO bombing,

In Serbia (excluding Kosovo) and Montenegro, 275 persons lost their lives in the NATO bombings: 180 civilians, 90 members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces and 5 members of the Ministry of Interior of Serbia.

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

Further debunking by Polygraph.

Read more about disinformation about the war in former Yugoslavia here and here.

Keywords: Bosnia war, Yugoslavia, War crimes, NATO
Countries: Kosovo, Serbia
More
USA promised Russia that there will be no NATO expansion to the East
Additional details: The USA promised Russia that there will be no NATO expansion to the  East.

US Secretary of State, James Baker, had agreed with Gorbachev in 1990 in his negotiations on German reunification that there would be no expansion of NATO beyond the then eastern borders of the GDR.

“Baker noted this oral promise in a note: “End result: Unified Ger. anchored* in a changed (polit.) NATO -* whose jurisdiction. would not move* eastwards!”

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

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that NATO had promised that the Alliance would not expand to the East and that NATO is de facto aggressive.

NATO allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any such decision having been taken by NATO or the US. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus' and do not constitute formal NATO agreements. Moreover, at the time of the alleged promise, the Warsaw Pact still existed.  Its members did not agree on its dissolution until 1991. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev himself in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines:

"The topic of 'NATO expansion' was not discussed at all, and it wasn't brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn't bring it up either".

See more disinformation cases on NATO.

Keywords: security threat, EU/NATO enlargement, Anti-Russian, Cold War, NATO
Countries: Russia, US
More
There is no evidence of Russian involvement in the MH17 crash
Additional details: There is still no evidence of Russian involvement in the MH17 disaster; just rumours.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has rejected the Joint Investigation Team's allegations that Russians were involved in the Malaysian Airlines Boeing MH17 crash in 2014. As in previous Joint Investigation Team press conferences, not a single piece of concrete evidence has been presented to substantiate such unlawful statements. The Joint Investigation Team is obviously confining itself to arguments that are not entirely reasonable.

No information was available on the involvement of the Russian citizens mentioned in the 2014 Donbas air crash.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the downing of MH17 that denies Russia's responsibility.

Recently, the Joint Investigation Team announced that it will issue international arrest warrants for three Russian military and intelligence officers – Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov – and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, commander of the military combat unit in Donetsk. They will be prosecuted for their involvement in the murder of the 298 passengers aboard MH17, which was brought down by a Russian Buk missile. The trial will begin next March.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system.  The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

In 2018, Bellingcat established that the two people who, with great certainty, were involved in the MH17 disaster are the two Russian army high-ranking officers: GRU officer Oleh Ivannikov and General-Colonel Nikolai Tkachev.

Previously, Bellingcat confirmed that the BUK missile launcher which hit the airline near Donetsk was brought from Russia.

Read similar debunks about MH17 downing here, here and here.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Anti-Russian, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, MH17
Countries: Russia, The West, The Netherlands
More
MH17: Political games instead of a real investigation
Additional details: The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team presents the same old accusations. The campaign is on-going, Russia and the Donetsk Peoples' Republic were found guilty by mainstream media and Western diplomats a long time ago and the JIT is currently attempting to construct the narrative surrounding the guilty, rather than prove it. Also, is it really a coincidence that the JIT’s briefing took place on the day before Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Direct Line?
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): South Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

Keywords: Conspiracy, MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
The Chernobyl series targets the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant
Additional details: Western countries continue the ideological and cultural struggle against Belarus and Russia. Recent releases of The Death of Stalin movie and of the Chernobyl series are not accidental. The latter aims to target the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant by Russian company Rosatom.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus time 08:10 - 11:05
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the Chernobyl series as a Western plot, the West’s anti-Belarusian and anti-Russian activities.

Chernobyl is a historical drama television series depicting the nuclear disaster of April 1986 and the unprecedented clean-up efforts that followed. The series premiered in the US and the UK in early May 2019 and was acclaimed by critics. It is based for a large part on the recollections of Pripyat locals, as relayed by Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich in her book, Voices from Chernobyl. There is no proof of a hidden propagandist agenda behind the series as alleged by this article.

See other recent disinformation cases alleging that the goal of the "Chernobyl" series is to discredit the Belarusian power plant, Soviet legacy, Belarus-Russia relations, and Rosatom's image.

Read more about pro-Kremlin disinformation based on the Chernobyl series here.

Keywords: Military, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, The West, Belarus
More
War-inclined Western states constantly seek new countries to meddle in
Additional details: Belarus does not want to be at the front line and tries to avoid a bloc confrontation. For this reason, Belarusian diplomats come up with peace proposals. It remains to be seen if Western countries will hear them and want to reach an agreement. Neither Belarus nor Russia are interested in confrontations, whereas, in Western countries, many influential actors are pro-military.

They constantly seek a stage for their military activities, be it North Korea, Venezuela, or Iran. They wish to reset their economic problems and to create chaos somewhere else. Another strategy of the West is to keep a foreign society in a state of nihilism and apathy and wait until societal stagnation decomposes that society.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus time 05:00 - 07:10
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, consistent with repetitive pro-Kremlin narratives about Western anti-Belarus and anti-Russian activities, and generally about Western belligerence.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that global actors stage colour revolutions and conquer national elites and that the Union state between Belarus and Russia will prevent their colonisation by the West.

Keywords: Military, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Russia, The West, Belarus
More
No positive news about Russia in the mainstream Polish media
Additional details: One of the key reasons for problematic relations between Poland and Russia is the fact that the Polish media spread only negative information about Russia. In recent years, the mainstream Polish media have not published a single positive news article about Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This misleading statement is aimed to spread the message that Polish society is actively misinformed by the mainstream media – it is part of the pro-Kremlin narrative that the Western elites and mainstream media artificially create hostility against Russia. See a similar case here.

The most popular Polish media present various news about Russia, negative, neutral and positive in tone. See examples of news about Russia, the Russians and Russian culture published by the Polish media here and here.

 

Keywords: Mainstream media, Anti-Russian
Countries: Poland, Russia
More
Emasculated European men are unable to withstand the influx of barbarians
Additional details: The European Union is “committing suicide” by letting in the invading hordes from the Middle East and North Africa. Why are the European elites so insistent on ramming “tolerance” down the throats of their citizens and replacing them with imported barbarians? The Europeans conquered their own medieval nature, but then reimported it by allowing mass migration.

The new, emasculated Western European Man is unable to push back against it; nor can their governments, whose leaders are forced to abide by the same cultural codes of tolerance, political correctness and compulsory kindness. But the Eastern European Man, only temporarily frightened into acting tolerant and emasculated, will not stand for any of this for much longer. His medieval nature is still quite close to the surface, while their Western neighbours have placed theirs in museums and various other tourist traps.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front English
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. This case exemplifies recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the Islamization of Europe and decaying, threatened European values.

Keywords: Migration crisis
Countries: EU
More
Accusations against Russia of its involvement in the crash of flight MH17 are absurd
Additional details: The charges against Russia made by the Joint Investigation Team on the results of the investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Airlines airliner flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur are absurd. This is part of the information war launched against Russia in 2014. The tactics of this information war are another information dump, without proven facts.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @Channel One TV, (time 00:35)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Another narrative about conspiracy theories against Russia and the non-involvement of the Russian military in the crash of the Boeing MH17.

In the Netherlands, on 19th June 2019, the Joint Investigation Team presented new findings of their investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Airlines' Boeing-777 in the sky over the Donbas in 2014.  The suspects are three Russians: Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and a citizen of Ukraine, Leonid Kharchenko. According to international investigators, all the suspects at the time of the MH17 disaster were in the east of Ukraine, where they could play an important role in the tragedy. The same names were revealed during an investigation by the independent group Bellingcat.

The Security Service of Ukraine also announced its suspicions about the case. The international trial of the accused will begin in March 2020 in The Hague.

Keywords: War crimes, Donbas, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
New US policy on the Arctic is belligerent
Additional details: New US policy toward the Arctic is aimed at turning the region into a potential theatre of war.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the US claiming that US and NATO policies are a threat to world peace and security.

In June 2019, the US Department of Defense released its updated Arctic Defence Strategy.  This document focuses on threats posed by Russia – which is building up and upgrading military infrastructure in its Arctic region – and by China. However, contrary to the claim made in this story, US experts argue that this strategy does not really commit the necessary resources to address these challenges, nor does it provide clear policy recommendations.

US policy towards the Arctic emphasises science and international collaboration, tending to neglect strategic and geopolitical considerations.

The US and NATO are reviewing their policies in the Arctic region because of the increasing military activities of Russia and in China in the Arctic.

For similar cases, see here and here.

 

Keywords: Arctic, Warmongering
Countries: United States, Russia, US
More
Ethnic English are a minority in London
Additional details: Majority of the population of London comprises foreigners, while ethnic English make up only one-third of the local residents.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.myvideo.ge/v/3799781
Disinforming outlet(s): Obiektivi time 00:08 - 0:18
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative about the Islamisation of Europe and the Europeans losing their identity. Similar cases can be found here, here, and here.

Office for National Statistics of Great Britain published data for 2018 regarding the place of birth of the population living in Great Britain. According to the statistics, the majority (8.89 million) of the population living in London, 63,52%, is born on the territory of the United Kingdom. The share of non-British citizens of the EU makes up 11.49%, while the others (non-EU member European countries, Asia, Africa, North America, South, and Latin America, Oceania) constitute 24,87%.

 

Keywords: migration, Muslim/Islam
Countries: UK
More
10 million Ukrainians have to work abroad because of the government’s policies
Additional details: 10 million Ukrainians have to work abroad because of the government’s policies.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mENrMJ33uJQ
Disinforming outlet(s): Nash TV Channel (1:37-1:41)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the economic situation in Ukraine.

According to the official statistics of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, there are 3 million Ukrainians who work abroad.  “On a constant basis, there are 3.2 million migrant workers from Ukraine every year” the Ministry informed.

Keywords: Ukraine, migration, economy, Economic difficulties
Countries: Ukraine
More
US will give Ukraine $250 million for war and provocations against Russia
Additional details: The United States will give Ukraine a quarter billion dollars for the war in Donbas. Next year, the Pentagon intends to use Ukraine as a military buffer between the United States and Russia and intends to turn Ukraine into a provocateur of Russia. The United States will never wage war against Russia, but they sell weapons to others to fight it, and Ukraine is an example of this.
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Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian, 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 time 43:00, KP.ru
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Disproof note:

This is a Kremlin narrative claiming that Ukraine, the United States and the European Union are provoking Russia.

According to the bill on the US military budget for 2020, the US government really intends to provide Ukraine with $250 million to improve the defence sector.  However, this money will not go to the “war in Donbas”, but to the security and intelligence support areas.

The main focus of the United States will be on strengthening Ukraine’s naval capabilities after Russia's aggressive actions in the Kerch Strait in November 2018.  There is no talk of a "provocation ground" in the draft law.  The United States insists that it is Ukraine and the countries of the Black Sea region that need to protect themselves from Russian attacks at sea.

Keywords: Military, Provocation, War in Ukraine
Countries: United States, Russia, Ukraine
More
Russia will not return South Ossetia and Abkhazia to Georgia and the Crimea to Ukraine because this would violate the principle of self-determination of peoples
Additional details: Russia will not return South Ossetia and Abkhazia to Georgia and will not return Crimea to Ukraine because this would violate the principle of self-determination of peoples agreed to in Helsinki in 1975.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea.

Although Russia claimed to act only as a “peacekeeper” between Georgia and the two secessionists republics, Russia provided military, financial and logistical support to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, violating the international norms that regulate the behavior of a peacekeeping force within a country.

On the 10th anniversary of the conflict between Russia and Georgia, the EU reiterated its firm support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.

As for Crimea, no international body recognises the so-called referendum held on 16th of March 2014. 

 

 

Keywords: illegal annexation, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia
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France and Germany do nothing to enforce respect of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine
Additional details: France and Germany are the guarantors of the Minsk agreements and they have never put any pressure on Kyiv in order to force them to respect the agreements. We are still waiting for prisoner exchanges, we are still waiting for a general amnesty, we are still waiting for the autonomy status of the Donbas. For four years, France has done nothing.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/oMm-68zr_2w
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France, time 0:50 - 1:11
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Minsk agreements, portraying Ukraine as a primary violator of the cease-fire.

In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of EU sanctions to Russia to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, acknowledging Russia's responsibility to uphold the Agreements.

The EU has condemned systematic restrictions to the freedom of movement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, by Russia-backed armed formations in Southern Donetsk and non-government-controlled areas along the Russian border.

According to the latest reports by the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, there are violations of the Minsk agreement on both sides of the conflict. See the latest report for June 2019 here.

The analysis of the Atlantic Council shows, that the majority of violations can be attributed to Russia-backed armed formations.

 

Keywords: Minsk agreements
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France
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Latvia is a US vassal state, it destroyed its banking sector on Washington orders
Additional details: Latvia purposefully destroyed its banking sector by Washington's request. The thing is capital withdrawal and money laundering are too profitable of a business to give it away to dependent vassal states. It is even truer during present hard times when every single penny counts.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy theory consistent with the lost sovereignty / external control narrative.

Latvia was indeed hit by scandals related to its banking system in 2018. To address the problem, in April 2018 Latvia's parliament adopted a law aimed at reducing and eventually eradicating money laundering. It is, however, an ungrounded claim that Latvia destroyed its banking system to please the US. The country's banking system has, on the contrary, become more stable in some respects in recent years. When it comes to foreign deposit levels, they decreased from over 50% in 2015 to around 20% in 2018, a report of the governmental Financial and Capital Markets Commission says. A lower level of foreign deposits serviced by Latvian banks means reduced risks.

See earlier disinformation case alleging that Latvia is under external control.

Keywords: Conspiracy, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia, US
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Russia respects the Minsk Agreements, Ukraine does not
Additional details: Russia did what it could to push the so-called separatists of Donbas to respect the Minsk agreements and indeed, they respected them. It was the Ukrainians who were reluctant [to respect the Minsk agreements] because they were asked to change the constitution. The Minsk agreements mention the change of constitution. Russia will certainly take further steps if Ukraine commits to respect the Minsk agreements that were signed in 2015.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo-2PKd1ltg
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France time 3:51 - 4:36
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Minsk agreements, portraying Ukraine as a primary violator of the cease-fire.

In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of EU sanctions to Russia to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, acknowledging Russia's responsibility to uphold the Agreements.

The EU has condemned systematic restrictions to the freedom of movement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, by Russia-backed armed formations in Southern Donetsk and non-government-controlled areas along the Russian border.

According to the latest reports by the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, there are violations of the Minsk agreement on both sides of the conflict. See the latest report for June 2019 here.

The analysis of the Atlantic Council shows, that the majority of violations can be attributed to Russia-backed armed formations.

 

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Donbas, Minsk agreements
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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British politicians choose to get high instead of addressing urgent political issues
Additional details: The influence that the recreational use of mind-altering substances might have had on the decision making capabilities of certain British politicians: The absolute majority of the British political elite has fallen victim of their own deadly medicine. They came to the conclusion that if they have no plan that could allow them to improve the rapidly deteriorating social conditions of their citizens, they could as well get as high as a kite.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Journal of the New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. This follows a narrative about Europe's decay and imminent collapse. Similar cases can be found here, here and here.

Keywords: Drugs
Countries: UK
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Separatists in Donbas should be called autonomists
Additional details: The so-called separatists of Donbas, in fact, are simply autonomists.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo-2PKd1ltg
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France time 4:00 - 4:06
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aiming to give legitimacy to the Donbas area. A similar case claiming there is democracy in Donbas here.

In May 2014, the so-called Donetsk People's Republic proclaimed itself a sovereign state and has asked Moscow to consider its accession into Russia, the Republic’s council said. In November 2018, "elections" of the heads of "Donetsk's people's republic" and "Luhansk people's republic" took place. They were not recognized by the international community. The elections were illegal under Ukrainian law, illegitimate and in violation of the Minsk Agreements.

The EU stated that "the announcement that so-called "elections" will be held in the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic" and "Donetsk People's Republic" on 11 November 2018 runs contrary to the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements, which have specific provisions regarding the organisation of local elections in that region."

The European Union fully supports the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

See statements by the UKFrance and Germany.

See more disinformation cases on the conflict in Donbas here.

 

Keywords: DNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Open Society Foundations and NGOs in Armenia are serving a foreign agenda aimed at the collapse of Armenian statehood
Additional details: Activities of foreign agents in Armenia should be strictly controlled by the state. Open Society Foundations-Armenia, as well as dozens of other foundations and NGOs in Armenia, are serving foreign agendas. In fact, these agendas are aimed at the collapse of Armenian statehood and the disintegration of society. The proof was the coup d’état in Armenia in 2018. Moreover, those organisations are doing dirty work, which foreign embassies do not implement directly.

Activists will continue to expose these structures, states, embassies, workers, and local collaborators. From ordinary propagandists to the President and Prime minister of the Republic of Armenia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): blognews.am
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Several disinformation narratives with no evidence given to back up claims. Conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives portraying philanthropist George Soros, his foundation, other related NGOs as a menace bent on destroying Armenia. See here for similar cases. Most recent cases are here and here. The Soros Foundation has been supporting human rights, education, research, media and other democratic activities in Armenia since 1997.

There was no coup d'etat in 2018 in Armenia, but peaceful protests of hundreds of thousand people in response to Serzh Sargsyan's third consecutive term as the most powerful figure in Armenia.

No evidence is given to support the speculative claim that President or Prime Minister of Armenia are foreign agents. An unfounded statement, not supported by evidence about foreign embassies involved in the collapse of  Armenian statehood.

 

Keywords: Coup, Conspiracy, George Soros
Countries: Armenia
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Hitler was a failed American experiment
Additional details: A real examination of World War 2 and Hitler’s truncated rule of Europe would reveal how Hitler not only followed policies learned from America but how he was funded by Americans as well, from his earliest career to continued full partnership in war industries right up until the end of the war. It would not be inaccurate to call Hitler a failed American experiment.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Journal of the New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented with no evidence. The United States fought against Nazi Germany in World War 2. The claims that the US funded Hitler and that Hitler was a failed American experiment have no basis in fact.

Keywords: World War 2, Adolf Hitler, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Germany
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The US is collecting DNA from "target" populations to create designer diseases
Additional details: We know that the US has been collecting DNA samples from specific “target” populations, particularly in the Russian Federation, collected and collated by the same organizations that are capable of creating “designer disease.” It comes up in publications, demonstrating the frightening capability of tying genetically modified diseases to racial and/or ethnic markers in human DNA.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Journal of the New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. Recurring disinformation that the US/the West is performing dangerous medical experiments in Eastern Europe.

Both international and Russian experts have debunked the conspirational claims. Further information in our database and on the Insider.

Keywords: Biological weapons, Secret services, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Russia
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The Rulers of America are engineering a humanity of mindless drones controlled by the elites
Additional details: There is a wealth of evidence that scientific research and technological development doesn’t stop at social engineering or even “thought control.” Modelling reveals a broad agenda of capabilities that mirrors the values of those oligarchical elites that so long ago decided a “custom bred” humanity of mindless drones controlled by elites is the only desirable future for mankind.

Looking at who overtly rules America today, giving no credence to claims of a Deep State or secret societies, we are still faced with overwhelming proof that the “American democracy” is controlled by oligarchical hereditary elites that favour ethnic cleansing and elimination of those they deem unfit. Though the seats of government may be held by those with different names, the money behind them, the think tanks, the fake institutes, are all under control by these forces.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Journal of the New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence, suggesting "shadow rulers behind the curtains".

Keywords: Conspiracy
Countries: United States
More
The CIA is weaponising Gay Pride in Georgia
Additional details: The Republic of Georgia, the CIA's dirty tricks capital of Eurasia, is at the frontline of the struggle between national traditions and someone else’s idea of “modernity”. Indeed it is: Via USAID, NED and other front NGOs, the US has long funded groups that take exception, in the name of Gay Pride, to its religious institutions. The aggressive public promotion of Gay Pride, which always comes with political and financial strings attached, is simply another means of gaining control of resources.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Journal of the New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. This story is in line with the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about threatened values, which is used to undermine progressive Western attitudes about a variety of normative issues, including the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBTQ groups, among others.

This story is also consistent with narratives accusing the United States and other Western countries of meddling and attempting to forcibly impose their liberal values on countries with a strong Christian tradition. For similar cases, see here, here, and here.

Keywords: Religion, Western values, European values, US presence in Europe, Conspiracy, LGBT
Countries: United States, US, Georgia
More
MH17 was shot down from territory under the control of the Ukrainian army
Additional details: The experiments of Almaz-Antej, the largest manufacturer of anti-aircraft systems, including the Buk, confirmed that the Boeing MH17 was shot down from territory under the control of the Ukrainian army.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the shooting down of MH17 claiming that it happened in a territory controlled by Kyiv's forces.

The claims made by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey has been debunked already in 2015 by Bellingcat.

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on the 17th of July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR missile launcher, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy.  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.

International investigators announced charges against four suspects accused of shooting down flight MH17 on 19th June 2019.

A similar case can be consulted here. Other cases related to the downing of MH17 can be consulted here.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas, MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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Poland provokes Russia and violates treaties by hosting the US military
Additional details: NATO creates military tensions in the European Union and is trying to provoke Russia. The new US-Polish agreements are in conflict with the Founding Act of Russia-NATO, signed in 1997. According to this document, the North Atlantic Alliance should refuse to deploy significant combat forces on the territory of the member states.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

On June 12th 2019, the United States and Poland signed a Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation. The main agreements are to increase the presence of the US military and create special bases for them in Poland. Currently, about 4500 US troops are based on a rotational basis in Poland. It is assumed that, in the near future, the contingent will increase by another 1000 troops. Earlier, the USA said that they were not going to send additional troops to Europe, but an increase in the contingent in Poland could occur due to the relocation of the US military from Germany.

Thus, no NATO treaties with Russia will be violated, as the total number of military personnel in the European Union will not change, only a redeployment of troops will take place.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: Poland, United States, Russia, EU
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American Antichrist and Soros are spreading chaos in post-Soviet space
Additional details: The goal of the US is to create chaos, so that the Orthodox would kill one another -  Ukrainians would kill Ukrainians, Georgians would kill Georgians, they are also working in Armenia.

It is the Antichrist that came into our home. It is the network of Soros, which does not care about nations, religions, God nor the devil  - they are sowing the chaos in post-Soviet space.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAcPOflwAE4&t=2559s
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1 (24:10 - 24:39)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US presence in Europe and George Soros.

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords: US presence in Europe, George Soros
Countries: US
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Accusations against Russia in the MH17 investigation are a part of the information war against the country
Additional details: Accusation against Russia regarding the tragedy of MH17 in July 2014 is a part of information war against Russia, that has been ongoing since Ukrainian Maidan.

The announcement of the Joint Investigation Team [regarding the criminal persecution of 4 suspects for shooting down the plane] is an ordinary information dump in this war.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @Pervyi Kanal (0:55 - 1:42)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the downing of MH17.

On the 19th of June, 2019, the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands announced it will prosecute four suspects - Russian military and intelligence officers Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov  and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, commander of the military combat unit in Donetsk, for bringing down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on the 17th of July 2014 killing all 298 passengers and crew.

The decision was made on the basis of the investigation conducted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands.

The criminal investigation of the JIT has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

Keywords: Information war, MH17
Countries: Russia
More
FBI, CIA, NSA, the Pentagon, the mainstream media are the enemies of Real America
Additional details: With the blatant collaboration of nominally “American” forces from the CIA, FBI, NSA, the Pentagon, and MSM who conspired directly with international agencies such as the Five Eyes and MI6 to overthrow Trump, it has become evident that there isn’t one single America, but rather two opposing forces within America acting against each other. The destiny of America is realised in China's Belt and Road Initiative, BRI. The BRI’s political economic practices are exactly what the best American patriots fought for.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Oriental Review
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A conspiracy theory, presented without evidence, suggesting US intelligence services working against the "Real America". This is a trope, consistent with "the People vs. the Elite" narrative.

Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative, Mainstream media, FBI, Intelligence services, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, China
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Ukraine's elected government was ousted in 2014 US-backed coup
Additional details: The 2014 power shift in Ukraine was the result of a US-backed coup, which overthrew the country's elected government and installed a pro-Western one.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT (rt.com)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The claim advances pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives stating that the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests resulted in an illegal coup; painting Ukraine as a failing state incapable of making its own foreign-policy choices; and painting the US as the puppet-master of European politics.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here.

See some of our recent debunks of this claim here and here.

Keywords: US presence in Europe, Ukrainian disintegration, Coup, Euromaidan, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
Georgia and Ukraine collaborate in orchestrating anti-government protests
Additional details: It was exactly Georgian snipers who opened fire in Ukrainian Maidan in 2014. At least three Georgian snipers came forward and told how in 2014, following the order of Saakashvili they were sent to Ukraine and paid 20 USD a day. This is how Maidan started with later allegations that it was Berkut which shot at civilians.

This is a clear precedent which shows that certain forces in Ukraine and Georgia work together and "coloured" anti-government scenarios are played out by common effort.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (23:14 - 23:08)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory consistent with many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Euromaidan and colour revolutions. See many previous disinformation cases about the alleged Georgian snipers in Ukraine.

The protests in Tbilisi started spontaneously during the morning of June 20th 2019 when a Russian MP from the Communist Party, Sergei Gavrilov, took the Georgian Parliament Speaker's seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).

The opposition boycotted the presence of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi which then grew to the protests in front of the Parliament. As a response, Vladimir Putin has temporarily banned Georgian airlines from flying to Russia and called on Russian citizens in Georgia to leave the country.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Mikheil Saakashvili, Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine, Georgia
More
Protests in Georgia were pre-planned, Ukrainians were paid to participate in them
Additional details: All signs clearly show that the protests in Georgia were pre-organized. Ukrainian sites are reporting of Ukrainians who have been paid and arrived in advance in order to participate in these protests. There was a demand for it, as the adventure with Tomos [the separation of Ukrainian Orthodox Church] failed.

 

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ (18:00 - 18:55)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence. Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about colour revolutions.

The protests in Georgia started spontaneously during the morning of June 20th 2019 when a Russian MP from the Communist Party, Sergei Gavrilov, took the Georgian Parliament Speaker's seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).

The opposition boycotted the presence of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi which then grew to the protests in front of the Parliament.

Keywords: Colour revolutions
Countries: Ukraine, Georgia
More
OPCW ignores dissenting report proving Douma chemical attack was staged
Additional details: The OPCW failed to include crucial evidence in its final report on the April 2018 Douma chemical attack. A dissenting opinion produced by a member of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission provided unambiguous contradictory data which explicitly showed that the attack was staged.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT (rt.com)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives aiming to discredit the OPCW and claiming that the Douma chemical attack was staged by Western actors in order to justify military action against the Assad regime.

As stated in our original debunk, the leaked report is an engineering assessment produced by one former OPCW employee, not a member of the Fact-Finding Mission.

The OPCW said in a press statement that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed." The final report can be found here.

Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its "dissenting" conclusion:

Keywords: false flag, Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Propaganda, Syrian War, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: Syria
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Trump can win a second term only if he dares to oppose the CIA, Riyadh and Tel Aviv
Additional details: The only way for Trump to lose the election is to get himself be misled in a major conflict. The pressure applied on him by the US intelligence community and the so-called “Middle Eastern allies” of the US starts to kick in. He may fall victim of a provocation or a false-flag event, even though he knows that he must avoid the actual shooting war in the Persian Gulf at all costs. Trump will be elected for a second term only if he dares to openly oppose the CIA, Tel-Aviv and Riyadh.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence, suggesting outside forces and the intelligence services decide the outcome of US elections. Similar claims can be found here.

The idea of "shadow rulers" is consistent with a recurrent narrative of the Elites vs. the People.

Keywords: Intelligence services, Donald Trump, Elections, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia
More
Boris Johnson always does whatever the US wants him to do
Additional details: US president Trump always uses the hands-on approach, as he has recently travelled to Britain to oversea [sic!] the replacement of the lame duck Theresa May with the new favorite – Boris Johnson. The latter is a natural born showman all right, but the best part about him is that he does whatever the US wants him to do long before any whip needs to be cracked.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence, suggesting UK dependence of Washington. Similar cases can be found here.

The trope of "Lost Sovereignty" is a recurring narrative in pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Keywords: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Sovereignty
Countries: United States, UK
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NATO exploits non-existent “Russian threat” to increase its presence close to Russian borders
Additional details: NATO is aware that Russia has no intention of attacking anyone, but it is exploiting rhetoric about a non-existent “Russian threat” in order to increase NATO's presence close to Russia’s borders.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the “Russian threat” as a false idea created and spread by NATO and the US and NATO encircling Russia.

Since the Ukraine crisis, NATO has been genuinely concerned about the security challenges posed by Russia to Transatlantic security.

For a similar case, see here.

Keywords: security threat, Eastern Ukraine, Hybrid war, NATO, Crimea
Countries: Poland, Russia, Baltic states
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The JIT ignored evidence supplied by Russia in MH17 probe
Additional details: The Joint Investigation Team has recently accused three Russian nationals of responsibility for the MH17 disaster, after years of ignoring hard facts and figures provided by Russian officials.

All the evidence supplied by Moscow, including military paperwork, radar readings, and field experiments, point to Russia's non-involvement in the tragedy.

At the 19 June JIT press briefing, the Dutch prosecutor was forced to admit that Russia had, in fact, provided the investigators with information relating to the incident, proving that the BUK missile belonged to the Ukrainian Army and providing relevant radar data. However, the information was not taken into account.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT News @ RT, time: 01:02-09:27
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The report advances the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the MH17 crash.

The evidence cited, namely radar data and the "field experiment" conducted by the Russian military company Almaz-Antey, is only a small sample of meaningless and contradictory claims advanced by Moscow since 2015, some of which have contradicted one another. See our debunking of these claims here, here, and here.

At the 19 June 2019 press conference, the Dutch prosecutor was not forced to admit anything and simply acknowledged the fact that Moscow had supplied the investigation with purported evidence of its innocence. He goes on to say that the information was taken into account, but simultaneously "wasn't clear enough" to either supplement or challenge the JIT's findings (time: 1:14:30). For instance, the Russian radar readings did not include the actual firing of the missile (time: 1:14:45).

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, Donbas, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
The US has prepared a massive group of protesters to participate in protests in Georgia
Additional details: The US has prepared a massive group of protesters to participate in protests in Georgia. After receiving particular instructions, a group of 10.000 persons will launch massive raids and capture the state. The US, through its Embassy and pro-American civil society organisations, will provide the necessary financial resources.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No proof is given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US carries out destabilising activity all over the world. Consistent with multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role. 

Background:

The protests started spontaneously during the morning of June 20th 2019 when a Russian MP from the Communist Party, Sergei Gavrilov, took the Georgian Parliament Speaker's seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).

The opposition boycotted the presence of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi which then grew to the protests in front of the Parliament. As a response, Vladimir Putin has temporarily banned Georgian airlines from flying to Russia and called on Russian citizens in Georgia to leave the country.

 

Keywords: Protest
Countries: Russia, US, Georgia
More
The Mueller report has never presented tangible evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections
Additional details: The Mueller report has never presented tangible evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US elections.

Russian meddling in the 2016 election was established by US intelligence agencies before the publication of the Mueller report. Despite the fact that the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities, Robert Mueller’s report clearly states that Russian interference activities DID take place. For a similar case see here: Other cases about Russia's interference can be consulted here.

 

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller, Democracy, Donald Trump, Elections
Countries: Russia, US
More
Sweden will teach immigrants to have sex with Swedish women
Additional details: The Swedish government is investing 5 million Swedish krona (around half a million euro) to teach migrants how to have sex with Swedish women. The funding goes to a web site, devoted to "health, sex and equality". The material on the site can be read in Swedish, Arabic, Somali and Dari. The illustrations show dark-skinned men and blond women with European looks.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: lenta.ru/news/2019/06/21/blonde_women/
Disinforming outlet(s): Lenta.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative, consistent with a message about decaying European values and Islamization of Europe. The site makes available information on sex, family planning, respect, health and love. Among the illustrations, women wearing Muslim traditional headscarves, hijab, can be seen.

Keywords: migration, European values
Countries: Sweden
More
Bellingcat is a part of information war against Russia
Additional details: Russia is accused for the MH17 tragedy without any evidence. Russia was denied the presumption of innocence the very next day when Obama announced that Russia was responsible. Moreover the Bellingcat agency which regularly releases so called "new evidence" to stoke the discussion, was established two days before the downing of MH17. It is not a question of who is guilty for the tragedy, as no one can answer that, but it is a question of how these "information dumps" are designed.

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi kanal (19:50 - 21:30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory to support one of the many recurring pro-Kremlin  disinformation narratives about the downing of MH17.

Bellingcat is an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigation to probe a variety of subjects – from Mexican drug lords and crimes against humanity, to tracking the use of chemical weapons and conflicts worldwide. Bellingcat discovered key information about the downing of MH17, including tracking the missile launcher that shot down MH17 from its base in Russia to Ukraine, locating the field where the missile was launched from, and identifying a number of suspects involved with the incident. Bellingcat's findings that the Russian military was involved were later corroborated by international investigators.

The criminal investigation of the downing of MH17 by the Joint Investigation Team has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

 

Keywords: Information war, MH17
Countries: Russia
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US is whipping Ukraine to submission
Additional details: A chambrière is a long whip that animal handlers would use to command animals around the ring in a circus. Those whips are known for the loud cracks they produce, and can inflict serious injuries should they be used for hitting a disobedient animal. Everybody understands that funny man [Ukrainian president] Zelenskyy can’t navigate the troubled waters of today’s geopolitics without a foreign handler, or a chambrière, as they call handlers in the circus world. Trump just can’t help himself, seeking to provide guidance to his fellow showmen. It seems that they don’t have much trust in the ability of the clowns in Kyiv to lead the show on their own.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian statehood.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, one of the founding members of the United Nations. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, but were violated by Russia in 2014.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Donald Trump, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: United States, Ukraine
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The protests in Georgia is a part of a larger programme of CIA destabilisation
Additional details: One thing is certain in any such mass protest – few, if any of them, are spontaneous protests by ordinary citizens. Careful planning goes into any attempted coup or regime change—and that usually comes from the West. This has especially been the case in Georgia, dating back to the so-called Rose Revolution of 2003, and even earlier, to the free fire zone days of the early 90s.

Now Georgia is again in the news, not only over how the weaponisation of gay pride is part of a larger programme of CIA destabilisation.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions", also present in the case of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Venezuela. Consistent with multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role. 

Keywords: Protest, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Georgia
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NATO intimidates EU residents with tales of the Russian threat, even though Russia is a peace-loving country.
Additional details: NATO intimidates residents of the European Union with tales of the Russian threat. Over the past 25 years, Russia has not attacked any country, so this is another European horror story.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about peaceful Russia that contains disinformation about the war in Ukraine and war in Georgia.

Since 1991 Russia was involved in several international conflicts, including intervention in neighboring states, such as Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.

Many international organizations condemned the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the OSCE statements here and here and European Parliament's declaration. More information to Russian invasion in Georgia is provided here.

It was also 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".

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

In 2014 Russia also annexed a part of Ukrainian territory - Crimean peninsula. The so-called referendum on the peninsula was organised in a matter of weeks by a self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings. The EU does not recognise it. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262, adopted on 27 March 2014 and supported by 100 states, clearly says that Russia's actions in Crimea as well as the referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea violate international law. Any decision relating to Ukraine's sovereignty or sovereign choices can only be taken without undue external pressure.

Keywords: Hybrid war, Russo-Georgian War, NATO
Countries: Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
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Crimea rejoined Russia after a democratic referendum
Additional details: Crimea rejoined Russia after a democratic referendum.

In March 2014, after a good 22 years in the independent Ukraine, Crimea rejoined Russia after the population of the peninsula had voted for it by a majority in a referendum. The reason for the referendum was the nationalist coup d'état in Kyiv.
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 re-join Russia through a legal referendum.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.  For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea see here.

The oft-cited figure of 97% has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum, of which some 50-60% favoured secession.

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.

Also, there was no nationalist coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014, this is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Euromaidan.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here.

 

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, War in Ukraine, Coup, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Foreign actors are targeting traditional religion to forward a consumerist neo-liberal world order
Additional details: The political unrest in Georgia started during an assembly of MPs from Orthodox Christian countries. Foreign actors are supporting various non-canonical entities and sectarian-style beliefs in the framework of the wider campaign against traditional religions that oppose the establishment of consumerist neo-liberal world order.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): South Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. Freedom of religion is a fundamental element of international law. Freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in Articles 18 of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (link is external) and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Under international law, Freedom of religion or belief has two components:

  • The freedom to have or not to have or adopt (which includes the right to change) a religion or belief of one’s choice, and
  • The freedom to manifest one's religion or belief, individually or in community with others, in public or private, through worship, observance, practice and teaching.

With the adoption of the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief in 2013, the EU has committed to advance this fundamental freedom in its external action, including through its financial instruments. In doing so, the EU is guided by the principles of non-discrimination and interrelatedness of human rights.

Keywords: Religion, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Georgia
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The West turns its sexual subversion weapon on Georgia
Additional details: At this very moment Ground Zero for the West’s campaign to undermine the traditional Christian concept of the family is Georgia, where the usual suspects – foreign embassies and their controlled NGOs, working in concert with George Soros’s Open Society groups – were determined to hold Tbilisi’s first Pride parade this week. Faced with massive public opposition, Georgian authorities cancelled the parade. Opposition forces, stung by growing opposition to their Pride provocation, used the Gavrilov incident as an excuse to launch a violent attack on the parliament on a scale that could only have been preplanned and awaiting activation.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Strategic Culture Foundation
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. The above-mentioned "Gavrilov incident" refers to the fact that a Russian politician who openly supports the Russian occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, not only was allowed to enter Georgia, but was seated at the place of the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament. This provoked a strong reaction from nationalist groups in Georgia. This incident is in no way connected to the cancellation of Tbilisi Pride Parade.

Additionally, this story is in line with the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about threatened values, which is used to undermine progressive Western attitudes about a variety of normative issues, including the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBTQ groups, among others.

The story is also consistent with narratives accusing the United States and other Western countries of meddling and attempting to forcibly impose their liberal values on countries with a strong Christian tradition. For similar cases, see here, here, and here.

Keywords: Religion, Western values, European values, US presence in Europe, George Soros, LGBT
Countries: Russia, The West, Georgia
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MH17: A perpetual smear job on Russia
Additional details: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with probing the Malaysian MH17 airliner disaster in 2014 is a travesty of legal due process and justice. It is a politically motivated vehicle for smearing Russia. A vehicle designed to run and run for years to come. Despite its grand-sounding legal title, the JIT is a mockery of jurisprudence. It has, for example, included Ukrainian police in its “fact finding” while excluding Russia. That has ensured bias in the investigation in favour of a party – the Ukrainian state – which should have been treated as a suspect.

The purpose is to let indictments hang in the air to serve as a perpetual smear against Russia. Unlike the Mueller probe which wound up earlier this year after two years of meandering, empty-handed investigation into alleged “Russian collusion”, the MH17 investigation is set to trundle on for several years to come.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Strategic Culture Foundation
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility and questioning the Joint Investigation team.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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LGBT++ is the official religion of the "democratic" West
Additional details: If anyone was under the impression that established religion was a thing of the past in secular, postmodern societies, he, she, it, they, ze, sie, hir, co, or ey are mistaken. There is in fact an official religion of the “democratic” West, and LGBT++ etcetera is it. For the past several years governments of formerly Christian countries in North America and Europe have made LGBT ideology an integral element of their promotion of “human rights” and “democracy” in formerly communist countries.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Strategic Culture Foundation
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The West's advocacy for the rights of the LGBTI persons is based on the principle of equal rights and dignity for all human beings, which is perfectly in line with the Christian doctrine.

You can read more about the EU position on LGBTI rights here.

See similar disinformation cases here.

Keywords: Religion, LGBT
Countries: Eastern Europe, The West
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The unrest in Georgia is staged to fuel anti-Russian tensions and create instability on the Russian border
Additional details: The recent unrest in Georgia has been staged in order to further fuel anti-Russian tensions or even change one anti-Russian government to another one, the very anti-Russian government. The destabilization of Georgia will also negatively impact the situation in the Caucasus in general, thus creating a new point of instability on the Russian border.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): South Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence, in line with a trope, claiming "The West" to be behind different kinds of protests - see other examples here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Colour revolutions, Russophobia
Countries: Georgia
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The sanctions against Russia do not work
Additional details: Sanctions against Russia do not work. The sanctions have not hit the Russian economy or politics. If these sanctions do not work, it seems that they should be abolished.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that Western sanctions against Russia are unjust and ineffective.

Claims that the sanctions do not work are not backed by evidence. In reality, sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU, following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, have sapped Russian economic growth. The false narrative about sanctions is often backed by false statistics.  For example, the alleged economic growth of two percent does not withstand scrutiny.  In 2018, the inflation rate went up and the rouble depreciated 20% against the dollar.

Further reading on the Russian narrative about ineffective Western sanctions by StopFake. More cases related to sanctions are available here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, The West
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MH17: BUK was transported to Ukraine in times of USSR
Additional details: Russia's Ministry of Defence thoroughly searched its archives and was able to identify the missile based on the fragments from the crash site. The Ministry determined the serial number and represented the entire life cycle of the missile.

The [BUK]-rocket, which was still manufactured in Soviet times, was brought to a military base in Ukraine in 1986. Since then, the rocket has never left the Ukrainian Soviet Republic nor, after the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the BUK missile was only transported within Ukrainian territory.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt9N8tp39S8
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 occasionally 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, the 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 the 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: MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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The EU wants Italy to choose between the following two options: to let the Italian economy die or commit economic suicide
Additional details: The EU wants Italy to choose between the following two options: to let the Italian economy die or commit economic suicide by implementing “Greek-style financial recipes”.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin and anti-EU  narrative blaming the EU and “EU elites” for being controlling and for impoverishing Italy and imposing harsh austerity policies that produce economic stagnation.

No evidence given.

In December 2018 the European Commission, which monitors euro zone states’ budgets, refrained from initiating disciplinary steps against Italy over its growing debt. The European Commission has recommended initiating disciplinary procedures against Italy because the country has failed to comply with rules on public debt. The Commission report states:

Italy's general government gross debt reached 132.2% of GDP in 2018, well above the 60% of GDP reference value of the Treaty, and Italy did not comply with the debt reduction benchmark in 2018 based on outturn data. Moreover, Italy is not projected to comply with the debt reduction benchmark in either 2019 or 2020 based on both the government plans and the Commission 2019 spring forecast.

 

Keywords: Secret elites / global elites, Economic difficulties
Countries: Italy, Greece, EU
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MH 17: Buk could only have been fired from Ukrainian frontline
Additional details: The manufacturer of the BUK missile, the arms company Almaz-Antey itself conducted a field test. They exploded a Buk missile next to an aircraft fuselage, which looked similar to the Boeing that had been fired upon. The goal was to determine the angle from which the 2014 missile hit the Malaysia Airlines aircraft and thus locate every location from which the missile was fired.

The conclusion was that the missile could only have been fired from one area of the front line controlled by Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt9N8tp39S8
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch Youtube @ [1:05-1:47]
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The claims by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey were debunked already in 2015 by Bellingcat.

One of the many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the downing of MH17.

On the 19th of June, 2019, the Public Prosecution Service of the Netherlands announced it will prosecute four suspects - Russian military and intelligence officers Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov  and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, commander of the military combat unit in Donetsk, for bringing down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on the 17th of July 2014 killing all 298 passengers and crew.

The decision was made on the basis of the investigation conducted by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands.

The criminal investigation of the JIT has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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Dalia Grybauskaitė's opposition to the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant is an attempt to hide Lithuania's own failures in nuclear power
Additional details: Lithuania's attempts to shut down the Astravets nuclear power plant in Belarus are an attempt to get moral compensation for the closed Ignalina nuclear power plant, given to Lithuania for nothing when the Soviet Union broke down, and for the scandalous failure of the Visaginas nuclear power plant project - a topic that is taboo in Lithuania.

 

 

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

Lithuania opposes construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) as the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection, and is built on the site that was not duly justified over the alternative ones.

On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the 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.

In her State of the Nation Address on June 11th, 2019, President Dalia Grybauskaitė, called to continue efforts for the complete shutdown of the Astravets NPP, stating: "Espoo Convention countries have concluded that [Astravets nuclear power plant] stands on an unsafe site. This is not about the safety of the plant – this is about its unsafe site. It means that no power station can operate there, and efforts to close the Astravets nuclear power plant must continue."

Following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the EU decided that so-called High Power Channel Type Reactors (RBMK) and other first-generation Soviet-designed nuclear reactors would need to be shut down. At the time of its accession to the EU Lithuania agreed to shut down the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, which was built with the RBMK reactor.

In 2012 Lithuania conducted a consultative referendum on the construction of the new nuclear power plant in Visaginas, east of the capital Vilnius. 62.7% of voters were against the project.

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

Keywords: Nuclear issues, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus
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Protests in Georgia were planned in advance to distort Georgian-Russian relations
Additional details: The disruption of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) in Georgia, followed by protests, was planned in advance to distort Georgian-Russian relations.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This statement is untrue. The protests were spontaneous starting during the morning of June 20 when a Russian MP from the Communist Party, Sergei Gavrilov, addressed delegates from the Georgian Parliament Speaker's seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).

The opposition boycotted the presence of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi which then grew to the protests in front of the Parliament. As a response, Vladimir Putin has temporarily banned Georgian airlines from flying to Russia and called on Russian citizens in Georgia to leave the country.

Keywords: Religion, Protest
Countries: Russia, Georgia
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The only benefit from the Association Agreement with the EU for Moldovans is the ability to care for the elderly in Italy
Additional details: A permanent political crisis is a reality for Moldova. A civil war which resulted in the establishment of the unrecognised Transnistrian Republic and the so called colour revolution of 2009 are manifestations of the crisis. The EU-Moldova Association Agreement (AA) has turned out to be very disadvantageous for Moldovans. After the signing, painful economic and political transformations took place in the country, yet Moldovans have not profited from the agreement except for the new possibilities to go to the EU in order to clean houses or care for the elderly in Italy.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message misrepresents the balance of losses and benefits from the AA/DCFTA for Moldova. The Association Agreement between the EU and Moldova was signed in June 2014 and has been in full effect since July 2016. EU imports from Moldova increased from EUR 1.3b in 2016 to EUR 1.9b in 2018.

The DCFTA allows for the removal of import duties for most goods traded between the EU and Moldova and provides for broad mutual access to trade in services for both partners. It also allows both EU and Moldovan companies to create a subsidiary or a branch office on a non-discriminatory basis. This means that they receive the same treatment as domestic companies in the partner's (EU and Moldovan) market when setting up a business.

At the same time, the AA/DCFTA does not open the EU's labour market for Moldovan citizens and has not given Moldovans new labour opportunities in Italy as alleged. Even before the AA/DCFTA between the EU and Moldova was signed, Italy was the main EU destination country for Moldovan migrants, with over 130,00 Moldovan citizens legally residing in its territory by 2011. The large numbers of Moldovan labourers in Italy stem from the fact that many Moldovans hold Romanian passports and benefit from the EU’s freedom of movement rules.

Read more about AA/DCFTA between the EU and Moldova here.

Earlier disinformation cases concerning the EU-Moldova relations can be found here.

Keywords: migration, Economic difficulties, AA/DCFTA
Countries: Moldova, EU
More
The European Union is a servant of financial elites
Additional details: The European Union is a servant of financial elites.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory asserting that EU is ruled by a financial elite. No evidence given

The EU is governed by the principle of representative democracy, with citizens directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament and Member States represented in the European Council and the Council of the EU.

There is no secretive financial elite that rules the EU.  There are a variety of interest groups – including  business and financial interest groups – that attempt to influence the decision-making process in the EU.

For a similar case, see here.

 

Keywords: Secret elites / global elites, Europe
Countries: EU
More
The protests in Georgia are a Russophobic absurd theatre
Additional details: The protests in Georgia are an absurdist theatre that has been going on for 30 years. The recent outbreak of protests was carefully planned and prepared in advance. The fascist "Nationalist" opposition was well prepared. There can be no doubt that everything was a meticulously planned and organised provocation. The "protocol incident", when a member of the Russian parliament appeared in the chair of the Parliament's speaker, was only the trigger of the events. Rustaveli Avenue is not only a beloved landmark of the Georgian capital, but also an almost sacred place for the people of Tbilisi, who used to walk on the Avenue just as believers go to the Temple. The opposition has turned the Rustaveli into a fiery volcano with mud-throwing geysers.

This is the price of democracy à la America.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions", also present in the case of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Venezuela. It is also consistent with multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role. 

The current protests in Georgia were a spontaneous public reaction calling for the resignation of key national officials after Russian State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov sat in the Georgian parliamentary speaker's seat while addressing a council of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox Christian countries -- the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). Gavrilov is known for his support of Russia's occupation of Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, which is a particularly hot-button issue for Georgians.

Keywords: Protest, US presence in Europe, Colour revolutions, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: United States, Russia, US, Georgia
More
The West promotes Russophobia in Georgia
Additional details: The West intentionally promotes Russophobia in Georgia. And it was started by Georgian dissidents 30 years ago. Abkhazia and Tskhinvali lost in 1988-89 when Georgian dissidents started to spread Russophobia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia.

See here for other disinformation cases about Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Keywords: Russophobia
Countries: Georgia
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