A dark image of the Baltic states was (again), painted in pro-Kremlin disinformation this week. Firstly, the Latvian Army was accused of shooting civilians in 1991, during Latvia’s transition to independence from the Soviet Union. In a new Russian documentary covering the topic of ”pseudo-revolutions”, it is claimed that Latvian Army Officers shot civilians, ”much as the case was also on Maidan 2014” according to the movie. Of course, these claims have been debunked several times before as the theme of staged ’colour revolutions’ is recurring in pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Secondly, Latvia was again accused of restricting the rights of ”non-citizens” (primarily ethnic Russians) residing in Latvia. In fact, non-citizens enjoy equal protection under the law both in Latvia and while living or travelling abroad, and are the only group of persons, in addition to citizens, who are granted permanent residence in Latvia ex lege. Furthermore, non-citizens are able to become citizens of Latvia through a naturalization procedure.

Thirdly, we learned from the pro-Kremlin sphere the disturbing story that a child was killed during the ongoing NATO exercise Saber Strike 2018 in Lithuania. Allegedly, a child on a bicycle was run over by an armoured personnel carrier of the US Army carrying American servicemen. According to the pro-Kremlin sources, the child died on the spot and 13 Americans were injured. As so often with disinformation, there is a grain of truth in the story: there was an accident involving 13 U.S soldiers during the exercise. But here the facts stop and a quite elaborate disinformation scheme takes over the story, faking both the news of the killed child and the outlet spreading it to look like one of Lithuania’s main news outlets. The story was quickly debunked by journalists, the Statcom Department of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and the Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis. Let us also recall that this is not the first time that pro-Kremlin disinformation manipulates sources to look like respected media. It is also not the first time that children are being used in pro-Kremlin disinformation.

The provocation game

With the World Cup in Russia approaching, we have noticed ample use of  the ’provocation narrative’ concerning the conflict in Ukraine from pro-Kremlin sources. As we have previously noted in several cases, pro-Kremlin disinformation uses the word provocation to claim that something was a ’false flag’ operation, as alleged in the case of Skripal or chemical attacks in Syria.

But it can also be used to claim that something is going to happen, as was the case with the Douma attack, where pro-Kremlin media accustomed their audience to the idea that a chemical attack was about to happen in Syria prior to the Douma-attack, while also stressing that Kremlin allies would not be the culprits. The press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic, a notorious pro-Kremlin disinformation source, claimed that the Ukrainian security forces are preparing a provocation in Donbas against a visiting EU delegation. Given the close partnership between the EU and Ukraine, it of course seems unlikely that something like that would happen.

Furthermore, several Russian TV shows raised the issue of a coming ’provocation’ from Ukraine in the Donbas region during the World Cup in Russia. According to both Russian state-controlled news shows and official Kremlin representatives, such a provocation would have ’grave consequences’ for Ukrainian statehood.

As the World Cup will begin, there is a need not only to be aware of the general situation concerning press freedom and human rights in Russia, but also to be aware of the possible exploitation of the event for disinformation purposes.

See all the disinformation cases reported past week:

A child died during NATO military exercises in Lithuania
Additional details: The Stryker armored personnel carrier of the US Army carrying American servicemen crashed into a child on a bicycle in Lithuania. As a result of the incident, the child was killed and 13 servicemen were injured. The incident occurred in the Prienai district of Kaunas County in Lithuania on Thursday, June 7.


According to the news portal Delfi, American soldiers who became participants in this incident, apparently, are servicemen of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which participates in NATO military exercises "Saber Strike 2018".

"Two of the four Stryker armored personnel carriers on their way to Kazl-Ruda left the road," said Capt. Tomas Pakalniškis, the press attaché of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Defense Staff.

In turn, the press attaché of the Alytus District Police Department, Egle Kachinskie, stated that the accident was reported at about 11.10. The child died on the spot. The wounds of the US military are not severe.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://news2.ru/story/547350/
Disinforming outlet(s): News2.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

On June 7th during military exercise “Saber Strike 2018” in Lithuania four U.S. vehicles “Stryker”, in a road between Lithuania’s cities Kaunas and Prienai, got into an accident. 13 U.S. soldiers suffered injuries. According to a primary information, an obstacle was the cause of an accident. It suddenly appeared on the road and one of four vehicles began to brake quickly. After that, vehicles crashed one into another.

After the incident, in a blog Gelezinisvilkassite an article appeared claiming that a child had been killed in the exercise. The information was specially fabricated to look as it was announced from the real (and very popular) Lithuanian news portal. What is more, the headline and an image were photoshopped.

During the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Belgium (on June 8th) the Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis stated:

"This is a very typical example of the hostile information, and proves we are already being watched and are at informational war. We have no doubt that this was a deliberate and coordinated attempt aiming to raise general society’s condemnation to our allies, as well as discredit the exercises and our joint efforts on defence strengthening."

For more information: https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/crime/netoli-prienu-masine-sarvuociu-avarija-pranesama-apie-suzeistus-jav-karius.d?id=78224371

Keywords: Military, Military exercise, NATO
Countries: Lithuania, US
More
A child was killed during the ongoing NATO exercise in Lithuania
Additional details: A child was killed during the ongoing NATO exercise Saber Strike 2018 in Lithuania. This was announced from a Lithuanian news portal.
Language / Targeted audience: Lithuanian
Disinforming outlet(s): Blog Gelezinisvilkassite, designed to look like it came from a well-known news portal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

On June 7th during military exercise “Saber Strike 2018” in Lithuania four U.S. vehicles “Stryker”, in a road between Lithuania’s cities Kaunas and Prienai, got into an accident. 13 U.S. soldiers suffered injuries. According to a primary information, an obstacle was the cause of an accident. It suddenly appeared on the road and one of four vehicles began to brake quickly. After that, vehicles crashed one into another.

After the incident, in a blog Gelezinisvilkassite an article appeared claiming that a child had been killed in the exercise. The information was specially fabricated to look as it was announced from the real (and very popular) Lithuanian news portal. What is more, the headline and an image were photoshopped.

During the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Belgium (on June 8th) the Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis stated:

"This is a very typical example of the hostile information, and proves we are already being watched and are at informational war. We have no doubt that this was a deliberate and coordinated attempt aiming to raise general society’s condemnation to our allies, as well as discredit the exercises and our joint efforts on defence strengthening."

For more information: https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/crime/netoli-prienu-masine-sarvuociu-avarija-pranesama-apie-suzeistus-jav-karius.d?id=78224371

 

Keywords: Military, Military exercise, NATO
Countries: Lithuania
More
A child died during NATO military exercise in Lithuania
Additional details: The Stryker armored personnel carrier of the US Army carrying American servicemen crashed into a child on a bicycle in Lithuania. As a result of the incident, the child was killed and 13 servicemen were injured. The incident occurred in the Prienai district of Kaunas County in Lithuania on Thursday, June 7.

According to the news portal Delfi, American soldiers who became participants in this incident, apparently, are servicemen of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, which participates in NATO military exercises "Saber Strike 2018".

"Two of the four Stryker armored personnel carriers on their way to Kazl-Ruda left the road," said Capt. Tomas Pakalniškis, the press attaché of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Defense Staff.

In turn, the press attaché of the Alytus District Police Department, Egle Kachinskie, stated that the accident was reported at about 11.10. The child died on the spot. The wounds of the US military are not severe.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Opednews.com
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

On June 7th during military exercise “Saber Strike 2018” in Lithuania four U.S. vehicles “Stryker”, in a road between Lithuania’s cities Kaunas and Prienai, got into an accident. 13 U.S. soldiers suffered injuries. According to a primary information, an obstacle was the cause of an accident. It suddenly appeared on the road and one of four vehicles began to brake quickly. After that, vehicles crashed one into another.

After the incident, in a blog Gelezinisvilkassite an article appeared claiming that a child had been killed in the exercise. The information was specially fabricated to look as it was announced from the real (and very popular) Lithuanian news portal. What is more, the headline and an image were photoshopped.

During the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Belgium (on June 8th) the Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis stated:

"This is a very typical example of the hostile information, and proves we are already being watched and are at informational war. We have no doubt that this was a deliberate and coordinated attempt aiming to raise general society’s condemnation to our allies, as well as discredit the exercises and our joint efforts on defence strengthening."

For more information: https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/crime/netoli-prienu-masine-sarvuociu-avarija-pranesama-apie-suzeistus-jav-karius.d?id=78224371

Keywords: Military, Military exercise, NATO
Countries: Lithuania, US
More
Blaming Russia instead of Ukraine for the MH17 tragedy is Russophobia and demonization of Russia
Additional details: To blame Russia for the downing of MH17 and not Ukraine is demonization of Russia. It's pure Russophobia.

...

During four years the investigators have been engaged in it - well, to say you the truth, without any participation of Russia, but I hope they are honest investigators - and till now, they cannot find anything! And then, suddenly, they took a decision to explain everything at once! This is Russophobia.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://youtu.be/BTRKPEOnhvg?t=1015
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Vremya pokazhet’ @Perviy Kanal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Russophobia is often used by pro-Kremlin outlets to discredit any criticism of the Kremlin https://euvsdisinfo.eu/the-russophobia-myth-appealing-to-the-lowest-feelings/

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.  https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@96068/jit-flight-mh17-shot/

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17originates 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 those produces a number of characteristics. The combination of those 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 also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@103196/update-criminal-0/

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017. During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group. Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border. He held these functions at the time of the downing of MH17. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/05/25/mh17-russian-gru-commander-orion-identified-oleg-ivannikov/

The European Union an NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/25/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-findings-of-the-joint-investigation-team-on-the-downing-of-flight-mh17/ https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_154585.htm

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. https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2018/05/25/mh17-the-netherlands-and-australia-hold-russia-responsible

The US have supported the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia https://twitter.com/statedeptspox/status/1000039780384755712

Keywords: Russophobia, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
JIT and Bellingcat claims on MH17 are based on fakes, JIT is an imitation of real investigation
Additional details: JIT and Bellingcat claims on MH17 are based on fakes, JIT is an imitation of real investigation.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Twitter
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=mh17&disinfo_issue=&date=

Bellingcat has repeatedly asked Russia to provide evidence for accusations of the investigation being "fake" but has not received any. https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/1006073095499796480

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federationhttps://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@96068/jit-flight-mh17-shot/

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research. Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available. Analysis of those produces a number of characteristics. The combination of those 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 also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@103196/update-criminal-0/

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017. During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group. Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border. He held these functions at the time of the downing of MH17. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/05/25/mh17-russian-gru-commander-orion-identified-oleg-ivannikov/

The European Union an NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/25/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-findings-of-the-joint-investigation-team-on-the-downing-of-flight-mh17/ https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_154585.htm

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. https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2018/05/25/mh17-the-netherlands-and-australia-hold-russia-responsible

The US have supported the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia https://twitter.com/statedeptspox/status/1000039780384755712

Keywords: fake news, MH17
Countries: Russia, The Netherlands
More
Russia is not responsible for the downing of flight MH17
Additional details: There is no evidence that would clearly indicate Russia and said it was responsible for the downing of the aircraft. Russia has nothing to do with it.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): cz.sputniknews.com
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federationhttps://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@96068/jit-flight-mh17-shot/

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research. Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available. Analysis of those produces a number of characteristics. The combination of those 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 also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@103196/update-criminal-0/

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017. During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group. Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border. He held these functions at the time of the downing of MH17. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/05/25/mh17-russian-gru-commander-orion-identified-oleg-ivannikov/

The European Union an NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/25/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-findings-of-the-joint-investigation-team-on-the-downing-of-flight-mh17/ https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_154585.htm

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. https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2018/05/25/mh17-the-netherlands-and-australia-hold-russia-responsible

The US have supported the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia https://twitter.com/statedeptspox/status/1000039780384755712

https://euvsdisinfo.eu/retracing-the-steps-of-a-disinformation-campaign/

 

 

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Australia, Malaysia, Russia, The Netherlands
More
Ukrainians and Russians are practically one people
Additional details: Ukrainians and Russians are practically one people.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Channel 1
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine's statehood and Ukrainian nation. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B0%5D=77158&date=&offset=10 Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc.

Keywords: Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Notion of the non-citizens was invented in the Baltic countries to limit the legal rights of the people that live there
Additional details: It is hard to believe that hundreds of thousands of people have been declared non-citizens in a modern civilised society. Such a category does not even exist – it is not envisaged by international law. There are citizens, people with dual citizenship or without any, but the notion of “non-citizens” has never existed. It was invented in the Baltic countries to limit the legal rights of the people that live there. -- This is why we are in dialogue with our partners in the EU in the hope that eventually they will be ashamed that while they pay attention to human rights violations beyond the EU, they allow flagrant violations of human rights on EU territory.

Latvia discriminates Russian-speakers.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the Baltic countries discriminating the Russian-speaking minority. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77106&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77336&date=

The disinformation refers to situation in Latvia.

Non-citizens of Latvia are not stateless persons. The special temporary status "former citizens of the USSR without the citizenship of the Republic of Latvia or any other country" was introduced by Latvian authorities following the collapse of the Soviet Union to a group of persons, who had immigrated during the period of Soviet occupation and who lost their USSR citizenship after the dissolution of the Soviet Union but who had never been citizens of the Republic of Latvia or their descendants and were permanently residing in Latvia.

Non-citizens enjoy equal protection under the law both in Latvia and while living or travelling abroad, and are the only group of persons, in addition to citizens, who are granted permanent residence in Latvia ex lege.

Non-citizens are able to become citizens of Latvia through a simple naturalization procedure, and currently more than 142,000 persons have been granted citizenship of the Republic of Latvia in this manner.

The percentage of non-citizens has dropped to 12% (257 377) in July 2015 compared to 29% (approximately 730 000) in 1995. http://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/policy/society-integration/citizenship-in-latvia/citizenship-policy-in-latvia/basic-facts-about-citizenship-and-language-policy-of-latvia-and-some-sensitive-history-related-issues

Since 2008, Russia has allowed Latvian and Estonian non-citizens to travel without visa to Russia, which makes not becoming a citizen of Latvia or Estonia a favourable option for some.

Further debunking by the Insider https://theins.ru/antifake/105518

Keywords: Human rights, Russian language, Ethnic Russians
Countries: Latvia, Russia, Baltic states, EU
More
Endless accusations give the West a reason to restrain Russia's development
Additional details: This is another way of restraining Russia, just as the notorious sanctions are, because these endless accusations give them reason to apply restraining measures, as those who resort to such methods in dealing with Russia and restraining Russia's development. Why are they doing this? Because they see Russia as a threat, they see that Russia is becoming a rival to them.

---

The West launches "friendly" relations with Russia only when the country collapses and when on these pieces has been built something new.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://vm.ru/news/500982.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Vm.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on sanctions and West's aggression. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sanctions&disinfo_issue=&date= https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77319&date=

Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/

There is in fact a clear record of strong cooperation between the EU and Russia, dating back to 1994, when the two sides negotiated a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Russia was identified as a strategic partner for the EU, and was the only country with which the EU held summits not once, but twice a year. A new EU-Russia agreement was being negotiated up until 2014, at which point talks were unfortunately suspended due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Negotiations were also in train on visa facilitation. There was also cooperation between the EU and Russia on a number of foreign policy issues, some of which continues to this day. The EU and its Member States have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts.

NATO has consistently worked hard to build a cooperative relationship with Russia since the early 1990s, through the Partnership for Peace and creation of a NATO-Russia Council, and specific cooperation in the Western Balkans on and issues like counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism. In fact, as NATO points out, no other NATO partner has been offered a comparable relationship, nor a similarly comprehensive institutional framework: http://bit.ly/2e0TZnG.

In 1997, Russia was invited to join the G7 group of major advanced economies in the world, thus forming the G8. (At the time, Russia ranked 14th to 17th in the list of countries according to GDP: http://bit.ly/2dWb51l; http://bit.ly/2ejhOpw; http://bit.ly/2dqu4jQ). In 2006, President Putin hosted the G8 summit in Saint Petersburg. Russia's membership of the G8 was suspended in 2014 because of its illegal annexation of Crimea.

Russia joined the Council of Europe, the continent's leading human rights organisation, in 1996.

For more on EU-Russia relations see https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/35939/european-union-and-russian-federation_en

For more on NATO-Russia relations see https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_50090.htm

 

 

Keywords: Sanctions
Countries: Russia, The West
More
No chemical warfare agent was used in Salisbury attack
Additional details: If, as Britain claims, chemical weapons were used against these people, they would have died within several minutes on the spot. Thank God this did not happen. So this means we are dealing with something other than a chemical warfare agent.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): TV Zvezda
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Salisbury attack. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The fact that Sergei and Yulia Skripal did not die on the spot does not prove that a nerve agent was not used

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on the Skripal poisoning https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

On Sunday 4 March Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. As for the scar on her throat, news outlets, including the BBC and Telegraph, have described it as a result of a tracheotomy, a surgical procedure which opens a hole in a person's windpipe to help them breathe. She has not shared specifics of her treatment, but described it as "invasive, painful, and depressing." http://uk.businessinsider.com/skripal-poisoning-yulia-skripal-neck-scar-hints-at-painful-recovery-2018-5?r=US&IR=T

For the UK response see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/novichok-nerve-agent-use-in-salisbury-uk-government-response

The OPCW have confirmed the UK findings in the case. "The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people." https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK
More
It seems that the Ukrainian army will take advantage of the World Cup to launch an offensive
Additional details: It seems that the Ukrainian army will take advantage of the World Cup to launch an offensive.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://www.interfax.ru/wc2018/616063
Disinforming outlet(s): Interfax
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the World Cup. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=world+cup&disinfo_issue=&date=&offset=10 No evidence given of any kind of provocation.

Keywords: World Cup, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
Dispatcher is responsible for MH17 tragedy
Additional details: It is the flight dispatching that is responsible for the entire flight, for the passage of the aircraft. If there is a national conflict and air defence weapons are used - not only light weapons, but air defence systems - if there is a risk of the aircraft being shot down, it is obligatory to close the airspace for flights.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTRKPEOnhvg
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 6:32, 8:35   
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on MH17. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=mh17&disinfo_issue=&date=

The airspace was closed over the area up to 32,000 feet. The commercial flight MH17 was passing the area at 33,000 feet. There was nothing to suggest at the time that the presumed ill-equipped pro-Russian separatists would have access to sophisticated weapons that would be able to shoot down an airplane at that height. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/retracing-the-steps-of-a-disinformation-campaign/

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.  https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@96068/jit-flight-mh17-shot/

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research. Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available. Analysis of those produces a number of characteristics. The combination of those 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 also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@103196/update-criminal-0/

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017. During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group. Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border. He held these functions at the time of the downing of MH17. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/05/25/mh17-russian-gru-commander-orion-identified-oleg-ivannikov/

The European Union an NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/25/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-findings-of-the-joint-investigation-team-on-the-downing-of-flight-mh17/https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_154585.htm

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. https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2018/05/25/mh17-the-netherlands-and-australia-hold-russia-responsible

The US have supported the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia https://twitter.com/statedeptspox/status/1000039780384755712

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
The West has imposed sanctions on Moscow to destabilise Russia internally
Additional details: What really motivated the supporters of Russia's isolation is the hope that it will lead inevitably to some internal events in Russia, which will end with the overthrow of the ‘hated regime’. Obviously, it was the main task. Sanctions have been imposed just because of this aim.

  
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B2KzGOwrng
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 40:08
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on sanctions and West's aggression. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sanctions&disinfo_issue=&date= https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77319&date=

Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/

Keywords: Destabilising Russia, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, The West
More
DPR: Ukrainian junta prepares a provocation against an EU-delegation
Additional details: Ukrainian security forces prepare a provocation in Donbas against an EU-delegation, press service of the ministry of state security of DPR tells. They will shoot the delegation's helicopter down and later accuse DPR and LPR.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ruan, Aif.ru, Regnum.ru, Russia Today, rg.ru, gazeta.ru, News Front and others
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on war in Ukraine by a party of the conflict. No evidence given. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77368&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

Keywords: Provocation, Junta, War in Ukraine, DPR, LPR
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
US sabotages Putin's peace efforts in Ukraine
Additional details: The Trump regime has sabotaged Putin’s peace efforts in Syria, Iran, Ukraine, and North Korea. [--] US government officials, the entirety of the US media, and Washington’s British and French vassals have consistently blamed false flag chemical attacks, and in the case of Douma a fake news chemical attack that has been certified not to have taken place, on Assad. [--] Washington plan to use its jihadists to begin destabilising Russia and China
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): IPE, so-l.ru, many others
Reported by: East Stratcom Task Force
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation and conspiracies. Russia provoked a war in Ukraine and continues to support and weapon pro-Russian separatists.

For Douma attack:

On April 7, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma,with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime, according to the EU.

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

See our timeline of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Salisbury poisoning and the Douma chemical attack.

On April 10 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun.

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Jihad, Chemical weapons/attack, Destabilising Russia, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: Iran, China, North Korea, UK, Russia, Ukraine, US, Syria, France
More
Another chemical weapons provocation by Free Syrian Army and the US coming up
Additional details: Free Syrian army and the US prepare another chemical weapons provocation in Syria in Deir ez-Zor, Russian ministry of Defence warns. A fake video will be released and reported by the Western media, and this will be used to justify air strikes by the US-led coalition.






Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Today, Ria Novosti, Aif, Riafan, Gazeta, others
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that chemical attacks in Syria are "fake".  There cannot be "another" imitation of a chemical attack in Syria by the US, as there is no evidence that there has been one before.

Earlier, pro-Kremlin disinformation has claimed that both the 2017 attack in Khan Sheikhoun and 2018 in Douma were faked. UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun. On April 10 2018 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime,according to the EU.

According to the World Health Organisation, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.

More than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2018/chemical-attacks-syria/en/

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation, Media, Syrian War
Countries: US, Syria
More
Merkel urged Europe to unite against the US
Additional details: Merkel urged Europe to unite against the US.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Zvezda TV
Reported by: East Stratcom network
Disproof note:

Chancellor Angela Merkel did not call Europe to unite "against" the US. She made a pitch for Europe to play a more assertive role in global affairs. Merkel also called for joint action on security and migration, saying the bloc should “Europeanize” its presence on the United Nations Security Council.

Keywords: New World Order, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel
Countries: EU, US, Germany
More
WARNING: Donetsk says Ukraine Plans to Massacre EU Delegation
Additional details: The press service of the Ministry of State Security of the Donetsk People’s Republic has reported that Ukrainian forces are preparing a provocation in Donbass which threatens the lives of an incoming EU delegation. The DPR’s ministry claims to have uncovered Ukrainian forces’ plans to use an Igla MANPAD to shoot down the delegation’s helicopter and blame the LPR and DPR. // The loudest act of terror of all those orchestrated by the Ukrainian authorities was the shooting down of Boeing MH17. The Malaysian Boeing’s targeting was the mistake of a Ukrainian pilot who mistook the passenger plane for President Putin’s. 
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Fort-russ.com, Therussophile.org. Similar news reported by Dan-news.info, Southfront.org, Nrt24.ru and others
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on war in Ukraine by a party of the conflict. No evidence given. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77368&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

On MH17: Repeating pro-Kremlin disinformation debunked in 2014. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/flight-mh-17-three-years-on-getting-the-truth-out-of-eastern-ukraine/

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.  https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@96068/jit-flight-mh17-shot/

24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research. Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available. Analysis of those produces a number of characteristics. The combination of those 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 also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@103196/update-criminal-0/

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017. During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group. Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border. He held these functions at the time of the downing of MH17. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2018/05/25/mh17-russian-gru-commander-orion-identified-oleg-ivannikov/

The European Union an NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/05/25/declaration-by-the-high-representative-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-findings-of-the-joint-investigation-team-on-the-downing-of-flight-mh17/https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_154585.htm

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. https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2018/05/25/mh17-the-netherlands-and-australia-hold-russia-responsible

The US have supported the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia https://twitter.com/statedeptspox/status/1000039780384755712

Keywords: EU, Provocation, War in Ukraine, DPR, LPR, Vladimir Putin, MH17
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
Latvian Army shot at civilians in January 1991
Additional details: Latvian Army General Raimonds Graube carried out a provocation by shooting at civilians in January of 1991, just as in 2014 in Ukraine on Maidan where there were unknown snipers who fired on civilians. A movie on the topic shows how pseudo-revolutions are organized.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Movie trailer at mixnews.lv
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

As shown by DFRLab, the aim of the movie appears to be to resurface old allegations of violence during Latvia’s transition to independence and away from the Soviet Union.

The filmmakers of the documentary include Andrey Tatarchuk, a journalist with indirectly Kremlin-financed Baltnews.lv, and a Russian artist from Estonia named Sergey Chetvertnoy. Dmitry Yermolaev, the Editor in Chief of the official Kremlin media outlet Rosiyskie Vesti Latvian edition accused two Latvian military officers of shooting at civilians. In 2005, the Latvian Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB) blacklisted Yermolaev as a Russian intelligence officer.

Rita Aksenoka, the former Head of the Extraordinary Criminal Investigations at the General Prosecutor’s Office, said: From everything I heard and saw, frankly, there is not a single true word (in the movie). There are some facts that are interpreted in a biased way.

Recurring disinformation that the snipers in Ukraine were directed by the Maidan leaders, and that they were Georgian https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=Georgia&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77122&date=, http://mythdetector.ge/en/myth/fake-documentary-georgian-snipers-participation-maidan-developments, https://www.stopfake.org/en/?s=snipers.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Euromaidan
Countries: Latvia, Ukraine
More
Stalin Awarded the Territory of South Ossetia to Georgia
Additional details: The territory of South Ossetia was awarded to Georgia by Stalin, ignoring the will of South Ossetians.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sakinform
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Historical revisionism. The territory of the so-called South Ossetia has never been outside Georgia’s jurisdiction. Under the Treaty of Moscow of 7 May 1920, Russia recognized Georgia’s independence. Under the treaty, the territory at stake was in Georgia’s jurisdiction. Accordingly, in 1922, Stalin could not possibly award additionally another territory to Georgia.

Further debunking by Myth Detector

 

Keywords: State oppression, Joseph Stalin
Countries: Georgia
More
Ukraine Boasts about Crimea Drought
Additional details: Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis representative council boasted about the water problems Ukraine had created for Crimea and said that even if Ukraine allowed water from the mainland to reach the Russian annexed peninsula, it could always turn it off again and that Ukraine would not negotiate Crimean water issues with Moscow.The country is sincerely proud that, having blocked the North-Crimean channel, created problems for the inhabitants of the peninsula.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Zvezda
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The Ukrainian web publication Obozrevatel published Mustafa Dzhemilev’s reaction to Crimea’s drought. There is certainly no boasting or bragging in what Dzhemilev says, he simply confirms that Crimea has water problems and as a result, agriculture on the peninsula is suffering. Russian media totally ignored him saying if Crimea wasn’t under Russian control, Ukraine would have to invest greatly to restore the peninsula’s agricultural sector.

Ukraine provided up to 85 percent of fresh water supplies to Crimea through the North Crimean Canal from the Dnipro River. After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 Crimea stopped paying its water bills to Ukraine resulting in massive debt. Ukraine then ceased supplying water to Crimea.

Further debunking by Stopfake.org.

Keywords: illegal annexation, Crimean Tatars, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukraine is increasing its military presence in Donbas and is preparing a major provocation
Additional details: Ukraine is increasing its military presence in Donbas and is preparing a major provocation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @Rossiya 1, 31:51
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:
No evidence of any war preparations, and no independent sources confirm this. https://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/reports

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukrainian aggression against Russia. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

More on the fighting in Eastern Ukraine: https://www.rferl.org/a/29241384.html

Keywords: Provocation, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Russian mass media is free
Additional details: Our mass media is free (in Russia). People are free to speak out and make a name for themselves as representatives of many political movements do.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): kremlin.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The Freedom House 2018 Freedom in the World report rates Russia “Not Free,” based on Russia’s score on the “Freedom rating” – 6.5; For “Political rights” – 7; And for “Civil liberties” – 6 on a scale of “1=Most Free; 7=Least Free.

“Power in Russia’s authoritarian political system is concentrated in the hands of President Vladimir Putin. With loyalist security forces, a subservient judiciary, a controlled media environment, and a legislature consisting of a ruling party and pliable opposition groups, the Kremlin is able to manipulate elections and inhibit genuine opposition. The country’s rampant corruption is one notable threat to state power, as it facilitates shifting links among bureaucrats and organized crime groups,” Freedom House said.

There are twenty-two major national TV channels in Russia, and the federal government owns twenty of them either directly or via proxy firms such as Gazprom, a gas giant with state-controlled majority shares.

Further debunking by Polygraph.info

Keywords: Freedom of speech, Media, Vladimir Putin
Countries: Russia
More
International football tournament in Sweden deems pork to be "haram"
Additional details:

The organizers of the international youth football tournament Gothia Cup, organized every year in Gothenburg, have decided from now on to be an Islam-adapted event. It is proclaimed that pork meat is now unauthorized - haram - to serve.




Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Infowars
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

It is a common disinformation narrative about Sweden that the country is being "islamized".

The Gothia Cup tournament leader explains that for the last fifteen years, the tournament has served this kind of menu for practical reasons. It is an international youth tournament and the menu is adapted to suit as many as possible. The tournament has not declared pork meat to be "haram" and pork is not banned on the area, it is just not included in the menus served to the teams that participate. Further debunking by Faktiskt.se

 

Keywords: Islamisation, Muslim/Islam
Countries: Sweden
More
US Special Forces helping FSA plot chemical attack to trigger strikes on Syria forces – Russian MoD
Additional details: To imitate yet another ‘chemical attack by the regime against peaceful civilians’, the rebels brought canisters filled with chlorine. [--]

On April 7 in Douma, the controversial White Helmets group poured cold water over kids after prompting panic over a fake “chemical attack". [--]

None of the patients at the local hospitals showed any symptoms of chemical weapons poisoning, witnesses said.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Today, Sputnik, others
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that chemical attacks in Syria are "fake".  There cannot be "another" imitation of a chemical attack in Syria by the US, as there has not been one before.

Earlier, pro-Kremlin disinformation has claimed that both the 2017 attack in Khan Sheikhoun and 2018 in Douma were faked. UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Shaykhun. On April 10 2018 Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Background:

On 7 April 2018, a high number of civilians were killed in the besieged Syrian city of Douma, with evidence pointing towards another chemical attack by the regime,according to the EU.

According to the World Health Organisation, during the shelling of Douma on Saturday, an estimated 500 patients presented to health facilities exhibiting signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals.

More than 70 people sheltering in basements have reportedly died, with 43 of those deaths related to symptoms consistent with exposure to highly toxic chemicals. Two health facilities were also reportedly affected by these attacks. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2018/chemical-attacks-syria/en/

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/

In September 2017, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic summarized 33 separate incidents where it had found use of chemical weapons. Since then there have been several additional suspected chemical attacks. Between March 2013 and March 2017, the Commission documented 25 incidents of chemical weapons use in the Syrian Arab Republic, of which 20 were proven to have been perpetrated by government forces and used primarily against civilians.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/IICISyria/Pages/IndependentInternationalCommission.aspx

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War, Secret services
Countries: Russia, US, Syria
More

 


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