For the past several weeks, the Kremlin’s channels have focused mainly on spreading disinformation about Western countries: trying to bury the facts about the Skripal poisoning under distractions and fakes; or inventing other chemical and biological attacks, like here, or here. But this past week, Russia’s disinformation campaign has re-focused on its number one target: Ukraine.

Thus, Kremlin-directed TV shows poured out the vitriol of disinformation messages known already since 2014, claiming that:

All these disinformation messages have been proven false countless times, yet pro-Kremlin outlets keep repeating them – showing again that their purpose is not to inform, but to spread lies, to disinform, mislead, and spread hatred.

The debunks are once again repeated under the individual cases. We highlight here the general underlying strategy behind these fabrications. As documented by historian Timothy Snyder in his book The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America, the message denying that Ukraine is a state was spread already by the fascist philosopher Ivan Ilyin in the first half of the 20th century, and was repeated later by top Russian representatives. By 2014, the word “fascist” had became synonymous with “Ukrainians who resisted Russian invasion” (chapter 4).

“Schizofascism was one of many contradictions on display in spring 2014. According to Russian propaganda, Ukrainian society was full of nationalists but not a nation; the Ukrainian state was repressive but did not exist; Russians were forced to speak Ukrainian though there was no such language,” writes  Snyder.

The claim that “country XY is not a state anymore” is not new in the Kremlin’s arsenal. In the note of the USSR government to the Polish Ambassador, Foreign Minister Molotov justified the Soviet invasion of Poland with the claim that “the Polish state ceased to exist”.

Show me your evidence! Well, THAT is no evidence

But the pro-Kremlin outlets did not abandon Western countries totally. A significant portion of the Russian TV shows focused in this past week on the recent revelations in the case of the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, and in particular on the identity of the two GRU agents involved in it – as presented in joint investigation by Bellingcat and The Insider. They also focused on the recent expulsion of GRU agents who were trying to hack the OPCW in the Netherlands.

This time, the disinformation organisations have not yet produced any “counter-evidence”, like faked documents or pictures pushing an alternative version of the story – as we have seen so often for example in the case of MH17. The defensive lines instead mostly followed two strands: that “The West is blaming Russia for everything bad that happens”; and that “there is no real evidence at all”.

Thus, we saw rather primitive rejections of the evidence presented, like: “Bellingcat did not investigate the Skripal poisoning”“there is no evidence that Chepiga and Mishkin are GRU agents”“the GRU agents were no GRU agents, but mere IT experts”; or “the OPCW and other international organisations are Russophobic”.

Last week, Czech radio published a story that the two GRU agents who tried to poison Skripal in Salisbury were following him already a few years ago during his visit to the Czech Republic.

And here again, the Pro-Kremlin disinformation machine produced a rather surprising defence: allegedly, the agents Chepiga and Mishkin did not go to the Czech Republic to follow their future victim, but to check on the Czech supplies of Novichok (the Czech Republic has clearly denied producing Novichok). How the idea that Chepiga and Mishkin were on a visit to check supplies of Novichok helps exonerate them remains a mystery.

Repetition is the mother of all disinformation

In order to achieve their desired impact, disinformation messages need to be constantly repeated, through as many channels as possible – as e.g. the RAND report The Russian “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda model described already two years ago. And some of the “Golden Oldies” of disinformation were indeed repeated again this week, targeting organisations and individuals that are very high on the target list of Russia’s propaganda. So, we learned: “the White Helmets smuggle chlorine to Syria and stage provocations”“Angela Merkel plans to relocate 500,000 migrants to Georgia”; and “after staging colour revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, George Soros is now planning a colour revolution in the US”. See the table for the debunks.

All this messaging shows the clear distinction between real media on one hand, and tools of a disinformation campaign on the other. Whereas real media might make a mistake, but when proven wrong will correct it, the pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets keep deliberately repeating false messages no matter how many times they are presented with the facts.

The US plans to apply sanctions against Georgia
Additional details: By introducing sanctions and taxes against Russia, Iran, Turkey and China the USA declared indirect war to Georgia, as all these countries are Georgia's main trade-economic partners.


There is information that the USA will soon apply these sanctions against the Caucasus ''three'' – Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. This policy of USA sanctions against the South Caucasus will not only endanger the region's security and balance, but will also destroy the ''moribund'' economies of Armenia and Georgia. By this America will push once more Georgia and Azerbaijan towards Russia, the Collective Security Treaty and the Eurasian Economic Union with a perspective to resolve the territorial conflicts in Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia simultaneously.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sakinformi (saqinform.ge)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Georgia being threatened with sanctions by the US.

Georgia is one of the United States’ closest non-NATO partners among the post-Soviet states and the US supports its sovereignity. There is no information about US planning to introduce sanctions against this country.

Keywords: Eurasian economic union, US, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, US, Georgia
More
Ukraine is a Nazi regime
Additional details: The process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian orthodox Church will result in the collapse of the Nazi regime in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (1tv.ru), time 42:08
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the Nazis that is repeated ever since the outbreak of the Euromaidan revolution. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=Ukraine&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77101&date=

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of large parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The total number of members of radical groups, e.g. the "Right Sector", never amounted to more than a few hundred to a maximum of a thousand people. The vast majority of the protesters (up to two million at one time nationwide) consisted of peaceful Ukrainian citizens: http://bit.ly/1Tl9X7W.

The insignificance of the "Right Sector" is evident from the election results – their candidate received 0.7% of the vote in the May 2014 presidential elections, and the party received 1.8% of the vote in the October 2014 parliamentary elections.

Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
There is freedom in Crimea, whereas Ukraine is governed by criminals and terrorists
Additional details: There is absolute freedom in Crimea, Russia has often invited Western delegations to Crimea to demonstrate how calm the situation is on the peninsula.

Ukraine encompassing Crimea does not exist anymore. It was once free and democratic, however, nowadays a group of war criminals have taken power of the country, and they actively use state terrorism as a goal.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

According to the Freedom House, Russia used coercion to increase the participation of Crimeans in Russian elections; the Crimean Tatars are being repressed and the Mejlis - an organisation representing the Crimean Tatars - was banned; the Russian FSB use intimidation and harassment to eliminate opposition to Russian occupation; a forced Russification is ongoing (including making anything connected to Ukraine a taboo); and rights to freedom of association are severely restricted: https://bit.ly/2Op9YNH

There is a regular pattern of promoting as official the visits by groups that have no official status and do not represent the government view or have their support.

In June 2018, the EU prolonged the sanctions for the illegal annexation of Crimea for one year. See also the Fact Sheet on EU's non-recognition policy for Crimea.

Current Ukrainian authorities have been elected in legitimate and democratic elections.

Keywords: Crimean Tatars, War in Ukraine, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
More than 50% of Ukrainian population in Dnipro city support Russia
Additional details: Ukrainian city Dnipro shows strong pro-Russian tendencies, the city literally stands on the threshold of the “Russian world”. 50% of population have changed their pro-Ukrainian views and do not hide their sympathy for Russia, some citizens express support for the USSR.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/news/20181003/1021312817.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. According to the National Democratic Institute of Ukraine, most residents from central territories, including the Dnipropetrovsk region, consider the influence of Russia to be negative (80%). The poll of the sociological service “Rating” (July 2018) showed that 34% of Dnipro population support the EU and 16% - the Eurasian Customs Union. At the same time, two-thirds of city residents consider Russia an aggressor and 46% of population do not regret the collapse of the USSR.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukrainian citizens allegedly supporting Russia.

Further debunking by Stop Fake.

Keywords: fake statistics, Ukraine, Russian world
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council urged to prepare for war with Russia
Additional details:
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov urged the country to prepare for war with Russia. He believes that Russia allegedly redeploys some mythical military divisions on the border with Ukraine. Kyiv for several years has unreasonably accused Russia of “aggression”.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Zvezda TV
Tsargrad TV
Izvestia
Regnum news agency
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In fact, Turchynov said that Russia is trying to escalate the situation in the region.

"We can see active attempts to deploy additional military units along the Ukrainian border, and their number is already comparable with those of 2014 when the Russian Federation Council decided to deploys troops [to Crimea and Donbas]. These new units are not simply a demonstration of force. They can be used for active military actions. We should understand and be ready for it", said Turchynov.

Further debunking by Stop Fake.

Russia's actions in Ukraine are a clear violation of international law. Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter declares without ambiguity that "all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations". UNGA Resolution 68/262 also affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and underscored the invalidity of the 2014 Crimean referendum. The UN rejects attempts of Russia or any other state to change the state boarders of Ukraine.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The recent ammo depot explosion in Ukraine was meant to hide evidence on MH17
Additional details: The recent ammo depot explosion near Ichnya, Chernihiv region was meant to hide evidence regarding the presence of Buk missile system in Ukraine. Such explosions can be also hiding arms smuggling into Europe. Also, sources say that there are explosions of phosphorus munitions prohibited by the OPCW.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vzglyad
Zvezda TV
Tsargrad
Moskovsky Komsomolets
Ucraina.eu
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

Deputy commander of the Ukrainian General Staff, Rodyon Tymoshenko, told a news conference the incident began with four explosions across the depot. "The intensity of the blasts suggests that it was most probably sabotage," he said.

See more on Stop Fake.

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17. The Joint Investigation Team investigation has meticulously traced the BUK that shot down MH17 on its way from Russia and back.  For a full explanation of the findings from the JIT, watch their video where they conclude that the BUK that shot down MH17 came from the Russian Armed Forces. It was transported into pro-Russian separatist controlled area by a Russian convoy. There is forensic and visual evidence, and three independent investigations have all come to the same conclusion. Meanwhile, Russia used its veto to block a draft resolution to set up an international tribunal into the MH17 air disaster.

Keywords: OPCW, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Merkel plans to relocate 500,000 migrants to Georgia by the end of 2020
Additional details: It is planned to relocate 500,000 migrants to Georgia by the end of 2020. The Georgian government and the opposition have given their consent to it. The story is illustrated with a picture of Angela Merkel on the background of refugees.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Mystar.ge
Facebook page of the Georgian ultra-nationalist movement National Force
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about migrants being relocated to Georgia.

Georgia has no commitment to accept migrants. No similar statements on accepting migrants have ever been made either by the Georgian government or by the opposition. Further debunking by Mythdetector.

Keywords: EU, Migration crisis, Angela Merkel
Countries: Europe, EU, Germany, Georgia
More
Ukraine is not a country, it is a territory
Additional details: A country that does not punish those who are guilty is not a state, and those behind the "mass killings in Maidan and Odessa" have not been brought to justice.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (1tv.ru), time 25:20
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Repeated disinformation undermining the statehood and thus the territorial integrity of Ukraine. For hundreds of similar cases in the past, see https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=ukraine&disinfo_issue=&date=

Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. UNGA Resolution 68/262 also affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders: http://bit.ly/1RZGnjo.

The protesters on Maidan were killed by Berkut, an elite police force loyal to President Yanukovych, against whom the Ukrainian people protested and who later fled to Russia.

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, War in Ukraine, Euromaidan, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
More
There is no elected parliament in Ukraine
Additional details: Ukrainian MPs are no MPs. They are hooligans, nobody elected them. There is no elected parliament in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu9eGso_ALQ
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1, time 09:12
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

The EU strongly supported the holding of open, genuine and democratic Presidential and parliamentary elections in May and October 2014: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/statements/docs/2014/140612_01_en.pdf

OSCE: The elections marked an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate democratic elections in line with its international commitments. There were many positive points to the process, such as an impartial and efficient Central Election Commission, an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/132556?download=true

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine is a Nazi dictatorship
Additional details: All diplomatic ties need to be severed with Ukraine, it is a Nazi dictatorship that needs to be squashed, including with the help of the international community.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu9eGso_ALQ
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1, time 15:35
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the Nazis.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of large parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The total number of members of radical groups, e.g. the "Right Sector", never amounted to more than a few hundred to a maximum of a thousand people. The vast majority of the protesters (up to two million at one time nationwide) consisted of peaceful Ukrainian citizens: http://bit.ly/1Tl9X7W.

The insignificance of the "Right Sector" is evident from the election results – their candidate received 0.7% of the vote in the May 2014 presidential elections, and the party received 1.8% of the vote in the October 2014 parliamentary elections.

Keywords: Dictatorship, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
Mustafa Dzhemilev is a terrorist who calls for killing Crimeans
Additional details: Mustafa Dzhemilev is a terrorist who calls for killing Russians and also for killing Crimeans.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu9eGso_ALQ
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1, time 21:50
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Repeated disinformation about Crimean Tatars (https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=crimean+tatars&disinfo_issue=&date=) and their leader, a former Soviet dissident and human rights advocate Mustafa Dzhemilev (https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=dzhemilev&disinfo_issue=&date=). There is no evidence that Mustafa Dzhemilev would call for killing Russians or Ukrainians in Crimea.

Keywords: Mustafa Dzhemilev, Crimean Tatars
Countries: Ukraine
More
Russia does not wage any war in Ukraine. Ukraine is governed by pro-Fascist elites
Additional details: Russia is not waging any war in Ukraine. Pro-Fascist elites seized the power in the country.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu9eGso_ALQ
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1, time 30:35
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about war in Ukraine. euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. For further debunking see euvsdisinfo.eu/report/russian-spring-civil-war-was-unleashed-in-east-of-ukraine-by-little-nazis-in-kyiv-after-a-coup/

The International Criminal Court believes that “there exists a sensible or reasonable justification for a belief that a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Court ‘has been or is being committed’” within the Crimean and Donbas territories of Ukraine. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2016/11/20/international-criminal-court-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-is-a-crime-not-a-civil-war/#705ee9a27ddb

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/vladimir-putin-admits-russian-military-presence-ukraine

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the Nazis.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of large parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The total number of members of radical groups, e.g. the "Right Sector", never amounted to more than a few hundred to a maximum of a thousand people. The vast majority of the protesters (up to two million at one time nationwide) consisted of peaceful Ukrainian citizens: http://bit.ly/1Tl9X7W.

The insignificance of the "Right Sector" is evident from the election results – their candidate received 0.7% of the vote in the May 2014 presidential elections, and the party received 1.8% of the vote in the October 2014 parliamentary elections.

Keywords: Russian expansionism, War in Ukraine, Russian world, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
"Glory to Ukraine" is a Nazi greeting
Additional details: "Glory to Ukraine" and "Glory to heroes" is a Nazi greeting that has become an official greeting in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti v 20:00 @ Rossiya 1 (russia.tv), time 23:00
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation.

"During the Euromaidan this slogan basically lost its particular connection to the OUN and became one of the symbols of the pro-European protests," says Oleksandr Zaitsev, a historian from the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, in a DW article.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and the Nazis.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of large parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The total number of members of radical groups, e.g. the "Right Sector", never amounted to more than a few hundred to a maximum of a thousand people. The vast majority of the protesters (up to two million at one time nationwide) consisted of peaceful Ukrainian citizens: http://bit.ly/1Tl9X7W.

The insignificance of the "Right Sector" is evident from the election results – their candidate received 0.7% of the vote in the May 2014 presidential elections, and the party received 1.8% of the vote in the October 2014 parliamentary elections.

Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
The dialogue between Russia and the West is limited to sanctions, pressure and threats
Additional details: The dialogue between Russia and the West is limited to sanctions, pressure, threats and isolation. It is directed by Lenin's principle "one step forward, two steps backward".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Rossiya 1 (russia.tv), time 1:45:20
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin misleading narrative about the West as Russophobic https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77113&date=

The EU's most recent policy vis-a-vis Russia has been formulated in 2016 in the Five Guiding Principles that include selective engagement with Russia on issues like migration, counter-terrorism, or climate change; or support for Russia's civil society.

In the Foreign Affairs Council 16 April 2018, all the EU Foreign Ministers saw as a key issue to increase EU:s support for Russian citizens, civil society, human rights defenders, people to people contacts, especially with a focus on the youth of the Russian Federation.

In practise this means for example the Erasmus+ programme. Russian students and researchers are among the first - if not the first - of third countries benefiting from the Erasmus+ programme. It is something the EU wants to increase to make sure that links between the people are not only maintained but also increased. eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/42996/remarks-hrvp-mogherini-press-conference-following-foreign-affairs-council_en

There was 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 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.

Keywords: Russophobia, The West, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, The West
More
There is no evidence the Skripal poisoning suspects are GRU agents
Additional details: Suddenly, accusations appeared that the two Skripal poisoning suspects are not businessmen Boshirov and Petrov (as was the Russian version), but GRU agents Chepiga and Mishkin. But is there any evidence of that? There is none.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: radiovesti.ru/brand/60948/episode/1944667/
Disinforming outlet(s): "Polnyy Kontakt" @ Vesti FM (radiovesti.ru), time 04:50
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: Russia
More
OPCW violates Russia's rights and/or demonstrates open Russophobia
Additional details: The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) violated the Chemical Weapons Convention when it agreed with the findings of the British investigation on the Skripal case. Why does Russia need to be a member of international organizations that openly violate Russia's rights or demonstrate open Russophobia?
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Rossiya 1 (russia.tv), time 1:35:55
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

The OPCW representatives merely refused another disinformation message spread by Russia, namely that the OPCW had found a western military chemical agent in the poison: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/18/opcw-rejects-russian-claims-of-second-salisbury-nerve-agent

This is how 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/

Recurring pro-Kremlin misleading narrative about the West as Russophobic https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77113&date=

Keywords: OPCW, Sergei Skripal, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, The West
More
Bellingcat did not investigate Skripal poisoning and publishes leaks from British intelligence
Additional details: Bellingcat did not investigate Skripal poisoning and, in fact, published leaks from British intelligence.

Bellingcat, just as in the case of the Malaysian "Boeing" shot down in Ukraine, presented as "results of its investigation" materials provided by Western intelligence services. However, there is no investigation of the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings, said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia 1
Vesti.ru
Reported by: East Statcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Skripals poisoning.

Bellingcat and the Insider provide evidence that both “Alexander Petrov” and “Ruslan Boshirov” are active GRU officers. This conclusion is based both on objective data and on discussions with confidential Russian sources familiar with the identity of either one of the two persons.

Bellingcat can confirm the authenticity of the leaked passport file of “Boshirov”, and that it contains all three markings that helped identify “Petrov” as a security-service asset: “Top Secret” annotations, a blank biographical page referring to a secret attached letter, a “do not provide information” stamp, and issuing authority unit 777001, exclusively used for state VIPs and intelligence officers. In addition, “Boshirov” also has no recorded history prior to the issuance of his domestic ID passport in 2010 (2009 in “Petrov”’s case). See further debunking by the Bellingcat.

See further debunking on The Insider.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Maria Zakharova, Secret services
Countries: UK, Russia
More
White Helmets smuggle chlorine into Syria and they stage provocations
Additional details: White Helmets are smuggling chlorine into Syria. This group is hired by the British and the Americans to set up provocations.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3gvmL1C5ak
Disinforming outlet(s): Polnyi kontakt s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Vesti FM (radiovesti.ru)
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Another round of disinformation about the White Helmets preparing a staged chemical attack in Syria started spreading on August 25 by the Russian Ministry of Defence; see latest cases on White Helmets: https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=white+helmets&disinfo_issue=&date=

Keywords: false flag, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation, Syrian War
Countries: UK, US, Syria
More
Former East Germans are still second-rate citizens in current Germany
Additional details: Soviet Union and its last leader Mikhail Gorbachev ignored the rights of 16 million East German citizens when he agreed to the German reunification treaty. As a result, these people became - and still remain - second-rate citizens.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWWON9Z6DOw
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti nedeli s Dmitriem Kiselyovym @ Rossiya 1, time 53:38
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

The reunification of Germany was not an act permitted by Mikhail Gorbachev, but the result of the will of the German people as manifested in free elections: https://www.britannica.com/place/Germany/The-reunification-of-Germany

Germany is a democratic country fully respecting democracy and rule of law with the best Freedom rating available: https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2018/germany

Despite the fact that some economic differences between the former West and East Germany remain (see e.g. a report by Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung, "So geht Einheit. Wie weit das einst geteilte Deutschland zusammengewachsen ist"), there are no second-rate citizens.

Keywords: Mikhail Gorbachev, USSR
Countries: USSR, Germany
More
The proportion of people who want friendship between Russia and Ukraine remained the same over the past 10 years
Additional details: The proportion of people who want friendship between Russia and Ukraine remained the same over the past 10 years. This is despite a campaign of anti-Russian propaganda in Ukraine and numerous infringements of Russian speakers’ rights which have been taking place since 2014. According to polls made by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) and Russia’s independent Levada Center, 48% of Ukrainians now view Russia in a positive light, up from 37% last year. By contrast, 32% of Ukrainians view Russians negatively, down from 46% in 2017.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT (Russia Today)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Vladimir Paniotto, director general of KIIS, described RT’s analysis as a “strange mixture of real data with some fantasy,” adding he “couldn’t understood” where they had taken their figures from.

"After [Russia’s annexation of] Crimea we had a dramatic drop of positive attitudes to Russia, from 85% in 2013 to 30% (in May 2015). In 2008, only 10% of Ukrainians wanted closed borders with Russia. In December 2014 [that figure was] 50% and now [it’s] about 40% (38%),” Paniotto said for Polygraph.info.

Further debunking on Polygraph.

UNGA Resolution 68/262, which condemned Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine, was supported by 100 United Nations member states. Only 10 states opposed it.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukrainians widely supporting Russia.

 

Keywords: fake statistics, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Russian TV exposed the lies of US special envoy for Ukraine
Additional details: TV channel Russia 1 exposed the lies of U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker. He posted a picture of a woman allegedly shelled by "Donetsk People's Republic", whereas in fact she is shelled by Ukrainian army. 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia 1
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In fact, Volker's tweet does not mention "shelling" launched by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. He says: "These are some of the many victims of Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine. We can stop the suffering if Russia was willing to choose ". The Russian journalist mistranslated the tweet when interviewing the old woman.

Whereas it is not clear whose shelling had hit the woman's house, it is clear whose aggression caused the situation in Ukraine - which is confirmed by International Criminal Court, or PACE.

The photo published by Volker is part of the photojournalist Paula Bronstein's project about the elderly from both sides of the line of demarcation: both in the occupied territories and those controlled Ukraine.

Further debunking by Stop Fake: https://www.stopfake.org/fejk-kanal-rossiya-razoblachil-lozh-spetspredstavitelya-ssha-kurta-volkera/

 

Keywords: Kurt Volker, Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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The GRU duo went to Czech Republic not to follow Skripal, but to track Novichok, which the Czechs used to have
Additional details: Suspected poisoners Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov went to the Czech Republic when Skripal could have been there. The British say they were tracking him - but maybe they were tracking the Novichok nerve agent, which Porton Down and the Czechs had.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli s Iradoi Zeynalovoy @ NTV, time 40:50
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

The Czech government has refused the claims from Russian sources that it would have produced Novichok. The nerve agent produced in the country was not the same.

Background:
Anatoly Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin (alleged Ruslan Boshirov and Aleksandr Petrov) visited Czech Republic in 2014 when Skripal was there as well. "It looks like the Russians had a group of people that followed Skripal long before the attempt to assassinate him," the publicly funded Czech radio station quoted one source as saying. See the English rereading of the Czech Radio report here.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Miloš Zeman
Countries: Czech Republic, UK
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The supposed GRU agents arrested in the Netherlands were actually mere IT experts
Additional details: In the Netherlands, the supposed GRU agents arrested outside the OPCW HQ were actually IT experts. They were checking the security of the Russian embassy's communications, which had been bugged. That they were by the OPCW building is coincidence - the Russian embassy is just across the road.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli s Iradoi Zeynalovoy @ NTV, time 43:00
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

The Dutch authorities presented numerous evidence about the real identity of the GRU agents and the real purpose of their trip - like taxi receipts for the trip from the GRU building in Moscow to the airport, passport scans, and the specialist equipment which the GRU agents tried to destroy when they were caught. See e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/netherlands-halted-russian-cyber-attack-on-chemical-weapons-body

Keywords: GRU, Sergei Skripal
Countries: The Netherlands
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George Soros is planning a colour revolution in the US
Additional details: George Soros is planning a colour revolution in the US. He has been financing destabilising and revolutionary movements aimed at overthrowing governments. He played a major role in the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, in the organisation and financing of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, and in the Euromaidan in 2014.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Postskriptum @ TVC (tvc.ru), time 37:45
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

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

Similarly, the previous revolution in Ukraine and the Georgian revolution were driven by the desire of the people, as confirmed in subsequent elections.

Repeating the conspiracy claims about George Soros that have been spread by Russian and pro-Kremlin outlets in the past couple of years, see e.g. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/the-all-powerful-mr-soros-2/

No evidence for any "colour revolution in the US" or Mr Soros's role in it.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Euromaidan, George Soros
Countries: Ukraine, US, Georgia
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There is a civil war in Ukraine and Russia has no role in it
Additional details: There is a civil war in Ukraine and Russia has no role in it
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWaGV7-gBDs
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1, time 17:22
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about war in Ukraine. https://www.euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. For further debunking see https://www.euvsdisinfo.eu/report/russian-spring-civil-war-was-unleashed-in-east-of-ukraine-by-little-nazis-in-kyiv-after-a-coup/

The International Criminal Court believes that “there exists a sensible or reasonable justification for a belief that a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Court ‘has been or is being committed’” within the Crimean and Donbas territories of Ukraine. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2016/11/20/international-criminal-court-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-is-a-crime-not-a-civil-war/#705ee9a27ddb

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/vladimir-putin-admits-russian-military-presence-ukraine

Keywords: War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukraine has started a war against its own nation
Additional details: Ukraine has started the conflict in 2014 and it keeps conducting a war against its own nation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWaGV7-gBDs
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1, time 34:10
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about war in Ukraine. https://www.euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. For further debunking see https://www.euvsdisinfo.eu/report/russian-spring-civil-war-was-unleashed-in-east-of-ukraine-by-little-nazis-in-kyiv-after-a-coup/

The International Criminal Court believes that “there exists a sensible or reasonable justification for a belief that a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Court ‘has been or is being committed’” within the Crimean and Donbas territories of Ukraine. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2016/11/20/international-criminal-court-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-is-a-crime-not-a-civil-war/#705ee9a27ddb

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/vladimir-putin-admits-russian-military-presence-ukraine

Keywords: War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
US project to revive fascism in the EU
Additional details: US asked the EU authorities to "turn a blind eye" to the migrants' crimes, which turned the streets of Europe into Sodom and Gomorrah. The migration crisis was part of a George Soros' plan, who wants to deprive countries of their sovereignty, legalize same-sex marriages and change the demographic composition of the EU.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Website of the "Institute of High Communitarianism"
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theories, no evidence presented.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about George Soros and US allegedly supporting migration crisis in Europe.

Keywords: EU, US, Migration crisis, George Soros, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: EU, US
More
Finland cooperates with NATO in order to get territory in the Arctic
Additional details: [Context: Trident Juncture 2018] Finland started a very close cooperation with NATO, as Helsinki claims a certain piece of territory in the Arctic. Therefore Finland has an economic interest in this case.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Baltnews
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Finland has a wide-ranging and enhanced partnership with NATO.

NATO and Finland actively cooperate in peace-support operations and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas. Finland has no territorial claims in the Arctic.

Finland’s foreign and EU policy in the Arctic region is based on the cooperation conducted in the EU, the Arctic Council and the Barents Euro-Arctic Council as well as within the Northern Dimension Partnerships. The objectives of Finland's arctic policy are:

  • to strengthen multilateral Arctic cooperation
  • to take part in the shaping of the EU's Arctic policy
  • to raise Finland's profile as an expert in Arctic issues.
Keywords: Arctic, NATO
Countries: Finland
More
Ukraine is a part of "Russian World"
Additional details: When we say 'schism', we all speak not of the Church schism per se, but of the schism in the Ukrainian society, the schism in the Russian world, which Ukraine is a part of, if you will.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (1tv.ru), time 05:15
Reported by: East StratCom Network
Disproof note:

Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc.

"Russian World" is a narrative created by the Kremlin for its own political purpose.

Ukraine is currently defending itself from Russian aggression on its territory, see e.g. http://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/russian-spring-civil-war-was-unleashed-in-east-of-ukraine-by-little-nazis-in-kyiv-after-a-coup/ 

Keywords: Russian superiority, Russian expansionism, Russian world
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
EU will change the political regime in the UK to annoy the US
Additional details: EU will change the political regime in the UK to annoy the US. The EU leaders have a lot of complaints against the US, so they try to use Brexit to punish the "main US ally in Europe" - the UK.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU using the Brexit to "insult the UK".

More about the EU's position on Brexit here.

Keywords: Brexit, EU, US
Countries: UK, EU, US
More
Europe is dying: decay of moral and family values
Additional details: Europe is dying. Europe will be destroyed by an army of a million of migrant militants stationed in underground cities. Germany confiscates private homes to use for migrants.

The Europeans became amorphous consumers who are not capable of resistance, they behave like a livestock. The process of destruction of morality and family values in Europe has already reached a critical “point of no return”.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Kramola
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Europe's moral decay and migration crisis with no supporting evidence given.

Keywords: Western values, EU, European values, Migration crisis
Countries: Europe, EU
More
A monument to the Soviet Soldier-Liberator demolished in Lithuania
Additional details: A monument to the Soviet Soldier-Liberator has been demolished in Lithuania. This monument - a huge boulder on which the face of a Red Army soldier was carved - was installed over 30 years ago. The local authorities decided to definitely dismantle it within the framework of a so-called decommunization policy.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Perviy Kanal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about soviet monuments being dismantled all over Europe.

In fact, the monument mentioned by Russian media is not demolished, but transferred to the Grutas sculpture park (50 km from the monument’s original location), where Soviet-era monuments are exposed. According to The Insider, the author of the memorial, the sculptor Vladas Krušna, who died in 2014, himself proposed to transfer the sculpture to Grutas Park.

Keywords: USSR, Monuments, WWII
Countries: USSR, Lithuania
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