It took almost two hundred years, from 1163-1345, to complete the construction of Notre Dame Cathedral on a small island in the middle of the Seine.

But it took only a couple of hours for the pro-Kremlin disinformation machine to exploit tragedy yet again and start spreading inflammatory, contradictory and divisive messages, even while the jewel of Paris still burned on Monday evening. The devastating fire brought down the cathedral’s famous spire and destroyed much of its roof.

For pro-Kremlin disinformation, the matter of timing is frequently used as ultimate justification for presenting different forms of conspiracies around any tragedy.

In the disinformation world, there are no coincidences. So false messages blamed the yellow vests for the fire, seeking revenge against Emmanuel Macron. Why? Because the fire started just before the president was supposed to address the French people with a speech!

Next, accusations followed that Islamists must be behind the catastrophe. After all, the fire occurred on the first day of the Holy Week in France, and earlier horrors have also taken place during this time period. For the conspirators, then, the conclusion is self-evident – it has to be the Islamists. “A mosque might be built at the site of Notre Dame”, the fog of falsehood further predicted.

A whole structure of disinforming argumentation around the Notre Dame fire was manufactured to blame Ukraine – and if we go back just a few weeks, the same happened with the New Zealand terror attack. This time, Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to France and apparent proximity to the cathedral was enough to trigger disinformation accusing Zelensky of the misfortune. But then the message became even more radical: France is now rightly suffering because it helped “Nazis to gain power in Ukraine”. But no, Ukraine still is not governed by Nazis, no matter how hard pro-Kremlin disinformation tries to justify Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine with these types of messages.

While the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, the Paris prosecutor’s office is currently treating it as an accident, ruling out arson and terrorism. Hundreds of millions of euros have already been pledged to rebuild the cathedral.

At the same time, pro-Kremlin disinformation has also been busy implying that the fire is “punishment for tolerance and gay marriages in Europe”, which is suffering from moral decay. In the same vein, Notre Dame was claimed as belonging in spirit to Russians, the only ones who apparently still uphold European values.

Russia Today also sought to create artificial parallels between recent attacks against Catholic churches in France and the Notre Dame fire. These efforts clearly appealed to its audience on social media, as the Facebook video post about the burning of Catholic churches in France (based on this RT article, published on 15 April) received 3.9K reactions and 5.8K shares. But the attempts to play with people’s anger ultimately backfired, and RT quickly had to correct the article on its website.

Poland threatened by the European integration, may lose its sovereignty
Additional details: Poland is threatened by the European integration process. It may make Poland lose its sovereignty and become part of a supranational European state.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU as a threat to national sovereignty and disintegrating.

EU accession is subject to a sovereign decision of every member state. In case of Poland, it was preceded by a national referendum.

According to the Article 4 of the Treaty on European Union: “The Union shall respect the equality of Member States before the Treaties as well as their national identities, inherent in their fundamental structures, political and constitutional, inclusive of regional and local self-government. It shall respect their essential State functions, including ensuring the territorial integrity of the State, maintaining law and order and safeguarding national security. In particular, national security remains the sole responsibility of each Member State.”

In addition to that, operating on a basis of mutual agreement and cooperation, the EU respects the will of its members to opt-out from certain policies.

Keywords: Euro-scepticism, EU elections 2019, Sovereignty
Countries: Poland, EU
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Kosovo's independence is an illusion
Additional details:

Kosovo's independence, declared in February 2008 but only recognised by the US and its allies, was an illusion.

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

Pro-Kremlin disinformation about countries controlled by the West and their statehood.

There was a civil war in Kosovo, with thousands of casualties and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and which Western countries stopped.  Negotiations on Kosovo's status lasted 10 years. In 2008 the EU Council stressed that in view of the conflict of the 1990s and the extended period of international administration under Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo constituted a sui generis case.

On February 17, 2008, ​the Kosovo Assembly unanimously (109 members present) voted to declare independence from Serbia. Serbia declared that the independence of Kosovo was illegal and Russia supported Serbia in that decision.

The basis for Kosovo’s independence was the prevailing view in international law that minorities who suffer systematic discrimination have the right to secede.  This provided the basis for Kosovo’s recognition by a majority of UN member states.

Within four days of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, fifteen countries (including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Australia) recognised the independence of Kosovo.  As of February 2019,  108 member states of the United Nations, including 23 of the 28 members of the European Union, had recognised Kosovo as independent.

Keywords: Territorial dispute, Western Balkans, Civil war, The West
Countries: Kosovo, US
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'Spain's Watergate' is purposefully ignored by the mainstream media
Additional details: The Spanish government used all the resources of the State to crush the left-wing party Podemos and the main media happily contributed to it spreading false information against it. And now that this state-sponsored smear campaign has been uncovered, those same media prefer to ignore it. Spain is the worst place in the world to learn about this scandal.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the corrupt and biased mainstream media. The Spanish judiciary is investigating whether the Minister of Interior and even president Mariano Rajoy were aware or illegal means being used to fabricate false information on Podemos party and its leader Pablo Iglesias, then fed to some media to publish it.

Major Spanish media outlets have not ignored this scandal. El País, El Mundo or El Confidencial, just to name a few, have devoted many front-page articles to it, and it has been the subject of prime time TV debates. Pablo Iglesias himself has taken part in at least half a dozen TV and radio interventions about this topic. The current leader of Rajoy’s Popular Party has been asked about this affair several times in different interviews and he had to respond to it.

 

 

Keywords: PODEMOS
Countries: Spain
More
EU practices new methods of colonisation of other countries
Additional details: The European Union increases spending on events that will become an instrument of influence on the internal affairs of third-party countries.  In 2020, the EU intends to allocate about 1,500,000 euros to create a mechanism of influence on other states and to create a network of European agents in other countries. This will be a new tool for the colonisation of other states.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative about EU funds being used to control other states.

According to a preliminary estimate of the expenses and revenues of the European Union for 2020, the EU intends to increase spending on supporting democracy and strengthening the capacity of parliaments of third party countries to 1,335,000 euros.  Funding will be directed to the development of those countries that are seeking membership in the EU, are actively promoting reforms within the country, demonstrating a commitment to European democratic values and the protection of human rights.

This item caused a flurry of criticism from Russian experts.  The EU has repeatedly shown that it is the world's largest donor of various humanitarian programs, including democratic ones.  Its action is aimed at the development of liberal institutions, the maintenance of peace and security, but not the "imposition of politics" in other countries.

The main areas of work of numerous European foundations supporting democracy are the education of young people, working with activists, human rights activists and human rights organisations, conducting training for journalists and independent media.

As for the development of democracy directly in Russia, in March the European Parliament heard a report on the relationship between the European Union and the Russian Federation.  In the recommendations, the author of the document, MEP Sandra Kalniete, emphasises that in Russia it is necessary to direct funding for the development of civil society.  The European Union intends to support human rights defenders, bloggers, independent media, investigative journalists, scientists, insists on exchanging students for training and much more.  These positions are in no way connected with the policy of “colonisation” and “intervention” of the EU in the affairs of other countries.

Keywords: Democracy
Countries: Russia, EU
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American bombers over the Baltic Sea might target the Nord Stream 2 pipeline
Additional details: NATO air forces are active in the Baltic States around the clock. American bombers explore new flight routes over the Baltic Sea, which would correspond to the route of the Nord Stream 2 pipelineThe bomber crews might target the pipeline.

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

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

The article contains disinformation about Western belligerence towards Russia or Russian Infrastructure, like disinformation about Nord Stream 2.

Nord Stream 2 is a gas pipeline-project in which companies from NATO member states participate. There are no reasons for NATO member states to attack the gas pipeline-project with NATO bombers.

According to NATO-Fact-Sheet: "NATO Air Policing" is a peacetime collective defence mission, safeguarding the integrity of the NATO Alliance Member’s Airspace. Additionally: "NATO Air Policing is a collective task and a purely defensive mission, which involves the 24/7 presence of fighter aircraft, which are ready to react quickly to airspace violations. This enables the Alliance to detect, track and identify to the greatest extent possible all aerial objects approaching or operating within NATO airspace so that violations can be recognised, and appropriate action taken."

Keywords: Nord Stream 2, Baltic sea, NATO
Countries: Baltic states, US
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Washington has established buffer states in Eastern Europe between Russia and Germany
Additional details: Washington has established buffer states in Eastern Europe between Russia and Germany. The United States opposes cooperation between Russia and Germany, fearing the strength of such an alliance.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There are no "buffer states" between Germany and Russia; the USA did not "establish" buffer states in Eastern Europe. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about German-American relations and Western dominance in Europe.

The successor 15 states of the USSR, which emerged after the collapse of the USSR are independent countries, whose sovereignty is recognized by the international community.

For other examples see: Germany is the executor of US hegemony over Europe; The USA is controlling Europe through occupied Germany.

 

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement
Countries: Eastern Europe, Russia, Germany
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Main goal of the Geneva talks is Georgian breakaways regions' security
Additional details: The main goal of the Geneva International talks for security and stability in the South Caucasus, which are regularly held in accordance with the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement reached immediately after the August 2008 war, is ensuring security for South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik-Ossetia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This approach is in line with a recurring disinformation narrative on South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The Russian side has thus far failed to comply with the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement, and the main goal of the Geneva Discussions, where the EU, United Nations, and OSCE act as mediators, is protecting Georgia from what the international community, with the exception of few nations, recognizes as Russian aggression.

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

Keywords: Abkhazia, Russo-Georgian War, OSCE
Countries: United Nations, Russia, EU, Georgia
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Ukraine has only been accepted into the Western camp in order to serve as a deployment area against Russia
Additional details: Ukraine has only been accepted into the Western camp in order to serve as a deployment area against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Ukraine and Western belligerence towards Russia, the West attempting to weaken and isolate Russia or to use Ukraine as NATO-springboard towards Russia.

While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the West is trying to keep open channels of communications with Russia.

For instance, NATO as the Western organisation created cooperation bodies – the Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Russia Council – to embody its relationship with Russia. It also invited Russia to cooperate on missile defence. The Warsaw Summit Communique 2016 describes NATO's official policy towards Russia: "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot, and will not, compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest."

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, in line with five guiding principles of relations with Russia.

Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, War preparation, The West
Countries: Ukraine
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Venice Commission always sides with incumbent government in Georgia
Additional details: The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, who were always professional, used to arrive back when Saakashvili was president and voice their concerns, although it was obvious that they first and foremost placed emphasis on statements which were in the authorities’ interests. This continued after the Georgian Dream came to power... This Commission shuns conclusions or acutely critical assessments that would go against any incumbent authorities’ grain.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Rezonansi
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Pro-Russian disinformation narrative seeking to undermine the standing of International institutions, and the Council of Europe in particular.

In 2002-2019, the Venice Commission has made numerous scathingly critical assessments about the Georgian authorities’ legislative activities. The March 2004 Venice Commission’s Opinion on the Draft Amendments to the Constitution of Georgia stated that the proposed changes did not correspond to the government model and described the proposed president’s chairmanship of the Supreme Council of Justice “extremely problematic.”

The March 2009 Opinion on Four Constitutional Laws amending the Constitution stated that Office of the Prosecutor General, “which was formerly established on the constitutional plane, no longer has any constitutional recognition.”

The March 2013 Opinion on the Provisions relating to Political Prisoners in the Amnesty Law pointed out that the proposed law “failed to comply” with “fundamental principles of the rule of law.”

The June 2017 Opinion on the draft revised Constitution was also critical, stressing that the electoral system encouraged inequality among election candidates and that the presidential election system favoured the ruling party’s candidate.

 

Keywords: Council of Europe
Countries: EU, Georgia
More
Georgia does not benefit from free trade agreement with EU
Additional details: The signing in September 2014 of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU has not benefited Georgia, which remains reliant on the post-Soviet market for its exports. Exports to the DCFTA countries have not increased.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Rezonansi
Reported by:
Disproof note:

According to DCFTA.gov.ge, a website run by the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and dedicated to the agreement-related developments, export from Georgia to the EU in 2018 increased by 11.5% compared to 2017 and accounted for 21.7% of the country’s total exports. Agricultural exports increased by 6% from 2017, and industrial exports by 13%.

The overview on the website of the Georgian edition of the Forbes magazine states that in January-June 2018, Georgia’s exports to the EU exceeded exports to Russia by 80%. In the same period, Georgian exports to the EU grew by 21%, to Russia – by 10%. From 2004 to 2018, Georgia consistently exported more to the EU than to Russia. In 2007-2017, 3.5 times more products ($3.6 billion more) were exported to the EU than to Russia.

Critique of the DCFTA is a long-standing narrative forming part of the Russian propaganda effort aiming to persuade Georgians that greater benefits are to be reaped from closer integration with Russia than with the EU. See further debunk by Myth Detector here.

Keywords: economy, AA/DCFTA
Countries: EU, Georgia
More
US Special Representative Kurt Volker rules in Ukraine
Additional details: In addition to the 4 oligarchs in Ukraine, there is also a fifth - US Special Representative Kurt Volker, who does what he wants, and who actually rules the country.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: radiovesti.ru/brand/60948/episode/2159164/
Disinforming outlet(s): Polnyi kontakt @ Vesti FM time: 15:16
Reported by:
Disproof note:

On 7 July 2017, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appointed Ambassador Kurt Volker as the special representative for Ukraine. He took the responsibility for advancing US. efforts to achieve the objectives set out in the Minsk agreements, Kurt Volker has no other responsibilities.

In his video message at the Kyiv Security Forum, Kurt Volker said: “We welcome the Ukrainian people to successfully conduct the first round of presidential elections.  We wish you success in holding the second round of presidential elections, as well as parliamentary elections in the fall."  He also added that the United States does not support any of the presidential candidates in Ukraine, but advocates respect for the principles.

Similar cases on this issue you could find here and here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Kurt Volker, War in Ukraine
Countries: United States, Ukraine
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The European Parliament is a façade structure to corrupt national elites
Additional details: The European Parliament is mostly a façade structure. It consists of several hundreds of comfortable chairs and provides pensions for politicians, it is a tool to corrupt national elites.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative questioning the EU institutions' legitimacy and powers.

The European Parliament is the EU's only directly-elected EU institution. Since 1979, it is elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014.

The European Parliament is one of the to EU law-making bodies. It has constitutional-type and ratification powers. It passes EU laws, together with the Council of the EU, based on European Commission proposals. It has budgetary powers, scrutiny over the executive, it hears citizens’ petitions, and appoints the European Ombudsman. A detailed overview of the European Parliament’s role in the European decision-making process can be consulted here.

Keywords: Euro-scepticism, EU elections 2019, European Parliament, Corruption
Countries: EU
More
The adoption of the euro drastically harmed the Italian economy
Additional details: The economic problems in Europe are gradually more noticeable. 20 years after the adoption of euro not all the European counties benefited from the common currency and Italy has been affected in the most negative way. Before the adoption of euro Italy did not have 5 million people below the poverty line, companies were not shut down and the young people did not have to move abroad. The responsibility for that lies on the European Union.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative demonising the EU, the Eurozone and claiming that euro is responsible for the economic downfall of many European countries. Read a recent similar case here.

The Eurozone demonstrates the GDP growth of 2.4% as of 2017 according to the World Bank and the real GDP growth of 1.3% in accordance with IMF data.

Italy, however, has one of the lowest real GDP growth of 0.1% with the poverty hitting the hardest in 2017 since the world economic crisis of 2007-2008.

The World Bank confirms that Italy was demonstrating a stable GDP growth since 1999 when the euro was adopted until 2008 when the world economic crisis broke out and the economic growth become unstable.

The reasons for the economic problems listed by the IMF in their recent report show no connection with the euro adoption in Italy.

Keywords: euro, Euro-scepticism, economy, EU disintegration
Countries: Italy
More
NATO bombed Yugoslavia because it wanted to be present in the Balkans
Additional details: NATO bombed Yugoslavia 20 years ago because it wanted to gain a foothold in the Balkans. It wanted the Bondsteel military base.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

NATO's military intervention was not intended for a military presence or control in the Balkans, but to ensure that "all the countries of south-eastern Europe can enjoy peace and security".

NATO launched a campaign of air strikes against Serbia beginning on the 24th  of March 1999 to stop Belgrade's crackdown against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The primary purpose of the campaign was to end violence and repression and force Milosevic's to withdraw his military, police and para-military forces from Kosovo (see NATO statement from 1999). See more cases about NATO and the Balkans here.

Keywords: Western Balkans, Kosovo, NATO
Countries: Yugoslavia, The West, US
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Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies
Additional details: Each opposition organisation, civic activists and independent media outlets in Belarus prepare kill lists, which contain information (first and last names, names of the relatives, passwords, photos, etc.) about high-ranking state officials, policemen and employees of other law-enforcement agencies, entrepreneurs, etc.  For instance, civic activists can take photos of Belarusian policemen in plain clothes at public events such as the celebration of the 101st anniversary of the Belarusian People's Republic. These lists are likely aggregated into one database, controlled by Western security bodes.

In case of a peaceful power change in Belarus the persons in the kill lists will be subject to lustration. Law-enforcement agencies like the Ministry of Interior, the KGB and the Investigation Committee will be dissolved. The restoration of the law-enforcement apparatus will take place on the orders of Western donors. In case the power change in Belarus is not peaceful, then those on the kill lists and their relatives will be declared the enemies of the people and executed whereas their kids will  be labeled the dregs of society.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vitbich
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory and ungrounded claims aimed to discredit the West, democratic Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists. This disinformation message is a modification of recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about western attempts to organize a colour revolution in Belarus and to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: The West, Belarus
More
Half of internally displaced people from Donbas cannot find work in Ukraine
Additional details: More than half of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Donbas who left the combat zone in 2014 still cannot find work on the territory controlled by the government of Ukraine. The reason for this is the low level of wages and the catastrophic shortage of jobs for Ukrainians. In addition, internally displaced persons cannot find housing, and therefore return to the occupied territories.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

According to the report of the National Monitoring System in Ukraine, which was submitted on April 9, Ukraine does not have a “catastrophic” level of unemployment. The study is based on surveys of focus groups of internally displaced persons, which included about 6,500 people (out of 1.6 million officially registered IDPs).

According to the report, the number of internally displaced persons unable to work was 48%. These are pensioners, the sick, mothers on maternity leave, students etc. The remaining 52% of internally displaced persons are economically active. 44% of active IDPs have a permanent job that matches their qualifications. The remaining 8% are actually looking for work.

Simple arithmetic shows that out of 6,500 IDPs, only 8% cannot gain employment - this is about 270 people. Thus, the Russian media have overstated data on unemployment among immigrants by more than ten times.

Keywords: Hybrid war, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Ukrainian election is a competition of falsification and extortion
Additional details: Ukrainian elections are very competitive – but it is a competition of falsification and extortion. The elections are not very fair.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=etfZ1QhCXEk
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1 time: 25:00
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Ukraine elections.

“What I observed was a free choice by free people. Ukrainians demonstrated their strong commitment to democratic and Euro-Atlantic values. I saw the enthusiasm of citizens of all ages participating in the election process in impressive numbers,” said Michal Szczerba, Head of the delegation from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly at the afterwards press conference on the results of the first tour of elections. 

The OSCE PA Election Observation Mission in Ukraine has declared that the first round of the presidential elections in Ukraine was competitive, and citizens had the opportunity to freely express their will.  “We can admit that there were definitely competitive elections and the opportunity to vote for the candidate the citizens wanted to elect was provided”, the OSCE Special Coordinator, OSCE PA Honorary President Ilkka Kanerva said.

Following the first round of the presidential elections in Ukraine, the same position was announced by the Head of the EP election observation delegation Dariusz Rosati. According to him, these elections were definitely competitive, since no candidate could be clearly identified as the likely winner.

The Canadian Election Observation Mission in Ukraine also considers the elections as fair. A press release of the Canadian Mission says that Ukraine’s highly competitive presidential election meets international standards.

Keywords: election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
Belarusians are part of the Russian people
Additional details: Belarusian nationalists promote Polish and Lithuanian agendas and manipulate society by saying that national idea is absent in Belarus. The Belarusian society bought this manipulation and even president Alyaksandr Lukashenka publicly stated that the national idea has to be formulated for the country. In fact, this a false message because the actual national idea has always been present and its essence is that Belarusians are Russians. Minor differences that Belarusians have are the result of Polish and Baltic influences.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Mogilew.by, Soglasie.by
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the all-Russian nation. This is an Imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology which is at present time is aimed at weakening national identity of Belarusian and Ukrainians and these countries' sovereignty. See earlier case with a similar narrative.

Keywords: Conspiracy
Countries: Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Belarus
More
The EU operation structure resembles a Soviet collective farm -“a kolkhoz”
Additional details: Poles still remember the Soviet-style Polish authorities. The EU resembles this structure more and more. The system structure is very similar [to the Soviet kolkhoz]: central management, central planning, gradually deeper interference into the affairs of the member-states and a traditional family, growing “totalitarian” trends.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the corrupt and undemocratic EU and on the failed European values.

The decision-making structure in the EU is defined by EU treaties. Article 5 in the Treaty on the European Union ensured the principle of subsidiarity, which guarantees that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen and that constant checks are made to verify that action at EU level is justified in light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level. It is the principle whereby the EU does not take action (except in the areas that fall within its exclusive competence), unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level. Learn more here.

 

Keywords: euro, Euro-scepticism, European Council, EU elections 2019, European Parliament, European Commission
Countries: Poland, USSR, EU
More
France, the UK and USA support terrorists in Syria
Additional details: France, the UK and the USA spread “cheap propaganda” in order to avoid accusations of them supporting terrorism. They provide massive financial support for the terrorist activities, most of all carried out by the White Helmets.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the involvement of the Western coalition in the chemical attacks, the White Helmets and terrorism in Syria. See here for background information and here for more disinformation cases.

No proof was provided that the White Helmets prepared a terrorist attack. Neither there was a proof that France, the UK or the USA supported any terrorist activities in Syria. The countries mentioned regularly condemn the attacks carried out by Assad regime. Russia and Syria continue to reverse such accusations by blaming France, the UK and the USA in the support of “terrorist organization” of the White Helmets (the Syrian Civil Defense).

 

Keywords: White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War, Terrorism, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: UK, Russia, US, Syria, France
More
The President of the United States has never made pro-Ukrainian statements
Additional details: Donald Trump, the President of the US, has given Ukraine to Russia. Trump has never made pro-Ukrainian statements or comments. He keeps his silence.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (27:20 - 28:26)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Ukraine is not for the US to give to Russia. Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, including the EU. Relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries.

The president of the U.S Donald Trump has publicly supported Ukraine many times.  For example, Trump cancelled the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Argentina in 2018 because of the conflict in the in the Sea of Azov. “Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting”, he declared.

In the interview with the CBS American Channel on 14 October 2018, President Trump stated that his Administration pursues much tougher policy of deterring Russia than the Administration of its predecessor Barack Obama. ”I have given Ukraine arms and anti-tank equipment. Not Obama”, said Trump.

The U.S recognised Ukraine as an independent state on 25 December 1991. U.S. policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine, more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures.

 

Keywords: Donald Trump
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
Poland is to “arrange a big cleansing” among the Ukrainian workers
Additional details: Poland is to arrange a big “cleansing” among the Ukrainian workers. Poland started massive inspections of workers from Ukraine. Ukrainian workers in Poland will have problems with getting their salaries.

The border service staff in the North-East of Poland uncovered 180 foreigners, mostly citizens of Ukraine, who worked illegally.

 

 

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Ukraina, Znaj, Politeka
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukrainian citizens in Poland, whose aim is to exaggerate Polish-Ukrainian tensions and portray Ukraine as a country without any perspectives, forcing people to work in conditions similar to slavery in other countries.

The original story is taken from the Polish radio website. Its heading says: 'The Polish border service controls the legality of the employment of foreigners'. There is no evidence about 'big cleansing' or 'massive inspections' among the Ukrainian workers, or problems for Ukrainians to get their salaries.

According to the National Bank of Poland, in 2017, there were about 900.000 citizens of Ukraine living and working in Poland, who transferred approximately 8,6 billion PLN (2 billion EUR) to Ukraine.

 

Keywords: Ukraine
Countries: Poland, Ukraine
More
NATO, Ukraine and Georgia are heating up the situation in the Black Sea region
Additional details: NATO is trying to aggravate the situation in the Black Sea region: ships from the Netherlands, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria have entered Georgian and Ukrainian ports. The manoeuvrers of the ships of the North Atlantic Alliance exacerbate the situation in the region. NATO specifically provokes Russia: the Alliance takes advantage of any country that is located next to Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut, Rossiya 1 (47:20; 59:30; 1:01:05), RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative about NATO belligerence and NATO encircling Russia.

On April 5, large-scale naval exercises of the NATO countries, Ukraine and Georgia started in the Black Sea. The ships of the North Atlantic Alliance entered the Ukrainian and Georgian ports earlier - on April 1.

The Minister of Defence of Ukraine, Stepan Poltorak, has repeatedly stated that such exercises are always planned in advance and are known long before the start of military training.

Earlier in Georgia, during the March military exercises with the participation of the military of the Alliance, they stressed that the Georgian side is not going to attack anyone. The main goal of all the training of the Georgian military with NATO experts is to increase the country's defence capability.

As for one of the most common Russian narratives, the aspiration of Ukraine and Georgia to NATO membership “threatens the security of Russia”, and the main purpose of Brussels’s cooperation with Tbilisi and Kyiv is to “provoke the Kremlin” - this is a classic Russian manipulation. On April 4, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that Ukraine and Georgia are sovereign states that are free to build their own foreign policy on their own, without regard to Russia.

Keywords: New Cold War, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: Ukraine, EU, Georgia
More
The biggest producers of fake news are Western governments and media
Additional details: The biggest producers of fake news for the area of the world are the French, US, British, Belgian, etc. governments. and the media that works with it. So it's a weird thing to see this witch hunt.

Calling competitors “fake news media” is a way of establishing a monopoly of information and to control. So, the public should not be impressed when the word fake news is used.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News Fr
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Broad conspiracy narrative saying that the West is conspiring against other countries in its own interest. According to Reporters without borders, the press in US and Europe enjoys high rankings of freedom and is not subordinated to the governments.

See also the disinformation case "Sputnik delivers high quality journalism, unlike other media".

And other disinformation cases about fake news.

 

Keywords: fake news
Countries: The West
More
By creating the pretended “Russian threat” Washington wants its allies to increase their contributions
Additional details:

For the anniversary of NATO the foreign ministers of the member countries met. In the program of festivities, the enemy of always: Russia of course. NATO is again brandishing the so-called Russian threat, this time in the Black Sea in order to further militarise this region of the world.


Moscow does not welcome NATO's willingness to increase its presence on the ground and, above all, does not see the point to such actions. NATO refers to the 2018 incident in which three Ukrainian military ships were arrested by the Russian authorities in the Strait of Kerch. Moscow then denounced a provocation. This is a violation of key provisions of international law, including of the UN Charter which impose respect of the sovereignty of other states. Military surveillance, chartering ships, all this is very expensive.


The financial contribution of the European member states of NATO is not up to Donald Trump's expectations. It is precisely by creating these kinds of Russian threats that Washington hopes it will get its allies to invest more money.




Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV9Rez3jDxA
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given that Washington creates security challenges itself in order to blame Russia. A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after opening fire at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. It happened in the Russian-claimed territorial waters, rather than internationally recognised boundaries, after the illegal Crimea annexation by Russia, not recognized by international law.

The Ukrainian government asked for NATO's help in the Azov Sea. NATO asserted that its ships routinely patrol the Black Sea, and that regular air policing and reconnaissance flights are conducted there.

See more disinformation case on NATO and Kerch incident here.

Keywords: NATO
Countries: Russia, The West, Ukraine
More
The USA and the EU interfered in the Ukrainian presidential election
Additional details: Western diplomats attempted to impact the results of the presidential election in Ukraine. The French, US, Spanish and some other diplomats were accused of the interference into the election process.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

The first round of the presidential election in Ukraine took place on 31 March 2019 and was recognised by the world community. International observers were present during the election. The OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Ukraine stated that “Voting was well-organized, smooth, transparent and efficient, and procedures were generally adhered to.”

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections, Europe
Countries: Ukraine, US, France, Spain
More
Ukrainian "partisan leader" was arrested near Moscow
Additional details: In the Moscow region, an activist with the surname Pirozhok of the extremist Ukrainian organisation "Praviy Sektor" was arrested for being sent to Russia for propaganda and recruitment purposes.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the "Praviy Sektor [Right Sector]" threatening Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians.

Artem Skoropadsky, spokesman of "Praviy Sektor", said that Pirozhok was member of the organisation until the end of 2014.  According to the spokesman, Pirozhok was excluded from the "Right Sector" because of "banditry schemes", and currently has no contact and had nothing in common with the organisation for at least four years.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Right Sector
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The US is making plans for the ‘balkanization’ and fragmentation of Venezuela
Additional details: The United States are planning to foment unrest and secessionism to force the territorial division of Venezuela in order to gain access to its natural resources. There are several areas as potential focus for an artificially-fuelled separatism: the Paraguaná peninsula (rich in hydrocarbons), the so-called ‘Western half-moon’ composed by the states of Zulia, Táchira and Mérida (rich in hydrocarbons, agrarian and farming products), the ‘Western triangle’ of the cities of Barquisimeto, Acarigua and Valencia (strategically decisive) and the region of Guayana (rich in minerals).
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative about US intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs. There is no evidence of a secessionist movement in any region of Venezuela with enough support to present a threat to the central authorities, much less that the US is making plans to promote one.

The conflict of the Pemon communities with the Venezuelan state has a long historical tradition. It is taking a political, anti-government turn, but no scholar or analyst considers it a serious challenge to the territorial integrity of Venezuela. The disinformation narrative is rooted in the fear dating to the Chavist regime about the emergence of a separatist movement in the richest regions, such as the one in the Santa Cruz province in Bolivia in the last decade, that could be exploited from abroad to destabilize the country.

 

Keywords: Territorial dispute, Nicolas Maduro
Countries: Venezuela, US
More
Notre Dame belongs to Russia, as France has denounced the European Christian values
Additional details: Notre Dame belongs to us, Russians. France helped the Nazis to gain power in Ukraine. So "Notre Dame is ours" as Russians are the last to carry of European values. The Europeans themselves, including the French, have denounced and betrayed these values.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Notre Dame belongs to the people of France, their history and culture.

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about moral decline of Europe, while suggesting Russian superiority.

See more pro-Kremlin disinformation cases about the Notre Dame fire in Paris here.

Keywords: Notre Dame, Russian superiority, European values
Countries: Russia, France
More
The Guardian is controlled by MI6
Additional details: The UK newspaper The Guardian is controlled by the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Multiple reporters working for the outlet are MI6 operatives.

Although the newspaper originally published some of the Wikileaks documents, it subsequently agreed to destroy all of the leaked data in front of MI6 agents.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): CrossTalk @RT (rt.com), time 07:27
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting Western media outlets as subservient to political/military/security elites of their respective states.

The Guardian is formally owned by a non-profit limited company established specifically to fund the outlet and, simultaneously, guarantee the independence of its staff. Annual reports are published to ensure the transparency of the paper's finances and its adherence to professional standards.

The story confuses the unspecified "Wikileaks documents" with the Snowden files, which The Guardian actually obtained in 2013 and used in its coverage of the NSA surveillance scandal.

Faced with legal action and prospect of closure in response to the reports, the paper agreed to destroy the storage devices containing the data, and did so in the presence of two GCHQ technicians -- the MI6 was never involved at any stage of the process. The UK Government was informed that multiple copies of the files existed and that the destruction of the UK-based devices, according to then-chief editor Alan Rusbridger, "wouldn't be achieving anything."

The paper continued to cover the surveillance scandal, including a story on secret NSA-GCHQ cooperation published 12 days after the destruction of the Snowden files.

Keywords: Wikileaks, Mainstream media, Edward Snowden, The Guardian, MI6
Countries: UK, US
More
Volodymyr Zelensky - the cause of the fire in Notre Dame
Additional details: The cause of the fire in Notre Dame de Paris was Volodymyr Zelensky, said a psychic.


Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky visited Paris a few days ago to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. He stopped just 5 km away from the cathedral. This is a warning sign from above for Macron, France and Ukraine that a such a fire might start around the world.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given, unfounded claim targeting Ukraine's elections.

The investigation into the causes of the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris is ongoing. According to French prosecutors, the fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident.

See more pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Notre Dame fire in Paris here.

Keywords: Notre Dame, Volodymyr Zelensky, Emmanuel Macron, Elections
Countries: Ukraine, France
More
Fire in Notre Dame - "revenge for insulting the Kaaba"
Additional details: The fire in Notre Dame - "revenge for insulting the Kaaba", the holy shrine in Mekka. A mosque might be built at the site of Notre Dame.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The statement is based on unfounded claims that the fire at the Notre Dame de Paris is a result of migration.

The investigation into the causes of the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris is ongoing. According to French prosecutors, the fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident.

See more pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Notre Dame fire in Paris here.

Keywords: Notre Dame, migration, Muslim/Islam, Migration crisis
Countries: France
More
The Pope might suggest a mosque to be built at the site of Notre Dame
Additional details: Many Europeans would like to hear a comment from the Pope, but the Vatican keeps quiet. Internet users are warning that he eventually will deliver a speech on how Europe needs to be open and let in even more migrants and that a mosque should be build at the site of Notre Dame de Paris.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A collections of random tweets, collected to support unfounded claims on the fire at the Notre Dame de Paris as a result of migration.

Recurrent Russian media narrative on LGBT dictatorship in Europe which violates the rights of Christian believers and an attempt to defamation of Pope Francis.

The investigation into the causes of the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris is ongoing. The prosecutors do not consider arson a likely cause of the tragedy.

 

Keywords: Notre Dame, migration, Pope Francis, Conspiracy
Countries: France
More
A "prediction" of Notre Dame's fire found in a Rammstein video
Additional details: A scandalous video by German rock group Rammstein, contains a "prediction" of the fire in Notre Dame de Paris.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: vz.ru/news/2019/4/16/973409.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Vzglyad
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded claims, presented without any evidence. Rock videos cannot really be referred to as "predictions".

According to French prosecutors, the fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident.

See more pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Notre Dame fire in Paris here.

 

Keywords: Notre Dame
Countries: France
More
Fire at Nore Dame de Paris may be linked to recent protests rallies
Additional details: Today Notre-Dame died. Of course, the reason of "ignition" will be identified later, but the real reason is already apparent. France became a country in which people smash the windows of boutiques just because they are expensive, where taxes are so high that successful people leave. This is connected through karma with the fact that the magnificent cathedral, which very clearly represented impudent luxury and demanded more work than 36-hour-week, was burned down intentionally.

What will be constructed on this place in a country where now statistically every 5th citizen is named Muhammad?
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Znak.com, News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

According to assessments carried our after the fire was put out, the renovation is possible, even though it will take years. No statistics exist as for every fifth inhabitant of France is named Mohammed.

The investigation is ongoing. No versions of links, "karma" or real, with the recent protest activity in France were advanced by the investigators. So far the main working version is an accident occurred during the renovation works.

Keywords: Notre Dame, yellow vests
Countries: France
More
UK to use chemical labs for new provocations against Russia
Additional details: The UK is planning to preserve its chemical labs, including the notorious Porton Down, to stage further provocations aimed against Russia, unjustly accused of using a nerve agent -- which the West calls novichok -- to poison two Russian nationals in Salisbury.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the Salisbury poisoning.

The report's baffling suggestion that demonisation of Russia is the sole raison d'etre of UK-based chemical laboratories, such as the century-old Porton Down facility, fits the wider pro-Kremlin narrative of pathological Russophobia permeating Western government offices.

The story also asserts that the substance "named novichok by Western countries" does not actually exist, thus advancing one of the 20 contradictory pro-Kremlin narratives concerning the nerve agent (p. 37) and 138 narratives on the Salisbury poisoning in general (pp. 21-46).  See our debunking of the novichok-doesn't-exist claim here.

Read more on the Kremlin's framing of the Salisbury poisoning here, here, and here.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation, Russophobia, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Notre Dame de Paris burned due to radical tolerance
Additional details: Radical tolerance, brought to the point of absurdity and idiocy, same-sex marriages, mockery of the Christian commandments and feelings of true believers. Didn’t the flame of a monstrous fire hit and the world glowed over Notre Dame de Paris? Is this the light of flames of Sodom and Gomorrah? Is it a sign?
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): KP.Ru, Znak.Com, Uralpolit
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The investigation into the causes of  the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris is ongoing. Divine providence is unlikely to be considered as a potential cause.

Recurrent Russian media narrative on LGBT dictatorship in Europe which violates the rights of Christian believers.

 

Keywords: Notre Dame, Catholic church, LGBT
Countries: France
More
European leaders want to destroy Europe
Additional details: Who believes Macron's fake sorrow on the fate of Notre Dame? He is an atheist. European leaders have legalised gay marriages, they want to destroy Europe, just as they destroyed Serbia, Ukraine and attempted to destroy Russia. The Russians are the Christian Europe of today, a Europe of honour and faith, a Europe of knights, explorers and poets. This is us, Russia, the Russian World. We see how the heritage of a great civilisation is stolen from Europeans.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ren.tv/blog/409764
Disinforming outlet(s): REN-TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The article uses racist language, encompassing a few disinformation narratives, such as a threat of islamisation and the collapse of Europe, while suggesting Russian superiority.

Conspiracies is an instrument often used by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets.

Keywords: Notre Dame, Russian superiority, Conspiracy
Countries: France
More
Leftist or Islamist extremism caused the fire at Notre Dame
Additional details: It is too early to rule out "natural causes" for the fire at Notre Dame of Paris, but it is possible that the cathedral was set ablaze either by the Yellow Vests as an attack on Macron, or by Islamist extremists. Even if the Islamist are not responsible for the fire, the very fact that some young supporters of radical Islam has expressed joy about this event is horrible. The fire from Notre Dame will set all of Europe on fire.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ren.tv/blog/409750
Disinforming outlet(s): REN-TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded claims, presented without any evidence.

Hinting on conspiracies is an instrument often used by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, suggesting for example "False Flag Operations" are behind current event like the Skripal Case.

Keywords: Notre Dame, Conspiracy
Countries: France
More
The Skripal case crumbles due to the lack of proof of Russia's involvement
Additional details: On the 4th of March 2018 in Salisbury, former GRU agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned, causing a major international scandal. The British authorities have accused the Russian state of being involved in the  poisoning. After one year the Skripal case crumbles due to the lack of proof to indicate Russia’s guilt.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning claiming  that United Kingdom was never able to prove a “Russian trace” and did not provide detailed evidence of Russia’s involvement.

UK government has INDEED provided hard evidence for Russia’s involvement in the poisoning. British police and intelligence investigations have produced hard evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals.

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Frequent fires occur in French churches alongside acts of vandalism, the authorities and media minimise them
Additional details: France has been hit with a string of fires at Catholic churches, some of which occurred alongside acts of vandalism.

Paris’ second largest church, Saint-Sulpice, burst into flames on March 17, the fire damaging doors and stained glass windows. Police later reported that the incident had not been accidental. The story of Saint-Sulpice does not appear to be updated almost a month later suggesting that a deliberate attack of one of Paris' largest churches was not that newsworthy. 

The images of flames of Saint-Sulpice church are one example of the violence committed against Catholics. Also at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, statues and crosses were smashed and an altar cloth was burned in February.

Don't jump to conclusions before the facts come out, but keep in mind that churches have been burned across France for the last few months.

Anti-Christian attacks have sharply risen in France since the beginning of 2019.

It's unclear who is carrying out those attacks or why they did take place. But the real concern is why the French government and media generally underplay them. The true scale is still unknown.

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

No evidence given that the French government or media abandoned the stories of fires in churches. On the contrary, the investigation on Saint-Sulpice's church fire led to the conclusion that the fire started from a pile of clothes and "clothes don't ignite by themselves". The pile of clothes belonged to a homeless person and it was probably the result of a dispute between other homeless people.

In the case of Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, located 300 meters away from a school, teenagers who allegedly burnt the altar cloth and committed other acts of vandalism were incriminated using video surveillance data. The presence of cakes in a confessional and the twisted arm of Christ in the form of dab (a popular dance among teenagers) suggest that the authors were more likely to look for troubled teens than religious fanatics, summarizes La Depeche.

Both accidents appear unlikely to be hate-acts against Catholics. No other recent fires in French churches were reported.

The French ministry of the Interior released statistics in which graffiti tags on Church walls were listed as an act of vandalism, regardless of their size, concluding that such cases occur up to 2,9 a day, reminds Liberation. The figure has remained stable over the past years. The government does not downplay the number of accidents or hide their true number, preferring to speak about minorities' rights, as RT suggests.

Keywords: Notre Dame, Catholic church, Conspiracy
Countries: France
More
The fire at the Notre Dame of Paris occurs at a suitable moment for the French Government
Additional details: The fire at the Notre Dame occurs at a very suitable moment for a France, torn into pieces by protests and even more for France's government. It is still unknown what will be uncovered by the investigation. But unfortunately, in the modern world, one can really believe in coincidences.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Hinting on conspiracies is an instrument often used by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets, suggesting "False Flag Operations" behind current event like the Skripal Case.

Keywords: Notre Dame, Conspiracy
Countries: France
More
Violent pro-Maduro thugs are Western media propaganda
Additional details: As opposition leader Juan Guaido is preparing a US-sponsored coup in Venezuela, pro-government activists in the country are bracing for possible military intervention.

The activists -- or colectivos -- are demonised by the mainstream media and portrayed in the West as government-sanctioned thugs who harass the opposition with impunity. In reality, these collective-action groups help alleviate poverty in working class areas of Caracas, and have served as volunteer organizers in national elections.

If they do take up arms, it will be to defend Venezuela from potential armed intervention by the United States.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT (rt.com)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative painting the Maduro regime as facing an imminent US-sponsored coup.

The colectivos are not "demonised" by the Western media. These groups have been fiercely criticised by multiple human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and the International Crisis Group (pp. 18-19).

The colectivos have served as a virtual appendage to law enforcement since the early Chavez years (p. 18), and they now control entire neighbourhoods of Caracas. Some colectivo groups are indeed engaged in state anti-poverty programs, but this has only helped them tighten their grip on urban areas whose dependence on government aid is the highest.

Among other things, the colectivos have been involved in extrajudicial killings, drug trafficking, grand theft auto, attacks on opposition media, violent suppression of anti-government protests, and election rigging.

In May 2018, the Organization of American States announced it would present the International Criminal Court with evidence of crimes against humanity perpetrated by pro-Maduro colectivos, including 131 murders between 2014 and 2017.

Amid nationwide power outages plaguing Venezuela since March 2019, President Maduro called on the colectivos to "defend the peace of every barrio," implicitly linking the blackouts to the opposition. The following month, the National Assembly of Venezuela designated the colectivos as "terrorists" for their "paramilitary actions of violence, intimidation, murder, and other crimes."

Keywords: Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Human rights, Coup
Countries: Venezuela, US
More
"Ukrainegate" gains momentum in the United States
Additional details: As "Russiagate" proved to be a hoax, a "Ukrainegate" gains momentum in the USA. In the centre of the scandal is the former US Vice President, Joe Biden and the leadership of the Democratic Party. Ukrainian politicians, close to the Maidan movement, have been interfering with the US elections, offering the Democratic Party "dirt on Donald Trump".
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/20190416/1552690605.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

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

Keywords: election meddling, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Russia, Ukraine
More
London and its allies want to preserve the chemical laboratories, in particular that of Porton Down, for new provocations and experiments
Additional details: London and its allies want to preserve the chemical laboratories, in particular that of Porton Down, for new provocations and experiments.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Porton Down, Britain’s military research base, linked to the Skripal case.

As clearly proved the Salisbury incident, where the Skripals were poisoned, was NOT a provocation by Porton Down.

On the contrary the UK government has provided hard evidence for Russia’s involvement in the poisoning. British police and intelligence investigations have produced hard evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals.

 

 

Keywords: Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation
Countries: UK, Russia
More
The IMF USD 5 billion credit to Ecuador is considered as a payment for Julian Assange
Additional details: The IMF USD 5 billion credit to Ecuador is considered as a payment for Assange.

The new administration of Ecuador has in effect sold Assange to the United States. World financial institutions which are under US control have decided to grant substantial loans to the country

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli @ NTV (19:19 – 19:28)
Vesti Nedeli @ Rossiya 1 (35:30 - 36:51)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence. Consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the IMF.

IMF is an international organization with 189 members, including the US and Russia. The decision making at the IMF is designed to reflect the relative positions of its member countries in the global economy. The IMF continues to undertake reforms to ensure that its governance structure adequately reflects fundamental changes taking place in the world economy.

In March 2019 The Executive Board of the IMF today approved a US$ 4.2 billion arrangement under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Ecuador. This arrangement will provide support for the Ecuadorean government’s economic policies over the next three years.The IMF loan is a part of a wider financial package provided by the multilateral lenders, such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the CAF Andean development bank.

The President of Ecuador has stated that the IMF loan will create more work opportunities and is a sign of Ecuador regaining its international credibility. Read more.

 

 

Keywords: Julian Assange, IMF
Countries: Ecuador
More
Mueller report concludes that there was no Russian meddling in the US elections, new sanctions against Russia are unfounded
Additional details: Despite the prosecutor Robert Mueller's report, concluding that there is no evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, Washington is preparing new sanctions against Moscow.

It is unlikely that these Russian defendants will ever show up in an American courtroom. Therefore, no alleged evidence on which these allegations are based will be subject to adversarial review. This is essential, especially in the cyberworld, as leaked internal CIA documents have revealed that intelligence agencies can usurp the origin of an attack to give the impression that it came from a different country than the one who actually perpetrated it.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Although Robert Mueller's investigation was concluded with no proof of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, it did conclude that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election" (see further debunking by The Insider). It led indeed to US senators proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further elections meddling.

The given conspiracy-like explanation that the incriminated Russians won't  show up in the court in US and therefore are considered innocent is not sustainable. The unwillingness to show up in court could not be considered as a proof of innocence, but rather as disrespect to rule of law implementation proceedings. Russian prosecution also did not make any effort to interrogate the incriminated Russian citizens itself.

Read more about election meddling in US, France and elsewhere here.

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller
Countries: Russia, US
More
NATO activity in Black Sea creates dangers to be countered, after Ukraine's provocation in the Kerch Strait
Additional details: The latest major provocation organised by Kiev took place on November 25, when three ships of the Ukrainian Navy violated the Russian border near the Kerch Strait. They were conducting dangerous manoeuvrers and refusing to obey orders from the Coast Guard before attempting illegal actions in Russian territorial waters. The Russian coastguard then used weapons to stop them. Russian authorities arrested 24 Ukrainian soldiers, including two members of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). These agents were on board the ships to coordinate the provocation.

Russia condemns the intense activity of NATO in the Black Sea and will take appropriate and adequate measures to neutralise the dangers resulting from a growing NATO activity.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A continuation of the pro-Kremlin narrative that, on November 24th 2018, Ukrainian ships approached the Kerch Strait without giving any warning, leading the Russian side to open fire.

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

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

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

As stated by NATO heads of state and government at the Warsaw Summit in July 2016, "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia.  But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest".

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, NATO, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The US is planning a provocation by NATO against Russia in the Black Sea
Additional details: The NATO is increasing its activities in the Black Sea [reconnaissance flights and presence of military vessels] because the US wishes to provoke an incident between NATO and Russia, similar to the provocation that took place in Kerch. The US wants to provoke a violent Russian response in order to block rapprochement between Russia and Turkey and to undermine the Turkish stream natural gas pipeline project.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western provocations in the Black Sea.

No evidence is provided about US plans to provoke an incident between NATO and Russia in the Black Sea.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the incident in the Kerch Strait. This is a continuation of the Russian narrative that, on the 24th November  2018, Ukrainian ships approached the Kerch Strait without giving any warning, leading the Russian side to open fire.

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

Ukrainian ships did NOT enter Russian territorial waters, but “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. Therefore this was NOT a provocation.

For more disinformation cases about the Kerch Strait read here.

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Provocation, NATO, Crimea
Countries: Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, US
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Estonia is not a sovereign state
Additional details: The Estonian political party Isamaa is pure crypto-fascists, who laid the theoretical basis of radical Estonian nationalism and paved the way for more radical structures, such as EKRE.

Estonia is not a sovereign state, so there will be as much Nazism as people will allow.
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Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
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Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative, questioning the sovereignty of Estonia. Similar cases can be studied here.

There is no Nazi party in Estonia and but accusations like these are common in pro-Kremlin media.

The homepage of Isamaa party reads: "Estonia is a country, where no obstacles are created for any people or culture. We support the aspirations of all peoples for self-determination, and especially assist our kindred peoples in their endeavours to maintain and protect their cultures. In Estonia, every ethnic group has the right to its culture, while also honouring the Estonian language as the state language."

Estonia is a sovereign state.

 

Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Estonia
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EU aims at destabilising the political situation in Belarus through controlled media
Additional details: EU pledges EUR 2m to support enhancement of professional reporting and free flow of information in Belarus. This is yet another on of the EU's mechanisms to meddle in the sovereign affairs of post-Soviet countries. The EU wants to create a pool of controlled journalists and experts who are hostile to national interests in economics, culture, etc. These financial resources will ultimately be directed at destabilizing the political station in Belarus with the media as a tool.
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Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian, Sozh
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Disproof note:

The disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood including Belarus. Examples of earlier disinformation with a similar narrative here and here.

The Delegation of the European Union to Belarus has indeed published a call for proposals to support professional reporting and free flow of information in Belarus. In the world 2018 press freedom ranking by Reporters without Borders Belarus is 155th among 180 countries.

EU assistance to Belarus aims at improving the quality of life of Belarusian citizens in a tangible and visible manner, by strengthening its economy, governance, connectivity and society. Find out more about the EU assistance to Belarus here.

 

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: EU, Belarus
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Poroshenko and Zelenskyi are significantly dependent on the US
Additional details: The Ukrainian society has no real choice at the presidential election. The two presidential candidates are significantly dependent on external actors, including the US. Neither Petro Poroshenko nor Volodymir Zelenskyi will pursue policies beneficial to Ukraine's national interests.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus time 08:20 - 08:50
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Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given about alleged Western influence over the Ukrainian electoral process. Recurring disinformation narrative about Western meddling in Ukraine's elections and Ukraine as a state under foreign control.

See also earlier cases calling the Ukrainian presidential candidates US puppets.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, election meddling, Petro Poroshenko, Conspiracy
Countries: Ukraine, US
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If Poroshenko loses the second round of the elections, he might murder Zelensky
Additional details: Poroshenko understands he has no chance of winning the elections. That is why he is organizing total falsifications of the elections, with support of the EU and US. And if he loses the second round, he will murder Zelensky. That way the elections would be organised again and Poroshenko would win.
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Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFDkSOkg3Ck
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazet (40:28 - 41:07)
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Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the elections in Ukraine.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Petro Poroshenko, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
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West attacks the institution of family in Slavic countries, aims at Russian resources
Additional details: Global actors including UN agencies and American power clans aim to undermine the social institution of family in Slavic countries. In Belarus a manifestation of this strategy was the draft law on prevention of domestic violence, which was elaborated by the British embassy. Anti-family strategy is part of the war for Big Russia resources.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus, [00:30 - 01:10], [04:10 - 04:40], [05:30 - 06:40]
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Disproof note:

This disinformation message is a conspiracy theory consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives about aggressive western anti-Russian activities. See a similar earlier case alleging EU's attempts to destroy Belarus' social values by imposing totalitarian feminism.

The draft law against domestic violence in Belarus was elaborated not by British embassy as alleged, but by the Belarusian Ministry of Interior as part of the UNFPA project with support of the British government. Local authorities, specialised NGOs and presidential administration were also involved in the elaboration of the bill.

In mid-May 2019 the Ministry of Interior informed that the work over the draft law had been finalised. The draft law was expected to be agreed with other ministries until July 2018 and then by October passed for the president's approval, the webpage of the Ministry of Interior informed.  In October 2018 Alyaksandr Lukashenka lambasted the bill and prevented it from being adopted.

Keywords: Western values, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia, The West, Belarus, US
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Poland excludes Russia from museum project to rewrite history
Additional details: Warsaw has refused Russian offers to take part in the renovation of a World War II museum in Sobibor, under way since 2014. Three separate requests -- all made by private Russian institutions -- were rejected on spurious grounds and obviously for political reasons.

By doing so, Poland is trying to rewrite history and deny Russia's role in the liberation of Poland in general, and in the history of the Sobibor camp in particular. After all, it was a Red Army officer, Aleksandr Pechersky, who organized the 1943 Sobibor uprising, one of the few successful ones in the history of the Holocaust.

Vladimir Putin was not invited to the 70th anniversary event commemorating the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, held in Poland in 2015.
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Disinforming outlet(s): RT News @RT (rt.com), time 13:10
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The story recycles the charges of "Russophobia" which Russia has levied at Poland since mid-2017, also in connection to Warsaw's alleged sidelining of Moscow from the museum project.

The project did not start in 2014, Poland did not exclude Russia from it, and no decisions concerning the engagement of foreign actors were made unilaterally.

An August 2017 statement by the Polish Culture Ministry reads that the steering committee responsible for the project (comprising Poland, Israel, Holland, and Slovakia) "took the unanimous decision to continue cooperation in its current membership [emphasis added]," which had remained unchanged since the launch of the initiative in September 2008. In a further comment on Moscow's accusations, Polish Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin said in September 2017: "Had Russia taken an interest in the subject in 2008 or 2009, there would be no problems now."

The report does not name the "private institutions" which allegedly met with Poland's refusals, possibly because all three are run by the Kremlin: the Russian Military Historical Society, the Victory Museum, and the suitably named State Central Museum of Contemporary Russian History.

Vladimir Putin was invited to the 2015 event in Poland but, according to Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, the invitation was insufficiently solemn and thus "did not merit a response," despite the fact that identical letters had been sent out to all heads of state. Nevertheless, a full Russian delegation was present at the event. Moscow officials were also present at the 2018 event in Sobibor, which specifically commemorated the uprising organized by Pechersky.

Keywords: World War 2, Holocaust, Historical revisionism, Jews, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Poland, Russia
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Belarusian opposition attempted to carry out a terrorist act using Ukrainian weapons. US tries to cover it up.
Additional details: To cover up their anti-state activities, Belarusian opposition uses Ukrainian nationalists with weapons. In 2017 the team of the Belarusian opposition politician Mikalai Statkevich attempted to carry out a terrorist act during the mass protest action in Belarus. The US State Department did not mention this case in its Belarus human rights report because just as the Belarusian opposition, the US is interested in the destabilisation of situation in Belarus.
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Link to the disinformation: vitbich.org/andrej-korshunov-iz-muxi-slona/
Disinforming outlet(s): Vitbich
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Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory and repeating disinformation spread in 2017 in Belarus during the street protests. The disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood.

Belarus 2017 Human Rights Report by the US State Department indeed does not mention this case. However the reason behind this is not a cover up as alleged in the publication but because the claim about opposition's attempt to conduct a terrorist act is unfounded and the charges were dropped by Belarusian investigators. At the same time the report mentions multiple arrests of opposition leaders by the Belarusian authorities:  "Throughout the year Statkevich and Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu, another 2010 presidential candidate, opposition activist, and former political prisoner, were arrested repeatedly and placed in administrative detentions, usually in connection with unauthorized gatherings and demonstrations."

Statkevich team member Sergey Kuncevich was detained on 25 March 2017 and accused of transporting Molotov cocktails as part of a larger coordinated attempt to organize mass disorders. Nearly the same time Belarus' state-owned mass media (BelTA) published an article “Militants staging a provocation detained in Belarus” reporting about weapons allegedly confiscated from other accused. Investigators found no evidence to confirm accusations and the criminal prosecution of all those arrested in relation to the case was closed in late November 2017.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging attempts to destabilize Belarus using Ukrainian weapons here and here.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: Ukraine, Belarus, US
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