Dehumanization is a quite common trait in conflict situations, where the opponents usually intend to build support for their own actions as well as lessen the support for their adversary through harsh rhetoric and disinformation about the other side.

Within the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery, dehumanization is often used as a tool to denigrate in particular the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF). This despite the fact that the official line from the Kremlin (contrary to the evidence) is that Russia is not involved in the war in Eastern Ukraine.

In the light of new claims about the UAF this week, we found it fitting to look back at some past disinformation about the Ukrainian Army. No evidence has been provided to support any of these claims.

First, this week’s story, which conveyed a dual message of both the cruelty of the UAF and the low level of morality in the West (another favourite topic in the pro-Kremlin disinformation sphere);

Rich people from Western countries can buy the right to kill civilians in Donbas, this “safari” is provided by the Ukrainian Army.”

This gruesome and unsubstantiated claim originates from one of the official parties to the conflict, a spokesperson for the self proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic.

Second, an absurd claim that has nevertheless been repeated several times, namely;

Zombies are fighting within the Ukrainian forces in Donbas. They continue to fight even after being shot in the head.”

That is indeed some scary stuff. But what could be even scarier? Ask TV Zvezda, the official TV channel of the Russian Ministry of Defence, and they will come up with the answer – Nazi zombies!

”There are Nazi zombies fighting in the Ukrainian army.”

A further past unsubstantiated story reported something fishy going on in Ukrainian military hospitals:

”French customs officers at Paris Orly airport confiscated a shipment of human organs from Ukraine. The intercepted organs were “200 nasal septums and sphincters” and were sent from Dnipro Military Hospital.”

Also, according to disinformation narratives, the UAF has no respect for the church and religion, as claimed in the next story:

Ukraine’s military conducted a night raid on a Ukrainian Catholic monastery looking for conscripts. The monastery was surrounded and searched, the military were trying to find young men evading service in the army.”

This claim was quickly debunked by the monastery in question, which denied any raids on its premises.

There are also stories that aim to belittle the UAF rather than incite fear of them, for example one claiming that the plague has broken out among the UAF or that there are not enough willing conscripts so the UAF has to enlist criminals.

Although this is not an exhaustive list, it does serve to illustrate how dehumanization and alienation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is being used within the pro-Kremlin disinformation universe in order to lessen support for and sympathy with Ukraine.

The provocation game 2.0

On June 11, a targeted disinformation campaign was launched around an EU delegation’s visit to Ukraine. This week, we decided to dive deeper into this specific information operation.

The disinformation claimed that Ukrainian security forces were preparing a provocation in Donbas; they allegedly planned to shoot down the EU delegation’s helicopter in order to blame the pro-Russian separatists for the attack. As we have highlighted earlier, this is a typical way of pro-Kremlin disinformation: to warn of “provocations” to sow distrust and disruption among partners.

The disinformation again came from a party to the conflict: it was first published on the website of the so called Ministry of State Security of the self proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic. The story was aggressively pushed during the first day after publication when the volume of its spread peaked, whereas the next day it quickly slowed down and almost stopped after three days.

The same story was published at least in Russian, English, Spanish, German and French, on over 70 different websites; it was posted on Twitter, Russian social media Vkontakte, blogs, forums, YouTube and even on Bloomberg’s commentary section below a news article.

According to Brandwatch analytics tool, the disinformation gained over 600 000 impressions on Twitter. It succeeded in getting extensive media coverage in Russia, but it did not get into the mainstream media in the EU – at least not in the analysed languages. Sputnik took care of the spread in the EU languages.

The pattern of dissemination was different in English and in Russian. As of 7 AM on June 11, dozens of Russian-language disinformation outlets published the story in short intervals. In English, the story first only appeared in South Front. Then, it was heavily pushed on Twitter by accounts whose activity is similar to the behaviour of bots. The first Twitter account that mentioned the story has an average of 250 daily Tweets. On the first day, the story reached more than 200.000 people in English on Twitter.

Luckily, the disinformation campaign did not succeed in disrupting the visit, but it proved to be able to get wide media coverage in Russia, limited coverage within the EU and a relatively good reach on social media. All this for a disinformation where no evidence of the supposed threat of “provocation” was ever provided.

Ukrainian Soldiers Wearing Russian Uniforms Spotted in Donbas
Additional details: Ukrainian armed forces wearing Russian military uniforms were spotted on the contact line between Ukraine and the occupied eastern Donbas territories. Ukrainian provocations may be planned to serve as an information campaign directed against the LPR and the Russian Federation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://lenta.ru/news/2018/06/12/forma/
Disinforming outlet(s): Lenta.ru, Miaistok.su, Ukraina.ru, Zvezda, Moskovskyi Komsomolets, Izvestia, Vesti, Kommersant, Antifascist, Russkaya Vesna, URA.ru, Topnews.ru, Tsargrad, Novostnoye Agentstvo Kharkov, Istok, Novoross Info, News Front, Slovodel.com
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring narrative trying to deny the involvement of Russian soldiers in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The only evidence provided is a photo of Ukrainian special forces. Stopfake has however shown that the photo used is from 2015 and taken in Kiev. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, supposedly alerted by the separatists to the presence of suspicious men wearing Russian military uniforms, makes no mention of any such persons in Shchastia or its vicinity.

Keywords: fake news, Eastern Ukraine, Provocation, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Dutch proved that the missile that shot down the MH17 had been manufactured in Ukraine
Additional details: The Dutch proved that the missile that shot down the MH17 had been manufactured in Ukraine. The year of manufacturing stated in the missile was published by the Dutch.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvtHKR8xy8
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Rossiya 1, 9:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

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

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which investigates the MH17 crash on 17 July 2014, has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

In September 2016, the JIT disclosed that MH17 was downed with a BUK missile of the 9M38 series. In Eastern Ukraine, two parts of such a missile were found. These parts are the so-called ‘venturi’ and the ‘casing’. This regards on the one hand the exhaust of the missile (venturi) and on the other hand the casing of the missile engine (casing).

The missile engine’s casing shows the number 9 д 1318869032. The JIT-investigation up to now has found that 9д 131 relates to the number of the missile engine of the 9M38 type and/or 9M38M1 type. The number 8 is the manufacturer’s code, namely: the Dolgoprudny Research and Manufacturing Enterprise in Moscow. The number 86 indicates the year of production, namely 1986. And the number 9032 is the unique identification number of this specific missile engine.

The JIT has established that this involves a missile of the 9M38 Buk-series. To what extent both parts belong to the missile that was launched by the BUK TELAR of the 53rd brigade can, as yet, not be said with certainty. https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@103196/update-criminal-0/

Background

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: MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
A provocation by the Ukrainian armed forces was prevented in Donbas
Additional details: A provocation with the use of "disguised" soldiers, Ukrainian armed forces dressed as Russian soldiers, was prevented by the work of the intelligence of the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR). We can assume that the planned action thereby failed.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Slovodel.com
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring narrative trying to deny the involvement of Russian soldiers in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. The only evidence provided is a photo of Ukrainian special forces. Stopfake has however shown that the photo used is from 2015 and taken in Kiev. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, supposedly alerted by the separatists to the presence of suspicious men wearing Russian military uniforms, makes no mention of any such persons in Shchastia or its vicinity.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Provocation, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
Former Russian Radio Host Advocates Ethnic Cleansing in Donbas
Additional details: Russian journalist and radio personality Matvei Ganapolsky, who works in Ukraine, is advocating ethnic cleansing in the Donbas territories controlled by pro-Russian militants. In Ukraine, no one objects to such statements.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://regnum.ru/news/polit/2433292.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

During his appearance on channel 112 Ganapolsky never used the term ethnic cleansing, he was actually  talking about the six thousand Ukrainian football fans who went to the World Cup in Russia.

Further debunking by Stopfake.

Keywords: ethnic cleansing, Eastern Ukraine, Human rights, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine Does Not Want to Claim its POW’s from Occupied Territories
Additional details: Kyiv is not interested in freeing Ukrainian citizens who were taken prisoner by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics (DPR, LPR). A prisoner exchange was planned for June 27, but the Ukrainian side stopped meeting with the militant leadership.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://ria.ru/world/20180619/1523007610.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

Pro-Kremlin outlets regularly produce distorted and fake stories claiming Kyiv is stalling or disrupting prisoner exchanges. After a May 2018 meeting of the Ukraine, OSCE, Russia contact group in Minsk, Russian media disseminated fake stories claiming Ukraine’s authorities did not want a prisoner exchange.

During a June meeting of the contact group, Ukraine reiterated that Kyiv is waiting for an exchange of prisoners with the militants.

In an interview with Ukrainian television station Channel Five on June 17, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said he hoped the next prisoner exchange would take place sometime during the World Cup which is currently being played out in Russia.

Further debunking by Stopfake.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Military, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian army organizes hunting of pro-Russian civilians in Donbas for rich people
Additional details:

Rich people from Western countries can buy the right to kill civilians in Donbas, this "safari" is provided by the Ukrainian army.

Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): www.novarepublika.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The information comes from one of the parties to the conflict, known for disseminating disinformation; the spokesperson of the self proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic Daniel Beznosov. It is not the first time that the DNR or similar sources spread disinformation about the Ukrainian army https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=Ukrainian+military&disinfo_issue=&date=

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Military, Western values, Ukraine, Donbas, Conspiracy
Countries: Ukraine
More
Political elites want to destroy European culture and plan a genocide of Europeans
Additional details:

EU political elites (liberals and neo-marxists) want to bring as much migrants as possible to the EU in order to destroy European culture. Migrants are the instrument for their plan.

Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): www.novarepublika.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given. Recurring trait to use the word genocide in pro-Kremlin disinformation https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77182&date=, as well as elites with secret plans https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77280&date=

Keywords: European values, Secret elites / global elites, Genocide, Migration crisis
Countries: Europe, EU
More
The fascists war preparations against Russia are clearly visible
Additional details: War preparations of fascists against Russia are clearly visible today, just as they were clearly visible in 1940. The US-led NATO is bringing its forces close to the Russian border. Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Greece and Japan are not US neighbours, yet they are full of the fascist US-forces and its allies. The US's goals are the same Hitler's Germany had, namely world domination over the peoples of the Earth with its economic and military might.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Disinforming outlet(s): Bal-Rad
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring disinformation about NATO and/or EU Member States are planning a war against Russia https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=EU+NATO&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77100&date=

Keywords: War preparation, Adolf Hitler, NATO, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Romania, Japan, Greece, Turkey, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, US, Poland
More
Americans are transporting migrants to Europe on warships
Additional details: The US Navy has started to transport migrants to Europe. This comes after the Italian government decided not to allow civil society organisation's ships to dock at Italian ports. NGOs hope that the Italian government will allow the US Navy's ship to dock. Subsequently, the US Navy would continue transporting migrants to European shores.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Disinforming outlet(s): Hídfő
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation about the US's role in the European migration crisis, eg https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/us-allegeldy-organises-migration-to-destroy-europe/, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-eu-migration-crisis-is-an-invasion-organized-by-the/

According to an official statement from the US navy ship USNS Trenton, the ship,in accordance with its obligations under international law, rendered assistance to mariners in distress that it encountered while conducting routine operations in the Mediterranean Sea o n June 12, 2018. Forty people were recovered and were provided food, water, and medical care on board Trenton. U.S. authorities then coordinated with international partners to determine their ultimate disposition. http://www.c6f.navy.mil/news/usns-trenton-statement-june-2018

Keywords: EU, Migration crisis
Countries: Italy, EU
More
Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned by cosmetic procedures, other allegations are provocation by Ukraine
Additional details: Since the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has been creating provocations against Russia, eg the poisoning of the third president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko was part of these provocations. In reality, Yushchenko was poisoned by cosmetic procedures.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://youtu.be/MJmiRysJI60?t=4421
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli @Rossiya 1 (1:40:00)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In 2009 the leading medical journal - The Lancet published a scientific paper by Swiss and Ukrainian researchers. According to this research, TTCD dioxin levels in Yushchenko`s blood were more than 50,000 times higher than normal. Also, the same research claims: “The dioxin used to poison Yushchenko could have been produced in numerous laboratories because it was a purified version that has no natural source”. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673609609120/abstract

Background

On September 6, 2004, after attending a dinner, Yushchenko fell gravely ill. Food poisoning was the first diagnosis made by Ukrainian doctors. But Yushchenko's health failed to improve, he suffered from chloracne, his face disfigured and he was barely able to walk and speak. On September 1, 2004 he was sent to Vienna's Rudolfinerhaus Clinic. Austrian doctors diagnosed his illness as acute pancreatitis due to a serious viral infection and chemical substances that are not normally found in food products. Test on dioxin showed that Yushchenko`s illness was caused by the high concentrations of dioxin is his blood, most likely orally administered.

Further debunking by Myth Detectors http://mythdetector.ge/en/myth/kiselyov-s-disinformation-yushchenko-was-poisoned-cosmetic-procedures

Keywords: Chemical weapons/attack, Provocation, Colour revolutions
Countries: Ukraine
More
Crimea itself decided its fate
Additional details: Crimea itself decided its fate.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvtHKR8xy8
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @Rossiya 1
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Crimea is a part of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and states that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a measure underscoring that the mid-March referendum in Crimea that led to the peninsula’s annexation by Russia “has no validity”. https://news.un.org/en/story/2014/03/464812-backing-ukraines-territorial-integrity-un-assembly-declares-crimea-referendum

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukraine has killed 10 000 people in Donbas
Additional details: Ukraine has killed 10 000 people in Donbas.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvtHKR8xy8
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @Rossiya 1, 7:49
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The figure most probably refers to the overall number of casualties during the war in Ukraine.

In total, from 14 April 2014 to 15 November 2017, OHCHR recorded 35,081 conflict-related
casualties in Ukraine among Ukrainian armed forces, civilians and members of the armed
groups. This includes 10,303 people killed and 24,778 injured. https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UAReport20th_EN.pdf

According to the OHCHR, during the entire conflict period, from 14 April 2014 to 15 May 2018, at least 2,725 civilians have been killed: 1,568 men, 961 women, 93 boys, 47 girls and 56 adults whose sex is unknown. An additional 298 civilians, including 80 children, were killed by the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014, bringing the total death toll on civilians to at least 3,023. OHCHR estimates the total number of conflict-related civilian injuries to be between 7,000 and 9,000. https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/ReportUkraineFev-May2018_EN.pdf

OHCHR does not state which side is responsible for the casualties.

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
The UN condemned persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Additional details: The UN condemned the persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and concluded that there is a "religious conflict" in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The publication refers to the words of the Coordinator of the "Information Group on Crimes Against Personality", of the co-organizer of the event, Maxim Vilkov and of some expert Daniil Glumov. They advanced the thesis that "nationalist forces use [...] historical confrontation of religious confessions" or that the UOC-KP and the Greek-Catholic Church "made every effort to kindle [...] a religious conflict."

In fact, officially, at the UN level, including representatives and members of the Human Rights Council, there were no such statements. There were also no official statements or discussions on this matter.

The event, which proves the basis for the material published by Ukraina.ru, is not on the list of official meetings of the 38th session of the HRC. It did take place, but already in the informal part (which follows from the bulletin of informal meetings) under the auspices of the Russian Federation Representation to the United Nations and the Russian Peace Foundation.

Further debunking by Stopfake.

Keywords: Orthodox Church, Human rights, UN, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Swedish children forced to pray to Allah in school
Additional details: Nowadays, more and more schools are forcing Swedish children to kneel and pray to Allah. The goal of Prime Minister Löfven is clear, Sweden is going to be a Muslim country.
Language / Targeted audience: Swedish
Disinforming outlet(s): Social media
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

According to the fact checking site Faktiskt.se, it was an eight year old image that has been used for propaganda purposes for several years that has once again spread since it has been shared in the big Facebook group "Stand up for Sweden". The image is said to show how Swedish school children are "forced to kneel and pray to Allah" but actually the image show a theme day at a school in Kristianstad, where students told each other about their respective families' traditions.

The same image has been shared in the Russian-language websites as an example of "European integration" and "Refugees teach British children how to pray Namaz".  Liveinternet, Ruan

Keywords: Islamisation, Muslim/Islam, Migration crisis
Countries: Sweden
More
Photo: Kosovan and Albanian migrants are “storming” the EU borders from Serbia
Additional details: Photo: Kosovan and Albanian migrants are “storming” the EU borders from Serbia.
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The photo is from February 2016. It was taken at the border of FYROM and Greece and shows refugees, mainly from Syria, and migrants. Outlets such as The New York Times and Kathimerini used it back then.

The photo has served disinforming purposes on various occasions. On January 8, 2018 it depicted “200 migrants storming the Morocco-Spain border”, according to stormfront.org.

In July 2017, websites like usdefensewatch.org and ladylibertynews.com used the picture to illustrate how George Soros was “in alliance with the EU to flood Europe with refugees”.  In May 2017, it showed refugees fleeing from Germany due to the suffering and humiliation they encountered there, according to arabinworld.com.

News Front is a growing Russian news agency that is run from Crimea, created to “fight in the information war” and is frequently spreading disinformation. According to Die Zeit, the agency is partly funded by the FSB, Russia’s security service.

Read more: https://euvsdisinfo.eu/one-image-4-x-disinformation-about-migrants/

Keywords: Refugees, Migration crisis
Countries: Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, EU
More
There is no "Ukraine", only illegal regime in the Kyiv territory
Additional details: There is no country "Ukraine". There is only illegal regime in the Kyiv territory.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @Rossiya 1, 5:35
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

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

As witnessed by the democratic Early Parliament elections held on 26 October 2014, Ukraine is governed by a democratically elected Parliament. The OSCE characterized the elections as “an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate democratic elections in line with its international commitments”, offering voters “real choice” and “a general respect for fundamental freedoms”. According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook increasing attempts to derail the process. There was no possibility also to carry out the elections in the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia the same year http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/132556?download=true

Keywords: Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
NATO is an aggressive and criminal organisation with homosexual army
Additional details: NATO is an aggressive, criminal, military and political organisation. But its army is homosexual. We [Russians] feel some kind of disgust about them, not fear.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Pravo Golosa @TV Centre, 45:15
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on NATO. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77118&date=

Homophobic narratives are repeatedly used on Russian state-controlled TV. For background see https://euvsdisinfo.eu/homophobic-hate-speech-on-russian-tv/ and https://euvsdisinfo.eu/everyone-against-russia-conspiracy-theories-on-the-rise-in-russian-media/

Keywords: NATO, LGBT
Countries: Russia
More
The Americans acknowledged that the Russian Su-57 fighter jet is superior to the American F-35
Additional details: The Americans acknowledged that the Russian Su-57 fighter jet is superior to the American F-35.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): REN TV, Lenta.ru, Tsargrad, Moskovski Komsomolets, Life, Izvestiya, Gazeta.ru, Ura.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The claim about the Su-57 fighter was made in one American journal. The journal in question, Military Watch, is hardly ever quoted anywhere but in Russia.

According to the Insider, there is no substantial background information about who owns and runs Military Watch. The journal's editor seems to have an author’s profile, which is now empty, on the strongly Kremlin-loyal English language outlet Russia Insider. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/antisemitism-and-pro-kremlin-propaganda/

Further debunking: https://theins.ru/antifake/107509

Keywords: Military, Russian superiority
Countries: Russia, US
More
White Helmets Plotting False Flag Chemical Attack in Southern Syria
Additional details: The NGO's presence in the region may signify preparations for a new false flag chemical attack amid the Syrian Army's advance against jihadists in the region. The sources added that the tightness of the frontlines in the area may hinder the White Helmets from going ahead with their plans.

 

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

No evidence given. Recurring disinformation https://medium.com/dfrlab/syriahoax-part-two-kremlin-targets-white-helmets-c6ab692d4a21. The White Helmets are regularly accused of  being responsible for chemical attacks in pro-Kremlin disinformation https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=white+helmets&disinfo_issue=&date=, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/from-sweden-with-love/

Sputnik is a state-funded outlet created in December 2013 as part of a broader restructuring of Russian government media. According to the presidential decree, which established its parent company, Sputnik’s purpose is “reporting the state policy of the Russian Federation, and public life in the Russian Federation, abroad.” https://medium.com/dfrlab/blowing-the-whistle-on-sputnik-493e0bc26e99

Keywords: false flag, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War, Sputnik
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Fake chemical attacks are a pretext for Western military action against Syrian government
Additional details: They (the West) uses fake chemical attacks as a pretext for military action against Syrian government.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): NTV
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Repeating recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Sergei Skripal poisoning, and chemical attack in Douma, Syria.  https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=douma&disinfo_issue=&date=

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keywords: Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Syria
More
OPCW politicized by the West, does not comply with its own standards
Additional details: Chemical weapons in Syria were produced by militants and equipment was manufactured in Western Europe.

...

US, UK, France, Allies Trying to Turn OPCW Into a Politicized Institution

While conducting investigations into chemical incidents in Syria, compliance with a strict sequence of actions to preserve evidence has been violated.


The neglect of the OPCW standards "led to contradictions, inconsistencies and falsifications of facts in the reports on the results of investigations, which are clearly anti-Syrian in nature.

...

The White Helmets used a low-grade explosive device in the Syrian settlement of Khan Shaykhun last year to stage a chemical weapons attack, later blamed on the Syrian government forces
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: Wast Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Repeating recurring disinformation  on chemical attack in Douma, Syria. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=douma&disinfo_issue=&date=

Bellingcat has debunked pro-Kremlin claims systematically concerning the chemical attacks in Syria https://www.bellingcat.com/?s=chemical

An NYT investigation has found that the Syrian government is to blame for the chemical attack in Douma https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/24/world/middleeast/douma-syria-chemical-attack-augmented-reality-ar-ul.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&smvar=te-article

In a joint Statement by Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to the unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW. They have also called a so-called information meeting at OPCW headquarters that Russia held 'nothing more than a crude propaganda exercise'. https://nl.ambafrance.org/Syria-OPCW-Joint-Statement-26-april-2018

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

Furthermore, the White Helmets and their supporters have been the target of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign for years already https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=white+helmets&disinfo_issue=&date=&offset=0

It is also not the first time that Russian officials present faked evidence as proof https://euvsdisinfo.eu/computer-game-as-irrefutable-proof/

Sputnik is a state-funded outlet created in December 2013 as part of a broader restructuring of Russian government media. According to the presidential decree, which established its parent company, Sputnik’s purpose is “reporting the state policy of the Russian Federation, and public life in the Russian Federation, abroad.” https://medium.com/dfrlab/blowing-the-whistle-on-sputnik-493e0bc26e99

For background:

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

See also Bellingcat's open source survey on the suspected chemical attack: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/11/open-source-survey-alleged-chemical-attacks-douma-7th-april-2018/https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/04/29/pieces-matter-syrias-chlorine-bombs-douma-chemical-attack/

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

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

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

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

Keywords: false flag, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Maria Zakharova, Syrian War, Bashar al-Assad, Sputnik
Countries: UK, Russia, US, Syria, France
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Germany threatens to 'strike first' against Russia
Additional details: The latest news from the "Berliner Express": "If there is no other way, you have to strike first," said Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen about a possible NATO war against Russia. "Therefore, the Bundeswehr must be brought up to speed as quickly as possible."
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): VKontakte
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The story comes from Berliner Express, a site that clearly states it is satire.

It is not the first time that Contra Magasin spreads disinformation.

Keywords: NATO, Warmongering
Countries: Russia, Germany
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Photo: Kosovan and Albanian migrants are “storming” the EU borders from Serbia
Additional details: Photo: Kosovan and Albanian migrants are “storming” the EU borders from Serbia.
Language / Targeted audience: Spain
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The photo is from February 2016. It was taken at the border of FYROM and Greece and shows refugees, mainly from Syria, and migrants. Outlets such as The New York Times and Kathimerini used it back then.

The photo has served disinforming purposes on various occasions. On January 8, 2018 it depicted “200 migrants storming the Morocco-Spain border”, according to stormfront.org.

In July 2017, websites like usdefensewatch.org and ladylibertynews.com used the picture to illustrate how George Soros was “in alliance with the EU to flood Europe with refugees”.  In May 2017, it showed refugees fleeing from Germany due to the suffering and humiliation they encountered there, according to arabinworld.com.

News Front is a growing Russian news agency that is run from Crimea, created to “fight in the information war” and is frequently spreading disinformation. According to Die Zeit, the agency is partly funded by the FSB, Russia’s security service.

Read more: https://euvsdisinfo.eu/one-image-4-x-disinformation-about-migrants/

Keywords: Refugees, Migration crisis
Countries: Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, EU
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The German Minister of War calls for a preventive military strike against Russia
Additional details: Today, a series of important pieces of information emerged in a rapid sequence, crowned by a declaration by German Minister of Defense (Ursula von der Leyen) in which she is pushing government colleagues from the German Socialdemocrats to make an increase in defense spending.
The Minister thinks that Germany must be ready for an attack from Russia. She also recalled the old known saying that the best defense is in some cases an attack. Against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): Polabskalegie.cz
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The story comes from Berliner Express, a site that clearly states it is satire.

Keywords: NATO, Warmongering
Countries: Russia, Germany
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Photo: Kosovan and Albanian migrants are “storming” the EU borders from Serbia
Additional details: Photo: Kosovan and Albanian migrants are “storming” the EU borders from Serbia.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The photo is from February 2016. It was taken at the border of FYROM and Greece and shows refugees, mainly from Syria, and migrants. Outlets such as The New York Times and Kathimerini used it back then.

The photo has served disinforming purposes on various occasions. On January 8, 2018 it depicted “200 migrants storming the Morocco-Spain border”, according to stormfront.org.

In July 2017, websites like usdefensewatch.org and ladylibertynews.com used the picture to illustrate how George Soros was “in alliance with the EU to flood Europe with refugees”.  In May 2017, it showed refugees fleeing from Germany due to the suffering and humiliation they encountered there, according to arabinworld.com.

News Front is a growing Russian news agency that is run from Crimea, created to “fight in the information war” and is frequently spreading disinformation. According to Die Zeit, the agency is partly funded by the FSB, Russia’s security service.

Read more: https://euvsdisinfo.eu/one-image-4-x-disinformation-about-migrants/

Keywords: Refugees, Migration crisis
Countries: Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, EU
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Brussels summit discusses creation of concentration camps for migrants
Additional details: The summit in Brussels is now discussing the fears in the heads of Europeans about the creation of concentration camps for migrants, whatever euphemisms might be employed as a cover.

Such camps could be set up in Albania. This is one of the reasons why the summit has been urgently convened.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://radiovesti.ru/brand/62139/
Disinforming outlet(s): Eurozona @ Vesti FM, 11:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

See how “concentration camps” are frequently used in pro-Kremlin disinformation https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=concentration+camp&disinfo_issue=&date=

On 24 June, President Juncker convened an informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues in Brussels, in order to work with a group of Heads of State or Government of Member States interested in finding European solutions ahead of the European Council on 28-29 June.

In relation to media rumours about establishing refugee camps in Albania, the local Ministry of the Interior has issued an official statement confirming that there were no plans or discussions about establishing refugee camps in Albania. "Nobody has made a request to Albania to establish refugee camps and Albania has not offered to establish such refugee camps," the statement reads. In response to a hypothetical question as to what Albania could do in the face of an emergency situation, the Albanian Deputy Minister of the Interior Julian Hodaj told the German Television ZDF that "Albania showed during the Kosovo war that it is capable to deal with such emergencies."

Furthermore, the EU ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin told national media that the EU will not set requests for refugee camps as conditions for opening EU accession negotiations. The accession conditions are related to progress made on the five key priorities, i.e. reforming judiciary and public administration, fighting corruption and organised crime, and protecting human rights. These priorities will remain the key elements on which Albania will be assessed and which will continue to be the basis for common work in the future.

For more see http://www.dw.com/en/potential-eu-albania-asylum-deal-could-help-keep-germanys-angela-merkel-in-power/a-44340062

 

Keywords: Refugees, Migration crisis
Countries: Albania, Belgium
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