After India and Mexico, Russia is the country with the largest number of people living outside its borders: 10.6 million, according to the UN International Migration Report of 2017. That equals roughly the population of Portugal, Sweden or Czechia. But at least one of those expat Russians has chosen to return home, which eventually made it to the headlines. She is generously sharing her impression from living 19 years in filth among criminals and homeless in United States, and while the prison population in the US is higher than in Russia during the Stalin Terror, most criminals roam the streets without restrictions. But worst of all: US authorities putting rat poison in the tap water! Sodium Fluoride!

Why should anyone bother to bring forward the difference between sodium fluoride – found in almost any toothpaste – and sodium fluoracetate, a substance actually used in rat poison? Why mention that the Posioned Well is an age old urban legend with an anti-Semitic ring to it? Or that Russia is experimenting with sodium fluoride in milk to improve the oral health of the Russians?

In any case, it is easy to understand why Russians, living outside Russia, are reluctant to return to the Motherland, as the country according to the pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets almost permanently is in danger. A small group of Russophobes are imposing US anti-Russian policy on Europe, poisoning the relations to Russia, for instance through the Eastern Partnership Programme; NATO aims at defeating Russia, through ruining Russian economy. Ukraine is entirely a Western program, an anti-Russia. And recently a new threat has appeared on the horizon: murderous clothes! Belarusian and Ukrainian folk dress is a Nazi tool to destroy Russian statehood! The Vyshyvankas of Death.

All Things Sacred

All that is sacred is attacked by the globalists; the Zionists, US Imperialists. Neo-Colonialists are waging a civil war against the peoples of the world, force feeding them globalist concepts as Liberalism, Social-Democracy, Market Economy and Sustainable Development. The enemies of Russia do not even respect anything sacred: the Eastern Orthodox Church is under US attack, because of Russia’s adherence to traditional values. Europe itself has given in to Islam, opening its public space for anti-Semitism.

Anyone labelled “a friend of Russia” becomes an outcast; blaming Russia is a Western tradition, older than the cathedrals, even when there is no proof, just as shown in the Mueller investigation! At least as long as you don’t read the Mueller Investigation, as it actually contains proofs of Russian interference in the US elections.

An Island of Stability

The pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets spare no effort in creating a world-view where Russia is surrounded by hostile forces. An island of stability in an ocean of threats and dangers.

William Shakespeare uses the expression “False as water” in the play Othello. Water assumes any form or shape; water is unpredictable. Life giving and deadly. Many metaphors, connected to information, suggest a similarity between water and information. We talk about sources, streams and channels for information; information can leak; we drown in information, we thirst for it. And we pollute it. With lies and lies about lies. Lies that just as water assume any form or shape. And with lies about rat poison.

EU experts: No Russian meddling in the elections to the European Parliament 2019
Additional details:

The EU itself admits that no large-scale Russian attempt to interfere in the elections to the European Parliament was seen in the last months.The biggest chunk of the disinformation is, according to the EU experts, "motivated by the  populist and anti-establishment sentiment". The observed "level of disinformation and online manipulation" is "normal".


 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): http://katehon.com/de/article/eu-experten-russland-hat-sich-nicht-den-europa-wahlkampf-eingemischt
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Misrepresented quote. The claim refers to the Disinformation Review Issue #150, where one can read:

But in the final days leading up to the vote, their findings appear to be anticlimactic: expectations of a massive coordinated influence campaign, targeted hack-and-leak operation, or other dramatic cyberattack have seemingly fallen short. The observed level of disinformation and manipulated online activity has been pretty much, well… normal. And much of it, importantly, now appears to be home-grown – motivated by populist, anti-establishment attitudes that are gaining traction across certain segments of the European electorate, and not coordinated directly by Russia or its immediate proxies (but certainly promoted by them!).

Compared to past elections, it may indeed seem like we have gotten off easy. But before we breathe a collective sigh of relief, let’s ask ourselves – is this a “normal” that we are willing to accept?

Because here is what this new “normal” actually means: it means that the Kremlin’s strategy is succeeding. It means that we risk becoming desensitized – even habituated – to the subversive efforts of a hostile foreign power aimed at damaging our democratic institutions and processes, and the values that have been essential to building a peaceful and prosperous post-World War II Europe.

 

Keywords: EU elections 2019, European Parliament, Manipulated elections/referendum
Countries: Russia, EU, Germany
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Ukrainian and Belarusian national clothes as tools of destruction of the Russian state
Additional details: Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are part of the Russian people. The differences between Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian vyshivankas (national embroidered clothes) are exaggerated. The focus on insignificant differences and politicization of this issue inevitably result in the rise of Nationalism, followed by Nazism. Ukrainian and — lately— Belarusian national clothes are anti-Russian tools. Their popularization aims to destroy statehoods, including the Russian statehood. Anyone who attempts to politicize the issue of vyshivanka should be criminally persecuted for assault on constitutional order.

Only one scenario will prevent Ukraine and Belarus from sliding into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes: if the two countries become a Russian western federal area without a right for self-determination.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): IA REX, Oko Planet
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The allegation that popularization of national clothes in Ukraine and Belarus targets Russia's statehood is ungrounded conspiracy. This message contains Russian irredentist ideology of All-Russian nation and is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Ukraine and Nazism, and West's attempts to destabilize Belarus and to push it to follow the 'Ukraine's path'.

The All-Russian nation is an Imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology which at present-time is one pro-Kremlin narratives aimed at weakening national identity of Belarusian and Ukrainians and these countries' sovereignty. Ukraine and Belarus are well-defined nation-states with a long history; both nations preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods.

Other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets' attempts to question the Ukrainian and Belarusian nations can be seen herehere and here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Conspiracy, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, The West, Ukraine, Belarus
More
The US is sending a hospital ship to the Caribbean as preparation for an intervention in Venezuela
Additional details: The decision to send US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort to the Caribbean is part of the preparations for a military intervention in Venezuela against the government of Nicolas Maduro.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There is no evidence to support the claim that this is part of a wider deployment for a military intervention even if the decision to send the hospital ship near Venezuela has been criticised for alleged contributing to a rise in tensions.

The USNS Comfort carries no weapons, has a clearly defined status as a non-combatant vessel and its crew are mostly composed of navy specialists in non-fighting roles and civilians. Similar allegations were made when the same ship was sent to the Colombian coast to treat Venezuelan refugees last November.

You can see other examples of disinformation regarding alleged preparations for a military intervention in Venezuela here, here and here.

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro
Countries: Venezuela
More
The EU is a neocolonial project
Additional details: The EU is an undemocratic neocolonial project.

We think that the undemocratic project of the European Union (EU) is losing its legitimacy. (...) The resistance of oppressed countries held in neocolonial status is often called "nationalism" by the oppressors to discredit this resistance.

The EU is a construction of banks and corporations that secures their domination and profits. (...) Protests against it are suppressed by the comprehensive dismantling of democratic rights as well as new instruments of surveillance and repression.

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

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

The EU is not neocolonial, but a democratic Union of 28 Member States.  The unique feature of the EU is that, although the Member States all remain sovereign and independent states, they have decided to pool some of their 'sovereignty' in areas where it makes sense to work together.

The decision-making structure in the EU is defined by the EU treaties.  Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union ensures the principle of subsidiarity, which guarantees that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen. Learn more here.

Keywords: Euro-scepticism, EU disintegration, Democracy, European values, Europe
Countries: EU
More
Ukraine is one of the possible perpetrators of the attack on the MH17
Additional details: Ukraine's responsibility for the downing of the MH17 Boeing five years ago over eastern Ukraine can not be ruled out.

The Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines crashed on 17 July 2014 in the fiercely contested East Ukrainian Donetsk region. The Ukrainian army and armed government opponents fought fierce battles in the region.  The government in Kyiv and the people's militias of the unrecognised Republic of Donetsk accused each other of shooting down the jet.

Even before the investigation began, many Kyiv and Western politicians had blamed the East Ukrainian people's militias for the alleged shooting and accused Russia of an involvement in the shooting down.

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

Conspiracy theory that the Ukrainian side was involved in the shooting down of MH17, with no evidence provided.  An example on the many competing and occasionally contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

On 24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research.  Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available.  Analysis of these produces a number of characteristics.  The combination of these is so special that that can be considered as a fingerprint.  This fingerprint has been compared with numerous images of BUK-TELARS, both Ukrainian and Russian ones.  The only BUK-TELAR on which this combination of characteristics was also  found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. 

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

The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17.  The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable. The US has supported the decisions by the Netherlands and Australia.

Keywords: Conspiracy, MH17
Countries: Thailand, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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There was a coup d’état in Kyiv in February 2014
Additional details: Reacting to the coup d’état in Kyiv in February 2014, the authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol declared the peninsula independent.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014, this is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Euromaidan and the Crimea Referendum.

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

No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on the 16 March 2014. On the 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. 5 years on, the EU re-affirms its unwavering support for Ukraine's territorial integrity.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, Coup, Euromaidan, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The Eastern Partnership Policy was set up against Russia
Additional details:

The basic problem with the Eastern Partnership is that it was set up to create an EU zone of influence against Russia in its Eastern neighbourhood. [...]


As long as Russia is regarded and treated as an enemy, or even an adversary, this policy is inevitably directed against the largest European country and forces Moscow to take appropriate defensive measures.


If Europe wants security, it can only be achieved together with Russia.

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

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative accusing the West, and in this case the EU, of encircling Russia.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Read more about the Eastern Partnership and its priorities here.

The Eastern Partnership initiative is not against any country; it is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU, if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country.

There was in fact a clear record of strong cooperation between the EU and Russia, dating back to 1994, when the two sides negotiated a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.  Russia was identified as a strategic partner for the EU, and was the only country with which the EU held summits not once, but twice a year.

A new EU-Russia agreement was being negotiated up until 2014, at which point talks were suspended due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Negotiations were also in train on visa facilitation. There was also cooperation between the EU and Russia on a number of foreign policy issues, some of which continue to this day. The EU and its Member States have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts.

Read more on the most repeated myths about the Eastern Partnership initiative here.

Keywords: Eastern Partnership, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian
Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, EU, Belarus, Georgia
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Belarusian Nationalism will lead to a coup d'etat; Russians and Belarusians are the same people
Additional details: The spread of ideology claiming that Ukraine is not Russia and Ukrainians are not Russians caused the coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014 and the following dramatic events. This same formula ("we are not Russians") is increasingly popular in Belarus, including among the Belarusian authorities. However, just as Russians and Ukrainians are the same people, Russians and Belarusians are the same people too. Pro-Western nationalistic opposition in Belarus has been working hard to undermine a common cultural and historical space between Belarus and Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fond strategicheskoy kultury, https://www.fondsk.ru/
Vmeste s Rossiey, http://ross-bel.ru/
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message contains recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about all-Russian nation, a coup d’état in Ukraine and West's plans to realize a 'Ukrainian scenario' in Belarus.

The spontaneous onset of massive Euromaidan protests was a reaction of the Ukrainian population to the sudden departure of the President Yanukovych from the Association Agreement with the European Union and to the brutal dispersal of student protest actions on 30 November 2013. The 2014 events cannot be named a coup d'état because after Yanukovych's escape, the new President was elected in free and fair elections. According to the OSCE, "the people of Ukraine had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box".

The articles claim that Belarusians and Ukrainians are part of Russian people. This is an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology of an "all-Russian nation" aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians as well as their sovereignty. In reality, Ukraine and Belarus are well-defined nation-states with a long history. Both nations preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods.

See other disinformation cases alleging that the coup d'état in Ukraine was caused by the Eastern Partnership, by the European Union or that it was conducted by Ukrainian Nazis, supported by the CIA and Poland.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Coup, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
More
West assigns blame for chemical attacks without investigating them
Additional details: Western governments and organisations continue to accuse Damascus of perpetrating chemical attacks, while being unwilling to actually investigate these alleged incidents. This undermines trust in the expertise and impartiality of the OPCW, whose recent findings seem to be based on political cues from the West.

In addition, Moscow has repeatedly warned the international community of false flag attacks and provocations which are constantly being prepared in Syria. Washington and its allies continue to ignore this vital information.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The story advances recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from Damascus and aiming to discredit the OPCW.

Claims of the OPCW's bias and subservience to Western governments began featuring in pro-Kremlin narratives around mid-2018, when the organisation was being granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks.

The OPCW conducts probes into all allegations of chemical weapons' use in Syria, and its findings serve as the basis for publicly available reports and expert notes. The most recent document by the Technical Secretariat offers a detailed response to notes verbales in which both Russia and Syria questioned the credibility and legality of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Douma.

Despite endless appeals for impartiality and transparency, in the immediate aftermath of the Douma attack in April 2018, Russian military police denied OPCW inspectors access to the area citing “lack of coordination” with the UN Secretariat, a claim which prompted concerns over possible evidence-tampering and was later refuted by the UN. Meanwhile, admission was quickly granted to friendly journalists.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, Russia has vetoed a dozen UN Security Council resolutions concerning Syria, of which six called for the launch or renewal of joint enquiries into chemical attacks in the country. More recently, the Syrian government denied entry to a senior OPCW investigator and head of the Investigation and Identification Team, arguing that it "does not recognise" the newly established unit.

Keywords: United Nations, false flag, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War, The West
Countries: United States, Russia, Syria
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Strikes of the Russian and Syrian Air forces are inflicted solely on the confirmed terrorist targets
Additional details: Russia calls on the USA and its partners to recognise responsibility for the crimes committed by the coalition in Syria. Strikes of the Russian and Syrian air forces are inflicted solely on the confirmed terrorist targets. Therefore, there can be no talk of peaceful coexistence with them.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Pro-Kremlin regular narrative that Russian Forces do not target civilians. There is a growing body of evidence documenting Russian and Syrian bombing of civilian targets.

According to Amnesty International,  Russian warplanes deliberately targeted civilians and rescue workers during their bombing campaign. The human rights group has documented attacks on schools, hospitals and civilian homes. The director of Amnesty's crisis response program, Tirana Hassan, said that after bombing civilian targets, the Russian warplanes "loop around" for a second attack to target the humanitarian workers and civilians who are trying to help those have been injured in the first sortie.  More information about Russian military intervention in Syria, about civilian deaths. Reports from  international organisations: Humar Rights Watch,  UN Human rights office, Atlantic council.  Read the Bellingcat investigation. And the most recent case is here.

 

Keywords: Russia's Ministry of Defence, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Unpublished OPCW report confirms Douma chemical attack staged
Additional details: An unpublished report by the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission confirms that the April 2018 chemical incident in Douma was a false-flag operation perpetrated by the rebels.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime and aiming to discredit the OPCW.

The "unpublished report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to Sputnik's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organization.

The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma Fact-Finding Mission, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.

Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters:

  • a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56);
  • b) does not support the claim that the incident was staged.

See the original debunk here.

Keywords: false flag, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Syria
More
NATO’s new military strategy aims to defeat Russia in the new nuclear arms race and to ruin Russia’s economy
Additional details: NATO’s new military strategy aims to eliminate Russia as a military and economic competitor. According to this new strategy, NATO must defeat Russia in the nuclear arms race and ruin [“bleed”] Russia’s economy.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a threat to peace and having a belligerent agenda. There is no evidence that the new NATO strategy seeks to  “eliminate Russia as a military competitor”, nor that it aims to “defeat Russia in the nuclear arms race” and to “ruin the Russian economy”.

On the 22nd of May 2019 NATO Allied Chiefs of Defence met in Brussels for the 181st Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session.  At the meeting the Allied Chiefs of Defence discussed and signed NATO’s new military strategy.

As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained to Welt am Sontag, since 2014 NATO faces a  new security environment and new security challenges from the East and from the South. Among the new challenges , according to Stoltenberg, is a heightened Russian nuclear threat.  The new NATO military strategy has been developed in order to adapt to this new security environment.

Stoltenberg had previously expressed NATO’s concern about Russia’s military build-up and non-compliance of the INF Treaty. He also stated that NATO would not engage in a nuclear arms race with Russia:  “NATO has no intention of deploying land-based nuclear missiles in Europe…. but NATO will always take the necessary steps to provide credible and effective deterrence.”

Keywords: NATO
Countries: Russia
More
Ukrainian agents and extremists may be preparing acts of sabotage in Crimea
Additional details: Ukrainian intelligence services and members of extremist organisations may be preparing acts of sabotage in Crimea, namely in the Kerch strait, and provocations against Russian and foreign ships visiting Crimean harbours, according to the chief of the border guard of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FS), general Vladimir Kulishov.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence is provided to support the allegation.

These affirmations are consistent with the recurrent Russian narrative of Crimea as legally "reunified" with Russia and Ukraine as a destabilizing force, and Russia's claims about the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait  incident. These messages have intensified after the hearing of the International Tribunal for the Law of Sea on May 10 about the detention of Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait. Russia refused to take part in the hearing, saying that the court had no jurisdiction in this case, and is trying to change the framework by insisting in "provocations" by the other part.

You can see other examples of this narrative here and here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Azov sea, Kerch, Crimea
Countries: Ukraine
More
Poland plans to take over Minsk after extensive subversive activities in Belarus
Additional details: In 2006, Poland adopted a state programme for building the Fourth Rzeczpospolita. Its goal is to extend Poland’s cultural and political domination over the territories which were part of the first Rzeczpospolita until the late XVIII century. This geopolitical project directly concerns Belarus and Ukraine.
The state programme has both humanitarian and military elements. Under the latter, an increasing militarisation of Poland must be taken into account. The former envisages increasing Polish influence over Belarus by issuing the Pole’s Card to Belarusian citizens and the promotion of Polish historic views among Belarusian intelligentsia, officials and students.
The humanitarian element is a first phase, its objectives are to trick, deceive, derussify and to take away the sense of self-preservation from Belarusian society as well as to disrupt the allied relations between Belarus and Russia. Following this phase, Poland plans to send its troops to take over Minsk as in 1919.
Given this, only a strong Union with Great Russia is a true guarantee of Belarus' territorial integrity and its sustainable development.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vmeste s Rossiey, http://ross-bel.ru/
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy theory with no evidence given. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Polish plans to re-establish its empire at the expense of its Eastern neighbours, and about the West's plans to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations and to destabilise Belarus.

Poland respects the territorial integrity of its neighbouring states and does not have a state programme to establishing the Fourth Rzeczpospolita. The IV Rzeczpospolita, or Fourth Republic, was a plan for a moral revolution and political change put forward in the late 1990s by the Polish conservative philosopher Rafał Matyja and used in public discourse to describe the 2005-2007 period, when the Law and Justice party was in the government for the first time. However, this concept has nothing to do with establishing a Polish empire at the expense of Poland's eastern neighbours, including Belarus. Read more about the use of conspiracy here.

Other examples of disinformation messages include alleging that Poland has plans to turn Belarus into a vassal, anti-Russian state with Belarus’ western part being an eastern part of a new Polish state, and that the Polish doctrine of IV Rzeczpospolita is part of the US doctrine of global dominance.

Keywords: Military, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: Poland, Russia, Belarus
More
Washington is clearly responsible for the war in Donbas
Additional details: An escalation of violence and a revolt of which we know nothing or almost nothing in the West. 13 thousand deaths that are unknown because the cause seems heard. Not recognized by the international community and because it is pro-Russian self-proclaimed Republic of Donetsk would have no word to say.
Who is responsible for these wars? Who continues to pour oil on the fire? Who wants to oppose the European peoples? It's clearly Washington. Yugoslavia was destroyed because it did not correspond to the geopolitical strategy of Washington, the Atlantists, the neoconservatives, the hawks.. It's the same situation in Ukraine. Who financed, who paid the Maidan? Who paid Ukrainian extremists to make them physically, violently bring down the democratically elected president of Ukraine? Yanukovich was ousted by Washington because Washington does not want Ukraine to remain in the Russian world at all.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurrent conspiracy narrative that there are no naturally grown, grass roots movement in Ukraine and other countries, and the protests are driven only "by Washington". In the case of Ukraine, the 2013 Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.  See the previous debunk here.

Overwhelming evidence confirms that Russia participates in the conflict with Ukraine sending mercenaries to Donbas. This is happening amid the absence of full Russia-Ukraine demarcation. Last time the demarcation was postponed in 2010. Russian ministry of foreign affairs does not recognize the unilateral demarcation declared by Ukraine after 2014.

In January 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported that Kyiv filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice of the United Nations with the aim of bringing Russia to responsibility for committing acts of terrorism and discrimination, which are the result of its illegal aggression against Ukraine.  The lawsuit contains all the facts of Russian aggression against Ukraine, evidence of the illegal annexation of the Crimea and the occupation of Donbas.

Former French president François Hollande was a negotiator of the Minsk agreements. He wrote in his memories that it was obvious that Russia and Putin backed the "separatists". Putin said to Poroshenko "I'll crush you" during these negotiation, according to François Hollande.

Keywords: Donbas
Countries: Ukraine, US
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Global neo-colonialists stage colour revolutions and conquer indigenous national elites
Additional details: National governments around the world risk becoming subservient to global elites. The latter pursue egoistic interests with the aim to expand their resource base and to increase their power. Together with economic globalisation, corporations have increased their information expansion in the cultural space. Some call it a global civil war between the globalising elites and 'indigenous people's masses'.

[...] here we talk about a secondary colonisation of those nations where the governments do not have sufficient technologies and resources to withstand the pressure from the globalists. The decision power of the national elites of subordinated countries is removed. The tools of neo-colonialists include:

- Imposing ideological narratives beneficial to colonisers and incomprehensible to national elites (e.g., liberalism, social-democracy, market, civil society, sustainable development, etc.);

- Controlling the information channels, influencing the indigenous peoples;

- Legitimating political regimes of the conquered countries through so called colour revolutions;

- Control over human resource policies of indigenous elites.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Imhoclub
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is in line with the concept of big conspiracy and is consistent with the Shadow Government narrative. It is also aimed at discrediting a number of democratic and liberal concepts such as civil society and market economy, and to question the legitimacy of Ukrainian state institutions. Above all, this message is in line with the narrative of lost sovereignty, in this case as a result of alleged purposeful actions by global elites.

Keywords: Secret elites / global elites, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: The West
More
Unlike Russia, the West degrades traditional values and endangers societies
Additional details: Western media describe Russia is a danger to Western “liberal democracy”. But the West puts all efforts in degrading and discrediting traditional values, the deliberate rejection of these values and the transition to fictional, unstable and malignant structures, pseudo-values, which endanger society. The Russian system of values, although different from the Western one, is something that should be sought. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the right-wing parties in the West want to cooperate with Russia.

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

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at portraying the West as depraved, an immoral actor fighting against traditional values and endangering societies. The idea of Moscow being the protector of traditional values is not new and is part of the notion of Moscow being the Third Rome.

'Threatened values' is one of the most common narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets.

 

Keywords: Western values
Countries: The West
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The decision of the UN Tribunal for the Ukrainian sailors is illegitimate
Additional details: The decision of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to free Ukrainian sailors, whom Russia seized together with ships in the Kerch Strait in 2018, is illegitimate. This incident is not under the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/news/20190525/1023701009.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is another piece of Russian propaganda fake about the seizure by Russia of Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait on 25 November 2018.

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body that deals with legal disputes based on the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Russia's seizure of warships and military personnel violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and customary international law, which guarantees the full immunity of naval ships and their personnel.

At a meeting in Hamburg on 25 May, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea  ordered Russia  to immediately release 24 captured Ukrainian servicemen, and also to return to the control of Ukraine warships Berdyansk, Nikopol and Yany-Kapu. The court also stated that it did not find evidence of the Russian version of a provocation by Ukraine in the Kerch Strait.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Ukraine and Belarus will avoid sliding into Nazism only if they become parts of Russia
Additional details: Ukrainian authorities encourage a combination of Nazi uniforms and national embroidered clothes. In fact, when the issue of wearing national clothes is politicised, then the national clothes inevitably become equal to Nazism. Belarus follows the Ukrainian path with a 5-8 year delay. Only one scenario will prevent Ukraine and Belarus from sliding into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes: if the two countries become a Russian western federal area without a right for self-determination.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): IA REX, Oko Planet
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is based on ungrounded claims concerning national clothes and Nazification and a ridiculous false dilemma about the direction of Ukraine's and Belarus's political development. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine and Nazism and is aimed at discrediting and undermining the Ukrainian and Belarusian statehoods.

There is no proof that either Ukrainian or Belarusian authorities encourage public presentation of the Nazi uniform or other Nazi symbols. Ukrainian and Belarusian legislation prohibit propaganda, public display and dissemination of Nazi symbols. Ukrainian law provides for up to five years of imprisonment for this crime, and the bill which is currently reviewed in the Belarusian parliament proposes to punish purposeful activities aimed at rehabilitation of Nazism with up to five year imprisonment too.

Keywords: Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
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Crimea was annexed by Russia on a legitimate basis
Additional details: In March 2014 Crimea was annexed by Russia after a referendum carried out in accordance with the rules of international law.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming the annexation of Crimea was the result of a legal referendum by which the inhabitants of the Ukrainian peninsula chose to join the Russian Federation.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on 16th of March 2014.

On the 27th of February 2014, when it was announced, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula.

Later even the Kremlin admitted that the Crimea annexation plan was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

On the 5th anniversary of the so called referendum the EU, through Federica Mogherini, its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued a statement confirming the EU’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, stressing that EU does NOT recognize this referendum  and continues to condemn this violation of international law.

 

 

Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Russia has not violated international law
Additional details: Russia has not violated international law. The only thing Russia has violated is the “new world order” established by the US and its satellites, including Estonia. Neither Russia nor other sovereign states can cope with this unwritten world order. The US and Europe are unable to refer to any article allegedly violated by Russia because this article does not exist and often times Europe and Russia mean different things under the notion of international law.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A conspiracy theory on "The New World Order", presented without evidence. In fact, Russia violated international law when it launched the military aggression against Georgia in 2008, committed crimes against humanity and war crimes on the territory of Georgia, constantly violates the six-point ceasefire agreement between Russia and Georgia, annexed Crimea in 2014, attacked Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait in 2018, expropriated the assets of a Ukrainian oil company in the territory of Crimea, failed to declare its own Novichok production facilities and delays in destroying stockpiles of other chemical weapons. These violations were accompanied by the usual disinformation narratives. 

Several other examples of disinformation narratives are available below:

  1. Russia carried out a peacekeeping mission in Georgia in 2008.
  2. Crimea reunited with Russia through a democratic referendum.
  3. Ukrainian naval vessels violated the Russian border in Kerch Strait.
  4. Contradictory and different narratives about the Skripal poisoning can be found here.

More about the violations of the certain articles of international law by Russia is available here.

Keywords: International Law
Countries: Russia
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Ukraine is under the external control of the US
Additional details: Ukraine need to play along with the Americans. They must do everything the United States like because it is they who introduced external control, which Mr. Zelenskyy is not ready to fight.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiqSvSWSqdU
Disinforming outlet(s): NewsOne
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the EU and US relations with Ukraine.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries.  The USA recognised Ukraine as an independent state on 25th 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: Ukraine
Countries: United States, Ukraine
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Business interests behind protests in Yekaterinburg
Additional details: The protests against the construction of an Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg follow the same pattern as the Maidan movement in Ukraine. What is described as “popular protests” and the “voice of the people,” is nothing but the voice of the big business. The protests have nothing to do with the protection of ecology and the protection of democratic freedoms in Russia: pure commerce, nothing personal.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): South Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory without any evidence. A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative, describing non-governmental organisations as a tool of industry and foreign intervention. Similar cases here and here.

For more information about protests in Yekaterinburg, see here and here.

Keywords: Protest, NGO, Orthodox Church, Euromaidan
Countries: Russia
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Terrorists receive residence permits in EU countries
Additional details: As time has shown, Europeans are not able to distinguish a terrorist from a refugee. As a result, residence permits in European capitals have been given to those who a couple of years ago were beheading, hanging and killing the civil population of Syria.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring Kremlin disinformation narrative about the weak West, the migration crisis, islamisation of Europe, inability to fight terror and to distinguish terrorists from refugees. To receive a residence permit in EU countries, people go through lengthy checks, verifications and controls. Many can wait for years and be refused. Over the past 20 years, the European Union has put in place some of the highest common asylum standards in the world. More information can be found here.

More information about the EU and its action to address the migration crisis can be found here.

Keywords: Syrian War, Terrorism, Europe
Countries: Europe, EU, Syria
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Ukraine is the West’s "Anti-Russia" project
Additional details: Ukraine is an anti-Russian project of the West. It doesn't matter who the president is - Zelenskyy or Poroshenko. The leadership of this country is forced to conduct an anti-Russian policy, since the state is fed by the West. Ukraine's mission is to create problems along the entire perimeter of Russia's borders. Even if Ukraine, theoretically, starts persecuting Jews, stops recognising the Holocaust, the West will close its eyes to this. It will continue as long as it plays the role dictated by the Western geopolitical centres. While the geopolitical role of Ukraine will satisfy the West, everything will be allowed to it.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation conspiracy narrative about Ukraine, Ukraine's hyper-dependence on the West , and Ukraine as an anti-Russian project.

In 1991 Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union.The Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine was adopted on July 16, 1990 Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and US support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence.

Relations between Ukraine and the EU are based on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, which recognises and reaffirms independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. Due the all  legal instruments, like Association Agreement, Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), Visa liberalisation dialogue and visa-free regime, Eastern Partnership Program etc  Ukraine stays under  the EU strong supervising and monitoring.

Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, The West
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Groundless accusation of ties to Russia became a classic trap aimed to discredit conservative candidates for EU elections
Additional details: The big scandal involving the Austrian Vice-Chancellor over his "Russian connections" starts to have repercussions in Austria as well as in the rest of Europe. As the European elections approach, the chances of success for the Vice Chancellor's party diminish. But it is already proven that the "niece of a Russian oligarch" in origin of the scandal was Latvian. What competent organization has set up this classic trap?

No one seriously associates Russia with the rise of the European nationalists and traditional conservatives from their marginal ghetto, nor their new popularity. This is the good old method of pointing to "Russian trace" by discrediting the "populists" by sending them so-called "Russians". The search for the "Russian trace" is a tradition of European public policy even older than cathedrals.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Fr
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Austrian political crisis called also "Strachegate" occurred because of the video showing vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache meeting a person pretending to be the niece of a Russian oligarch. Media outlets admit that the woman claims to also have Latvian citizenship. No other similar traps occurred so far, hence it is not "classic". The video as a whole exposed the far right Freedom Party’s eagerness to do business with allies of Mr. Putin, to bring Austrian media outlets under their control and find compromising material on their competitors in Austria.

Despite reports on certain ideological support, financial proposals and a conspiracy meeting of European far right parties representatives with a Russian influencers, hacker attacks and suspicious social media accounts activity investigated under suspicion of being orchestrated by GRU and Russian "trolls factory", the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative purports that all the allegations of Russian interference in electoral processes in the EU and in the West are groundless and spread by European elites themselves. Their aim would be only to divert attention from the real problems of  EU countries.

At that, disinformation produced and/or spread by Russian sources has been reported in the context of several elections and referenda in the EU and elsewhere (see here for an overview), as noted in the EU's action plan against disinformation.

Ahead of the elections, Microsoft faced cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organizations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, and public policy and that are often in contact with government officials. Microsoft continues to investigate the sources of these attacks, but is confident that many of them originated from a group called Strontium, also known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – which is believed to be associated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. Read more here.

Numerous investigations have provided convincing evidence of  Russian interference in the Brexit referendum and in elections across Europe and in the US - see more information here, here and here.

Keywords: Heinz-Christian Strache, EU elections 2019, election meddling, Austria
Countries: Austria, Europe, EU, France
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There is no evidence of Russian intervention in Ukrainian elections
Additional details: A panel of experts from the American Atlantic Council and Ukrainian NGOs has prepared a report stating that Russia allegedly intervened in the presidential election in Ukraine. However, specific examples or evidence of this theory are not given, and the document itself contains only general information about the anti-Russian character and the statements of Kyiv officials.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is another attempt to deny Russia's attempts at interference in elections and referenda.

The Atlantic Council, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity established the Ukrainian Election Task Force. Working with other Ukrainian institutions — StopFake and the Razumkov Centre — the three partners created a rapid-response team with the ability to monitor, evaluate, and disclose the full range of foreign subversive activities in Ukraine, and to propose suitable responses.

Regarding disinformation: "According to task force monitors and analyses the majority of disinformation messages targeted at the Ukrainian elections stemmed from the grand narrative claiming that the elections would be rigged, illegitimate, and should not be trusted no matter the result." Also: "Kremlin outlets voiced many false accusations about the alleged spread of Nazism in Ukraine, or about the Ukrainian state planning terror attacks and contract killings on its territory in order to influence the elections. In one of the more erratic attacks, the Ukrainian army was accused of cannibalism and occultism."

See here for other disinformation cases about Russian interference in different elections.

Keywords: Ukraine, election meddling
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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US plans to use nuclear weapon in Europe
Additional details: By placing nuclear weapons in Europe, the US is preparing to use them. 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Abkhazia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US and nuclear weapons.

For information about NATO's (of which the US is a member) commitment to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, see here.

RIA Novosti edited the headline of this story after publication and deleted the part about US allegedly using nuclear weapons "in Europe". The original version of the article can be found here.

Keywords: Nuclear issues
Countries: Europe, US
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International think-tanks including the Chatham House elaborate plans to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations
Additional details: International think-tanks including the Chatham House elaborate plans to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations

One probable future scenario envisages the Eastern European region in the 21st century as the main bone of contention between the key global actors. Given this, the allied relations between Belarus and Russia can become an important factor for stabilisation in Eastern Europe. For this reason, a number of international think-tanks, which have no interest in a stable Eastern Europe, elaborate plans to disrupt integration between the two countries. These plans envisage the following:

  • The change of domestic and foreign policies of Belarus, its turn in foreign policy towards the West;

  • Inadequate response by Russia which will start counteracting Western influence along the Ukrainian scenario by forceful means;

  • Formation of a broad anti-Russian coalition of Eastern European countries, followed by the displacement of the Russian presence in Eastern Europe;

  • Increasing chaos and conflicting relations stemming from the confrontation with Russia;

  • Using the chaos in Eastern Europe as a tool to disrupt trade relations between China and Western Europe or taking them under US control.


One example is the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). In November 2018, it published a report about three Eastern European countries (Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine) where Belarus-Russia relations were given significant attention.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Imhoclub, https://imhoclub.by/
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy consistent with repetitive pro-Kremlin narratives about the West's attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations, to destabilise Belarus through a colour revolution or otherwise, and the West's far-fetching anti-Russian activities.

The mentioned Chatham House report analyses ways to increase societal resilience in Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova in response to threats emanating from Russia, which deploys a set of tools aimed at weakening their sovereignty.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Chatham House wants to bring Alyaksandr Lukashenka down after the period of "soft Belarusification", that the Western media work against Belarusian-Russian relations, and that Belarus has become an epicentre of the West's struggle over Eastern Europe.

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, US presence in Europe, Conspiracy
Countries: China, Russia, The West, Belarus, US
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Life in Western countries means living in dirt and constant fear, surrounded by criminals and homeless people
Additional details: The most problematic issues in the US are very high housing prices and high criminal rates. Above all, many Americans live in constant fear of nuclear war and attack from the Russians. It is worth thinking a lot before emigrating from Russia to the Western countries to live in the dirt and constant fear, surrounded by criminals and homeless people.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Reporter, https://topcor.ru/
Oko Planety, https://oko-planet.su/
Kont, https://cont.ws/
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's decline. Whereas the given publication focuses on adverse socio-economic factors, usually this narrative takes the form of criticism of the West from the 'moral values' perspective.

It contains the illogical conclusion and ungrounded generalisation aimed to discredit Western countries. Although the publication provides only (mostly ungrounded) US-related claims, it discourages people from moving to the 'West' implying that living conditions are generally unfavourable there.

Keywords: Western values, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, The West, US
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Bucharest leads a "raider" policy towards Ukraine
Additional details: Romania intensified its territorial claims to Ukraine. It leads a "raider" policy towards Ukraine. Propaganda of Bucharest in Bucovina region is intended to help this process.

In this context, the new unrecognised Ukrainian Church started to support Romanians.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Strategic Culture Foundation
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about Romania, with previous record of questioning Ukraine's integrity.

There is no evidence that Romania would consider annexing parts of Ukraine. Romania is not conducting propaganda in the Bucovina region.

According to the Romanian law, "persons who acquired the Romanian citizenship by birth or adoption and have lost it for reasons non-imputable to them or this citizenship has been revoked without their consent, as well as their descendants to the third degree, can apply to reacquire or can be granted the Romanian citizenship". This refers to Romanian ethnics from different regions, countries.

Keywords: Occupation, Ukrainian disintegration, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Romania, Ukraine
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The EU supports fascists in Ukraine and threatens war against Russia
Additional details: The EU is fraternising with fascists in Ukraine, constantly tightening its sanctions and is threatening Russia with war.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about western support of Ukrainian authorities as part of anti-Russian policy, about the West preparing a war against Russia, about Nazi Ukraine, and the Russophobic and Nazi collective West.

The EU neither supports fascists in Ukraine, nor threatens to go to war against Russia.

There was in fact a clear record of strong cooperation between the EU and Russia, dating back to 1994, when the two sides negotiated a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.  Russia was identified as a strategic partner for the EU, and was the only country with which the EU held summits not once, but twice a year.

A new EU-Russia agreement was being negotiated up until 2014, at which point talks were suspended due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Negotiations were also in train on visa facilitation. There was also cooperation between the EU and Russia on a number of foreign policy issues, some of which continue to this day. The EU and its Member States have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts.

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, War preparation, Russophobia, The West, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
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The collapse of Ukraine would be a chance for a "Greater Romania"
Additional details: Romanian, Polish and Hungarian irredentists pin their hopes on the imminent collapse of Ukraine and its subsequent defragmentation, which will allow them to snatch off a piece of "Ukrainian pie".

The preservation of Ukraine in its Soviet and post-Soviet borders is not fundamental for the United States and its satellites. Ukraine, which has lost its sovereignty and political subjectivity, will be easily sacrificed for current political expediency, as has already happened to the countries of the "third world" more than once.


Bessarabia, formerly owned by Russia, was occupied in 1918 by Romanian troops. The Romanian expansion, unlike the Hungarian one, is of a creeping type - without any special statements and scandals.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Rosbalt
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about Romania, with previous record of questioning Moldova's and Ukraine's integrity.

Neither Romania, Poland nor Hungary claim any territory of Ukraine.

In early 1918, the National Council of Bessarabia proclaimed a union with the Kingdom of Romania.

Keywords: Occupation, Ukrainian disintegration, The West, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Poland, Romania, Ukraine, US
More
Islam enslaves Europe with the tacit consent of its leaders
Additional details: Islam enslaves Europe with the tacit consent of its leaders. The death of Europe will be violent and painful.

European leaders refuses to protect their own civilization. The schools are changing the educational program, and are beginning to teach the children "Muslim values".
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about migrants and Islamisation.

Keywords: Islamisation, Muslim/Islam
Countries: Europe
More
The hand of Soros: Sebastian Kurz was dismissed for "friendship" with Russia
Additional details: George Soros is behind the dismissal of the former Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz for "friendship" with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives portraying philanthropist George Soros as a menace bent on weakening Russia.

A no-confidence vote was passed by Austria's parliament in a special session, resulting in Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's removal from office .

There is no evidence of the Strache affair being part of a master-plan against Austria or its chancellor. Both German magazine Der Spiegel and newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung have been open about their investigation. According to the media outlets, they obtained the video footage in May 2019 and published it after verifying its authenticity.

Pro-Kremlin media has spread multiple contradicting messages about this case, without giving any evidence to back their claims.

Keywords: Sebastian Kurz, Heinz-Christian Strache, Conspiracy, George Soros
Countries: Austria, Russia
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No proof of Russian involvement in US elections, Salisbury poisoning
Additional details: UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently stated that that Russia runs a global campaign of cyber warfare to target foreign governments. It is only the latest in a long string of unsubstantiated allegations which Western officials have made against Moscow.

These include the Kremlin's supposed election interference in the US and elsewhere, as well as a leading role in the Skripal poisoning. But now this "Russia Gate" has collapsed, thanks to the Mueller report, which found no conclusive proof of Russian interference. No evidence has been presented to support either of these claims.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The article advances recurring pro-Kremlin narratives denying any Russian role in Western election meddling or the Skripal poisoning. Any accusations made against the Kremlin, however well-founded, are invariably met with knee-jerk charges of Russophobia.

Russia has a documented track record of interfering in Western elections -- see our list of reports and analyses on the subject here.

The claim that the US Special Counsel investigation found no conclusive proof of Russian interference is false. The fact of Moscow's meddling was already established prior to the publication of the Mueller report. The report itself concurs with this assessment, stating that "[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion" (p. 1). See our debunking of the "no interference" narrative here.

The Skripal poisoning was followed by one of the largest Russian disinformation campaigns to date, with more than 100 contradictory narratives promulgated within two weeks of the incident by pro-Kremlin outlets (pp. 36-38). Russia's role in the poisoning has been extensively documented by law enforcement, open source analysis, and media investigations. See our recent debunking of Moscow's denials here.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, election meddling, Robert Mueller, Propaganda, Anti-Russian, Manipulated elections/referendum, Russophobia, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia, EU, US
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The European foreign policy is determined by a group of Russophobes controlled from the US
Additional details: An aggressive group of Russophobes inside the European Union today determines the entire European foreign policy. This group is controlled by the US.

In addition, the Baltic States constantly pursue a Russophobic policy to convince Europe that they are needed as a barrier against the spread of Moscow’s influence. But Moscow has never interfered in their policies.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Estonia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and deep state.

The EU’s foreign and security policy, designed to resolve conflicts and foster international understanding, is based on diplomacy and respect for international rules. Read more about EU foreign and security policy here.

Russia's attempts at interfering in democratic processes in Europe have been well documented. 

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, Destabilising Russia, Russophobia, Baltic states
Countries: Europe, Baltic states, EU, US
More
Rise in German anti-Semitism caused by mass immigration
Additional details: Amid a recent surge of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany, many see this worrying trend as a side effect of mass immigration from Muslim-majority countries, long encouraged by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

According to a 2018 EU survey, more and more German Jews feel that "nothing is being done" about anti-Jewish crime and abuse.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT (rt.com)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the creeping Islamisation of Europe, painting immigrants from Muslim-majority countries as inherently violent and immune to cultural assimilation.

The report offers no data to support the link between immigration volumes and the number of anti-Semitic incidents, relying instead on statements of opinion and assurances that such a link has been made by "many observers," without further elaboration.

Contrary to the report's central premise, an expansive 2018 study finds "no evidence that MENA [Middle Eastern and North African] migrants make any significant contribution to antisemitism at a societal level" in any of the five EU countries surveyed (p. 29), or any data which would suggest a "significant connection between recent MENA migrants and the extent and character of antisemitism in Western Europe" (ibid.).

The individual quoted as saying that "nothing is being done" about the problem was a Dutch woman (see p. 39 of the report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights), not a German individual. RT previously misattributed the quote to "one French woman" in an article about anti-Semitism in France.

The EU recognizes anti-Semitism as a serious social and security concern -- see here for a summary of EU-wide efforts to tackle it.

 

Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Islamic extremism, Refugees, Islamisation, Muslim/Islam, Migration crisis
Countries: EU, Germany
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International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has no jurisdiction over Kerch Strait dispute
Additional details: International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has no jurisdiction over the Kerch Strait dispute. The tribunal has no jurisdiction either over naval vessels nor warships. 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Abkhazia; RIA Novosti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is one of the narratives promoted by the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on Azov sea and the Kerch Strait incident.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ratified by Russia in 1997 and Ukraine in 1999 regulates the legal order for the seas and oceans. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) was established in 1996 on the basis of the Convention. According to Article 288 of the Convention, the tribunal shall have jurisdiction over any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention. In its April 16 2019 decision the tribunal ruled that it has jurisdiction over the Kerch Strait dispute.

According to Article 298 of the UN Convention, the state has the right not to recognize the tribunal’s jurisdiction over the disputes concerning military activities. This provision, however, refers to military activities rather than warships, as claimed. 

ITLOS ruled on May 25 after deliberation that the Russian Federation shall immediately release the Ukrainian naval vessels and detained servicemen.

Background:

On November 25th, 2018, 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 shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However, 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.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Chemical weapons - a false pretext to attack Assad since the very beginning
Additional details: The battle for Idlib is raging as Washington accuses Assad of using chemical weapons again. The evidence put forward seems to be weak, moreover, it contradicts the official version.
What is really happening? A document from a sub-team of engineers working with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), involved in the assessment of the Duma chemical attack in April 2018, has recently been leaked. It concluded that the on-site chlorine cylinders were more likely placed there by hand rather than having fallen from an aircraft, as indicated in the final report.

In April 2018, the United States made false claims about the Syrian army using chemical weapons. It has been shown that these claims were false already before the leaks that just happened.
It is not even a sub-team, it's a team that was led by an engineer known in his field and perfectly competent and he was officially responsible for doing this investigation. But the OPCW deliberately dismissed this report from this engineer who said: "No, it is not possible that it was the Syrian army that did that." It was already a false pretext in April 2018. And today as the Syrian army is about to liquidate the terrorists, to finish with the precincts of Idlib, obviously the organisations that are against this are advancing their outdated narrative saying: "the Syrian government uses chemical weapons, so you have to hit."
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as cooperating with terrorists or terrorists themselves; and aiming to discredit the OPCW.

The "new leaked report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to Sputnik's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organisation.
The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma."

The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the authenticity of the leaked document, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from the air:
a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56);
b) does not support the outlandish claim that the incident was staged and represents a false accusation against the Syrian regime.

The White Helmets have not once been caught staging anything, and the version of the staged chemical attacks in Douma in 2018 was never "official".

See more disinformation cases on the subject and their debunking for more details.

Keywords: OPCW, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: The West, US, Syria
More
Global power is in the hands of powerful elite groups - Zionists, US imperialists and militarists
Additional details: Global power is in the hands of powerful elite groups - Zionists, US imperialists and militarists, eurocratic elites, deep states, petro-monarchies, and oligarchies of various countries. These elite groups cooperate among themselves to protect their power and privileges, to control the people, and to deceive the latter into believing that the people rule and that the system is democratic.

The Bilderberg group  was created in order to enable such elite groups to forge alliances and work out strategies to protect their own interests.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, often used in pro-Kremlin disinformation, about the Bilderberg Group asserting that its members are plotting the New World Order and are hell-bent on global domination. Also linked with the broader Zionist conspiracy.

There is no evidence that the Bilderberg Group represents a “shadow world government”. Its attendees  – politicians, economists, journalists, etc – claim the group is simply a debating society taking place outside the glare of the political spotlight.

 

Keywords: Secret elites / global elites
Countries: Italy
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Kremlin always follows the course of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states
Additional details: Europeans are voting for independence and prosperity and this is how Russia wants to see Europe too. The anti-Russian discourse and provocations imposed on EU from across the ocean must come to an end. It is important that the elected MPs be ready for a new approach and dialogue with Russia. Kremlin always follows the course of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Abkhazia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinfo narrative narrative denying the multiple pieces of evidence of Russian interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states and violating international norms. See here and here for examples of interference in Georgia, here for Ukraine, here for Armenia and Azerbaijan and here for election meddling.

Keywords: illegal annexation, election meddling, Occupation, International Law, Crimea
Countries: Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
More
European Union will collapse soon
Additional details: Britain will simply leave for free floating, leaving the European Union.The Brexit story dragged on, because the Euro-optimists did not want to completely sever ties with one of the leading European powers. After all, this can be a very dangerous precedent. The story of Brexit is indeed very undesirable for Brussels.

Certain Western experts, political analysts predict the imminent collapse of the European Union.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU collapse. Similar cases are here, here, and here. 

In reaction to the June 23rd 2016 referendum on leaving the EU, President Tusk, President Juncker, President Schulz and Netherlands Prime Minister Rutte made a joint statement: "In a free and democratic process, the British people have expressed their wish to leave the European Union. We regret this decision but respect it." Furthermore, the heads of state of the remaining 27 EU countries, stated “We are determined to remain united and work in the framework of the EU to deal with the challenges of the 21st century and find solutions in the interest of our nations and peoples," after the informal meeting on 29th of June 2016.  

Support for the EU, as shown in the latest Eurobarometer poll, remains at historically high levels.

Keywords: European Commission, Brexit, Europe
Countries: Europe, UK, EU
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Mueller didn't find any evidence of the alleged Russian intervention in the US presidential elections
Additional details: For two years US special prosecutor Robert Mueller investigated the alleged Russian intervention in the US presidential elections but did not find any evidence of collusion between US President Donald Trump and Moscow — which was denied both in the Kremlin and in the White House.

In his first public statement in all this time, Mueller stated that his office was closing, and he was retiring, as the investigation was completed, and stressed that he could not provide any other information besides what has already been made public.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.1tv.ru/news/issue/2019-05-29/21:00#1
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya @ Channel One (20:03)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Robert Mueller's investigation concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election".  It led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further election meddling.

The claim that the report provides no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion is spurious. Gathering evidence of "collusion" - which is not a legal concept - fell outside the scope of the investigation. The aim of the probe was not merely to ascertain contacts between the Trump Campaign and Russia-linked individuals during the election period, but to establish whether these interactions were deliberate enough on the part of Trump Campaign officials to sustain charges of conspiracy (p. 2).

The report explicitly identifies "numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign" (p. 9).

Find more disinformation cases on this issue here.

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller
Countries: Russia, US
More
Prison population in the US is larger than in the USSR under Joseph Stalin
Additional details: One of the most problematic issues in the US is the high criminal rates. More people are imprisoned in the US than the number of prisoners in the USSR during Stalin times. Despite this, most criminals roam freely in the streets.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Reporter, https://topcor.ru/
Oko Planety, https://oko-planet.su/
Kont, https://cont.ws/
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message provides the facts out of context, thus, misrepresenting the US judicial system.

At the end of 2016, nearly 2.2 million adults were held in US prisons and jails, which is approximately 655 people for every 100,000 people residing in the US. In 2015, in Russia around 642,500 people were held behind bars, which is around 432 prisoners per 100,000 people, the highest rate in Europe.

When it comes to Stalin times in the USSR, the tentative historical consensus among archival researchers and historians who utilise such data is that around 18 million people passed through Gulag from 1930 to 1953, of them between 1.5 to 1.7 million people perished as a result of their detention.

Furthermore, official figures (unofficial estimates give higher numbers) say that in the years of the Great Purge in 1937-1938 over 680,000 people were executed in the USSR on political charges.

It is hardly correct and appropriate at all to compare the numbers of prisoners in the present-time US and the USSR under Stalin, given that during Stalinism, millions of people received their prison terms following inadequate and often ungrounded accusations rather than fair criminal proceedings.

The United States is placed high (20th) in the global rank on Criminal Justice and 19th in the global rank of Rule of Law Index prepared by authoritative World Justice Project's research team.

Keywords: Western values, Conspiracy, Joseph Stalin
Countries: USSR, US
More
Three Ukrainian ships violated the Russian border
Additional details: On the morning of the November 25th (2018), three Ukrainian navy ships, Berdiansk, Nikopol and tugboat Yany Kapu violated the Russian border and were carrying out dangerous manoeuvres for several hours, ignoring the orders from the Russian military. Ukrainian navy officers were accused of illegal crossing the Russian border and arrested.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Kerch strait incident.

On November 25th 2018, 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 shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However, 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.

Keywords: Territorial dispute, Azov sea, Kerch, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Rat poison is added to the tap water in the US because of the high rat population in US cities
Additional details: One of the most problematic daily issues in the US is sodium fluoride, which is rat poison, in US tap water. This is connected with the fact that many rats live in US cities, caused by dirty streets, a huge number of fast food restaurants with leftovers and other rubbish. High numbers of homeless people also add to the rat problem.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Reporter, https://topcor.ru/
Oko Planety, https://oko-planet.su/
Kont, https://cont.ws/
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This disinformation is based on an old myth saying that fluoride is used in rat poison, proving it’s dangerous. Most of the fluoride used to help teeth is called sodium fluoride (NaF), whereas rat poison often uses a different compound called sodium fluoroacetate (FCH2CONa).

Although the US (just as in most of the countries in the world) indeed has some problems with water treatment systems and reports show that chemicals and hazardous substances are found in tap water throughout different US communities, the claim connecting the use of fluoride in tap water and the rats living in the US cities is an absurd ungrounded conspiracy.

However, the fluoride compound in question is very different from the one used for water fluoridation, that is the process of controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay. The myth about fluoride and rat poison is often debunked by dentists and scientists.

Water fluoridation was, by the way, occasionally used in Russia and the USSR, too. It is reported that milk fluoridation is practised in Russia for the prevention of dental illnesses. After scientific studies suggested that fluoridated water may cause health problems, water fluoridation was stopped in a number of US communities. However one recent study shows that the end of this practice in a given community has worsened the oral health of its residents.

Keywords: Virus / bacteria threat
Countries: US
More
Poland is concerned over its second-class status in NATO
Additional details: It will be hard for Georgia, with its military budget of 380 million USD, to get rid of the Soviet military heritage. Even NATO member Poland with its 9 billion USD military budget failed to get rid of Soviet-old armament. At the same time, Poland is concerned over its “second-class country” status in the alliance.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

“Second-class” NATO membership does not exist. NATO is an organisation of collective defence established under the Washington Treaty. NATO member states make decisions through a consensus. Consensus decision-making is a fundamental principle which has been accepted as the sole basis for decision-making in NATO since the creation of the Alliance.

Disposing of Soviet military equipment is a long-term process. Poland is undergoing a substantial military reform to strengthen its defense forces. For example, in 2015, it purchased 105 German tanks - Leopard 2A5 and also started to modernise the German Leopard 2A4. Poland also started to upgrade an important component of its airforce – the Mi-24 helicopters, equipping them with new sensors and guided missiles. On February 28th 2019, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak signed a military modernisation plan under which the country will spend 185 billion PLN (U.S. $49 billion) on new weapons and military equipment by 2026.

 

Keywords: Military, NATO
Countries: Poland
More
US is attacking Eastern Orthodox Churches to create instability in Europe
Additional details: The US continues its practice of creating zones and lines of chaos in key regions of the world. In the 2000s, it started a campaign to create an arc of instability stretching from Northern Africa to the east of the Central Asia. Now, more and more signals appear showing that there is a new project – to create a crescent of instability in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

These campaigns actively exploited the religious factor in an attempt to undermine and discredit traditional religious systems. In the case of the Middle East, the target is Sunni Islam. It is being targeted by instigating various Islamic sects. In Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, various artificial schismatic groups are used to combat the canonical Orthodox Church. In both cases, foreign powers have also been exploiting and supporting exotic sects, new-age-style beliefs and other “neo-liberal” constructs.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): South Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A conspiracy theory, presented without any support of evidence. See here for the most common pro-Kremlin narratives.

Keywords: Orthodox Church, Conspiracy
Countries: Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukraine might be responsible for the Boeing MH17 crash over the Donbas
Additional details: In The Netherlands suspicions are voice that Ukraine might be involved in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing flight MH17, which was shot down on 17 July 2014 in the Donetsk region. The 298 people on board all died. The credibility of the reports, presented by the Joint Investigation Team, have also been questioned.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Russian RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is another fake and Russian disinformation about the crash of flight MH17 over the Donbas.

The official position of the Netherlands about the catastrophe over the Donbas remains unaltered: Russia's involvement in the attack on the Malaysian Boeing has been proven, it is the Kremlin that was responsible for deploying the Buk missile launcher in the occupied part of Donbas, which was used to destroy the MH17. The conclusions of international experts have been supported by the Netherlands, Australia, the United States, the G7 countries, the EU and NATO.

Keywords: War crimes, Hybrid war, Donbas, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
Moscow is not a party in the internal Ukrainian conflict
Additional details: Ukraine accuses Moscow of interfering in the internal affairs of the country. Russian authorities consider such statements inadmissible and reject them, because Moscow is not a party of the internal Ukrainian conflict and is interested in Kyiv overcoming the political and economic crisis.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring Kremlin narrative about the lack of evidence of the presence of Russian troops involved in war in the East of Ukraine.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government".

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation"

At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in the strongest terms and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border.  NATO leaders also demanded that Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

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

Keywords: Civil war, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Kerch confrontation was a planned provocation
Additional details: The incident in the Kerch Strait was a planned provocation used by Petro Poroshenko to impose martial law in Ukraine in the run-up to the presidential elections.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea. No evidence given that the confrontation was a planned provocation.

On 25 November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen.  Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However, 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.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.  It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait.  The European Union stated that it expects Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Petro Poroshenko, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The EU Association Agreement with Ukraine triggered the coup d'état in Kyiv and the war in Ukraine
Additional details: The EU Association Agreement with Ukraine triggered the coup d'état in Kyiv and the war in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Euromaidan protests, the war in Ukraine and an alleged EU involvement in the events in Ukraine.

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014. The Euromaidan protests were a spontaneous reaction among large parts of the Ukrainian population, ignited by the decision of former President Yanukovych not to sign the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.  The Maidan movement resonated with widespread discontent with corruption and mismanagement under Yanukovych’s rule.

It was not the European Union, but Russia, which triggered military conflict in Ukraine.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that "the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation".  This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian government.  The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation."  Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

See here for more information about the EU's support for Ukraine.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Eastern Partnership, War in Ukraine, Coup, Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
EU Elections are a sham
Additional details:
The EU elections are a sham democratic "hullabaloo" for an undemocratic and exclusive EU.


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

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

The European Parliament is a directly elected institution. Since 1979, it has been elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014 and May 2019.

The European Parliament is one of the EU's two 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, 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.

As EU co-operation evolved with time, the European Parliament progressed from a purely advisory role to one of co-decision on an equal footing with the Council. The Lisbon Treaty expanded the number of policies which are subject to ordinary legislative procedure to virtually all areas including the areas of freedom, security and justice, external trade, environmental policy and the common agricultural policy.

Keywords: Euro-scepticism, EU elections 2019, European Parliament, Europe
Countries: EU
More
US defence companies are restructuring missile defence base in Romania into an offensive base with "Tomahawk" missiles
Additional details: Defensive position as attack ramp: Are "Tomahawk" missiles already in Romania?

US defence companies are working on expanding their missile defence base in Deveselu, Romania. This allows Washington to station nuclear-capable cruise missiles on European soil.

The start of this work coincides with the withdrawal of the United States from the INF Treaty.

Could it be that the Romanian "Aegis Ashore" is currently being prepared for other missions?  The modernisation work could serve to equip the defensive position in Romania as a launch pad for cruise missiles. In any case, this would correspond to the measures announced by the United States when it withdrew from the INF Treaty. This would mean that, for the first time since the Cold War, "Tomahawk" missiles with a range of 2,500 kilometres would be stationed in Europe.  [...]

Equipped with cruise missiles capable of flying 2,500 km, the American "defensive position" in Romania would be a concrete threat to Russian cities.  Moscow must react, must take measures to strengthen national security as a reaction. [...]

The Romanian leadership must, [...] be aware that the redevelopment of the base in Deveselu makes this region a possible target for a nuclear first strike.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about missile defence systems and the INF Treaty.

The Aegis missile defence system (Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defence System) is not in violation of the INF Treaty. The US State Department issued a detailed rebuttal of Russian allegations of US non-compliance with the INF Treaty in 2018.

According to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (2016): the Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System is part of the European Phased Adapted Approach, designed to protect European NATO allies, and U.S. deployed forces in the region, against current and emerging ballistic threats from the Middle East. U.S. Naval Forces ruled out the possibility of targeting the Russian Federation with the "Aegis Ashore" system.

The missile defence stations, also known as "Aegis Ashore", are technically based on the Mk41 launchers (in accordance with the INF Treaty) used on ships, which can also launch cruise missiles. However, they are modified that they can only launch defence missiles and not offensive ground-to-ground missiles, concludes the Research Services of the German Bundestag in 2018 (P.2, in German).

The Romanian Defence Minister Teodor Melescanu also reiterated on 7 February 2019 that "Aegis Ashore" was a strictly defensive system.

Keywords: INF Treaty, Missile defence system
Countries: Romania, Eastern Europe, Russia, US
More
The US plans to use Facebook big data analysis for staging colour revolutions in Russia and beyond
Additional details:


The US wants to create an archive of billions of posts made by social media users to do a big data analysis. This will help to identify users in different countries who are critical of their respective Governments, to target these users with specific ads and to get them out on the streets.

There was a similar leak after Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to the US Congress when Bloomberg discovered a collection of Russian users in its Facebook Ads Manager who were ready to commit treason. Apparently, the US prepares a provocative response.

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

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the US and social media companies. It is consistent with questioning Russian attempts to interfere in the US elections and with a pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's deliberate plans to organise colour revolutions in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

The US Navy is indeed seeking to create an archive of at least 350 billion social media posts from around the world, in order to study how people talk online. There is no proof though that the research has political aims as alleged.

In mid-2018, stories were published that Facebook’s advertising tools had algorithmically labelled 65,000 Russians as interested in treason. Facebook reacted by saying that treason was included as a category, given its historical significance. "Given that it is an illegal activity, we’ve removed it as an interest category,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

See earlier disinformation messages alleging that Facebook is subservient to American government and security bodies here and here.

Keywords: Facebook, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, US
More
Ukraine might be involved in MH17 catastrophe
Additional details: Ukraine might be involved in the MH17 catastrophe when a Boeing Malaysia Airlines air plane crashed in Donbas in 2014. The military unit supplied with the type of missile that hit the plane was located in Stryi town of the Lviv region.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Flight MH17. Many competing and contradictory stories are promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17.

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

In 2018, Bellingcat confirmed that the BUK missile launcher which hit the airline near Donetsk was brought from Russia.

See more on the investigation of the MH17 catastrophe by Bellingcat here.

Keywords: Donbas, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
There is a civil war in Ukraine
Additional details: There are no military conflicts between Russia and Ukraine. A civil war is going on in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. See similar cases here.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation". This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.

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

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Further evidence of discrimination against residents of Donbas in Ukraine
Additional details: Kyiv may deprive citizens who receive Russian passports of their social payments and pensions. Such measures are further proof of discrimination against the residents of Donbas in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The recurring narrative of Kremlin propaganda saying that Ukraine discriminates against residents of the Donbas. For example, cut off water supplies to Luhansk, or prevented Donbas residents from voting in presidential elections.

Since 2014, the Ukrainian government has required citizens in Donetsk and Luhansk, which are not controlled by Kyiv, to register as internally displaced persons in government-controlled areas of Ukraine in order to receive their pensions and other entitlements.

The Ukrainian Minister of Veterans Affairs, Iryna Friz, said that "It also initiated working on the proposal for including citizens who received passports of the Russian Federation in a manner that violates international law and threatens the sovereignty of our state to a database with the further deprivation of their beneficiary status for receiving social benefits or pensions from Ukraine".

Similar disinformation cases can be found here. 

 

Keywords: DPR, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More


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