It is easy to get distracted in today’s information abundance. It might be even easier in the disinformation space.

‘I will think about it tomorrow’ – have you quoted Scarlett O’Hara at some point in your life, just looking for a distraction from a problem you were facing? If you did, you might have fallen victim to Western propaganda, according to pro-Kremlin outlets.

Fashionable Distraction

Blaming Russia for everything that is going wrong in the West is a good distraction technique, claim pro-Kremlin outlets. One of the pretexts to do that, they claim, was the European Parliament report about Kremlin interference in elections in Europe and the US. In spite of in-depth research on interference and meddling, the Russian government has repeatedly denied any responsibility. But it also went further. Pro-Kremlin outlets try to convince the audience that blaming the Russian government for everything is fashionable in the West now.

The same narrative was applied to particular countries. French President Macron, as disinforming outlets claim, wants to distract us, too – while he is accusing the Kremlin of hacking the elections and amplifying yellow vests protests, he is diverting attention from the protests themselves.

Finally, the UK, by accusing Russia of orchestrating the Skripal poisoning, clearly just doesn’t want to deal with Brexit-associated problems, pro-Kremlin outlets say.

Distraction is an essential part of the disinformation scheme. So is putting the blame for distraction on the other side of the discussion. If pro-Kremlin outlets accuse the West of distraction, at the same time they try to distract their audiences from other issues. The distractor is pretending to be the ‘distractee’, and voilà – confusion and chaos are created!  And that’s what disinformation is all about.

Viral Distraction

With less than three weeks left until the Ukrainian presidential elections, the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign is in full swing. The Ukrainian vote remains a steady fixation of Russian state-sponsored TV, which reports almost daily how instead of moving to Europe Ukraine is stuck in its chauvinistic present or going backwards to its Nazi past, how it exterminates the Russian language, and how, if the incumbent president gets re-elected it will turn into a banana republic. And if he doesn’t, he will allegedly flee the country. The preparations are on-going, pro-Kremlin disinformation warns, both through its flagship outlets and social media, as the narrative of President Poroshenko Poroshenko running from demonstrations, confrontations and his own country is beginning to spread in Russian Twitter sphere.

 

In any case, according to the pro-Kremlin media, Western puppet masters in Ukraine are free to reign. The disinformation messages about the Western orchestration of Ukrainian politics starting with the Euromaidan have become a staple of pro-Kremlin media. Now, they are urgently recycled in the run-up to the election. All this to support a larger narrative that the democratic choice of the people is an illusion, and to question the sovereignty of Ukraine.

At the same time, the upcoming presidential elections have not completely distracted the pro-Kremlin disinformation machine from spreading unfounded claims about other shortcomings of the Ukrainian government. This week, we also heard that Ukrainian authorities are too stupid to deal with the measles outbreak in their country. The epidemic allegedly threatens not only the lives of children in Ukraine, but also the country’s visa-free regime with the EU. Thus, the disinformers helpfully suggest using Russian-made vaccines. The European and American vaccines, especially those available in Georgia, were reported as unreliable, since they might be manufactured in the infamous Lugar lab (the very same one that brought you the toxic mosquitos). But Georgians, according to pro-Kremlin sources, have even bigger things to worry about, as the UN and its partner organisation are deliberately spreading HIV in the country and planning for Georgian genocide.

Pseudo-Distraction

In reality, while Ukraine is indeed going through a measles epidemic, the government is implementing numerous measures to curb it, the EU has no intention to suspend the visa-free agreement with Ukraine, and UN with its partners are engaged in prevention of the HIV.

In the midst of the disinformation fever it is healthy to remember that measles outbreaks are occurring at least partially because of the anti-vaccination moods. They are fuelled by pseudo-science and false belief that prevention is worse than disease – disinformation that Russian trolls from the Internet Research Agency helped to proliferate across Twitter.

Everybody needs a distraction from time to time. And it’s all good and healthy as long as we don’t let ourselves get distracted from the truth, as it indeed might be fatal.

 

A Swedish film about an attack from Russia prepares the Swedes for joining NATO
Additional details: In Sweden, a film about a Russian military attack on the country has premiered. A film like that has only one objective: to scare the Swedes and convince them that Russia is a monster, prepared to use chemical and biological weapons. Swedes are supposed to feel the threat from Russia. All this is to prepare the Swedes for a NATO membership.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum News Agency
60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (03.30 - 04.20)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Sweden is maintaining a policy of non-alignment and has no plans to join the NATO.

The film, Den blomstertid nu kommer, is a thriller about an attack from an unknown enemy force. The film never mentions any country as an aggressor.

See here for another disinformation case on Sweden and NATO.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement
Countries: Russia, Sweden
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West is preparing a new colour revolution in Belarus
Additional details: In 2010, Belarus became the first post-Soviet country in which a colour revolution did not succeed. The West invested millions of dollars in the revolution, however, the Belarusian authorities managed to withstand their attempts. Western political consultants honed their skills in Ukraine and are ready to try again in Belarus. Preparations are already underway through the creation of information platforms and foreign media, including the Ukrainian UATV channel which started broadcasting in Belarus. On top, there is a high probability that nationalists who have been trained on the Maidan and in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine will be sent to Belarus.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: rusvesna.su/news/1551891189
Disinforming outlet(s): Rusvesna, https://rusvesna.su/
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood and to arrange 'Belarusian Maidan'. Examples of earlier disinformation with a similar narrative here and here. In Belarus in 2010, post-election mass demonstrations were a peaceful civic protest by Belarusians against false elections rather than a product of western destabilising actions.

The article also follows another disinformation narrative about the destabilising effect of the Ukrainian UATV channel which was allowed to broadcast on Belarus' cable networks.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Euromaidan
Countries: West, Ukraine, Belarus
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The West destroyed Ukraine, plans to do the same with Belarus
Additional details: NATO Former Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke about the scenario made by the West for Belarus. This, in fact, is an Ukrainian scenario, with all its tragic consequences for the country, for all its inhabitants, for its relations with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/polit/2577670.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
Reported by:
Disproof note:

In fact, in his interview with Ukrainian media outlet Liga.net., Rasmussen said that Russia is likely to have the worst-case scenario in store for Belarus.“The key risk is the repetition of the Ukrainian scenario that includes war and annexation in Belarus. If the country fails to start reforms, it will face such a scenario. I would advise Belarus to introduce reforms leading to democracy and freedom,” he said.

The West has been supporting and cooperating with Ukraine on multiple levels. After the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in Donbas provoked by Russia, the Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA) was established by decision of the President of the European Commission in April 2014. The EU is unwavering in its support for the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty and sees the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a sustainable, political solution to the conflict in the east of the country. Since spring 2014, the EU has stepped up its support for economic and political reforms in Ukraine.

The US have confirmed their support multiple times, including in September 2018 when Washington said it was ready to expand arms supplies to Ukraine, in order to build up the country’s naval and air defence forces in the face of continuing Russian support for eastern separatists, according to the US special envoy for Ukraine.

Keywords: illegal annexation, Sphere of influence, Donbas, NATO, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
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The destruction of the Russian language in Belarus public spaces is a state policy
Additional details: The Belarusian authorities are destroying the remainders of the Russian toponyms. The destruction of the Russian language in the public space is a determined state policy. In the Minsk, where most people are Russian speaking, almost no signs in Russian are left; names of state institutions are exchanged from Russian to Belarusian ones. This is happening within another wave of “Belarusianisation” or “de-russification”, which was sanctioned by the Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko.

 

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/society/2576004.html
Disinforming outlet(s): IA Regnum
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Belarusian constitution provides equal status of the two official languages – Belarusian and Russian (Article 17). This implies an equal right to use either of the languages in public spaces. In practice, however, the majority of official correspondence, state media and education, as well as the toponyms in Belarus are still done in Russian.

Belarus' biggest airport – Minsk International – has three languages on its direction plates and screens since 2017 – Russian, English and Chinese, but no Belarusian.

No “Belarusianisation” or “de-russification” has been sanctioned by the Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko. During “The Big talk with the Belarusian president” on 1 March 2019, Lukashenka stressed that “the Russian language is ours”.

Previous disinfo cases can be seen here and here.

 

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russian language, Alexander Lukashenko
Countries: Belarus
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Yulia Skripal in maternity hospital for 1.5 months now, pregnant since April 2018
Additional details: Yulia Skripal has been confined in a maternity hospital for 1.5 months now. It is unusual for a woman to spend so much time in a maternity hospital – let alone the fact that a simple calculation shows she got pregnant in April 2018, a month after her poisoning, when she was in coma according to the British side.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given of either hospitalisation or pregnancy, and no verifiable source has confirmed the report.

Consistent with a multitude of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the Skripal case.

British police and intelligence investigations have produced hard evidence to charge two Russian nationals for the attack on the Skripals. These two individuals have been identified as officers of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service. More British public documents and statements on the case can be found here and here.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia
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Belarus has no education institution with Russian as the only language of instruction
Additional details:

The creation of a university with Belarusian as the only language of instruction would violate the Belarusian constitution, which guarantees the equal status of the two official languages – Belarusian and Russian.


There are no education institutions in Belarus, neither on pre-school nor on higher education level, with Russian as the only language of instruction.

Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/polit/2583459.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative, forwarding allegations of a persecution of the Russian language in Belarus; see similar cases on the Belarusian language here.

According to the Belarusian Statistical Committee, the number of children in pre-schools with Belarusian as the language of instruction has dropped from 12.8% to 9.7%, whereas Russian-language ones increased from 87.2% to 90.3% from 2010 to 2016 (see p. 34 of the document). The rest are taught in Polish and Lithuanian (in the areas where these minorities live). 91.8% of city school children are taught in Russian, 8.2% - in Belarusian; in the countryside the proportion is different though – 86.6% are taught in Belarusian and 13.4% - in Russian (see p. 67 of the document).

 

Keywords: Russian language, Alexander Lukashenko
Countries: Belarus
More
A cultural occupation is taking place in Ukraine under Petro Poroshenko's presidency
Additional details: A cultural occupation is taking place in Ukraine under Petro Poroshenko's presidency. This involves an extermination of the Russian language, its prohibition in all educational and state institutions as well as the forced "Ukrainisation" of the Russian-speaking population.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, repeating Pro-Kremlin narrative about a discrimination of the Russian language in Ukraine.

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe sees no discrimination of the Russian language in Ukraine. In fact, the Venice Commission does not mention “facts of gross discrimination” in Ukraine.

Legislation on the use of the Ukrainian language and resolutions or programmes aimed at strengthening the use of Ukrainian is a subject for the Russian media.

For further debunking visit StopFake or the BostonGlobe.

Keywords: Russian language
Countries: Ukraine
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Moldovans with biometric passports have employment rights in the EU
Additional details: Citizens of the Republic of Moldova with a biometric passport can work officially in the countries of the European Union; they can officially take up employment in the EU countries on the basis of the short-stay visa also. This is only possible for seasonal work that does not exceed 90 days.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Moldova
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The liberalization of visas for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova is stipulated by EU Regulation NO. 259/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council from April 3, 2014.

Thus, as of 28 April 2014, citizens of the Republic of Moldova who hold biometric passports may travel visa-free in 26 Schengen countries, except for Great Britain and Ireland. According to this Regulation, the visa-free travel to the EU states does NOT give the right to work.

In order to work, live or study in the EU, the citizens of the Republic of Moldova have to obtain a long-stay visa - Type D visa (issued for a period of more than 90 days and issued for the purpose of: study, entrepreneurship, employment in the workplace, family reunification, etc.)

Details on the rules and regulations for travelling to the Schengen area with a Moldovan passport can be found here.

Keywords: Schengen, Visa liberalisation
Countries: Europe, Moldova, EU
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Belarusians and Ukrainians are part of the Russian people
Additional details: The Russian people consist of Belarusians, small Russians [Ukrainians] and Great Russians. Common characteristics of the Russian people are a strong sense of justice and search for the truth.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The "all-Russian nation" is an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians as well as their 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 here, here and here.

Keywords: Russian world, Ethnic Russians
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
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Russia's huge natural resources are the reason why the neo-liberal world is fighting against it
Additional details: Russia's huge natural resources are the reason why the neo-liberal world is fighting against Russia. The former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, said in an interview that “It is a great injustice that 40% of the world’s mineral resources belong to one country, Russia.”
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There is no record that Albright has ever made such statement.

More debunking from Polygraph.info in this September 2016 article, which tracked the earliest mention of the alleged remark to February 2005.

This is a recurring disinformation message, used by pro-Russian sources as evidence of the West’s ulterior motives in dealing with Russia.The same alleged quote by Madeleine Albright was used to disinform that NATO is an offensive organization.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Natural resources, Madeleine Albright
Countries: United States, Russia
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NATO considers instigating local war along Russian borders
Additional details: As a global conflict would mean the end of mankind and is therefore impossible, NATO and other military powers instead seriously consider inflaming destructive local conflicts and wars along all perimeter of Russian borders.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

NATO is not a threat to Russia. NATO's official policy towards Russia was most recently articulated by the heads of state and government of the Alliance at the Warsaw Summit in July 2016. They stated that "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot and will not compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest".

NATO is not encircling Russia. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, NATO
Countries: West, Russia
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The “Salisbury incident” was provoked by the UK government to divert attention from Brexit-associated problems and to demonise Russia
Additional details: The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, known as the “Salisbury incident”, was provoked by the UK government as part of  a “dead cat strategy” aimed at diverting public attention from its Brexit-associated problems and at demonising Russia.

The UK government has never provided any credible and verifiable proof of Russia’s involvement in the Skripals’ poisoning. All accusations against Russia turned out to be groundless.

The government of Theresa May has always ignored the repeated proposals by the Russian side for constructive cooperation in the investigation of this case.

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

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that Russia has nothing to do with the poisoning of former Russian GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, marking now its one year anniversary.

The UK government has provided hard evidence for Russia's involvement in the poisoning. British police and intelligence investigations have produced hard evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals. More UK public documents/statements on the case here and here. The EU Member States support the UK findings, and decided unanimously to introduce sanctions against the GRU officers responsible and their commanding officers.

Background:

EUvsDisinfo has already collected 138 different narratives about the Skripal case.

Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson maintained that when someone is being defeated in an argument, the best thing to do is to “throw a dead cat on the table”. This tactics is supposed to attract attention and distract from the real problems. Boris Johnson spoke about a ‘dead cat’ in 2013, 5 years before the Skripal case, and he was referring to EU autocrats and the euro. References to 'dead cat' have been repeated by pro-Kremlin outlets before, see disinfo cases here, here and here.

 

 

 

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Information war, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
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Russia's involvement in Salisbury poisoning unproven
Additional details: The European Union deliberately blames Russia for the poisoning of the former GRU intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. A year after the attack on Skripal, the United Kingdom was never able to prove a “Russian trace” and did not provide detailed evidence and evidence that would testify against Russia
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Channel One TV, Vremya Pokazhet (00:00; 00:03:00 and 00:09:19)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Consistent with many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Skripal poisoning.

The British government, together with the police, conducted a broad investigation into the fact of Scripal's poisoning. Through the media, investigators published most of the results of the investigation and evidence. It is separately emphasised that only Russia had the technical capabilities, experience and motive for the attack.

EU and all EU Member States have supported the conclusions of the British investigation.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Sweden's feminist government orders not to investigate rapes to protect the immigrants that committed them
Additional details:

In 2017, 22,000 sexual crimes were registered in Sweden, 7,370 of them rapes. 58% of men convicted of rape and attempted rape over the past five years were born outside the European Union, and in cases where the victims didn't know the attackers, the proportion of foreign-born sex offenders was more than 80%. But the “feminist” Swedish government (according to its own denomination) ordered police not to investigate it.

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

There is no evidence to support the claim that the Swedish government has forbidden the police authority to investigate sexual violence, performed by immigrants.

The statistics reproduced in the article are genuine, extracted from an investigation by Swedish public television SVT and quoted by media like BBC. However, the narrative against immigrants and feminists is misleading and in line with a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on migration. Similar cases can be found here.

 

Keywords: migration, Global Compact for Migration, Migration crisis
Countries: Sweden
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OPCW says no chemical weapons were used in chemical attack happened in Douma
Additional details: The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has explicitly confirmed only one fact in its recently published final report on the alleged use of poison gas in the Syrian Douma on 7 April 2018: that no chemical weapons were used there.

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

The OPCW is very clear about the use of chemical substances and, in particular, chlorine in Douma, Syria.

In its final report, the OPCW does not leave any doubts on the detection of chlorine on Douma: "based on the levels of chlorinated organic derivatives, detected in several environmental samples gathered at the sites of alleged use of toxic chemicals, which are not naturally present in the environment, the FFM concludes that the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine" (page 3 of the report).

Background:

The claims that videos taken in a Douma hospital after the chemical attack were staged are a recurring narrative of pro-Kremlin outlets. See our reporting and Bellingcat coverage how Russian and Syrian state media has used fiction movies to "prove" the Douma attacks were staged.

See more disinformation cases on chemical attack in Douma.

Keywords: Douma, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Syria
More
No evidence of Russia's guilt in Skripal poisoning
Additional details: One year after the Skripal assassination attempt, there is still no evidence of Russia's guilt.

London, together with its Western partners, blames the Russian government for this. But evidence remains to be proven.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury poisoning. The disinformation message was created as a series of inconsistencies, implying a UK government conspiracy behind the Skripal case (see previous case).

British police have presented a solid chain of evidence about the Skripal case, including pictures, that connects the two suspects to particular locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. EU and the EU Member States have supported the conclusions of the British investigation.

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

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

Also, Novaya Gazeta pointed out that the phone number in one of the suspect's documents leads directly to the Ministry of Defence, under which the military intelligence operates.

 

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Russophobia, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
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Propagandists of terrorism among the guests of the “Big talk with the Belarusian president”
Additional details: Representatives of Russophobe circles, co-participants to political repressions and those keen on terrorism propaganda were among attendees of the “The Big Talk with the Belarusian President”, Aleksandr Lukashenko, on 1 March 2019. In particular, the leaders of the Belarusian Language Society (TBM) and the sparring-partner of the Belarusian leader, the chairwoman of Belarusian Language Society Alena Anisim, were there.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/polit/2583183.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on allegations of the Russian language in Belarus being threatened. The "Big Talk with the Belarusian President" is a regular meeting of the President with a large number of journalists, social activists, government officials, etc. The Belarusian Language Society works for promoting and developing the Belarusian language. Their activities include public campaigns to protect various linguistic rights related to the Belarusian language. They provide legal support for victims of linguistic discrimination and work out draft bills securing equal rights of all linguistic communities of Belarus. They are an active member of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

See more cases about the Belarusian language here.

Keywords: Propaganda, Russophobia, Terrorism
Countries: Belarus
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Ukraine, USA and EU recognised the reunification of Crimea with Russia
Additional details: Ukraine, the United States of America and the countries of the European Union recognised "the fact of the reunification of the Crimea with Russia." This is confirmed by the fact that Kyiv deprived the annexed peninsula of electricity and cut off the water supply. Moreover, Washington and Brussels introduced a number of collective sanctions against the Crimean people, which also confirms the fact of recognition of the reunification of the Crimea with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: tass.ru/politika/6167984
Disinforming outlet(s): TASS.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The statement appeared on the anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea.

For the last five years, pro-Kremlin disinformation apparatus has been systematically manufacturing similar disinformation narratives about the "international recognition of the Russian status" of the occupied Ukrainian peninsula.

The EU follows consistent non-recognition policy for Crimea and Sevastopol and so does the US.

Keywords: illegal annexation, Crimea
Countries: United States, Russia, Ukraine, EU
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US preparing Maidan-style operation in Venezuela
Additional details: Washington is preparing to stage a civilian massacre in Venezuela and use it as a pretext for deposing President Maduro. The US previously resorted to similar tactics in Ukraine and other sovereign states, where CIA-manufactured violent uprisings were used to replace democratically elected leaders with US-friendly stooges.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions", also present in the case of Venezuela.

There is no evidence to support the claim that the CIA played a role in the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests (more information on their background can be found here); the blame for the February 2014 massacre of civilians in Kyiv lay on the Berkut riot police unit, not foreign actors or the anti-Yanukovych opposition (further debunking here).

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Sphere of influence, Coup, Euromaidan, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Venezuela, Ukraine
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Germany funds Nazism in Ukraine
Additional details: Germany allocates funds for the renovation of Stepan Bandera Street in Lviv, thus funding Nazism, and Nazi collaborators in Ukraine.

Germany supports all who ideologically support the Nazi regime.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: radiovesti.ru/brand/62139/episode/2134864
Disinforming outlet(s): Eurozone @ Vesti FM (06:10, 16:35)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about Germany and the EU supporting a Nazi regime in Ukraine and Nazism taking over Europe.

The medieval city centre of Lviv (Ukraine) has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. The project of municipal development and rehabilitation of the Old City of Lviv is funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development. The project started in 2009, and in 2015 Lviv and Leipzig signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, which stipulates the redevelopment of Stepan Bandera street.

German Federal Ministry for Economy supports different projects around the globe.

Germany is continuously commemorating victims of Nazi regime and has a clear policy against its glorification.

 

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Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine, Germany
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US-backed armed groups prevent refugees from leaving Al Rukban camp
Additional details: Around 40,000 people are trapped in the refugee camp of Al Rukban, on the Syrian border with Jordan and inside the US-controlled area around the base of Al Tanf. US-backed armed groups operate there and are preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the camp, and people from leaving the area, despite the opening of two humanitarian corridors. They only let people to leave for exchange of huge amounts of money. Also, the US is obstructing the rescue operation by refusing to protect the convoy that should take the refugees out of the camp.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish, RT Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

For the last two years this Russian disinformation narrative has claimed that the US has been blocking the aid to Al Rukban camp, as you can see here and here, when it was actually the Syrian army who was responsible for the blockade. According to the civil administration of the camp, "not a single civilian" used the corridor on the next day, "because of the uncertainty of their destination after exiting the corridors". According to some local opposition activists, many of them are unsure if they will be allowed to return to their homes or be sent instead to new camps under regime control. So Russian authorities and media started to claim that US-backed terrorist groups are preventing the civilians from leaving the place.

In reality, many of those refugees are linked to rebel factions and fear retaliation if they abandon the camp. The US position is to encourage residents to stay, but says it won't impede the movement of those who want to leave. According to a journalist reporting on the ground for The Guardian, smugglers are indeed requesting huge sums of money to those who want to leave, but to take them beyond the Syrian government areas.

 

 

Keywords: Syrian War
Countries: Syria
More
Vaccines in Georgia are made by Lugar lab, it is more advisable to use Russian-made vaccines
Additional details: Both European- and US-manufactured vaccines available in Georgia are unreliable. There is no way to verify that they are really manufactured in Europe or in the United States, and not at the Lugar lab. As for the United States, even if the vaccine manufacturer is verified to be based there, the quality of vaccination controls varies between different US states. Therefore, if one has to get vaccinated, it is better to choose a Russian-manufactured vaccine over a US-manufactured one or the one created at the Lugar lab.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: asavali.ge/images/pdf/1266.pdf
Disinforming outlet(s): Asaval-Dasavali weekly newspaper
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Unfounded claims on vaccines, available in Georgia. Both Lugar lab-related and vaccination-related disinformation are recurring pro-Russian narratives. Mythdetector.ge published an infographic on recurring smear campaigns against the Lugar lab in March 2017 and researched conspiracy theories about vaccines in the Georgian media in May 2018.

The Georgian National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health, which operates the Lugar Centre, denied that the centre was involved in manufacturing any pharmaceutical or para-pharmaceutical products, including vaccines. The NCDC confirmed that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) combined vaccine supplies in the Georgian healthcare network were manufactured in Belgium and the United States, while the H1N1 swine flu vaccine was made in France. They are exactly the same vaccines as used in their countries of manufacture and are generally authorised for use anywhere because these vaccines are prequalified by the WHO and are also authorised by the European Medicine Agency.

The vaccines available in Georgia are also authorised and available in Russia, as listed on the web site of the Russian Register of Pharmaceutical Agents (see links to Russian registration certificates for Priorix, M-M-R II, and Vaxigrip).

Click here for background about the disinformation campaigns around vaccines.

 

Keywords: vaccination, Lugar, Russian superiority
Countries: United States, Russia, Georgia
More
The US is deliberately destabilising Venezuela and planning a military intervention to gain control over the country’s oil resources
Additional details: After its failure to overthrow Assad in Syria, the US has shifted its focus toward Venezuela, a country that Washington is now trying to destabilise under the pretext of “restoring democracy”. In reality, the US, which is an “agent of the New World Order”, is seeking to gain control over Venezuela’s oil resources by creating a crisis in the country followed by US military intervention.

The US destabilisation of Venezuela and its efforts to topple Maduro follow a familiar pattern of US interventions in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine, also justified as necessary for “promoting democracy”.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is destabilising Venezuela and is planning an imminent coup-d’état and/or military intervention. See previous cases here.

See background information on other Venezuela-related conspiracies

 

 

 

Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Protest, Propaganda, New World Order, War preparation, Conspiracy, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: Venezuela, Iraq, Libya, Russia, Ukraine, US, Syria
More
De facto president of Ukraine is a mid-level clerk in the US State Department
Additional details: Not for a single day has Poroshenko been the president of Ukraine. And it makes absolutely no difference who Ukrainians vote for. De facto president of Ukraine is a mid-level clerk in the US State Department, who fully controls the politics of Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimiram Solovyovym (36.40 - 36.57)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Petro Poroshenko is the president of Ukraine.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the lack of Ukrainian statehood and US control over it.

Keywords: Petro Poroshenko, The West, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
EU does not care what will happen with the Irish border in Brexit negotiations
Additional details: The European Union does not care what will happen with the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. For European bureaucrats there is no difference how the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it simply must leave.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5gjzoQABCA
Disinforming outlet(s): Evrozona @ Vesti FM (2.25 - 3.05)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The decision to leave the EU was made by the British people in 2016.

EU and UK have mutual interest in ensuring there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

For the EU, the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is an essential part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. See here and here for EU position on the matter.

Keywords: Brexit
Countries: UK, EU
More
Ukrainian authorities are so stupid, they are unable to deal with the measles outbreak
Additional details: Russia is creating powerful vaccines that are most efficient in fighting Ebola, something that the Americans are unable to do. And Ukrainian authorities are so stupid they cannot deal with the measles outbreak. They are so stupid, they pose a global threat, having destroyed the vaccination programme.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimiram Solovyovym (9.20 - 10.50)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Ukrainian authorities are dealing with the measles outbreak in the country by  procuring vaccine with the aid of UNICEF, sending mobile vaccination brigades from school to school in Lviv, a hard-hit area, and preparing to provide cash incentives to physicians to vaccinate all children in their practices.

Current measles outbreak was caused by a combination of factors, including anti-vaccine sentiment and vaccine shortages in the aftermath of Crimea annexation and armed aggression in Easter Ukraine. Because of the shortages Ukraine vaccinated only 42% of its infants in 2016. In  2017, the country’s coverage rebounded to 93% of infants. On the measles outbreak read more here.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control so far no vaccine, antiviral drug or antibody has been authorised in Africa, the EU or US for prevention or treatment of the Ebola virus disease, except for experimental vaccines for compassionate care. Outside of the EU two vaccines were authorised in China and Russia. To date, limited information about immunogenetics and safety of these two vaccines in humans is available in scientific literature.

 

 

 

Keywords: vaccination
Countries: Ukraine
More
Instead of moving towards Europe, Ukraine is going backwards to its Nazi past
Additional details: Ukraine thinks it is moving towards Europe, but in fact it not even standing still but moving backwards to its Nazi past.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimiram Solovyovym @ Rossiya 24 (1.19 - 1.35)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazi Ukraine.

Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
After the elections, Poroshenko will flee Ukraine
Additional details: Ukrainian president Petro Poroschenko is preparing to flee Ukraine. After the elections he would have to bear responsibility for corruption and infringements of the Ukrainian constitution.

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

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukrainian elections, with emphasis put on alleged corruption and disruptions during the elections. See here for different pro-Kremlin narratives on Petro Poroshenko.

Keywords: Corruption, Petro Poroshenko, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
Europe may cancel visa-free regime due to measles epidemic in Ukraine
Additional details: The President of the Association of Psychiatrists of Ukraine, Semen Gluzman, states that the massive failure of Ukrainian parents to vaccinate their children led to a large-scale problem with infectious diseases, in particular, measles. He believes that a measles outbreak threatens Ukraine with the loss of a visa-free regime from a number of EU countries.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative about the EU planning to revoke the visa waiver for Ukraine.

On December 19, 2018, the European Commission published the second report on the implementation of visa-free regime requirements by eight countries in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, in particular, Ukraine. The document states that all countries fulfil these requirements, but should take additional measures to combat corruption and irregular migration.

The report does not mention the situation with measles or another infectious disease, and that this may affect the termination of the visa-free regime.

Regarding Ukraine, the European Commission notes that the criteria for visa liberalization continue to be met, but some of the recommendations from the first report have not been fulfilled, therefore immediate action is required

Keywords: Ukraine, Visa liberalisation
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
Blaming Russian hackers is Macron's favourite excuse for his country's problems
Additional details: [Blaming] Russian hackers is Macron's favourite excuse for the country's problems. He says they tried to hack his elections, Russian trolls spoiled his reputation, Russian bots were convincing yellow vests to protest. French special services looked for Russian trace all over, and found nothing. But that did not even matter.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli @ NTV (44.15 - 44.30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There have been several reports about the role of social media accounts connected to Russia in amplifying the yellow vests protests. The investigation, as announced by French authorities, started on December 8 and is ongoing. No evidence given for the alleged French conclusions.

There has been evidence of Kremlin behind hacking French elections.

Pro-Kremlin outlets often try to convince the audience that some claims are only made to distract us from the real problems. This is applied in this case, and we have also seen it, for example, in the Skripal poisoning case.

 

Keywords: yellow vests, election meddling, Emmanuel Macron
Countries: Russia, France
More
Yulia and Sergey Skripal held hostage in UK
Additional details: Yulia and Sergey Skripal are isolated and held against their will, given the few public appearances the two poisoning survivors have made since April 2018.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Russia's long-running claim that the UK Government is keeping the Skripals in prison-like conditions fits the broader pro-Kremlin narrative painting the Salisbury poisoning as an anti-Russian conspiracy.

The story draws on a recent report published by the Russian Embassy in London, which cites the Skripals' low media profile as evidence of their unlawful detention. The claim shifts the burden of disproving Moscow's unfounded accusation on the UK, and is thus an argument from ignorance.

The article also claims that, in an address recorded on 23 May 2018, Yulia was made to "read from a prepared text which had obviously been pre-written in English" and translated to Russian, implying that the woman is effectively held hostage. The assertion has been rebutted by an expert in Russian linguistics.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
EU launches a Russian-language TV channel
Additional details: The European Union opens its own Russian-language television channel with film crews in all Russian regions. The main task of the channel will be to bring the Western interpretation of the events taking place in the world to the Russian-speaking population. Such initiatives demonstrate the helplessness of the information campaign the West is trying to launch in Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The EU is not working on such project.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the West trying to impose its values and spreading propaganda in Russia. Not only the West, but also Ukraine has been accused of waging information war against Russia.

 

 

Keywords: Propaganda, Media
Countries: Russia
More
Estonian nationalists demand Russia to return Ivangorod
Additional details: The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), whose representatives made their way into the new government of the country, put forward a bill containing a requirement to challenge the territorial affiliation of Ivangorod and part of the Pskov region.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vzglyad
WeaponNews.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The elections in Estonia took place on March 3, 2019, and the government has not yet been formed.

The draft bill was issued months before elections in 2018 and it does not mention Ivangorod; its aim was to "discontinue the ratification of the border treaty between the Estonian Republic and Russian Federation and revoke the signature from the aforementioned treaty." The draft bill was rejected.

With the help of narratives like this one, pro-Kremlin outlets are trying to show the EU and it's member states are aggressive towards Russia.

Keywords: Ivangorod
Countries: Estonia
More
President of Latvia is stoking fears of Russian aggression, in hopes that Latvia will make money if it rents its territory to NATO bases
Additional details: President of Latvia is stoking fears of Russian aggression, because he hopes Latvia will make money if it rents its territory to NATO bases.

In the former union, the USSR, the Baltic States were among the most prosperous economies. Now, in another union, the EU, they are among the least developed. Young and intelligent people are leaving Latvia, the country does not have economic perspectives.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5gjzoQABCA
Disinforming outlet(s): Evrozona @ Vesti FM (26.00 - 27.30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The disinformation message is a response to the interview of the Latvian President warning Europe to stay vigilant in the context of Russian aggression.

NATO membership is not a financial scheme for profit. Latvia is a NATO member state and like all allies, it makes direct and indirect contributions to the costs of running NATO and implementing its policies and activities.

This disinformation message is also consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about impoverished and disappearing Baltic States.

Keywords: NATO, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia
More
No proof of Russian interference in elections in the US and Europe
Additional details: The European Parliament analysed the influence of Russia on elections in foreign countries. The authors of the study wrongly accuse Moscow of interfering in the affairs of the United States, Great Britain, France and other states. By doing so, Brussels is preparing for the possibility for anti-systemic parties to get more votes. If it happens, it will blame Russia for interference again. Accusing Russia of everything has become a kind of fashion trend in the West.

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

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West blaming Russia for everything, and trying to divert attention from the real problems by doing so.

There are numerous reports investigating meddling in elections across Europe in the US, which have already proven Kremlin's participation in meddling. See here for the list of the reports and here for the US Senate report outlining various meddling attempts in different countries.

Keywords: EU elections 2019, election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, EU
More
Crimea has been always Russian
Additional details: Crimea has always belonged to Russia, Krushchev gave it to Ukraine on a whim.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Crimea being a part of Russia.

According to the international law Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated the international law as well as key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.

UNGA Resolution 68/262, stating that the Crimean referendum was not valid and condemning Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine, was supported by 100 United Nations member states.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated that “[t]he 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 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." Click here for more information.

Historical background: 

On January 23, 2019, the Ukrainian Embassy in France published the following open letter for the French audience on the history of Crimea: "saying that Crimea is Russian "for centuries" is, to say the least, excessive. Crimea was annexed in 1783, already in violation of a treaty which guaranteed the independence of the Tatar khanate. The peninsula was in the middle of the nineteenth century a territory in the process of colonization. In 1897, the first comprehensive census of the population of the empire indicates that the Russians are only one third of the inhabitants of Crimea, where they are still slightly fewer than the Tatars. The Russians only became a majority after the complete deportation in 1944 of the Tatars, who could only return after the fall of the communist regime.  The annexation of Crimea to the then Soviet Ukraine, in 1954, was not done on a not ethnic, but geographical and economic basis, and as an extension of very old historical links between the peninsula and adjoining mainland areas. But what is more important today than the circumstances of 1954 and even more so of 1854 is that the borders of Ukraine, including Crimea, were recognized and guaranteed after its independence in 1991 by international agreements, some of which were signed by Russia itself".

Keywords: Donbas, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
US-led coalition strike in Syria targets civilians, killing 50
Additional details: At least 50 people were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike on a civilian camp near Baghouz village in Syria, one of the few remaining ISIS enclaves.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative of war crimes perpetrated in Syria by the US and its allies, and provides no evidence of any civilian deaths resulting from the coalition's offensive on Baghouz. The report is based on an article by SANA, the regime-controlled Syrian news agency which cites "local sources" as saying that the strikes "targeted" civilians escaping from the area.

The article fails to mention that the Baghouz operation was preceded by an evacuation of around 20,000 civilians from the surrounding areas, led by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF]. As a number of women and children remain in the ISIS-held enclave, SDF troops are advancing on the ground specifically to minimize casualties, with air support from the International Coalition.

See here for more details on the ongoing operation.

Keywords: War crimes, Syrian War, Daesh
Countries: US, Syria
More
European Parliament decides practically nothing in the EU
Additional details: The European Parliament decides practically nothing in the modern structure of the political power of Europe.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The European Parliament is one of the to EU law-making bodies. Since 1979, it is directly elected by EU voters every 5 years. The last elections were in May 2014.

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

Keywords: European Parliament
Countries: EU
More
The EU was invented in the Third Reich and created by US agents
Additional details: One of the EU founders (Walter Hallstein) was a "star of jurisprudence" in the Third Reich, who developed the legal foundations of a unified Hitlerian Europe; other two EU founders (Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet) were paid agents and puppets of the US State Department. The main goal was to prevent the union of France and Germany and make Europe fully submissive to the United States.

The US State Department is also the cause of all current problems of the EU - erosion of national identities, renouncement of the Christian heritage, destructive tolerance for migrants.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Business online
RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation  narrative about EU being a Nazi project or under US control.

To learn more about the EU pioneers click here.

Keywords: Conspiracy, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: EU, US
More
Macron spoke about RT and Sputnik in order to distract the audience from problems in France
Additional details: Macron spoke about RT and Sputnik in order to distract the audience from problems in France. In late January, speaking to journalists about the yellow vests protests, Emmanuel Macron referred to "the assistance of a foreign power," such as Russia, which, "through Russia Today or Sputnik, [...] often features in their discourse." These very surprising remarks contradict the information provided by the French intelligence services. It may be an attempt to hide the fact that there is a problem in the country. French authorities have not found any trace of Russian interference in the yellow vests protests.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The disinforming outlet gave a simplified and cut-out version of what Mediapart.Fr reported on March 8, 2019.

Indeed, Mediapart spoke to unnamed French intelligence sources asking for comments on whether any Russian meddling in the yellow vests' protests had taken place and received a negative answer. But, as Mediapart.fr admits, there is another body which is in charge of a proper investigation of this alleged meddling: the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN). The latter's investigation has not been concluded yet.

See further reporting on potential Kremlin involvement in amplifying the yellow vests' protests here and here.

Pro-Kremlin outlets often try to convince the audience that some claims are only made to distract us from the real problems. This is applied in this case, and we have also seen it, for example, in the Skripal poisoning case.

 

Keywords: yellow vests, Russia Today (RT), Sputnik
Countries: Russia, France
More
If Poroshenko wins elections, Ukraine will turn into a banana republic and hands of Western puppet masters will be fully unleashed
Additional details: The West counts on Petro Poroshenko winning a second term as president since he is a convenient candidate. With him Ukraine will complete its turn into a “banana republic” and the hands of the Western puppet masters will be fully unleashed.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestia Glavnoe @ Channel 5 (31.27 - 31.40)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the West meddling in the Ukrainian elections. For more cases see here.

Keywords: election meddling, Petro Poroshenko, Elections, The West
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine allowed foreign armies on its territory and this will destroy the country
Additional details: The Ukrainian authorities want to completely destroy the country.  By opening access to Ukraine for foreign armies, Kyiv intends to stir up conflicts within the country and exacerbate security issues.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian, Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Ukraine did not allow foreign troops to be permanently stationed on its territory.

The disinformation narrative is referring to the new Ukrainian law No. 10067, which deals exclusively with the temporary deployment of foreign troops on Ukrainian territory for the conduct of military exercises this year. The Verkhovna Rada adopted the document on February 26, with the President being the initiator. According to the law, military staff from other countries are temporarily allowed to enter Ukrainian territory for the holding of the Ukrainian-American drills (Rapid Trident – 2019, Sea Breeze 2019), the Ukrainian-Romanian drills (Riverain-2019), multinational drills (Maple Ark-2019) and Ukrainian-British drills (Warrior Watcher-2019).

The message is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, about expected Western intervention in Ukraine.

Keywords: European army, War preparation, NATO
Countries: United States, Ukraine, EU
More
Sweden attempts to diminish Russian military capacity to please NATO
Additional details: Sweden is about to join NATO and wants to please its future masters. A report from the Swedish Defence Research Institute claims that Russia is unable to keep up with Western military technology. These claims reflect Sweden's position as a junior partner of NATO.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum News Agency
TV 360
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on Swedish neutrality. Sweden is mainlining a policy of non-alignment, cooperates with NATO, but has no plans to join the alliance. See here for more information on NATO-Sweden relations.

Keywords: Neutrality, Military, EU/NATO enlargement
Countries: Russia, Sweden
More
Non-transparent report of OPCW on Douma attack is biased
Additional details: The OPCW report on the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma is full of gaps, discrepancies, and inconsistencies.

The OPCW, which announced the use of chlorine in Douma in April 2018, did not take into account elements presented by Russia, Syria and even by British journalists, in particular the recent statement by the British journalist Riam Dalati.  After 6 months of investigation, according to this journalist, he could prove, without any doubt that the scene in the hospital of Douma was staged and no death occurred in the hospital.

The investigation conducted by OPCW was not transparent enough.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative on the chemical attack in Douma and the OPCW report covering it.

OPCW's investigations of the use of chemical weapons are technical in nature and are designed to establish whether or not chemical weapons have been used, not to identify who used them.

The methodological considerations, activities and timeline are an integral part OPCW's final report on Douma. It does not leave any doubts on the detection of chlorine on Douma: "based on the levels of chlorinated organic derivatives, detected in several environmental samples gathered at the sites of alleged use of toxic chemicals, which are not naturally present in the environment, the FFM concludes that the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine" (page 3 of the report).

The tweet of BBC's producer Riam Dalati, mentioned in the claim, doesn't deny the chemical attack; "The producer was expressing his personal opinions about some of the video footage that emerged after the attack but has not claimed that the attack did not happen", the BBC spokesperson told Sputnik.

Keywords: Douma, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Extreme nationalists staged coup and brought Poroshenko to power in Ukraine
Additional details: Extreme nationalists were the driving force in the 2014 coup that brought Poroshenko to power in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative painting the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests as a far-right uprising which culminated in a coup against the democratically elected President Yanukovych. It fits the wider portrayal of Ukrainian politics as dominated by "fascists."

Radical nationalists played a very limited role throughout the Euromaidan, had not initiated the protests in the first place, and did not install the Poroshenko to power.  Petro Poroshenko won the presidency in a competitive and transparent election, as reported by the OSCE. The two most popular nationalist candidates won a combined 1.84% of the national vote, and their respective political parties failed to achieve the minimum electoral threshold in the October 2014 parliamentary race.

 

Keywords: Coup, Euromaidan, Petro Poroshenko, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
Chauvinism and xenophobia have become an official state policy in Ukraine
Additional details: Since the 2014 coup d'etat in Ukraine, openly supported by the United States and a number of Western countries, Ukraine has plunged deeper and deeper into political chaos, corruption, lawlessness and aggressive nationalism.

Kyiv deliberately promotes an ethnic and ideological divide in society, while chauvinism and xenophobia have become an official state policy in Ukraine.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front DE
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring Russian narrative about an US-and EU backed coup d'etat in Ukraine, as well as chaos and decay of Ukraine.

Chauvinism and xenophobia have not become an official state policy in Ukraine.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center from 2018, the level of anti-Semitism in Ukraine turned out to be the lowest in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (5 %).

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 Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

There were democratic Presidential elections held on 25 May 2014 in Ukraine. The OSCE characterised the elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." This fact was reconfirmed by the parliamentary elections of 26 October 2014. The OSCE characterised the vote as "an amply contested election that offered votes real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms".

Keywords: Ukraine, Racism
Countries: Ukraine
More


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