If last week the focus was on the evil West, then this week we saw that narrative embellished with repeated messaging about how good Russia is. These two overarching narratives describing the pro-Kremlin world are often used together: Russia is good, the West is evil.

So, on Russian state TV, we were told by the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma that Russia respects international law, that it is friendly towards its neighbours, and that it is those neighbours who are the aggressive ones, not Russia. To be fair, it was said in the same show that Russia might have to strike Europe pre-emptively if NATO keep putting troops into the Baltic countries. But no mention was made of Russia violating international law through its illegal actions in Ukraine, annexing Crimea among other things.

In the same show, it was stated that Donbass is part of Russia and that it is being bombed by European troops on a daily basis. Of course, no evidence was presented for these European troops – there are none.
A whole show on Russian state TV was devoted to the situation in Donbass, in fact. It was claimed that the current Ukrainian government aims to drown the country in blood – repeating the reoccurring myth that Ukraine is waging a war on its own population, rather than defending itself. On another TV show, there was speculation that the EU will eventually ask Russia to restore order in Donbass and subsequently in Kiev. It was also claimed that the European observers who observed the elections in Ukraine after the fall of Yanukovic took substantial bribes in order to recognize the results of the election. As usual, no evidence was presented. It was the OSCE that observed the elections in Ukraine. Russia is a member.

In another pro-Kremlin outlet, we learnt that Moscow’s peace efforts have been continuously sabotaged, with both Ukraine and Syria named as places where Russia has been hindered from achieving peace. No mention of Russia’s involvement in the escalation of both named conflicts, nor of the fact that Russia has vetoed several Security Council resolutions on the issue of Syria.

The Baltic states took some beating as well, as they were accused of endangering global peace through reproducing a conflict with Russia. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine were all again described as being part of ‘the Russian world’.

Poor Swedes

Sweden was again singled out and presented as a particularly unsafe place to live in, despite plenty of evidence showing the opposite. In a Czech outlet, the recent influx of migrants was blamed for an alleged massive increase in crime in the country. However, crime statistics analysed over the period in question (October 2015-January 2016) show that refugees account for 1% of crimes during that period. And the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention’s Swedish Crime Survey concludes that there has in fact been a 2% decrease in crime over the last 10 years.

In a Hungarian pro-Kremlin outlet, Swedish statistics concerning rape were used to portray the country as especially unsafe for women, while not mentioning that the legal definition has been recently broadened to include offenses that in other countries would not count as rape. In the same outlet, a recent riot in a suburb of Stockholm was blamed on ‘unknown migrants’. While the riot did indeed happen, no one has been arrested and the police do not know who was involved. It goes without saying then, that the culprits’ ethnicity is also unknown.

swe burka

Disinformation cases reported in the previous week

The Baltics and Ukraine belong to the ’Russian world’, so...
Additional details: The Baltics and Ukraine belong to the ’Russian world’, so Moscow would make a pre-emptive strike against Europe if NATO puts its troops there.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2moODoO
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Voskresnyi vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym’ (2:13)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Ukraine are not part of a 'Russian world', they are sovereign and independent states of which the three first have joined NATO voluntarily. // Lithuania welcomed the NATO troops: http://bit.ly/2liobgr and actually would like to see more of them because of Russia' aggresive behaviour: http://reut.rs/2loTWEp // Latvia as well: http://bloom.bg/2lBVMkz // Similarly in Estonia: http://bit.ly/2kerQeQ

Keywords: NATO, Russian world
Countries: Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Baltic states
More
Russia is still a friendly, sovereign country that respects international...
Additional details: Russia is still a friendly, sovereign country that respects international law.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2moODoO
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Voskresnyi vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym’ (5:58)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

Russia's actions in Ukraine are a clear violation of international law. Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter declares without ambiguity that "all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations" http://bit.ly/1rbGaE3. UNGA Resolution 68/262 also affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and underscored the invalidity of the 2014 Crimean referendum http://bit.ly/1RZGnjo.

Keywords: International Law, Sovereignty
Countries: Russia
More
The current Ukrainian government has a plan of drowning Ukraine...
Additional details: The current Ukrainian government has a plan of drowning Ukraine in blood.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2ljtA2g
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Vremya pokazhet’@ ‘Pervyi kanal’ (24:48)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Ukraine is currently defending its territory against the Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. According to international law, as a sovereign state, it has the right to do so.

Keywords: War in Ukraine, State oppression
Countries: Ukraine
More
Most of the Ukrainian weapons are sold to Russia
Additional details: Most of the Ukrainian weapons are sold to Russia. Ukraine exports more weapons to Russia than during Viktor Yanukovych.
Language / Targeted audience: Polish
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2lqgReP
Disinforming outlet(s): Rzecz Pospolita
Reported by: Ihor Solovei, journalist for lb.ua
Disproof note:

Polish translation of the vesti-ukr.com disinformation mentioned above.

Keywords: Viktor Yanukovych
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Most of the Ukrainian weapons are sold to Russia
Additional details: Most of the Ukrainian weapons are sold to Russia. Ukraine exports more weapons to Russia than during Viktor Yanukovych.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2lErnmd
Disinforming outlet(s): vesti-ukr.com
Reported by: Ihor Solovei, journalist for lb.ua
Disproof note:

The export of weapons from Ukraine to Russia was halted in August 2014: http://bit.ly/2muO1uC // Journalists have misinterpreted the data of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: http://bit.ly/2muP6mx

Keywords: Viktor Yanukovych
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Donbas is a Russian land that is being bombed by...
Additional details: Donbas is a Russian land that is being bombed by European troops every day.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2moODoO
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Voskresnyi vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym’ (49:09)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Donbas is a part of the sovereign state Ukraine.The EU High Representative's Official Spokesperson has made it clear that "Ukraine has a right to take legitimate actions in defence of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and citizens, in full respect of its international obligations. It is Ukraine’s duty to preserve law and order within its borders while maintaining a measured approach, in particular protecting civilian lives" http://bit.ly/1RMKnDr. In addition, there are no European troops whatsoever in Ukraine.

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, Donbas
Countries: Europe, Russia, Ukraine
More
Reproduction of a conflict with Russia has become a way...
Additional details: Reproduction of a conflict with Russia has become a way of the existence of the Baltic elites, who, thus, have become dangerous for the global peace.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2moODoO
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Voskresnyi vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym’ (44:51)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Nothing suggests that the Baltic states would want to start a conflict with their much bigger neighbour.

Keywords: Secret elites / global elites
Countries: Russia, Baltic states
More
The Slovak minister of Interior Kaliňák paid €2
Additional details: The Slovak minister of Interior Kaliňák paid €2.8 million to accept migrants, while Slovak children suffer without treatment.
Language / Targeted audience: Slovak
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2l7lgCv
Disinforming outlet(s): Naseslovensko.net
Reported by: Denník SME, https://www.sme.sk/
Disproof note:

The claim adopted from a conspiracy website is based on four grant agreements for the Slovak Humanity Council, Marginal Civic Association, and the Human Rights League. In reality, the Interior Ministry sent €705,000 to these institutions and the rest goes from the Fund for Asylum, Migration, and Integration. The money from the fund is to allow for a dignified waiting period of the migrants until their asylum request is processed, and for their subsequent integration if the country accepts them. Furthermore, the Slovak Constitution guarantees free-of-charge health care also for children. Further debunking here http://bit.ly/2lD55Pj.

Keywords: Migration crisis
Countries: Slovakia
More
Georgia: EU integration will impoverish us, just like the Baltic...
Additional details: Georgia: EU integration will impoverish us, just like the Baltic countries.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: printed outlet
Disinforming outlet(s): Alia
Reported by: Myth Detector
Disproof note:

No country became poorer after accession to the EU than it was before. After their accession to the European Union in 2004, until 2015 the Baltic countries’ GDP expanded at a record level. About 93% increase in Estonia, 111% in Lithuania and 115% in Latvia. // http://bit.ly/2mfsAB9

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement
Countries: Baltic states, EU, Georgia
More
Former MP Slovak Daniel Lipšic supports Bandera, who was a...
Additional details: Former MP Slovak Daniel Lipšic supports Bandera, who was a nazi and killed more than a million people.
Language / Targeted audience: Slovak
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2lD55Pj
Disinforming outlet(s): Facebook post
Reported by: Denník SME, https://www.sme.sk/
Disproof note:

There is nothing that suggest that Lipšic has shown any support for nazis. Further debunking here http://bit.ly/2lD55Pj.

Keywords: Stepan Bandera, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Slovakia, Ukraine
More
EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn says that Bulgarians do not need...
Additional details: EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn says that Bulgarians do not need a state.
Language / Targeted audience: Bulgaria
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2l7gIfu
Disinforming outlet(s): Newsfront
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The European Commission’s Representation in Bulgaria has denied that European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hanh made statements of a negative nature about Bulgaria. http://bit.ly/2kZFXRP

Keywords: Sovereignty
Countries: Bulgaria, EU
More
Moscow’s Peace Efforts Are Sabotaged as Washington Aims to Make...
Additional details: Moscow’s Peace Efforts Are Sabotaged as Washington Aims to Make War With Russia Inevitable.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2kYasXt
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Insider
Reported by: Promote Ukraine
Disproof note:

There is overwhelming evidence that Russia has in fact been fueling the 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 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 https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf.

Furthermore, Russia has vetoed UNSC resolutions aiming at condemning and stopping the violence perpetrated by the Syrian regime on several occations http://bit.ly/1O5yESF.

Keywords: War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, US
More
By refusing to adopt a UN statement on Churkin Ukrainian...
Additional details: By refusing to adopt a UN statement on Churkin Ukrainian diplomats went against international protocol and ethics.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2lWxX7r
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Today (RT)
Reported by: Promote Ukraine
Disproof note:

There was a statement, and a moment of silence to honour Churkin. http://bit.ly/2muLBwq. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maryana Betsa said that Ukraine did not block anything. She said that "a statement was issued for the press, as has been done in such cases in the past. There haven’t been many such cases. But there was no precedent for a separate political statement.”

Keywords: Vitaly Churkin, UN
Countries: Ukraine
More
Crimean budget revenue has doubled since Russia annexed it
Additional details: Crimean budget revenue has doubled since Russia annexed it.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2mlwvfO
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) within framework of the Centre for International Relations‘ project co-financed by the Visegrad Fund
Disproof note:

According to Federal Service of State Statistics in Crimea, in 2015 67% of Crimea’s income came from subsidies from the central government, compared to 50% 2013 when Crimea was part of Ukraine, according to a Radio Svoboda analyst.http://bit.ly/2muLhh6

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The EU is most likely going to ask Russia to...
Additional details: The EU is most likely going to ask Russia to ‘restore order’ in Donbas and then in Kyiv.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2mzLobi
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym’ (3:24)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence or indications for the claim. Ukraine is a sovereign state, so nobody may ‘ask Russia to restore the order’ there.

Keywords: Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
The political repressions in Ukraine were discussed for the first...
Additional details: The political repressions in Ukraine were discussed for the first time in Bundestag.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2lzZuuF
Disinforming outlet(s): e-news.pro
Reported by: FB group Berliner Osteuropa-Experten
Disproof note:

It was not a discussion in Bundestag, it was a press conference that was held in a room rented out for commercial purposes in a building for federal press conferences. The press conference was organized by members of Party of Regions (Viktor Yanukovych's party against which the people of Ukraine revolted because of Yanukovych's last minute U-turn on the Association agreement with the EU): http://bit.ly/2mkuflw

Keywords: State oppression
Countries: Ukraine
More
The recent influx of migrants caused a massive rise of...
Additional details: The recent influx of migrants caused a massive rise of crime in Sweden.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2l2DdH2
Disinforming outlet(s): Zvedavec.org
Reported by: Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) within framework of the Centre for International Relations‘ project co-financed by the Visegrad Fund
Disproof note:

No evidence for the claims. Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter analyzed crime statistics between October 2015 and January 2016 and concluded that refugees were responsible for only 1 percent of all criminal incidents. http://wapo.st/2lMehkt. According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention's Swedish Crime Survey, between 2005 and 2015, the proportion of people who reported that they were victims of any crime during the past year decreased from 26 percent to 24 percent. A group for which likelihood to be subject to a crime rather increased over the past period were for people born in Sweden but whose two parents were born abroad.http://bit.ly/2l7jeXT.

Keywords: Refugees, Migration crisis
Countries: Sweden
More
In Europe, refugees can easily molest women without being noticed,...
Additional details: In Europe, refugees can easily molest women without being noticed, but in Russia this would never be accepted.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2kQ9BNf
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Insider
Reported by: Promote Ukraine
Disproof note:

No evidence given. It is worth noting that Russia just made domestic violence legal, indicating that protection of Russian women is clearly not a top priority http://bit.ly/2lfaRou.

Keywords: Refugees, Sexual harassment, Migration crisis
Countries: Europe, Russia
More
Ukraine is not now, and has never been, a single...
Additional details: Ukraine is not now, and has never been, a single entity.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2mzLobi
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym’ (19:44)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

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

Keywords: Historical revisionism, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
More
The European observers, who were watching the elections in Ukraine...
Additional details: The European observers, who were watching the elections in Ukraine held after the escape of Victor Yanukovich to Russia, took bribes for ‘recognizing’ the results of this voting // Each bribe was US $ 50,000.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2mzLobi
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym’ (28:13)
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. 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, where parties devoted to democratic values received the strong majority of votes. The OSCE characterised the vote as "an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms". It pointed out that "Electoral authorities made resolute efforts to organize elections throughout the country, but they could not be held in parts of the regions (oblasts) of Donetsk and Luhansk or on the Crimean peninsula". http://bit.ly/2g9K0Mp, http://bit.ly/2eWWBAV

Keywords: Corruption, Elections, Viktor Yanukovych
Countries: Europe, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian Nazis Dance on Russian Ambassador's Grave in New York
Additional details: Ukrainian Nazis Dance on Russian Ambassador's Grave in New York.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2lLmuXH
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Insider
Reported by: Promote Ukraine
Disproof note:

No evidence given. In fact, Pavlo Klimkin, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and UN Security Council President for February, proposed a moment of silence in memory of Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, the day after he died. Churkin was also honoured in a press statement, as is the normal procedure http://bit.ly/2muLBwq, http://bit.ly/2mloxU2.

Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
Unknown migrants looted shops and burned cars in a Stockholm...
Additional details: Unknown migrants looted shops and burned cars in a Stockholm suburb.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2luI02B
Disinforming outlet(s): Hidfo
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

There was a group of young men that burned cars and destroyed local shops in the suburb of Rinkeby. As no one has been arrested, no one knows the ethnicity of the perpetrators and no evidence suggest that they would be migrants.http://t.sr.se/2kQtdAZ

Keywords: Migration crisis
Countries: Sweden
More
Swedish society is willing to watch as their country is...
Additional details: Swedish society is willing to watch as their country is raped. Sweden is today the proud holder of the title of “Rape Capital of Europe”.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2kTQzFz
Disinforming outlet(s): Világlátó
Reported by: Political
Capital
Institute
Disproof note:

Sweden does have 63.5 reported rape incidents per 100,000 citizens, however, this is attributable to differences in how a country reports crime. In Sweden, each case of sexual violence is reported as a separate incident, for example, if someone says they were raped by a partner every day for a fortnight, officers will record 14 potential crimes. In other countries, the claim could be logged as a single incident. The definition of rape is also broader in Sweden than it is elsewhere.
http://bit.ly/2msiGYT.

Keywords: Sexual harassment
Countries: Sweden
More
Czech minister of Trade and Industry was dismissed because he...
Additional details: Czech minister of Trade and Industry was dismissed because he refused to remove the commercials of his departments from one of the disinformation websites (parlamentnilisty.cz).
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2l2wsFz
Disinforming outlet(s): bezpolitickekorektnosti.cz
Reported by: Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) within framework of the Centre for International Relations‘ project co-financed by the Visegrad Fund
Disproof note:

The dismissal of the minister was caused by controversies connected to new legislation about mobile tariffs and his lack of communication with the public http://bit.ly/2lfuexD.

Keywords: Information war
Countries: Czech Republic
More
Kazakh president nominated to Nobel Peace Prize
Additional details: Kazakh president nominated to Nobel Peace Prize
Language / Targeted audience: English
Link to the disinformation: http://bit.ly/2mlqa3I
Disinforming outlet(s): BakuNetwork
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The information comes from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch, which is not the official Nobel Committee. The real Nobel Committtee keeps all nominees a secret for 50 years http://bit.ly/2ljshjA, so there is no credible information suggestiong that the President of Kazakhstan is nominated. In last years list from the Nobel Peace Prize Watch the eventual Laureate Mr Juan Manuel Santos http://bit.ly/2cWwydr was not even among the nominations which suggests that they do not in fact have the information they claim to have. http://bit.ly/2ljkWk8.

Keywords: Other
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