When you monitor and counter the constant flow of disinformation, even the wildest made-up stories hardly surprise you after time. But sometimes it really manages to get under your skin.

How would you measure the level of cynicism of the following statement on Russian TV?

“The Syria [chlorine] chemical attack footage is a fake. Maybe naked and wet kids are shivering because it is cold. Some of the kids are maybe unconscious, or maybe they are just sleeping. It is good if the photos of the victims are just staged and people did not get killed for the footage. NGO Swedish Doctors has accused the White Helmets of killing children for a realistic picture.”

RT published photos of the victims of the latest attack in Syria and framed them staged.

 

Three core messages

Immediately after the reports of a suspected chemical attack in Syrian Douma appeared, Russia reignited its disinformation campaign on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. This time, the efforts focused on three main lines:

1. The footage of suffering victims has been staged by the White Helmets (Russian Ministry of Defence),
2. The chemical attack is a fabricated story in general (Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
3. The aim is to distract the public from the lack of clarity over the Salisbury attack (Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN)

These messages were then picked up by media spreading pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Whereas past Russian disinformation over chemical attacks sought to accuse “anti-Assad terrorists” – see for example the earlier Khan Sheikhoun attack last year – the claim this time was that there was no attack at all. And that message was even published by some Western outlets.

In fact there is overwhelming evidence of the incident. The World Health Organisation estimated 500 patients went to health facilities with “signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals”. Syrian opposition activists, rescue workers and medics say tens of people were killed in a suspected chemical attack. Bellingcat published a detailed open source survey of it and the EU stated that the evidence points towards yet another chemical attack by the regime.

Disinformation on Salisbury attack continues

During the past two weeks, Russia continued to spread multiple different and contradictory theories on the Salisbury attack. The disinformation storm has already managed to capture the majority of the information space on social media.

Czech and Georgian language outlets were repeating one of the main messages about the UK being behind the ex-spy Sergei Skripal poisoning. But there were new lines created as well: for example that the Salisbury attack is a provocation to justify NATO’s military budget increase. The message about the Russophobic and/or Nazi West was further elaborated with claims that the West seeks to convince the world that Russians are a nation of criminals and that it is “Goebbels propaganda” to accuse Russia of the poisoning. And the theory was even advanced that there is no such substance as Novichok, so the UK is lying about the Salisbury attack.

See the UK government response for the facts and two of our earlier reports on disinformation about the attack.

The disinformation campaign also attempted to show the support Russia gets from Europe. It claimed Finnish politicians have concluded that it was the Ukrainian secret services that conducted the attack. In fact the European Union – and Finland as an EU member state – expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years.

See all the disinformation cases reported during past two weeks:

Ex-head of FSB suspects Ukraine poisoned Skripal
Additional details:


Ex-head of FSB Nikolai Kovalev suspects Ukraine poisoned Skripal. Group of nerve agents - known Novichok - has been stored in all the ex-Soviet countries. Anyone may be involved in Skripal case, Ukraine among others.

Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/news/20180313/1020047142.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia, Ukraine
More
The conspiracy to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter was arranged by Theresa May
Additional details: In any case, this was organised by Theresa May, because she's a friend of Gina Haspel, who has been just appointed director of the CIA.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): TV Zvezda, 0:33 (deleted from the website, available cached)
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given.

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Theresa May, Chemical weapons/attack, CIA
Countries: UK, Russia, US
More
Citizens of Latvia will be fined for Russian-language posts in Facebook
Additional details: Citizens of Latvia will be fined for Russian-language posts in Facebook.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkxxOTF6r_c
Disinforming outlet(s): PolitNews YouTube channel
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Disinformation is based on an article first published in a satire outlet.

Keywords: Facebook, Russian language, Ethnic Russians
Countries: Latvia
More
Novichok could have come from UK, Sweden, Czech Republic or Slovakia
Additional details: London used the poison "Novichok" in order to cause associations with Russia. Neither Russia nor the USSR has ever conducted research on the development of chemicals with the name "Novichok".

The most probable source of origin of the poison used in the attack in the UK is Great Britain, Slovakia, Czech Republic or Sweden.

"The West is just trying to fool everyone and look away from what they did on their own in Syria and Iraq,"
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=2996570
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The Russian MFA Spokesperson Zacharova repeats the unfounded allegations first aired by Sputnik without presenting any evidence. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden forcefully rejected her statements, and so did the competent authority on the topic in Sweden (the Swedish Defence Research Agency). https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ryssland-giftet-som-anvandes-mot-skripal-kan-ha-kommit-fran-sverige Later on, the Russian ambassador to Sweden stated that it was "a guess" without any facts supporting it https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ambassadoren-backar-efter-giftutspel

Also the Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky on Saturday denied Moscow's accusation that the nerve toxin used against a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England came from the Czech Republic. https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1GT0ML?__twitter_impression=true

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, The West
Countries: Slovakia, Czech Republic, UK, Russia, Sweden
More
Porton Down might be responsible for the chemical attack in the UK
Additional details: Porton Down is very close to the spot where the attack took place so they might be responsible, there are no evidence neither proving or disproving any theory at this point.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik based on Russian ambassador to the UK interviewed on British TV
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given.

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The toxin was identified as a nerve agent at Porton Down, which is Britain's military research base. They have not done tests with nerve agents since 1989, but are still able to identify these toxins, in order to protect British civilians and troops from attacks http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-43335148/porton-down-britain-s-secret-research-facility

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Georgia freely joined the USSR
Additional details: Georgia joined the Soviet Union in 1921 on own initiative and with free will.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: www.myvideo.ge/v/3541776
Disinforming outlet(s): TV Obiektivi
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Georgia was a sovereign, democratic republic by 1921, which USSR occupied after the war in February-March 1921. Neither the Government of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, nor the Constituent Assembly has recognised the Soviet occupation. Further debunking by Myth Detector http://www.mythdetector.ge/en/myth/host-tv-obiektivi-believes-georgia-voluntarily-joined-ussr-1921.

Keywords: USSR, Historical revisionism
Countries: Georgia
More
Finnish delegation on Crimea to build friendship bonds
Additional details: A Finnish delegation has reached out to Crimea and is now there to establish cooperation between Helsinki and Simferopol.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: utro.ru/economics/2018/03/13/1353721.shtml
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The Finns visiting Crimea does not in any way represent the Finnish state. It is a delegation led by well-known Pro-Kremlin propagandist Johan Bäckman.

Finland condemns the illegal annexation by Russia, which is against the international law. http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=373136&nodeid=15146&contentlan=2&culture=en-US

The European Union - and Finland as its member state - does not recognise the holding of elections by the Russian Federation in the Crimean peninsula. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/16/declaration-by-the-high-representative-federica-mogherini-on-behalf-of-the-eu-on-the-autonomous-republic-of-crimea-and-the-city-of-sevastopol/

For background on fake election observing missions, see: http://www.tango-noir.com/2018/01/29/european-council-on-democracy-and-human-rights-presidential-election-in-crimea-is-fair-free-and-legitimate/

 

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Finland
More
Crimea reunited with Russia following a coup
Additional details: Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014 following a referendum that showed overwhelming support for reunification amid a violent coup that ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and foreshadowed years of bloodshed in the east of the country.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Crimea is part of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and state that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States. There was no coup in Ukraine four years ago. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were not provoked from outside but were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT.

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Finnish election observer: Crimea is the most democratic place in the world
Additional details: 43 election observers from 20 countries came to observe the elections in Crimea. Finnish election observer and human rights activist Johan Bäckman says the Russian elections were transparent and democratic / there is a real democracy in Crimea / Crimea is the most democratic place in the world.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ria.ru, Interfax, Polit.info, Tass.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation regarding Finns visiting Crimea. Visitors do not in any way represent the Finnish state. It is a "delegation" led by well-known Pro-Kremlin propagandist Johan Bäckman.

Finland condemns the illegal annexation by Russia, which is against the international law. http://formin.finland.fi/public/default.aspx?contentid=373136&nodeid=15146&contentlan=2&culture=en-US

The European Union - and Finland as its member state - does not recognise the holding of elections by the Russian Federation in the Crimean peninsula. The OSCE/ODIHR observers did not conduct any activities in these illegally-annexed territories, participation of EU Member States' diplomats in observation activities within the framework of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM was also limited to the recognised territory of the Russian Federation. https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/41606/statement-presidential-elections-russian-federation_en

For background on fake election observing missions, see: http://www.tango-noir.com/2018/01/29/european-council-on-democracy-and-human-rights-presidential-election-in-crimea-is-fair-free-and-legitimate/

Keywords: Elections, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Finland
More
Romania prepares a "Maidan" to destroy Moldova
Additional details: There is less than ten days until the new Maidan with riots will start in Chisinau, with the ultimate goal to reunite Moldova with Romania.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: vz.ru/world/2018/3/16/912630.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Vzglad
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. There are no indications that Romania have plans to "reunite" with Moldova.

Keywords: EU, Colour revolutions, Euromaidan
Countries: Romania, Moldova
More
Ukraine’s Military command announces punitive Donbas campaign and Crimea offensive
Additional details: Ukraine’s military command announced a punitive campaign aimed at cleaning up Russian occupied Donbas and an offensive against Crimea.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/2387898.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The source for this fake story cited by all media who disseminated it is an officer from Ukraine’s Military General Staff Colonel Yuriy Bobrov who held a briefing in Kyiv on March 6 to discuss Ukraine’s new law on reintegration of the Donbas and de-occupation of Crimea, Ukraine’s peninsula that Russia annexed in 2014. Not at any time during the briefing did Bobrov speak about a campaign or an offensive.

Keywords: Military, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Crimea
Countries: Ukraine
More
US ‘rudely and insolently cheated Russia’ during Ukraine coup
Additional details: "Our American partners called us and asked to do everything – and that’s almost a quote – to ensure that Yanukovich didn’t use the army, so that the opposition could clear the squares and governmental buildings on its own terms and go on towards the implementation of the agreement,”

The Western “partners” gave no warning about what he called a “coup,” which they supported.

 
Language / Targeted audience: English
Link to the disinformation: www.rt.com/news/420785-ukraine-coup-us-putin/
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

There was no coup in Ukraine four years ago. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were not provoked from outside but were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.

Further debunking by Polygraph.info https://www.polygraph.info/a/ukrainian-maidan-was-not-a-coup/29098965.html

Keywords: Western values, Coup, Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
Ukrainian trace in Skripal poisoning
Additional details: Given that Novichok was stored on the territory of the former Soviet republics, the Ukrainian trace is also possible.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: lenta.ru/news/2018/03/13/gde_ugodno/
Disinforming outlet(s): Lenta.ru and others
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, no evidence given.

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: USSR, Russia, Ukraine
More
Emmanuel Macron congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the presidential election
Additional details: Emmanuel Macron congratulated Vladimir Putin on winning the presidential election and spoke in favour of continuing joint work aimed at the further expansion of multifaceted Russian-French cooperation, in particular, between civil societies, as part of the Trianon Dialogue.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Link to the disinformation: en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57093
Disinforming outlet(s): Kremlin.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

President Emmanuel Macron did not congratulate Putin on winning the presidential election. http://www.elysee.fr/communiques-de-presse/article/communique-entretien-telephonique-entre-emmanuel-macron-president-la-republique-et-vladimir-poutine-president-de-la-federation-de-russie/

He wished Russia and its people success in political, democratic, economic and social modernisation. President Macron also took the opportunity to raise his concerns over the Skripal poisoning "The President of the Republic called on the Russian authorities to shed light on the responsibilities related to the unacceptable attack on Salisbury, and to take firm control of any programs that have not been declared to the Organization for prohibition of chemical weapons. He informed the Russian President of the measures taken to ensure the safety of our fellow citizens."

Further debunking by the Insider: https://theins.ru/antifake/95577

Keywords: Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin
Countries: Russia, France
More
US congressmen demanded new sanctions against Russia based on their feeling
Additional details: US congressmen demanded new sanctions against Russia based on their feeling.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WcirZkSGyw
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi Kanal, 41:58
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The disinformation refers to a letter that a group of 140 House Democrats wrote to President Donald Trump to urge him to impose sanctions. https://democrats-foreignaffairs.house.gov/sites/democrats.foreignaffairs.house.gov/files/Russia%20Sanctions%20Letter%203.12.pdf

The disinformation argument goes that because Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee had completed a draft report (not made public yet) concluding there was no collusion or coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, the urge to impose sanctions is based on "feelings". The letter above, however, does not mention collusion, but "meddling in American democracy" and "interference in the elections".

In fact the draft report by Republicans agrees with the intelligence assessment on most other details, including that Russians did meddle in the election. https://apnews.com/dc7c4ec1be104801aefd46313fadb01b/Draft-GOP-report:-No-coordination-between-Trump-and-Russia

The US Intelligence Community assessment 2017 https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf stated that "Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment states that 13 Russian citizens "from in or around 2014 to the present, knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016." https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download

Read more on the sanctions imposed on Russian individuals and entities March 15: https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0312, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions/u-s-sanctions-russians-for-meddling-but-not-putins-oligarchs-idUSKCN1GR23B

Keywords: election meddling, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, US
More
The West is using Crimea to bargain with Russia for better positions
Additional details: As long as the West [---] is using Crimea to trade with Russia - for gas, for relationships, for opening markets, for preserving GTS [gas transportation system] in Ukraine - until then they [the West] will use it.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=chsYLe9gP54
Disinforming outlet(s): Mesto vstrechi @NTV, 26:09
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

The EU prolonged recently the sanctions against Russia because of the illegal annexation of Crimea.  http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/12/eu-prolongs-sanctions-over-actions-against-ukraine-s-territorial-integrity-until-15-september-2018/?utm_source=dsms-auto&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EU%20prolongs%20sanctions%20over%20actions%20against%20Ukraine%27s%20territorial%20integrity%20until%2015%20September%202018

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Russia, The West
More
International observers impressed by the elections in Russia
Additional details: International election observers deemed the presidential elections in Russia to be well organised and conducted in a correct and fair manner in comparison to Western countries, "in Russia people can express their will in a more direct and free way without the interference of those lobbies that work behind the scenes".
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

None of the sources used by Sputnik are signatories to the declaration of principles for international election observation and code of conduct for international elections observations https://www.ndi.org/declaration_endorsing_orgs. Sputnik does not mention the statement by Russian presidential election was well administered, but characterized by restrictions on fundamental freedoms and a lack of genuine competition https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/375661.

The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and therefore does not recognise the holding of elections in the Crimean peninsula. The OSCE/ODIHR observers did not conduct any activities in these illegally-annexed territories, participation of EU Member States' diplomats in observation activities within the framework of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM was also limited to the recognised territory of the Russian Federation. The EU remains unwavering in its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/41606/statement-presidential-elections-russian-federation_en

Keywords: Western values, Elections, OSCE
Countries: Russia
More
The UK secret services ordered Sergei Skripal poisoning and used this to influence Russian elections
Additional details: The UK secret services ordered Sergei Skripal poisoning. They used this "sacrificial victim" to influence Russian elections.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 19:00
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, election meddling, Secret services
Countries: UK, Russia
More
With the Skripal case, the West aims to make Russia unable to oppose the dictate of the US and its European allies
Additional details: With the Skripal case, the West aims to make Russia unable to oppose the diktat of the US and its European allies.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @Rossiya 1, 12:00
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: Europe, Russia, US
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UK accuses Russia for Skripal poisoning to divert attention from scandals like the mass paedophilia that for years thrived in Britain
Additional details: UK accuses Russia for Skripal poisoning to divert attention from scandals like the mass paedophilia that for years thrived in Britain.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 48:00, Ria.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Furthermore, the existence of "mass paedophilia" and similar claims is a recurring theme in pro-Kremlin disinformation to discredit the West as immoral https://euvsdisinfo.eu/from-objective-reporting-to-myths-and-propaganda-the-story-of-ria/, https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=paedophilia&disinfo_issue=&date=.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Paedophilia
Countries: UK, Russia
More
With the Skripal case UK aims to talk up the Russian threat and justify more troops in the Baltics, where the far right is busy rewriting history
Additional details: With the Skripal case UK aims to talk up the Russian threat and justify more troops in the Eastern Europe and Baltics, where the far right is busy rewriting history.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yJVxIgHvJ4
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli @NTV, 48:45
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Furthermore, the Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic's came about due to Russia's illegal and aggressive military actions against its neighbours https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_133169.htm. No evidence is given for the statement about the far right rewriting history in the Baltic's, but pro-Kremlin disinformation often uses historical revisionism https://euvsdisinfo.eu/?s=historical+revisionism

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Warmongering
Countries: UK, Russia, Baltic states
More
Skripal was involved in the smuggling of chemical weapons
Additional details: Skripal was involved in the smuggling of chemical weapons.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.kp.ru/daily/26807.7/3842154/
Disinforming outlet(s): Komsomolskaya Pravda
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Further debunking by Julia Davis: https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/975472254107701249

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, Russia
More
West uses Skripal case to harm Russia's reputation as a peacemaker
Additional details: Direct connection between Russia's undeniable progress in Syria and Skripal case, with the West using it to harm Russia's reputation as a peacemaker.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Rossiya 24
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Further debunking by Julia Davis: https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/975472254107701249

Furthermore, Russia does not have the best record as a "peacemaker" as they support Assad and have bombed civilians in Syria https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/02/syria-eastern-ghouta-russia/554246/ and using those vents for disinformation purposes https://euvsdisinfo.eu/syria-attack-a-predictable-disinformation-strategy/. Russia repeatedly cast veto of United Nations Security Council action on Syria https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-chemicalweapons/russia-casts-10th-u-n-veto-on-syria-action-blocking-inquiry-renewal-idUSKBN1DG31I even if the UN Security Council-mandated investigation concluded that both ISIL and the Syrian government have been responsible for chemical attacks in Syria https://news.un.org/en/story/2017/11/570192-both-isil-and-syrian-government-responsible-use-chemical-weapons-un-security.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Anti-Russian
Countries: UK, Russia, Syria
More
UK secret services/Ukraine/Exiled Russian oligarchs/hypothetical Browder all potential suspects behind Skripal poisoning
Additional details: UK secret services/Ukraine/Exiled Russian oligarchs/hypothetical Browder are all potential suspects behind Skripal poisoning.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti nedeli @Rossiya 1
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Further debunking by Julia Davis: https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/975472254107701249

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: UK, Russia, Ukraine
More
Skripal was poisoned by his daughter's mother-in-law
Additional details: Skripal was poisoned by his daughter's mother-in-law to be.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Mk.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media, the only connecting thread being to confuse their audience and exclude any possibility of Russian involvement https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=.

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html, https://theconversation.com/what-we-know-about-novichok-the-newby-nerve-agents-linked-to-russia-93264.

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Novichok could have come from UK, Sweden, Czech Republic or the Baltic states
Additional details: After chemical weapons were destroyed in Russia [which was confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2017], its development continued in the United Kingdom itself as well as in the Czech Republic and Sweden. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the laboratories for the production of above-mentioned class toxic agents remained in a number of other countries, including in the Baltic states.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html. It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden forcefully rejected the allegations, and so did the competent authority on the topic in Sweden (the Swedish Defence Research Agency). https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ryssland-giftet-som-anvandes-mot-skripal-kan-ha-kommit-fran-sverige. Later on, the Russian ambassador to Sweden stated that it was "a guess" without any facts supporting it https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ambassadoren-backar-efter-giftutspel.

Also the Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky on Saturday denied accusation that the nerve toxin used against a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England came from the Czech Republic. https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1GT0ML?__twitter_impression=true

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: OPCW, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, The West
Countries: Czech Republic, UK, Baltic states, Sweden
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