We have described in the past how pro-Kremlin media have attacked efforts to counter disinformation, see for example http://bit.ly/2fNSKqe or http://bit.ly/2hiVJFx. According to Zerohedge.com (http://bit.ly/2hJA9JY), the war on fake news is a war on free speech. In an article which was quickly translated into Czech (http://bit.ly/2hJiZNR), all such fakes and distortions are described simply as “alternative” news sources. In the website paulcraigroberts.org, we saw material (again promptly translated into Czech: http://bit.ly/2hx3avK) quoting Zerohedge and claiming that the proposed American law countering disinformation and propaganda (http://bit.ly/1R5VOqv) is “a law against telling the truth” (http://bit.ly/2heUOFY).

Escalation in Ukraine

Already two weeks ago, we showed you the parallel between the rise of disinformation targeting Ukraine in the information space, and military activity on the ground (http://bit.ly/2hrUtDG). This trend has continued. As the fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk escalated (http://bit.ly/2hMoX2W), so did the discrediting of Ukraine in pro-Kremlin media. Ukrainian forces were accused of hitting a civilian car with a tank (http://bit.ly/2hVWJTU) – but the residents in the village have heard nothing of the alleged deaths nor has the OSCE monitoring mission (http://bit.ly/2gZMHAY). Ukraine was also accused of violating Russian airspace over Crimea (http://bit.ly/2gVFDSP), though of course the airspace over Crimea is not Russian but Ukrainian (http://bit.ly/2gTMOcn). Further claims, disproved in this week’s table, were that Ukraine is paying over the odds for European gas (http://bit.ly/2hxmCrV); that the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister accused the EU of betrayal (http://bit.ly/2gP7yCf); that Ukrainian soldiers sell fuel in order to buy clothes (http://bit.ly/2gZ7wuI); and that there are only three ways forward for Ukraine: to be returned to Russia, to be divided or to be subjected to a coup (http://bit.ly/2hr1C6s).

Aleppo

Many of the themes that we have reported on regularly with regard to the conflict in Ukraine (e.g. http://bit.ly/2h5e9M3) have been seen this week with regard to the situation in Aleppo (http://bit.ly/2hRA73E, http://bit.ly/2hPC03t, http://bit.ly/2i46HTd).

One video, which was widely shared via well-known conspiracy theory sites, pro-Kremlin media and social networks, was presented in these outlets as an independent journalist telling off mainstream media at a UN press conference (http://bit.ly/2h44h6X). In fact this was not a UN-organised press conference but an event organised by the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations. The “independent journalist”, moreover, is in fact someone openly in favour of the Syrian government and who recently went on a tour of Aleppo invited by the Syrian government. She also frequently appears on Russia Today (where she has been cited for her claims that mainstream media is lying about Syria, that there are no international organisations on the ground and that the White helmets are not saving lives in Aleppo http://bit.ly/2hwDwIc); and she is cited by well-known conspiracy theory sites.

Among the claims she makes in the video is that the bombing of Al Quds hospital in Aleppo earlier this year was a fake and never happened. For her proof she cites Russian satellite images which have been disproven by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (http://bit.ly/2gJhVaN). Moreover the bombing was also confirmed as true by Medicines Sans Frontiers at the scene (http://bit.ly/2hhIvsE).

The EU was criticised by several Kremlin representatives this week for its lack of humanitarian support in Syria. The MFA’s spokesperson blamed EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and EU Council President Donald Tusk for spreading disinformation concerning humanitarian aid to Syria (http://bit.ly/2gT3KzY). A Russian MoD spokesperson called claims that thousands of people were trapped in Aleppo “Russophobic chatter” (http://bit.ly/2gDyJVg), while Foreign Minister Lavrov claimed that the West is lying about Russia hindering access for humanitarian aid in the area (http://bit.ly/2gKfsQm). The Russian ambassador to the EU and an MoD spokesperson both claimed that the EU does not engage in delivering humanitarian aid to Syria (http://bit.ly/2hCcL4S, http://bit.ly/2hBY2qm), while Deputy Foreign Minister Rybakov blamed UN special envoy for Syria Staffan di Mistura for the failure in Syria (http://bit.ly/2hAZjv8). In fact Russia has twice vetoed UN Security Council resolutions aiming to secure the delivery of humanitarian aid to Aleppo (http://bit.ly/1O5yESF). The EU is the leading donor in the international response to the Syrian crisis since the beginning of the conflict (http://bit.ly/2hr9zZ3).

Disinformation cases reported in the previous week


related disinfo cases

18.12.2016
Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal, time 02:19
Syria
18.12.2016
Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal, time 08:08
Syria
18.12.2016
Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal, time 09:08
Turkey, The West, Saudi Arabia
17.12.2016
riafan.ru
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17.12.2016
Theinternationalreporter.org
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17.12.2016
RT
Syria
16.12.2016
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Rybakov in TASS
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16.12.2016
Georgia and the World
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16.12.2016
Interfax
EU, Syria
16.12.2016
TASS
Russia, EU, Syria
15.12.2016
RIA Novosti
Syria
15.12.2016
Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov in TASS
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15.12.2016
Sputnik CZ
Ukraine, EU
15.12.2016
Baltnews.ee
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15.12.2016
AC24 Zero Hedge
United States
15.12.2016
Protiproud
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15.12.2016
RT, AC24
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14.12.2016
RT
Russia, Sweden
14.12.2016
RT
Russia, The West
14.12.2016
End time hour account on Youtube
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14.12.2016
RuBaltic
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14.12.2016
Nová Republika
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14.12.2016
Baltnews.lv
Ukraine
14.12.2016
Parlamentní Listy
The West, Germany
13.12.2016
Sputnik
Russia, Syria
13.12.2016
RIA Novosti
Russia, The West, Syria
13.12.2016
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sputnik
Russia, The West, Syria
13.12.2016
miaistok.su
Ukraine
13.12.2016
RIA Novosti
UK, Ukraine, EU
13.12.2016
Nová Republika
Austria, Czech Republic
12.12.2016
Russia Today
Syria
12.12.2016
TV Zvezda
Ukraine, EU
12.12.2016
rian.com.ua
Europe, Russia, Ukraine
12.12.2016
Baltnews.lv
Ukraine
12.12.2016
Parlamentní listy
Czech Republic, Russia
11.12.2016
Svpressa.ru
Russia, Ukraine
09.12.2016
Svět kolem nás
Greece, Spain
08.12.2016
Parlamentní listy Paul Craig Robert’s Blog
US
08.12.2016
Protiproud
Czech Republic, Russia, EU, US
08.12.2016
TASS
Ukraine, Germany
07.12.2016
life.ru
Ukraine, US
05.12.2016
Parlamentní listy
Austria
05.12.2016
Svobodné noviny
Czech Republic
05.12.2016
Parlamentní listy
Czech Republic, Sweden
04.12.2016
GEFIRA, Zero Hedge, AC24, Ceske aktualne
Europe
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ukraina.ru
Ukraine
29.11.2016
ukraina.ru
Russia, Ukraine
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Vesti.ru
Ukraine