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Kremlin Propagandist Doubting the Religion of Denial

January 16, 2020

Iran’s admission to shooting down Ukrainian International Airlines’ flight 752 has created big problems for the pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets. This is clearly visible in this week’s cases of disinformation.

The pro-Kremlin media started its well-oiled disinformation machinery along well-known narratives: profit-hungry Ukrainians used an old, derelict aircraft, ready for scrapping; only the US had the capacity to shoot down the aircraft – and is methodically shooting down civilian planes; PS752 collided with a US spy drone; the US shot down the aircraft to put the blame on Iran, and selected an Ukrainian aircraft, as the Ukrainians always will support their puppet-masters; the video, allegedly showing a missile hit, is likely staged; and generally, falling Boeings have become a US secret weapon.

All, normal, comfortable Kremlin-standard lies, easy to produce, easy to repeat. Iran’s decision to respect the victims of the disaster; admit to a terrible mistake, give access to the crash site for experts and cooperate with international bodies has demanded serious spinning from Moscow. How to emphasise that “The West” is still to blame? Well, according to the pro-Kremlin outlets, Iran caved in for pressure – or for some profitable deal; Iran fell in a US trap; the Iranian air-defence operator might have been recruited by the US.

Deny Everything!

In a Twitter thread, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of Russian state broadcaster RT, is expressing envy with Iran:

There are two religions concerning how a large and demanding respect for itself country should behave itself in case of a disastrous screw-up. The first suggests that the country should enter into a state of strong denial; admit to nothing, atone for nothing. Or everything will get much worse. Well, just because. Most responsible comrades in most powerful countries, including ours, adhere to this one.

The other religion suggests that one should act like Iran. This is closer to me. For simple human reasons. In my system of values, Iran acted like a real man.

Screen-shot of Margarita Simonyan’s Twitter account.

Simonyan is a key figure in the pro-Kremlin disinformation system. Are we witnessing the advent of a new approach from Russian state media? Is “deny everything” not standard operational procedure anymore? Judging from this week’s cases, nyet, not yet. The same old lies are repeated: on MH17, on the aggressive West, on Russia’s role in Ukraine, on the deaths of 14 persons in Vilnius 1991

This week also demonstrates a systematic campaign against Poland. Pro-Kremlin media is accusing Poland for starting WWII, for waging information war against Russia and planning for future wars. The Kremlin media is, in line with Simonyan’s statement above, careful never to admit Russia’s mistakes, never to atone for wrongdoings, never take responsibility.

This Week’s Weirdest:

In the perpetual competition of Weird Disinfo, the following three can be noted from this week’s cases:

The Kremlin’s propagandists might be losing their religion, but the cult itself remains strong.


related disinfo cases

Date
Title
Outlets
Country
13.01.2020
  • Rubaltic.ru
Lithuania
13.01.2020
  • southfront.org
Iran, US
13.01.2020
  • 60 minut @Rossiya 1 - YouTube
Poland, Baltic states
13.01.2020
  • 60 minut @Rossiya 1 - YouTube
UK
13.01.2020
  • baltnews.lt
Lithuania
13.01.2020
  • rossaprimavera.ru
Lithuania
12.01.2020
  • it.sputniknews.com
Estonia
12.01.2020
  • it.sputniknews.com
China, US, Russia
12.01.2020
  • Rossia 24 - YouTube
Ukraine
12.01.2020
  • ge.news-front.info
Canada
12.01.2020
  • Pravda.ru ,
  • Pervyi Kanal
Iran, UK
12.01.2020
  • Rossia 24 - YouTube
Poland
11.01.2020
  • vz.ru
Iran
11.01.2020
  • vz.ru
Iran, US
11.01.2020
  • vz.ru
Iran, US
11.01.2020
  • vz.ru
Iran, Ukraine
11.01.2020
  • russian.rt.com
Iran
10.01.2020
  • hu.news-front.info
Iran, US, Ukraine
10.01.2020
  • RIA,
  • www.1lurer.am,
  • www.168.am
Armenia, Russia
10.01.2020
  • pl.sputniknews.com
Poland, Germany, Russia
10.01.2020
  • pl.sputniknews.com
Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Russia
10.01.2020
  • pl.sputniknews.com
Poland, Russia
10.01.2020
  • pl.sputniknews.com
China, Poland
10.01.2020
  • sputniknews.com
Poland, Germany
10.01.2020
  • RT English
Estonia, Russia
10.01.2020
  • kp.ru
Iran, US, Russia
10.01.2020
  • tsargrad.tv,
  • ren.tv
Iran
10.01.2020
  • Komsomolskaya Pravda - Kazakhstan
Iran, US
09.01.2020
  • RT France - YouTube
UK, US, Ukraine, Russia
09.01.2020
  • ross-bel.ru,
  • Civic initiative Soyuz
US, Belarus, Baltic states, Russia
09.01.2020
  • topwar.ru
US
08.01.2020
  • ru.armeniasputnik.am
Iran, US
08.01.2020
  • Moskovskij Komsomolets,
  • PolitPuzzle
Iran, US, Ukraine
08.01.2020
  • tsargrad.tv
Iran, Ukraine
07.01.2020
  • gazeta.ru,
  • iz.ru,
  • rusvesna.su
Ukraine
06.01.2020
  • Geopolitica.ru - Italian
US
06.01.2020
  • Geopolitica.ru - Italian
China, Iran, Israel, US, Russia
05.01.2020
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • hathalyoum.net,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • yemen.shafaqna.com
Iraq, Syria, US
04.01.2020
  • oneworld.press,
  • orientalreview.org
UK, The Netherlands, Ukraine
01.01.2020
  • news-front.info
Ukraine
31.12.2019
  • mundo.sputniknews.com
Estonia
30.12.2019
  • it.sputniknews.com
Italy, Turkey, US
29.12.2019
  • sptnkne.ws,
  • m.alwafd.news
Ukraine, Russia
28.12.2019
  • Strategic Culture Foundation,
  • Russia-insider.com
US
27.12.2019
  • Sputnik Estonia
Estonia
26.12.2019
  • arabic.sputniknews.com,
  • youm7.com,
  • akhbarelyom.com,
  • elwatannews,
  • bbcnews1.com,
  • bbcnews1.com,
  • m.akhbarelyom.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • bbcnews1.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • trend4dm.com,
  • arriyada.net,
  • alhilalalyoum.com,
  • agwarnews.net,
  • abudhabi-news.com,
  • abudhabi-news.com,
  • elbayan-news.com,
  • elbayan-news.com,
  • elbayan-news.com,
  • shahennews.com,
  • sada-ar.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • albawabhnews.com,
  • masr20.com,
  • youm7.com,
  • almasryalyoum.com,
  • abudhabi-news.com,
  • albidda.net,
  • sabq-sa.com,
  • masr20.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • voiceofbeladynews.com,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • news-araby.com,
  • masr20.com,
  • mangish.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • news.miralnews.com,
  • akherkhabrtoday.com,
  • masrawyfm.com,
  • watan-m3k.com,
  • uk-arabicnews.com,
  • uk-arabicnews.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • rosaelyoussef.com,
  • albawabhnews.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • barq-org.sa,
  • Wikimsrweb.com,
  • 6060news.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • belbalady.net,
  • egysaudi.com,
  • arabyoum.com,
  • elgornal.net,
  • akherkhabrtoday.com,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • alderaah-news.net,
  • alsharqtimes.com,
  • medanelakhbar.com,
  • Khabaralyoum
Russia
25.12.2019
  • ru.armeniasputnik.am
Baltic states, Russia
23.12.2019
  • Podneprovie
Belarus, Russia
23.12.2019
  • Sputnik Estonia
Estonia
22.12.2019
  • RT Arabic - YouTube,
  • arabic.rt.com
US
20.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • hamsnews.com,
  • middle-east.sahafahn.net
Russia
20.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • alghad.tv,
  • syriafriends.net,
  • rtarab.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • nafeza2world.com,
  • albidda.net,
  • akhbarlibya
Ukraine, Russia
20.12.2019
  • iravunk.com
Armenia
20.12.2019
  • lb.shafaqna.com,
  • arabic.rt.com
Baltic states, Ukraine
20.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • lb.shafaqna.com
Ukraine, Russia
20.12.2019
  • teleskop-by.org,
  • Sonar2050,
  • Podneprovie
USSR, Belarus, Russia
19.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • newhub.org,
  • Khabaralyoum
18.12.2019
  • News Front - Serbian,
  • Večernje novosti,
  • rs.sputniknews.com,
  • RT English,
  • Russia’s Armed Forces newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda,
  • ru.armeniasputnik.am
Poland, Baltic states, Russia
17.12.2019
  • ru.armeniasputnik.am
16.12.2019
  • Ura.news,
  • lenta.ru,
  • utro.ru,
  • vz.ru,
  • RIA,
  • aif.ru
Ukraine, Russia
16.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • Lebanese-forces,
  • shehabnews.com,
  • amad,
  • beirut-news.com,
  • shamra.sy,
  • hamsnews.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • sahafah24,
  • hamsnews.com,
  • zahlealfatat.net,
  • alhemyarianews.com,
  • elarabielyoum.com,
  • satelnews.net,
  • emeknes.com,
  • alwassat.com,
  • waradana.com,
  • ajel.sahafahn.net,
  • elbayan-news.com,
  • abudhabi-news.com,
  • news.sahafahn.net,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • sabq-sa.com,
  • masr20.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • belbalady.net,
  • nafeza2world.com,
  • middle-east.sahafahn.net,
  • sada-ar.com,
  • middle-east.sahafahn.net,
  • alsadaranews.com,
  • news-araby.com,
  • albidda.net,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • akhbarlibya
Ukraine, Russia
15.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • RT Arabic - YouTube
Syria
14.12.2019
  • arabic.sputniknews.com
Russia
13.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com,
  • RT Arabic - YouTube
Italy, Russia
13.12.2019
  • shaamtimes.net,
  • Arabi today,
  • sahafah24.com,
  • Syrian News App,
  • arabic.sputniknews.com
UK, Syria, US
12.12.2019
  • sputnik-abkhazia.ru
USSR, Poland
12.12.2019
  • pl.sputniknews.com
Poland, Ukraine
12.12.2019
  • Pervyi Kanal
Ukraine
10.12.2019
  • arabic.sputniknews.com,
  • arabic.sputniknews.com,
  • awajelpress.com,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • almada.org
Ukraine, Russia
10.12.2019
  • sputnik.by
Estonia, Russia
09.12.2019
  • aqreqator.az,
  • Sputnik Azerbaijan - Russian
Ukraine, Russia
08.12.2019
  • Rossia 24 - YouTube
Ukraine
08.12.2019
  • tass.ru,
  • riafan.ru,
  • rg.ru,
  • iz.ru,
  • RIA,
  • news.ru
Ukraine, Russia
05.12.2019
  • arabic.rt.com
Georgia, Russia
04.12.2019
  • belvpo.com,
  • 4esnok.by
Poland, US, Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia