Pro-Kremlin disinformation seemingly has no limits. In Russia’s war on truth, no topic is too taboo, no claim too outrageous. But even so, amid the endless web of lies and misrepresentations, the disinformation campaign surrounding Russia’s downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 – a crime that took 298 innocent lives – stands out for its viciousness.

Since 2015, EUvsDisinfo has collected over 120 pro-Kremlin disinformation cases on MH17. The disinformation ranges from blatant insults to the memory of the deceased – claiming that the dead bodies didn’t look “fresh” and had been loaded onto the plane prior to its departure from Amsterdam – to outlandish conspiracies, like that MH17 was in fact Flight MH370, which had mysteriously disappeared over the South Pacific a few months earlier.

Above all, the relentless stream of pro-Kremlin disinformation sought to blame Ukraine and cover up the truth of Russia’s responsibility for the tragedy. And when this did not work in face of hard evidence meticulously collected by international investigators and independent journalists, Russia’s disinformation machine turned to trusty narratives invoking Russophobia (see: Russia is demonised by being blamed for the downing of MH17), moral superiority (see: Russia could not have shot down the flight MH17 because of the moral imperatives of its authorities), truth relativization  (see: It is unlikely that the truth about the downing of MH17 will soon be found), and counter-accusations (see: the investigators were silent following new Russian claims on MH17).

This week is significant for everyone who wants truth and justice to prevail in the MH17 case. On Wednesday, the Joint Investigation Team announced that it will issue international arrest warrants for three Russian military and intelligence officers – Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov – and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, commander of the military combat unit in Donetsk. They will be prosecuted for their involvement in the murder of the 298 passengers aboard MH17, which was brought down by a Russian Buk missile. The trial will begin next March. In the meantime, the disinformation campaign surrounding MH17 is unlikely to abate, and we will be there to expose it. Pro-Kremlin outlets are already claiming that the investigation’s evidence is based on a lie, that the suspects’ names were randomly taken from social media, and that the missile type was only used in Ukraine.

 

 

Ungrateful Poland

On June 12th, US President Donald Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a new defense agreement in Washington that will station an additional 1,000 US troops in Poland on a rotational basis, supplementing the current contingent of around 5,000.

As usual, the pro-Kremlin media took its cue from the state authorities and enthusiastically kept the ball rolling with its distorted framing of the defence agreement. The disinformation cases we logged on this subject fell into two common narrative categories: 1) Western encirclement of Russia, and 2) US imperialism and puppeteering in Europe.

We were told that the US is creating a “military cordon” around Russia and will shoot at Russia using Poland’s hands. Poland, in fact, is Washington’s Trojan horse in Europe and a puppet government, serving as a “battering ram” for advancing US special interests on the continent. Poland’s national sovereignty is thus non-existent, with Warsaw relying on its “overseas masters” to determine the course of its geopolitics. But the US always abandons its allies, so it’s only a matter of time until Poland is crying bitter tears.

In truly comical irony, the pro-Kremlin media also accused Poland for its ingratitude to Russia. We probably shouldn’t be too surprised – after all, historical revisionism is one of the things Russian state media do best. Pervyi Kanal actually claimed that Russia gave Poland its independence, and that it is thanks to Russia that Poland exists as a country today. For several centuries, Russia guaranteed Poland’s security; 600,000 Soviet soldiers died liberating Poland from Nazi Germany! Then, when Poland was a member of the Warsaw Pact, Russia gave Poland everything, including fuel, oil, and industry! And really – who could possibly want more than that? Of what significance are things like democracy, freedom, human rights, or national sovereignty when you’ve got fuel, oil, and industry? And considering that these latter things were not even plentiful in communist times, there isn’t any grain of truth in this claim.

 

 

The American business-cowboy

The theme of US imperialism and meddling in Europe continued with gusto this week. According to the pro-Kremlin media, the US supposedly has its dirty fingers everywhere, from Ukraine, to Eastern Europe, to Denmark over its agenda regarding Nord Stream 2. We are told that Europe, facing political collapse due to Brexit, is unable to resist the pressure of the American business-cowboy. Not sure what that means, but it sure sounds rapacious!

It is the US (never Russia!) that has financed the “civil war” in Donbas, and all the talk of “holding Russia back” is nothing more than a pretext for promoting America’s military presence in Europe. The US has even given the Ukrainian capital a new name! And Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is also beholden to Americans – not to Donald Trump, but to the mighty Clinton clan, for whom Russia is the key enemy of a perfect world in which preschool children wave LGBT flags.

Meanwhile, Washington’s anti-Russian machinations to stop Nord Stream 2 are supposedly raging full steam ahead. The pro-Kremlin media allege that America’s opposition to the pipeline is motivated by the desire to destroy Europe, one of its main economic competitors. Denmark, which has moved to delay Nord Stream’s construction pending an environmental impact assessment, is accused of acting under pressure from the US, since its government by itself would not dare to “undertake such an adventure” against Russia and Germany. And Germany’s Green Party, which was successful in the recent European elections and opposes Nord Stream 2, is funded by George Soros and follows US neo-liberal policy.

Variety is the spice of life… and of disinformation, too. Until next week!

Update: A previous version of this text incorrectly stated the number of people who died in the MH17 crash. There were 298 victims, not 289.

MH17: Suspects' names randomly taken from social media
Additional details: It's the same as always: The Bad Russians are guilty of everything. These names are taken from social media, and so are the so called evidence

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad.tv
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

 

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

 

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

 

Keywords: War in Ukraine, MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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Washington is behind Denmark's attempts to obstruct the construction of Nord Stream 2
Additional details: Denmark can delay the construction of Nord Stream 2 under various false pretexts, including environmental ones. The country has already turned down two proposals for the pipeline’s route even though they did not pose problems. By itself Denmark would dare to undertake such an adventure against Russia and Germany. Washington’s shadow stands behind Denmark's back.

For the US, this is a win-win development. First, in case construction of Nord Stream 2 is delayed, Russia would have to prolong a transit agreement with Ukraine's Naftogaz company. Second, if Russian gas is not delivered to the EU through the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, then the EU would have to buy American liquefied gas.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): www.sonar2050.org (1:24 - 4:45)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is a conspiracy with no proof of US influence over Denmark on the issue of the Nord Stream II pipeline construction. It is consistent with the lost sovereignty narrative frequently promoted by pro-Kremlin disinformation sources and follows other disinformation cases on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Denmark is a sovereign state and determines it's own security, foreign and environmental protection policies. The Danish Energy Agency has recently  requested to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the new possible route for the pipeline before giving a green light to build the last segment of the Nord Stream II. In 2017 Denmark has also adopted a law that allows it to block the construction of the pipeline passing through its territorial waters on the grounds of national security. The law has not been invoked.

See earlier examples of disinformation cases alleging that US bombers might target the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and that the US is threatening the EU and tries to stop the Nord Stream 2 project.

Keywords: Nord Stream 2, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: Denmark, Russia, US
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Washington financed the civil war in Donbas
Additional details: Washington has financed the hostilities (civil war) in Donbas. Therefore, all the talk about “holding back” Russia is just a pretext for promoting American military presence in Europe.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, especially its portrayal as a civil war. Additionally, the story also promotes the disinformation narrative that the US is destabilising the world, and Ukraine in particular.

Russia provoked and fuels the war in Ukraine; it is not a civil war. Overwhelming evidence confirms that Russia participates in the conflict in Ukraine sending mercenaries to Donbas. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court recognised 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".  The international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 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.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".  At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia  comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

Both Kyiv and Washington have stated that only the Minsk agreements can stop the war and ensure peace in this region.The US has called on Russia to cease hostilities and institute a full and comprehensive ceasefire, including cancelling the illegal sham elections it is organizing in the Russia-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine.

The US is firmly committed to supporting Ukrainian security and stability. The US has contributed funding and personnel to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) that is monitoring and providing daily reporting, particularly in the conflict regions in the east

Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: United States, Ukraine, US
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The goal of the "Chernobyl" series is to discredit the Belarusian power plant, Soviet legacy, and Belarus-Russia relations
Additional details: The true intention of the Chernobyl series is to put the issue of a nuclear power plant back on the agenda of Belarusian society. It aims to present Astravets NPP as a symbol of the insolvency of the Belarusian Government, just as the Chernobyl catastrophe became a symbol of the USSR's imminent collapse.

Before the Chernobyl series was released, the arguments against the Astravets NPP included a threat to salmon spawning, unwanted cooperation with Russia for its construction, and harm to Belarusian-Lithuanian relations.

The second goal behind the Chernobyl series is to promote negative sentiments towards the USSR and relations among post-Soviet countries, especially Belarus-Russia relations. It aims to show that no good can come out of Belarusian-Russian cooperation.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Teleskop
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is conspiracy consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the West’s anti-Belarusian and anti-Russian activities, and its attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

Chernobyl is a historical drama television series depicting the nuclear disaster of April 1986 and the unprecedented clean-up efforts that followed. The series premiered in the US and UK in early May 2019 and was acclaimed by critics. It is based  in large part on the recollections of Pripyat locals, as relayed by Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich in her book, Voices from Chernobyl. There is no proof of a hidden propagandistic agenda behind the series as alleged by this article.

A negative impact on wildlife and strained Belarusian-Lithuanian relations are among a number of other, often more serious arguments against the NPP construction, including the station's potential technological vulnerabilities. These arguments were provided by environmentalists years ago (see 2010 assessment) and many continue to be voiced at present (see April 2019 publication).

The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations. It also expressed regret that Belarus failed to provide the Committee with the information regarding the justification of the selection of the Astravets site over the alternatives.

Read more about pro-Kremlin disinformation based on the Chernobyl series here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Chernobyl, Nuclear issues, Russophobia, Conspiracy
Countries: USSR, Russia, Lithuania, Belarus
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Russia sanctions kill livestock in Finland
Additional details: Sanctions against Russia announced by Finland are the cause of the farmers' crisis. Russia sanctions are killing Finnish livestock.

It is false to state that Crimea was annexed. It was a democratic and geopolitical reaction by the autonomous Crimean administration to the coup d'état in Kyiv, which forced Ukraine's Russian population to respond to the anti-Russian security threat.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): MV-lehti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

It was Russia that banned the import of most of the food products from the EU, US, and other countries after Western countries introduced sanctions in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. Farmers in Finland are indeed facing economic problems, but the food import ban by Russia is only one of the reasons. The producer price for milk has decreased at the same time as energy and fertiliser prices have gone up.

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 2014 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. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation." Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

Human rights missions that travelled to Ukraine in 2014 did not find any evidence that the Russian minority was in danger:

1. The Advisory Committee’s Ad-hoc Report on the situation of national minorities in Ukraine, adopted on 1 April 2014, Council of Europe;

2. Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 15 June 2014;

3. Statement by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities on her Recent Visit to Ukraine, 4 April 2014.

MV-lehti's editor-in-chief resided for years in occupied Donetsk and founded another media outlet there. In the "About" section of the website the war in Ukraine is described as a "civil war", which is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. See the archived version of the web page here.

Keywords: illegal annexation, Anti-Russian, Coup, Sanctions, Crimea, Ethnic Russians
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Finland
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The Ukrainian authorities would burn Donbas residents at the stake if it were acceptable
Additional details: The Ukrainian army and authorities purposefully make the lives of Donbas residents unbearable. For instance, the army destroys water towers and power-relay stations.

Kyiv hates that Moscow has offered Russian citizenship to residents of the unrecognised Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. The Ukrainian authorities want the residents of these territories to suffer and their children to hide underground. Kyiv created the conditions for Donbas residents to die in torment from shelling, hunger, cold, and infections. However, they were saved by Russian humanitarian assistance.

In reality, Ukrainian authorities are only interested in the residents of Donbas as subjects of repression and judicial processes with charges of treason. If it were acceptable to burn them at the stake, the Ukrainian authorities would do it.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fond Strategicheskoy Kultury
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This case is an extreme variation of typical pro-Kremlin disinformation messages about Ukraine's alleged aggression and intimidation, particularly against Russian speakers living within its borders. It presents completely speculative and unfounded claims about Kyiv's policies concerning the Donetsk and Luhansk territories in order to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and army. There is no evidence that Kyiv is pursuing the harmful and violent policies against civilians described in the article.

The article turns the history of the Donbas conflict upside down, claiming that Russia is providing humanitarian assistance, when in fact Russia is responsible for the military conflict in the first place. Ukraine has repeatedly provided evidence of Russia's role in the war in the east of the country. In January 2017, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Kyiv filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice of the United Nations with the aim of bringing Russia to account for committing acts of terrorism and discrimination, which are the result of its illegal aggression against Ukraine. The lawsuit contains all the facts of Russian aggression against Ukraine, evidence of the illegal annexation of the Crimea, and the occupation of Donbas.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present.

Other examples of disinformation cases alleging discrimination against Donbas residents include claims about cut off water supplies to Luhansk and the prevention of Donbas residents from voting in the presidential elections.

 

Keywords: Russian expansionism, Ukrainian disintegration, Donbas, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine
Additional details: The DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine and are now fighting a civil war against the Ukrainian armed forces controlled by Kyiv, which are supported by the West.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): MV-lehti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

Donetsk and Luhansk are part of Ukraine and controlled by Russia-backed armed formations. Not a single country has recognised them as independent. The war in Ukraine was provoked by Russia - it is not a civil war.

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 Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government. Further debunk here.

MV-lehti's editor-in-chief resided for years in occupied Donetsk and founded another media outlet there. In the "About" section of the website the war in Ukraine is described as a "civil war", which is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. See the archived version of the web page here.

Keywords: DNR, Civil war, LNR
Countries: Ukraine
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Rumours about Russian military presence in Donbas come from linguistic misunderstanding
Additional details: When rural men from Western Ukraine were sent by the Ukrainian authorities to Donbas to take part in a military operation, they found themselves in a completely different territory with Russian as a dominant language. Hence most of them really believed that they fight with Russians, i.e. with Russia. Moreover, in contrast to Russian language with different words for the Russian language ('Russkiy') and for the concepts that have relation to Russia ('rossiyskiy'), in Ukrainian the same word 'rosiys'kyy' is used. Hence it followed for the military men from Western Ukraine that Russian speakers are Russians. As a result, until nowadays many believe that Russian soldiers are present in Donbas.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fond Strategicheckoy Kultury
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This narrative claims the war in Ukraine is a civil war and Russia has nothing to do with it. In reality this message is a conspiracy consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. It disregards a multitude of factual evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas. Consult the evidence database and publications with further evidence here and here.

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine, and it is not a civil war.

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.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilize, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

 

Keywords: Russian language, Donbas, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
A coup d'état occurred in Ukraine in 2013-2014
Additional details: A coup d'état took place in Kyiv in 2013-2014, supported by the West.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): MV-lehti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, this is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Euromaidan protests.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

MV-lehti's editor-in-chief resided for years in occupied Donetsk and founded another media outlet there. In the "About" section of the website the war in Ukraine is described as a "civil war", which is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. See the archived version of the web page here.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court 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 2014 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.

Keywords: Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Coup, Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine
More
Italy is being punished by the European Commission for supporting traditional values
Additional details: The Italian government has challenged the plans of the globalist elite to turn the EU into a superstate. Salvini criticizes the EU’s migration policy and sanctions against Russia, and calls for the preservation of traditional family values. "Friends of Soros" do not like this. For them, it is necessary to overthrow the disagreeable regime in Italy. They have already managed to do this trick in neighbouring Austria.

This is the reason why Brussels is persecuting Rome for violations of budgetary discipline with the possibility of a heavy fine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Katehon.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:
This is an unfounded conspiracy theory. The Lisbon Treaty regulates the mechanisms of relations between EU and the Member States.
In fact, the European Commission has recommended initiating disciplinary procedures against Italy because the country has failed to comply with rules on public debt. The Commission report states:
Italy's general government gross debt reached 132.2% of GDP in 2018, well above the 60% of GDP reference value of the Treaty, and Italy did not comply with the debt reduction benchmark in 2018 based on outturn data. Moreover, Italy is not projected to comply with the debt reduction benchmark in either 2019 or 2020 based on both the government plans and the Commission 2019 spring forecast.
For more cases about conspiracy theories regarding George Soros and "globalist elites", see here and here.
Keywords: euro, migration, European Commission, European values, Conspiracy, Sanctions
Countries: Italy, Austria, EU
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Armenia is under Soros' occupation
Additional details: It is clear that the country is occupied by Soros and other transnational institutions. Moreover, everyday day, the occupation deepens. The Soros Foundation is a distributor of degradation, perversion and immorality in the country. It is destroying the traditional family institute, the state and making the country a sectarist. During the second and third Presidents of Armenia, Soros and other structures were creating spies and trying to lobby. Now, after the coup d'etat in 2018, they are an institutional component of the government.
The Soros Open Society Foundation has nothing to do with democracy and civil society. It has been proved, once again, that the Soros Foundation serves foreign interests in Armenia. Over the last 2 years, the entirety of its grants go to liquidating traditional values and building a network of agents.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: iravunk.com/news/85994
Disinforming outlet(s): Iravunk.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Several disinformation narratives with no evidence given to back up claims. Conspiracy theories about Soros' occupation, destruction and being a part of government. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives portraying George Soros as a menace bent on destroying Armenia.

See here for similar cases and the most recent case here. The Soros Foundation has been supporting human rights, education, research, media and other democratic activities in Armenia since 1997.

There was no coup d'etat in 2018, but peaceful protests of hundreds of thousand people in response to Serzh Sargsyan's third consecutive term as the most powerful figure in Armenia

Related narratives include on the West's moral decay, the West as a threat to traditional values and promoter of sodomy.

Keywords: Western values, Occupation, Secret services, Perversion, George Soros
Countries: Armenia
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The Mueller investigation failed
Additional details: The Mueller investigation went up in smoke. Mueller himself resigned.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation decisively concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Specifically, Mueller's report declared that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election", with the first being the Internet Research Agency's disinformation campaign and social media operations to disrupt the election, and second being the Russian government's hacking operations against the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations. The findings of the Mueller investigation have led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter further election meddling attempts.

Mueller's formal resignation as special counsel on 29 May 2019 was wholly expected, coming as a result of the conclusion of the investigation.

See similar disinformation cases here, here, and here.

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller
Countries: Russia, US
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Ukraine is a failed state and will be split up
Additional details: The country's newly elected Jewish president and his team have proven that Ukraine is a failed state. The president and his team are led by the well-known Jewish oligarch. These individuals are actively participating in the collapse of the country. The recent presidential elections, results and further processes show that a new project has begun: the fragmentation of Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: livenews.am/press/2019/12736/03/11/02/
Disinforming outlet(s): Livenews.am
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's statehood and imminent collapse. Ukraine is not a failed state, contrary to the Kremlin's efforts to suggest otherwise.Several international institutions show that Ukraine’s economy has returned to growth after the recession of 2014-15 and accelerated in the first half of 2018. The real GDP growth for the whole of 2018 is now forecast at around 3.3%.

Furthermore, no evidence is given to support the speculative claim that newly elected president Zelenskyy and his team are involved in the collapse of the country. Disinformation about Ukraine's disintegration and collapse is a popular pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative. Similar cases are here, here and here.

The EU is among the strongest advocates of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. In a joint letter, EU leaders stressed their support to the President Zelenskyy after elections. EC President Donald Tusk stated, after his meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy:  "There can be no just Europe without an independent Ukraine. There can be no safe Europe without a safe Ukraine. To put it simply: there can be no Europe without Ukraine! Ukraine can count on the European Union, as always. We are and will remain your best friend and trusted ally".

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine, Jews, Ukrainian disintegration, Elections, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
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Zelenskyy continues a monstrous experiment to turn Ukrainians into the enemies of Russians
Additional details: Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes the same speeches as Poroshenko did. It means that the monstrous experiment on turning Ukraine's residents into the enemies of Russians will continue. Ukrainian army and repressive entities eliminate Russian cultural code holders. Some of them are killed with missiles and bullets. Others are eliminated morally, through imprisonment, church captures and reformatting children into Ukrainians through education and activities of patriotic organisations.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fond Strategicheckoy Kultury, Teleskop, Vmeste s Rossiyey
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is a mix of ungrounded conspiracies and generalizations aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian authorities, the Ukrainian army, and at misrepresenting Ukraine's domestic policies. It is consistent with common pro-Kremlin narratives about Ukrainian statehood, discrimination against Russian speakers and Russophobia.

The recent law on the Ukrainian language does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies. Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement. In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Anti-Russian, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, Petro Poroshenko, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
More
Zelenskyy is part of a Clinton-led global campaign against Donald Trump
Additional details: Zelenskyy has begun distancing himself from Donald Trump, although all previous Ukrainian presidents demonstrated the highest possible loyalty to the US. It is clear that Zelenskyy has joined the worldwide resistance against Donald Trump organised by the mighty Clinton clan. Zelenskyy's resistance to Trump's attempts to normalise relations with Russia should be seen in this light. For the Clinton clan, Russia is a key enemy of the ideal world where preschool children are waving LGBT flags.

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Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fond Strategicheskoy Kultury
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is a variation of a popular pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's 'American curators,' this time alleging that Ukraine's president is controlled by the 'Clinton clan.' Furthermore, this case is consistent with another common pro-Kremlin narrative presenting Russia's values as superior to the West's.

There is no evidence whatsoever that Volodymyr Zelenskyy is following orders from the Clintons and is 'distancing' himself from US president Donald Trump - this is a conspiracy theory. On 1 June 2019, Zelenskyy thanked Trump for inviting him to pay an official visit to Washington and referred to a draft US law on strengthening support for Ukraine as an important signal of a strong strategic partnership between the two countries.

See an earlier case alleging that the US introduced anti-Russia sanctions in exchange for anti-Trump kompromat from the Poroshenko team and other cases presenting Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a politician controlled by the US.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Western values, Anti-Russian, Russian superiority, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Conspiracy, LGBT
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
The Eastern Partnership led to a great and bloody war in Europe
Additional details: The Eastern Partnership has led to a great and bloody war in Europe.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUiKRJhq5gA
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch Youtube (4:08-4.12)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

In fact, it was Russia that instigated the military conflict in Ukraine, not the European Union or the Eastern Partnership (EaP). 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 2014 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.  The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation."  Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

Ukraine has repeatedly provided evidence of Russia's role in the war in the east of the country. In January 2017, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Kyiv filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice of the United Nations with the aim of bringing Russia to account for committing acts of terrorism and discrimination, which are the result of its illegal aggression against Ukraine. The lawsuit contains all the facts of Russian aggression against Ukraine, evidence of the illegal annexation of the Crimea, and the occupation of Donbas.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. It is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU, if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country. Read more about the initiative and its priorities here.

See here for more cases about the EaP.

Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Partnership, War in Ukraine
Countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, EU, Belarus, Georgia
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Ukraine wants to restart the war in Donbas
Additional details: Ukrainian authorities do everything to restart the war in Donbas.  Because of this policy, the residents of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Ukrainians suffer. Kyiv is trying to kill everyone, even its own citizens and others. The war has not been stopped, the agreements have not been respected, civilians continue to die.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: rusvesna.su/news/1560503927
Disinforming outlet(s): Russkaya Vesna
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

The Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has been reporting about ceasefire violations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions on a daily basis for the last five years. It has been documenting acts of aggression since the start of the war in April 2014. However, comparing to the previous years, in 2019, and especially between 9-16 of June, 2019, the Mission recorded fewer ceasefire violations.

In an interview, delivered in autumn 2018, former First Deputy Chief Monitor to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander Hug mentions that the Mission has been recording the instances of Russia's involvement into the war in Donbas. "We have been seeing at least in six instances convoys leaving and entering Ukraine, which we have been documenting, which have been driving towards the unsecure border with the Russian Federation in the middle of the night, on dirt roads, and have been seen at the unsecure border at areas where there is no official border crossing," Hug said.

The war in Eastern Ukraine was provoked by Russia. There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has 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.”

 

Keywords: Ukraine, DNR, Eastern Ukraine, LNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Minsk agreements
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Eastern Partnership ended in 2015
Additional details:
As much as one may continue to talk about the Eastern Partnership programme, it has been at an end since 2015.


Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUiKRJhq5gA
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch Youtube @(4:00-4.15)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) programme did not end in 2015. It is still very much active and continues to serve its policy mandate to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States, and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Read more about the Eastern Partnership and its priorities here.

Background:

The Eastern Partnership initiative is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country.

The EaP has been a frequent target of pro-Kremlin disinformation. More cases are available here.

Keywords: Eastern Partnership
Countries: Armenia, Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, EU, Belarus
More
The victory over Nazism is completely down to Russia
Additional details: In the case of Russia, concepts like Nazism, World War 2 and the Great Patriotic War are all undergoing a major revision. Russia will be deprived of intangible value: the victory in the Great Patriotic War and over Nazism. But the victory was completely due to Russia. Of course the Allies and other countries assisted but it was Russia that suffered most; bearing the lion's share of all the losses and burdens of the war.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

An unfounded statement, not supported by evidence. Previously, European political leaders attended Victory Day celebrations, only stopping after the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Media, scholars and historians in Europe regularly refer to the Soviet contributions in WW2. "The Red Army was "the main engine of Nazism's destruction," writes British historian and journalist Max Hastings in "Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945". In several European countries, memorials are in place to commemorate the USSR's contribution to the victory over Nazism.

In fact, it is the Russian government which has consciously exploited the epic of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany for political reasons and minimised or denied the role played by other Allied powers. Examples can be seen here and here.

While blaming the West for a revision of history, this disinformation narrative goes to another extreme, assigning victory only to Russia: talking about Russia's victory, Russia's merit, Russia's losses and Russia's suffering. Neither the USSR, or the 14 other Soviet republics are mentioned. The estimated losses for each Soviet Republic given by Russian historian Vadim Erlikman are here. By these estimations, Belarus lost 25,3 % of its population, Ukraine 16.3%,  Armenia 13,6%, and Russia 12,7% (both military and civilian deaths).

Keywords: World War 2, Historical revisionism, WWII, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia
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US is against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline because it wants to destroy Europe
Additional details: US is against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline because America wants to destroy Europe, as one of its main economic competitors. The destruction of Europe is going to happen through the increase in the energy prices, to make its economy uncompetitive, and by ripping UK out from Europe.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cic2tfAjL8
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Rossiya 1 (1:27:42 - 1:28:13)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe.

The US Congress has been opposing the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Europe as a threat to energy and national security of European allies. Such position is shared by the European Parliament as well.

Keywords: Nord Stream 2, US presence in Europe
Countries: US
More
The Green party in Germany represents neo-liberal policies of US and is funded by Soros to stop the Nord Stream 2
Additional details: So called Green Khmer - the Green party may come to power in Germany. They represent the neo-liberal policies that originates in the US and are funded to a large extent by Soros. These are the political forces that will attempt to stop the Nord Stream 2.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cic2tfAjL8
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym (1:23:00 - 1:24:10)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about US presence in Europe and George Soros.

The Alliance 90/The Green Party in Germany has been known to advocate environmental protection and sustainable development for decades.

Keywords: Nord Stream 2, US presence in Europe, George Soros
Countries: Germany
More
France is a new look on tyranny
Additional details: They say that the word 'dictatorship' for the French situation is too strong. Of course, if you compare it with the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, it will seem exaggerated. Still, there are 'dead' people too, because of capital, because of capitalism. Everything we eat, we ingest that causes cancer, all the people who kill one other, who are taking antibiotics and antidepressants, they are living dead. The destruction is almost invisible, but it is still there. Tyranny is invisible, but it is there.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

"Tyranny" or "dictatorship" are used to qualify political systems based on whether they respect or disrespect the civil and fundamental rights of the population (freedom of speech, of assembly etc.) and not the quality of food, antibiotics, or more broadly speaking, social rights. Politically free countries enjoy a high standard of social rights, including France.

This is a recurring disinformation narrative presenting Western countries as dictatorships. According to Freedom House, "the French political system features vibrant democratic processes and affords generally strong protections to civil liberties and political rights. However, due to a number of deadly terrorist attacks in recent years, successive governments have been willing to curtail constitutional protections and empower law enforcement. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment have also increased."

See more disinformation cases on the Western countries as dictatorships.

Keywords: Emmanuel Macron
Countries: France
More
Neo-Nazism is on the rise in Europe
Additional details: In European countries, neo-Nazism is intensifying and the history of WWII is being revised to obscure the Soviet Union's contribution to the victory.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazis in the EU, which has been repeatedly debunked (see here). Also see earlier disinformation cases alleging that the US and EU countries are Russophobic, fascist and Nazi regimes and that the EU continues the aggressive policies of Nazi Germany.

World War II revisionism is in fact common practice in Russia, not Europe, with Soviet achievements being subject to exaggeration and elements of the war that reflect negatively on the USSR being whitewashed (for example, Stalin's and Hitler’s collaboration at the beginning of the war, the US military victory over Japan, and the widespread looting and rape by the Red Army as it moved through Europe).

Keywords: USSR, WWII, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Europe, USSR, Russia, EU
More
There is a civil conflict in Ukraine
Additional details: It is very important to stop the civil conflict in South-Eastern Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgXXtk2BZO8
Disinforming outlet(s): Nash TV Channel (0:55-1:02)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, which is not a civil conflict but a war instigated and waged by Russia.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court 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 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014 and at successive summits since then, allied leaders also demanded that Russia refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukraine is a source of cheap raw materials and an anti-Russian springboard
Additional details: In 2014 Ukrainian nationalists, supported by radicals, organized a coup. They captured the whole state and unleashed a civil conflict. It turned out that Western masters have little interest in Ukraine's domestic politics because the EU got the main thing: a source of cheap raw materials, labour force and an open market. Furthermore, the EU destroyed competitive branches of Ukraine's industry. In turn, the US received a new anti-Russia springboard with a frozen military conflict and, potentially, a new buyer of liquified gas.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Imhoclub, Nash Gomel
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is disinformation consistent with a collection of recurring pro-Kremlin narratives alleging a coup d’état in Ukraine and civil war, abandoned UkraineUkraine's hyper-dependence on the West, and Ukraine as an anti-Russian project.

The spontaneous onset of massive Euromaidan protests was a reaction of the Ukrainian population to the sudden departure of the President Yanukovych from the Association Agreement with the European Union and to the brutal dispersal of student protest actions on 30 November 2013. The 2014 events cannot be named a coup d'état because, after Yanukovych's escape, the new President was elected in free and fair elections. According to the OSCE, "the people of Ukraine had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box".

Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and US support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence. Furthermore, there is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

The claim that the EU destroyed competitive branches of Ukraine's industry is unfounded. Thanks to the  EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, Ukraine increased its exports to the EU from EUR 13.2b to EUR 18b in 2016-2018. See further information about the DCFTA and the cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Abandoned Ukraine, Coup, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU, US
More
Former Ukrainian government is responsible for 13,000 deaths in Donbas
Additional details: The former government of Ukraine and the so-called new ones, who came to power on the wave of Maidan, took 13,000 lives.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mENrMJ33uJQ
Disinforming outlet(s): Nash TV Channel (1:28-1:37)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about war in Ukraine.

It is true that, according to the official data, provided by the United Nations, in a five-year war in Eastern Ukraine, more than 13,000 people have been killed. However, the Ukrainian government did not initiate the conflict. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court 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". 

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
OPCW redacted its own report on Douma chemical attack
Additional details: After the OPCW charged the Syrian regime with perpetrating the April 2018 chemical attack in Douma, a number of the watchdog's own investigators have questioned the official account of the tragedy.

The OPCW's conclusions ignore a minority report produced by its own members, which proves that the chemical agent cylinder found at the site of the alleged attack could not have been dropped from the air. Instead, it was placed there by somebody on the ground.

This instance of OPCW's suppressing and redacting its own findings undermines public trust in the organization.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Going Underground @ RT 04:18
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives aiming to discredit the OPCW and casting chemical attacks in Syria as false-flag operations.

The "minority report" cited by the guest appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who was never a member of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma Fact-Finding Mission, and based his/ her conclusions on the same evidence pool.

The OPCW did not "redact" or "suppress" any evidence it had access to. A press statement by the organization confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question.

Regardless of the leaked document's authenticity, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from helicopters:

  1. has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56);
  2. does not support the claim that the incident was staged. [WARNING: sensitive graphic content within the link]

According to the OPCW's director-general, the organization has been targeted by a disinformation campaign aiming specifically to "undermine the official reports of the Fact-Finding Mission about investigations in Syria."

See the original debunk here.

Keywords: false flag, Douma, OPCW, Chemical weapons/attack, Propaganda, Syrian War
Countries: Syria
More
Ukraine will always be a pro-Russian country
Additional details: Despite the fact that the West is trying with all its might to draw Ukraine into the Western community, Ukraine will always have a pro-Russian vector of development. Ukraine has always been both a Ukrainian and Russian country at the same time.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjUe-iTNxVA
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Channel One TV time 37:37 and 50:18
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the "fraternal peoples" - Ukraine and Russia. The Kremlin often uses this narrative, arguing that Ukraine is part of Russia. In reality, Ukraine has a long and distinct history, language and culture, separate from Russia. Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality and language.

In 2014, after the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the country's leadership began to actively promote pro-European policies. The fifth president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, initiated changes to the country's Constitution in order to preserve this policy in the future. In early 2019, Poroshenko signed a law amending the Constitution of Ukraine regarding the strategic course of the state to acquire full membership in the European Union and NATO.

 

Keywords: Sovereignty, Russian world
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The project 'Ukraine' is over
Additional details: There is no doubt that Ukraine was one of the geopolitical projects. Under the temporary government of Kerensky, it pursued one goal, during the Soviet Union the goal was another, and then a different goal in the post-Soviet era. Finally, Ukraine became a headache.

The project 'Ukraine' is now over. A viable and complete Ukraine is no longer needed. Neither the geopolitical poles, nor the regional and neighbouring states, nor the people who are in conflict need this country. Now Ukraine is like a deadly wounded animal, and every interested party wants to get a bigger piece.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: livenews.am/press/2019/12736/03/11/02/
Disinforming outlet(s): Livenews.am
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining Ukrainian statehood.

Ukraine is a sovereign nation-state, not a project. In 1991 Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union. The Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine was adopted on July 16, 1990, Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. Ukraine is a sovereign, independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament.

Similar cases are here and here.

 

Keywords: Ukrainian statehood
Countries: USSR, The West, Ukraine
More
Four former Polish foreign ministers are hesitant towards Ukraine
Additional details: Four former Polish Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who have recently become Members of the EU Parliament, are more or less anti-Russian and have a hesitant attitude towards Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message misrepresents the positions on Ukraine of the former Polish foreign ministers, and is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about abandoned Ukraine.

The statements and actions of these Ministers clearly show their full support to Ukraine. All of them believe that a free and independent Ukraine is in the main strategic interest of the Eastern policy of Poland. Despite certain problems in bilateral relations, neither of these ministers have deviated from the strategic partnership with Ukraine. Here are the official statements of the ministers mentioned in the article, confirming their positive attitude towards Ukraine as they were in office - Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Anna Fotyga, Radosław Sikorski, Witold Waszczykowski.

See other disinformation cases about Polish-Ukrainian relations.

Keywords: Abandoned Ukraine
Countries: Poland
More
The US are preparing for nuclear weapons testing
Additional details: The US are preparing for nuclear weapons testing.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the US' nuclear ambitions. Similar cases are here and here.

The Partial Test Ban Treaty or Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in Atmosphere, In Outer Space and Under Water was signed by the US in 1963. Treaty prohibited all test detonations of nuclear weapons except for those conducted undergrounds. Later in 1996 was signed Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments. US has not ratified CNTBT, but announced a moratorium on nuclear testing in 1992.

Keywords: Nuclear issues
Countries: Russia, US
More
Kyiv will take property from residents of Donbas
Additional details: Donbas residents who have received Russian citizenship will be deprived of their property in Ukraine. Kyiv continues to incite ethnic strife between countries and denounce residents of Donbas as second-class citizens.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): IZ.ru, Ukraina.ru, RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a standard pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Donbas. More similar cases here.

Yes, dual citizenship in Ukraine is prohibited: when a Ukrainian obtains the passport of another state, their Ukrainian citizenship can be cancelled. However, after the annexation of Crimea and the Russian occupation of parts of Donbas, Kyiv adopted a law that protects Ukrainians living in these regions.

Article 5 of this law states that Ukraine does not recognise Russian citizenship imposed by the Kremlin in the occupied territories. According to this provision, because Crimeans and residents of parts of Donbas automatically and forcibly received Russian passports, these Ukrainians are not deprived of Ukrainian citizenship.

Moreover, Ukraine, as a member of the Council of Europe, upholds the European Convention on Human Rights,  including the protection of private property.

See further debunking by StopFake.

Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukrainian language law prohibits use of Russian, Hungarian, Romanian languages
Additional details: This law is not about protecting the Ukrainian languages, but about prohibiting Russian language, and at the same time Hungarian, Romanian and other minority languages. This law divided the population, as was the intention of previous authorities.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=573e-E9khYc
Disinforming outlet(s): 112 Ukraina (0:10-0:36)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian language law.

The Verkhovna Rada passed, on April 25, the law "on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media, education, science, etc.

However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies.  Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement.

In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force.

Similar disinformation cases are here and here.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, Russian language
Countries: Ukraine
More
MH17: The missile type was only used in Ukraine
Additional details: The "evidence" demonstrated by the JIT actually ties the missile to Ukraine. In Russia, a missile produced in 1986 would have been decommissioned in 2011. This individual missile was sent to a air-defence unit in Ukraine in 1986, the 223 air-defence brigade. In 2014 it was involved in the war in Donbas.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad.tv
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

 

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

 

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
Poland is the puppet government of the US
Additional details: Polish politicians are American Trojan horses in Europe. It is a puppet government. Statement of President Duda in Washington is another example that he, his group, his political party is ready to do anything to fulfil America's plans. Words of Polish President were essentially an oath to the American flag.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLebQhJPPms&t=1813s
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (39:30 - 39:50; 41:22-41:29)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe and Polish-US relations.

The disinformation message - like many others - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of an agreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies. Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy.

In his statement President of Poland emphasised Polish-American cooperation. He did not pledge an oath to the American flag. Read the full statement here.

Narrative about Poland being a 'vassal' of the US is one of the most common, recurring messages of pro-Kremlin outlets. Other countries are often claimed to be the American 'vassal', too, without any evidence. See further examples here

 

Keywords: US presence in Europe
Countries: Poland
More
MH17: The lawyer of the Ukrainian suspect destroys the whole case with one fact
Additional details: The Dutch press named four suspects for shooting down MH17, three Russians and one Ukrainian. There is irrefutable evidence that this is based on a lie. The lawyer of the Ukrainian confirms that his client, the Ukrainian, was taken prisoner by the Donbas separatists one month after the tragedy.

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

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility. The individual mentioned by Tsargrad.tv is NOT among the four, charged as responsible for shooting down the MH17, killing 289 persons.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

 

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

 

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Ukraine
More
EU sanctions against Russia are not democratic
Additional details: The EU sanctions regime against Russia is not exactly democratic. One of the main causes of the anti-Russian sanctions was the Kerch Strait incident.

On 25 November 2019, Ukrainian military vessels violated Russian borders in the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov. Kyiv blamed Russian aggression for the incident and subsequently declared martial law in 10 regions of Ukraine, resulting in restrictions on citizens' constitutional rights and freedoms, including the right to vote.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Czech
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Both of these claims - that EU sanctions are not democratic and that Ukraine was the aggressor in the Kerch Strait incident - are false.

This first claim is part of the pro-Kremlin media's ongoing disinformation efforts to delegitimise EU sanctions against Russia, which were initially a response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. According to international law, Crimea is part of Ukraine. Russia violated international law as well as the key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.

It is false to say that the sanctions are undemocratic, as they are unanimously decided by the Council of the EU, which is comprised of democratically-elected heads of state and government from the EU28. Other examples of cases claiming that the sanctions are illegitimate and useless are available here and here.

Most recently, in March 2019, the EU has also applied new sanctions against Russia as a response to the Kerch Strait incident and Russia's violations of Ukraine's territorial integrity in the Sea of Azov. Specifically, the Council of the EU "added eight Russian officials to the list of those subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. These new listings have been adopted by the Council as a response to escalation in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov and the violations of international law by Russia, which used military force with no justification."

The claim that Ukraine was the aggressor in the Sea of Azov is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Kerch Strait incident. On 25 November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which, according to the treaty, are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. Further debunking by Bellingcat, DFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: European Council, Azov sea, Kerch, Anti-Russian, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, Sanctions
Countries: Europe, Russia, Ukraine, EU
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US is using Poland, Ukraine and other countries as a sanitary cordon against Russia
Additional details: Poland and Ukraine are being used as a sanitary cordon against Russia, with help even from invisible Russian drones.

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The US is creating a military cordon around Russia, with American military bases in Romania, Bulgaria, the Baltic States, and now Poland.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tolstoy @ Pervyi Kanal (48:57 - 49:05; 51:00 - 51:10)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe and the West's strategy of encircling Russia.

Poland, the Baltic States, Romania, and Bulgaria are NATO allies and cooperate with the US in ensuring transatlantic security. Read the statement of the Bucharest Nine ahead of the NATO summit in 2018.

US also closely cooperates with Ukraine to support the modernisation of Ukraine's military and common foreign policy objectives.

Keywords: Military, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, US presence in Europe
Countries: Poland, United States, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Baltic states, US
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US always abandons its allies
Additional details: Polish president said that the Poles are very brave. Brave to lick the boots of Trump, especially now that it is clear that he will be re-elected as president.

Throughout the 20th and 21st century US always abandoned its allies, they look only after their national interests. Poland, who counts on becoming America's darling in Europe, will be in bitter tears later.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tolstoy @ Pervyi Kanal (48:57 - 49:05)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Groundless accusation without evidence. Consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US.

The United States is the founding member of NATO and plays a crucial role in European and transatlantic security.

Keywords: NATO
Countries: Poland, US
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It is thanks to Russia that Poland today exists as a country
Additional details: For several centuries Russia guaranteed the security of Poland, but now Poland decided that the US will guarantee its security.

It is thanks to Russia that Poland exists today as a country. Poland was a part of the Russian empire, and that was the cradle of its independence. And if it were not for 600 000 Soviet soldiers who died liberating Poland, the country would not exist today, Poles would be speaking German. And today Poland is easily giving up its sovereignty and submitting to the desires of the American masters.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tolstoy @ Pervyi Kanal (42:51 - 43:50; 44:28 44:40)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A distorted, unfounded comparison between NATO and Russia as ''guaranteeing security'' of Poland.

Poland's security nowadays is based on NATO and the European Union, which is a result of Poland's sovereign decisions.

Russia was making decisions about Polish security in times of communism (1944-1989) and when it was ruling over a part of Polish territory (1772-1918) as a result of partitions, conducted by Russia, Germany (Prussia) and Austria-Hungary. Being part of Russian empire was certainly not a cradle of Polish independence – on the contrary, as a result of partitions, Poland disappeared from the maps of the world for 123 years.

In turn, the Sovietization of Poland after the WWII was accompanied by terror, nationalisation of industry, expropriation of privately owned land and restrictions of civil and political freedoms. The Warsaw Treaty Organisation (the Warsaw Pact), established as an alternative to NATO, was the Soviet Union’s “external empire”, where people faced daily strife, including shortages of food and housing.

The message also advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe and Polish-US relations.

The message - like many others - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of an agreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland.

Keywords: Historical revisionism
Countries: Poland, US
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Eastern European countries will do anything to support their overseas master over Nord Stream 2 just for few cents.
Additional details: Trump is fighting Nord Stream 2. He raised a wave of indignation in Central and Eastern European countries, which, allegedly, are very concerned about the fate of the Ukrainian transit. Europe, which is facing political collapse due to Brexit, is unable to resist the pressure of the American business-cowboy. Moreover, Eastern European countries will do anything to support their overseas master just for a few cents.

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

Message consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US presence in Europe, lack of sovereignty of Central and Eastern European states and the disintegration of the EU.

A number of EU states are concerned about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and its implications to their energy security. Back in March 2016, leaders of 8 Central and Eastern European states sent a letter to the president of the European Commission objecting to the Nord Stream 2 project as posing risk for the energy security in the region. Such position was also shared by the European Parliament.

 

 

Keywords: Nord Stream 2, Brexit, US presence in Europe, Sovereignty
Countries: Europe, Eastern Europe, EU, US
More
EU's own report clears Moscow of election meddling charges
Additional details: In the face of its established tendency to accuse Moscow of meddling in elections, the EU has itself acknowledged that such charges are lacking in substance.

In a recent report, the European Commission admitted there is insufficient evidence to identify a "distinct cross-border disinformation campaign" in the run-up to the 2019 European Parliament elections. This, however, did not stop the Commission from alleging that unspecified "Russian sources" had attempted to influence their outcome.

This claim fits into the three-year campaign of baseless interference allegations which the US, France, the UK, Spain, and Germany have levied against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative stating that all charges of election meddling, however well-grounded in the facts, are actually Russophobic plots used by Western governments to shift the focus away from domestic problems.

The report in question does not absolve Russia of interference charges. The statement that "available evidence has not allowed to identify a distinct cross-border disinformation campaign" is immediately followed by this one: "However, the evidence collected revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences" (p. 3, emphasis added).

The conclusion does indeed fit in with earlier meddling allegations. They, too, were each supported by dozens of reports produced in the course of media investigations, official inquiries, and analytical work. See here for our dedicated database of resources pertaining to Russian interference in Western elections and referenda.

Keywords: EU elections 2019, election meddling, Anti-Russian, Manipulated elections/referendum, Russophobia, Elections, Referendum
Countries: Russia, EU
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No evidence of Russian meddling in Western elections
Additional details: Several European states, namely Spain, Germany, and the UK, have accused Russia of meddling in their domestic elections, thereby following the US. However, none of these countries have managed to provide any credible evidence in support of these allegations.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying any Russian interference in Western elections and other democratic processes.

Russia's attempts to sway foreign elections have been overwhelmingly documented by government agencies, journalistic investigations, and think tanks. See the original disproof here; see here for our database of resources pertaining to Russian interference in Western elections; and see here for our debunk of the "no-credible-evidence" trope as applied to the 2016 US presidential election.

An overview of Russia's methods of electoral interference is here, and case studies are available here and here.

Keywords: EU elections 2019, election meddling, Propaganda, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections
Countries: UK, Russia, EU, Germany, Spain
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Lithuania is a typical dying young democracy
Additional details: Lithuanian LNG terminal in Klaipeda which it rents for 60 million Euros a year from Norway is a glaring example of disadvantage to the country. Lithuania is a typical example of a dying young democracy where no industry sectors are left. Hence, astronomic energy prices for Lithuania are not a big deal.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Lithuania and the Baltic States. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the Baltic states are dying because they chose not to be with Russia and that Lithuania will be depopulated in 20 years.

Lithuania's Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in Klaipeda was built to ensure the diversification of energy supply and energy security of Lithuania. The terminal enabled Lithuania to import liquefied natural gas from global suppliers, effectively ending the monopoly of Russian gas company Gazprom within the region. The terminal is leased by the Lithuanian government from Höegh LNG on a ten year lease arrangement that expires in 2024. Independent economic analysis has shown that the benefits of maintaining the LNG terminal beyond 2024 outweigh the costs in each of the market structures. Read more here.

 

 

 

Keywords: Energy, Baltic states
Countries: Lithuania
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Chernobyl series distorts reality in order to damage Rosatom's image
Additional details: Many facts presented in the Chernobyl series are completely wrong. Half the staff of the plant is shown to be idiotic, the administration is generally weak, it is insulting.

The idea comes up that the series aims to damage the reputation of Rosatom, which for 15 years has taken 67% of the global nuclear construction market. Fiction remains fiction despite all the efforts to pretend to be a documentary.

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

No evidence given regarding the alleged motive behind the series to deliberately damage Rosatom's reputation for commercial purposes. This is a conspiracy theory. Since 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear accident has inspired dozens of documentaries and fiction movies and the new one made in 2019 by HBO and Sky TV takes into account all the latest information available to date.

The series was acclaimed by critics, with particular praise for its historical accuracy and attention to detail. The mini-series is based on the recollections of Pripyat locals, as relayed by Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich in her book Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster (also known as Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future), and especially on the recollections of Lyudmila Ignatenko. The series is also based on the audio tapes left by Valery Legasov – the scientist responsible for the subsequent inquiry and the clean-up operation, who ultimately committed suicide. The detailed memories by the deputy lead engineer of the Chernobyl power plant at the time, Anatoly Dyatlov, who was responsible for tests at the plant which ultimately contributed to the explosion, have also been available for five years.

Importantly, the Chernobyl series is never presented as a documentary, and openly included a fictional character, a scientist named Ulyana Khomyuk. Furthermore, the Russian Minister for Culture, Vladimir Medinsky, praised the series for its respectful treatment of the ordinary citizens affected by the tragedy.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Chernobyl, Nuclear issues, Rosatom
Countries: USSR, Russia, Ukraine
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Nazi Germany considered Poland its best ally
Additional details: Nazis built 6 extermination camps in Europe, all on Polish territory. We know whose best ally Poland is. And when the Holocaust was over in 1945, the only large Jewish pogrom took place in Poland, in 1946.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLebQhJPPms&t=1813s
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (46:25 - 46:48)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Nazi concentration camps were built on the Polish territory at the time when it was occupied by Nazi Germany.

This narrative advances hate speech and historical revisionism - tactics commonly used by pro-Kremlin outlets. It also uses anti-Semitism - another recurring narrative of pro-Kremlin outlets, applied in reference to the US, Poland, Ukraine and others.

EUvsDisinfo recorded many examples of how anti-Semitic claims are used by pro-Kremlin media, see a few examples here:

https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/us-military-leaders-believed-in-a-direct-threat-against-america-and-the-western-world-from-organised-jewry/

https://euvsdisinfo.eu/antisemitism-and-pro-kremlin-propaganda/

https://euvsdisinfo.eu/sexism-racism-and-anti-semitism-in-russian-media/

Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Poland
More
The UK fabricated evidence on Russia's involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals for political purposes
Additional details: The British have done everything to make Russia an enemy. What happened in Salisbury is a pure swindle and does not correspond to reality. All this is manipulated for the political purpose of aggravating relations with Russia to increase the weight of the United Kingdom.

None of the premises are sustainable. It is said that the Russians have deployed a chemical weapon of military level. Nobody is dead! What kind of military poison is it if nobody died? It's a total counter-truth. Then it is said that only the Russians had the means and the motive. Neither affirmation is true. It is not only the Russians who have a motive and the possibility and the means. Nothing in this story is sustainable. 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French @ Désordre mondial 25:25 - 26:48
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury claiming that the United Kingdom was never able to prove a “Russian trace” and did not provide detailed evidence of Russia’s involvement.

British police and investigations from the intelligence services have produced hard forensic evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent. The OPCW rejected Russia’s claims about a second Salisbury nerve agent.

The identities of the two Russian nationals were later revealed by Bellingcat and the Insider investigative outlets. No other forensic evidence was presented accusing other individuals.

Read more about the pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Salisbury poisoning: Conspiracy mania marks one-year anniversary of the Skripal poisoning.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia
More
America will shoot at Russia using Poland's hands
Additional details: America will shoot at Russia using Poland's hands.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLebQhJPPms&t=1813s
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (44:25 - 45:00)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe and Polish-US relations.

The disinformation message - like many others - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of an agreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies. Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy.

Keywords: US presence in Europe
Countries: Poland
More
Poland is the ''Trojan horse'' of the US
Additional details: Impartial observers would all point out that the role of a “Trojan horse” that Poland was supposed to play in Washington’s previous designs has now been replaced by the role of a battering ram that must clear the way for the advancement of American special interests across Europe.


The Polish media source Interia (...) states that we’re witnessing the gradual vassalization of Warsaw which has become incapable to pursue its own independent foreign policy any longer. 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, without any evidence. There are no articles on the Polish news site Interia which use the word ''vassalisation'' in the given context.

The disinformation message - like many others - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of an agreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies. Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy.

Narrative about Poland being a 'vassal' of the US is one of the most common, recurring messages of pro-Kremlin outlets. Other countries are often claimed to be the American 'vassal', too, without any evidence. See further examples here

Keywords: Military, US presence in Europe, Sovereignty, Conspiracy, Europe
Countries: Poland, US
More
The US creates and spreads a false image about an “aggressive” Russia constituting a security “threat”
Additional details: Throughout the 2000s the US, with the assistance of the Baltic states, Poland, the UK and Sweden, has created and spread a false image about an “aggressive” Russia that constitutes a security “threat”.  The US created this misleading view of Russia in order to prevent Europe from establishing close economic and industrial cooperation with Russia. The US fears that a strong Europe-Russia economic partnership could undermine America’s global economic superiority.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the “Russian threat” as a false idea created by US and other Western actors in order to prevent close Europe-Russia cooperation and about the US imposing anti-Russian views and policies on European states.

No evidence provided. Conspiracy theory.

The claim that the US “created” the image of Russia as a threat in order to prevent European-Russia cooperation does not reflect reality.  After the end of the Cold War until the 2014 Ukraine crisis, most US and Western policymakers no longer viewed Russia as an adversary, instead, taking the opinion that it could potentially become, or already was, a credible and responsible partner for Western states.

The widespread assumption among US and European decision-makers was that economic, political and security cooperation with Russia, and its integration into the world economy, would encourage Russia’s democratic transition and modernisation, as well as its embrace of a foreign policy based on respect for international legal norms and support for the post-Cold War security architecture

Even after the Russo-Georgian war in the summer of 2008, the US, the EU and most European states did not question the above-mentioned assumptions about Russia and continued to view Russia not as a security problem but as a key partner.  Thus, the Obama administration announced its “reset” policy in 2009 that aimed to restore a wide-ranging US-Russian partnership. The EU-Russia summits of 2009 and 2010 launched a “partnership for modernisation”.  Germany continued its strategic partnership policy towards Russia, and France and Italy pursued similar strategies based on increasing cooperation with Moscow.

Until the Ukraine crisis, NATO also consistently worked to build a cooperative relationship with Russia.  For more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, NATO's strategy was based on the perception that Russia no longer posed a security threat and should increasingly be viewed as a partner for the Alliance.

For example, the Alliance promoted dialogue and cooperation by creating the Partnership for Peace (PfP) and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), open to the whole of Europe, including Russia.

In 1997, NATO and Russia signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, creating the NATO Russia Permanent Joint Council. In 2002, this was upgraded, creating the NATO-Russia Council (NRC). See here, here and here.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine in early 2014 was widely viewed both in North America and in Europe as violating the basic rules of the post-Cold War European order, especially the rule that borders are inviolable and states should not use force to alter them or take over territory from other states. As a result of Russia’s aggressive actions in the Ukraine, many Western states - including key EU members such as Germany and France -  critically reassessed their “strategic partnership” policies towards Russia and began to view Russia as a serious challenge to the European security order.

The annexation of Crimea also led NATO to change its perception of Russia and to reassess its view of Russia as a partner. Moreover, NATO adopted a more alarming view of Russia also because it observed a significant increase in provocative behaviour by Russian military forces, such as a sharp increase in Russian bombers conducting flights near airspace of NATO member states used by civilian airliners, snap military force alerts and nuclear exercises.

See here for a similar case.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, NATO
Countries: Poland, UK, Latvia, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, US, Sweden
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Poland has been a vocal opponent of the European Union, as commanded by the US
Additional details: Poland has been a vocal opponent of both the European Union and Russian authorities, while the latter are not being described in any other terms than an “imminent threat from the east.” Their overseas masters whom Warsaw relies on to decide its geopolitical policies won’t prevent Poland from taking reckless steps upon the European stage, as those go in line with their “hardline policies”.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about  the US presence in Europe and Polish-US relations.

Polish people are among the biggest supporters of the EU in all member states. Polish government has been pointing out the need to reform the European Union - but it is not opposing the EU as such.

The disinformation message - like many others - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of an agreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies. Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy. Narrative about Poland being a 'vassal' of the US is one of the most common, recurring messages of pro-Kremlin outlets. Other countries are often claimed to be the American 'vassal', too, without any evidence. See further examples here

 

Keywords: US presence in Europe, Sovereignty, Russophobia
Countries: Poland, Russia, EU, US
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Ukraine shot down Flight MH17
Additional details: We will see if the sanctions that followed the shooting down of flight  MH17 will be lifted. We know full well that it was Ukraine that shot it down. I think the truth should come out in the upcoming months.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMm-68zr_2w
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France time 03:33 - 03:48
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This claim is a part of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Flight MH17.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskyi. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

Since July 2014, Russian authorities have been conducting a disinformation campaign together with the media they directly and indirectly control with the aim to cover up the truth about who shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. See here for more information.

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Polish President is a scoundrel who threatens Russia with fighter-jets
Additional details: Polish president is a scoundrel, who offended Russia. And if that is not enough, he is threatening Russia with fighters-jets. Russia needs to take appropriate measures, for example place even more fighter jets and missiles in Kaliningrad. Because that is the only language Poland understands.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLebQhJPPms&t=1813s
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (31:20 - 31:42)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about belligerent Poland and West encircling Russia. 

The disinformation message appeared after the meeting of President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of an agreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies, Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy.

Keywords: Encircling Russia
Countries: Poland, US
More
Russia has given Poland its independence
Additional details: It is unforgivable how Poles misrepresent history and try at all times to humiliate Russia. Poland has never been humiliated as a part of the Russian empire. Russia has given Poland its independence. And when Poland was a member of the Warsaw Pact, Russia was giving Poland everything - fuel for heating, oil, industry.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLebQhJPPms&t=1813s
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (29:38 - 30:10)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Manipulation of historical facts to downplay and justify Soviet aggression towards Poland.

In 1918 Poland restored its independence from the German (Prussia), Austrian and Russian empires after three partitions and 123 years of not being present on the world's maps. Independence of Poland was one of the postulates in Woodrow Wilson's 14 points declaration after the WWI and guaranteed by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

The Sovietization of Poland after the WWII was accompanied by terror, nationalisation of industry, expropriation of privately owned land and restrictions of civil and political freedoms. The Warsaw Treaty Organisation (the Warsaw Pact) was the Soviet Union’s “external empire”, where people faced daily strife, including shortages of food and housing. Read more about life in Poland under communist rule.

See similar disinformation message: current socio-economic situation in Poland is worse than in the communist times.

 

 

Keywords: Socialism
Countries: Poland
More
The USA gives the Ukrainian capital a "new name"
Additional details: The USA gives the Ukrainian capital a “new name”.

The United States Board on Geographic Names has decided to make orthographic changes to the word ‘Kiev’. The American authorities unanimously decided to modify the name of the Ukrainian capital. Now, among other things, ‘Kyiv’ is to be written at airports and international organisations instead of ‘Kiev’.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US relations with Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood.

The USA did not give Ukrainian capital a "new name". The United States Board on Geographic Names considered the appeal of Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Valeriy Chaly and unanimously decided to remove ‘Kiev’ as a conventional name and to recognise only one official spelling – ‘Kyiv’, as the correct name for the capital of Ukraine.

The 'Kiev' spelling is transliterated from the Russian language, while ‘Kyiv’ is transliterated from Ukrainian. In October 2018, Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has launched a social media campaign to try to persuade international media, organisations and companies to use ‘Kyiv’ for Ukraine’s capital name instead of the traditional English spelling ‘Kiev’.

The EU has been using the Ukrainian transliteration Kyiv since 18.04.2012.

The Ukrainian government adopted 'Kyiv' as its standard Latinisation in 1995, making ‘Kyiv’ mandatory for use in the legislative and official acts.

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, The West, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
West-financed environmental NGOs in Belarus stage a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia
Additional details: In Belarus, there is a large network of Western and West-financed NGOs which conduct subversive activities against Belarus-Russia relations. An example of far-reaching anti-Russian goals of environmental initiatives is a campaign against the construction of the Astravets nuclear power plant, which is built by Rosatom. Environmental activists argue that the NPP will discourage salmons spawning in its vicinity because of increased river temperature as a result of the nuclear reactor cooling. The contours of a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia are drawn on these assumptions.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fond Strategicheckoy Kultury, Teleskop, Vmeste s Rossiyey
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy consistent with a number of Belarus-related pro-Kremlin narratives about West's continuous attempts to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations including through financing Belarusian opposition and NGOs.

The claim that the public campaign against the Astravets NPP is built around the salmon spawning argument is misleading because negative impact for wildlife is just one among a number of other, often more serious arguments against the NPP construction including the station's potential technological vulnerabilities. These arguments were provided by environmentalists years ago (see 2010 assessment) and some of them continue to be voiced (see April 2019 publication) at present.

The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations. It also expressed regret that Belarus failed to provide the Committee with the information regarding the justification of the selection of the Astravets site over the alternatives.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Nuclear issues, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, The West, Belarus
More
Russia signed Molotv-Ribbentrop pact because it was threatened by Germany. Today Russia is threatened by Poland.
Additional details: At some point Russia was threatened by Germany and we signed secret protocols of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, in attempt to create some security for ourselves including in the territory of Poland. And now we see that threats are emanating from the territory of Poland.

Polish people have given their country away to Germans in only two weeks. But today Poland is surely demonstrating aggression towards Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLebQhJPPms
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazet @ Pervyi kanal (29:09 - 29:28; 30:15 - 30:50)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West encircling Russia and Poland's allegedly aggressive behaviour in particular. See previous case: Poland has aggressive intentions towards Russia.

The disinformation message is combined with manipulation of historic facts.

Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was on August 23, 1939. Its secret protocols divided Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. It foresaw the division of Poland and enabled Soviet Union to invade and annex the Baltic States. The Soviets also annexed Romania's provinces of Bessarabia (today's Moldova) and northern Bukovina (now in Ukraine) and the Czechoslovak territory of Carpathian Ruthenia (also now in Ukraine). Throughout the territories it occupied, the Soviet Union carried out harsh political reprisals, including mass executions and deportations.

Soviets kept negotiating with Britain and France, but in the end Stalin chose to reach an agreement with Germany. By doing so he hoped to keep the Soviet Union at peace with Germany and to gain time to build up the Soviet military establishment, which had been weakened by the purge of the Red Army officer corps in 1937.

Read more about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators (Deutche Welle); The Night Stalin and Hitler Redrew the Map of Europe (RFERL).

Keywords: Molotv-Ribbentrop Pact, Encircling Russia, WWII
Countries: Poland
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The European Parliament supports Nicolás Maduro
Additional details: A socialist European Parliament expressed its support for Maduro - a dictator who brought disaster and misery to his own population.
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Link to the disinformation: www.myvideo.ge/v/3806597
Disinforming outlet(s): Obiektivi time 00:07 - 00:26
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This claim is false. In fact, the European Parliament recognised Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela on 31 January 2019, in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution.

This is an example of narrative shifting. Earlier, the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign accused the West of supporting the coup and "bloody civil war" in Venezuela. Cases about the West supporting destabilisation in Venezuela can be found here and here.

In addition, the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats is only the second largest party in the European Parliament, while the European People's Party holds the largest share of MPs. The same was for the previous legislative period of 2014-2019 when Juan Guaidó was recognised. Therefore, the claim of a 'socialist' European Parliament is unfounded.

Keywords: Socialism, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, European Parliament
Countries: Venezuela, Europe, EU
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Sanctions against Russia are ineffective
Additional details: Sanctions against Russia are absolutely ineffective and have cost Germany between 90 and 120 billion euros.

 
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that Western sanctions against Russia are unjust and ineffective.

Claims that the sanctions are ineffective are not backed by evidence. In reality, sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU, following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, have sapped Russian economic growth.

The false narrative about sanctions is often backed by false statistics. For example, the alleged economic growth of two percent does not withstand scrutiny. In 2018, the inflation rate went up and the ruble depreciated 20% against the dollar.

According to current estimates, Germany lost about 14 billion euros in exports to Russia in absolute terms during the period 2014 to 2016.

Further reading on the Russian narrative about ineffective Western sanctions by StopFake. More cases related to sanctions are available here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, The West, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, EU, Germany
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Latvia became a testing ground for NATO, youth are trained for guerrilla warfare against Russia
Additional details: Latvia became a testing ground for NATO military equipment. It has turned into a large military base. Teenagers undergo military training for the guerrilla war with Russia. Playing war games has undermined the economy, Latvians are leaving their country.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia time 00:01 - 00:51
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO provocations towards Russia and alleged decline and belligerence of the Baltic States.

Latvia is a full-fledged member of NATO. NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia and other Baltic States and Poland serves to strengthen NATO collective defence, in adapting to the changed security situation in Europe following the illegal and illegitimate occupation and annexation of Crimea by Russia, the conflict in the eastern regions of Ukraine and the increased military activity close to NATO’s eastern border.

Latvian Jaunsardze (young defenders) is not a paramilitary group, but a youth organization created in 1992 by the Latvian militia Zemeszardze. The Zemessardze is an integral part of the Latvian National Armed Forces.

The claim that the industry of Latvia is ruined, is accompanied by an illustration of the destroyed building. A search on Google shows that the photo is the former building of the plant "Radiotekhnika" which was the largest audio equipment manufacturer in the Soviet Union. The economy of Latvia is increasing driven by high investment rates and income gains. At the end of 2016, Latvia had the lowest state debt among EU member states.

Further debunking by Mythdetector is available here.

Keywords: NATO, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia
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The idea of Ukraine is based on a mythologised lie
Additional details: Kievan Rus has been turned into Ukraine, and then into "Anti-Russia". Why Russians on one hand - and then those other Russians, who called themselves Ukrainians - became enemies?

To understand this you have to go through the history of almost 900 years of Little Russian separatism, which started from an innocent seed and reached poisonous fruits.

[The idea of] Ukraine as a sovereign country is based on a mythologised lie. In the end, this led into a civil war and Maidan.

 

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.kompravda.eu/daily/26990.5/4050896/
Disinforming outlet(s): Komsomolskaya Pravda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian statehood.

Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. UNGA Resolution 68/262 also affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders: http://bit.ly/1RZGnjo.

For further background, read Britannica's article about the history of Kievan Rus and history of the word "Ukraine".

The concept of "civil war" in Ukraine is a classic narrative of Russian disinformation about the war 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

Keywords: Civil war, Euromaidan, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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The Chernobyl series shows that the Soviets aren’t really people
Additional details: In one of the scenes, a "wall of lies" was added, with the caring hand of the screenwriters. For what reason? To show viewers that Soviet people aren’t really people.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Argumenty I Fakty
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Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a disinformation narrative about the Chernobyl accident in 1986, as well as about the West's anti-Russian and anti-Soviet sentiments.

According to HBO, Chernobyl, a "five-part mini-series co-production from HBO and Sky, dramatises the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history — and of the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster".

In his interview with VICE News, Craig Mazin, the screenwriter of the series, mentions that he wanted to depict not only the catastrophe but also the Soviet people who prevented it from being even worse. "As I’ve said many times—yes, the villain in this story is the Soviet system. But the hero of this story, collectively, are the Soviet people," Mazin said.

According to Mazin, the film crew tried to follow what really happened, without over-fictionalising or over-dramatising. "We had a basic rule of thumb: If you had to change something to be able to tell the story, narratively, then that was the only reason we could change it. We couldn’t change things to make them scarier; we couldn’t change things to make them more dramatic, or more sensational, or more horrifying," Mazin mentioned in the interview.

More about Russia's state media reaction to the "Chernobyl" series is here and here.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Chernobyl, Nuclear issues, Russophobia
Countries: USSR, Russia
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LGBT rights promoted by UK embassy and Western funds pose a threat to Belarus' domestic security
Additional details: The resignation of the Belarusian Minister for Internal Affairs Ihar Shunevich became a controversial news story. Whereas for people holding traditional views, Shunevich was a symbol of loyalty to the officer's duty, he became an object of hate and was constantly attacked by the population with liberal views.

Concerning his anti-homophobic statements, it is worth noting that no legal norms are in place in Belarus which discriminate against individuals based on their sexual orientation.

The efforts by foreign donors and embassies to establish special organisations aimed at promoting same-sex preferences are taken in Belarus as interference in domestic affairs. Moreover, in Belarusian society, where 70% of citizens are Christian believers, promotion of LGBT rights can result in the development of opposing radical sentiments. This is why the activities of the UK embassy concerning the LGBT issue were interpreted by the Ministry of Interior as a challenge to domestic security.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the morally corrupt West and its aggressive actions towards Belarus and Belarusian society.

After the Belarusian Interior Ministry slammed the UK embassy in Minsk for flying a rainbow flag on the International Day Against Homophobia in 2018, UK Ambassador Fiona Gibb posted a video stating "This embassy is once again flying the rainbow flag as we did in 2015, 2017 and 2018. We do so not to promote LGBT, but to promote equal rights for this community. LGBT people are not asking for special rights, but simply to enjoy the same respect, dignity and rights as others. As human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people, my government is committed to non-discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity."

In Belarus, the systematic restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and association in Belarus lead to discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community, according to the May 2019 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus. Belarusian legislation does not have any laws specifically protecting sexual minorities from discrimination. The report reads: "Article 64.9 of the Criminal Code foresees aggravating circumstances for crimes motivated by “hatred or hostility towards any social group”. However, the term “social group” is very vague and prosecutions taking into account the article in regard to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community are reported as rare.”

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the UK embassy in Belarus promotes genocidal and self-destructive policies by flying a rainbow flag on the International Day Against Homophobia, that the West is destabilising Belarus with the help of Nazis and LGBT, promotes the concept of feminine men, and attacks the institution of family in Slavic countries.

Keywords: Western values, European values, Conspiracy, Christianity, LGBT
Countries: UK, The West, Belarus
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The “Chernobyl” series is an example of anti-Soviet propaganda
Additional details: The main task for HBO’s “Chernobyl” series is to show US citizens that the Soviet Union (and, therefore, modern Russia) is "disgusting evil".
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Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/2647507.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum, Ren.TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

This is a disinformation narrative about the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and a pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about Western Russophobia and anti-Russian sentiments.

Chernobyl is a historical drama television series depicting the nuclear disaster of April 1986 and the unprecedented clean-up efforts that followed. The series premiered in the US and UK in early May 2019 and was acclaimed by critics. It is based in large part on the recollections of Pripyat locals, as relayed by Belarusian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich in her book, Voices from Chernobyl. There is no proof of a hidden propagandistic agenda behind the series as alleged by this article.

According to HBO, Chernobyl, a "five-part miniseries co-production from HBO and Sky dramatises the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history — and of the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster".

For more information about Russia's reaction to the series, see here.

Keywords: Ukraine, USSR, Propaganda, Anti-Russian, Chernobyl, Russophobia
Countries: United States, Russia, Ukraine, US
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The Ukrainian army is shelling residential areas in Donbas
Additional details: At 5 a.m. on 28 May 2019, the Ukrainian Armed Forces again opened massive fire in Donbas using heavy weapons, shelling residential areas.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIT9_I27-kE
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1 (01:49-01:59)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine that makes false claims about Ukraine's aggression.

On 28 May 2019, the Special Monitoring Mission recorded a similar number of ceasefire violations in the Donetsk region (about 100 explosions) and more in the Luhansk region (about 80 explosions), as compared with the previous day. The Mission recorded ceasefire violations inside the Zolote and Stanytsia Luhanska disengagement areas. Specifically, it did not record any "massive shelling" from the Ukrainian side.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, DNR, Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, LNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
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