Disinfo: In 2021, Russia will remain the perfect scapegoat

Summary

As in 2020, accusing the Russians is going to be a leitmotiv in 2021. In his annual press conference, president Putin said that US politics turned Russia into a problem when it really isn’t one. We are seeing how they continued until the very last day with claims of an eventual Russian interference of which there is no trace.

NATO wants to generate tensions with Russia by accusing it of being a threat. Russia remains the old Soviet enemy in Washington’s mindset, and it is a comfortable enemy because, unlike terrorism, it has clear borders. When you have any problem you can always blame the Russians for it. This is the perfect excuse to maintain sanctions, to continue promoting NATO policies in Russia’s borders and to have a clear enemy.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia as a victim of the West and about Russian innocence of any misdeed.

It is false that US policies turned Russia into a problem, that NATO wants to purposefully generate tensions with Russia or that the West tries to portray it as an enemy. Tensions with Russia heightened after it occupied Crimea and orchestrated a war in eastern Ukraine in 2014, and interfered in the US elections as well as in other electoral processes in the years afterwards. Contrary to the claim, there is massive evidence of Russian interference in the US elections both in 2016 and in 2020. Sanctions were imposed on Russia for all these reasons.

See other examples of these disinformation narratives about Russia as a victim of the West, such as allegations about the supposed anti-Russian bias of international institutions - be it the OPCW, the World Anti-Doping Agency or the United Nations - which always falsely accuse Russia; the alleged Russophobia of the EU; the affirmation that it is NATO and not the Kremlin who is involved in the Donbas conflict; denials that Russia had any role in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal or the downing of MH17; or claims that neither the US Intelligence Committee report nor the Mueller report found any evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, that there is no proof that Russia tried to influence the Brexit referendum, that “absurd” accusations against Russia are an attempt to demonise it, that for the West Russia is an enemy that must be surrounded with military bases.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: EU, Russia, US
  • Keywords: US Presidential Election 2020, election meddling, West, Anti-Russian, NATO, Sanctions

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more

Accusing Russia of cyber-attacks is purely Russophobic

Any accusations of Russia’s involvement [in cyberattacks] are totally unfounded and are most likely a continuation of blind Russophobia, which is resorted to in any incident.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative about ubiquitous Russophobia and a belligerent agenda against Russia.

There is substantial evidence that cyber-attacks targeting companies and governments between Europe and the US originated from Russia and are also linked to the Russian government. Russian President Vladimir Putin is known to have admitted that ‘patriotic hackers’ might target election campaigns abroad. Below are some examples of Russian cyber-attacks.

Fascist Zelensky declared the Russian nation an enemy of Ukraine

(The) Jew Zelenskyy declared the Russian nation an enemy of Ukraine. However, you do not expect anything else from the fascist president. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy changed his rhetoric that the main enemy of the Ukrainians is supposedly Russia, now, according to him, it is the Russians who are the invaders.

Disproof

This is a new take on an already well-known Russian disinformation narrative, attempting to portray Ukraine as a fascist, Nazi state.

The myth of Nazi-ruled Ukraine has been the cornerstone of Russian disinformation about the country since the very beginning of the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests, when it was used to discredit the pro-European popular uprising in Kyiv and, subsequently, the broader pro-Western shift in Ukraine's foreign policy. Far-right groups enjoyed a very limited presence during the Euromaidan itself and had poor results in the 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections. In the 2019 election, far-right candidates fell short of the 5% minimum guaranteeing entry into parliament.

The West did not respond to Russian initiatives to cooperate on the Navalny case

Russia is ready to open an investigation into the case of Navalny, but it asked the West to provide it with official conclusions about the issue. Moscow has suggested to foreign partners to cooperate in the investigation on its territory and abroad, but these initiatives have not received any response.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Aleksei Navalny's poisoning.

Germany has responded to past Russian calls for Navalny's medical samples by saying that Russia should already have all it needs after its initial treatment of the dissident.