Disinfo: A British spy admits to killing Princess Diana on the instructions of Prince Philip


A former British intelligence agent named John Hopkins (80 years old) has confessed on his death bed to the assassination of 23 personalities, from activists to politicians and journalists between 1973 and 1999. He also confessed to assassinating Princess Diana after being instructed to do so by Prince Philip.


This case is a well-documented fake. As Sputnik’s host Nawaf Ibrahim clearly stated, the source of this information, upon which he based his whole radio show, was the “YourNewsWire” website. According to “Poynter Institute” YourNewsWire is “one of the most popular fake news publishers in the world”. Several debunking websites, such as Snopes and the French website 20 Minutes have already proven that the "John Hopkins' Confessions" is false. Moreover, the image accompanying the story originated with a 2010 news report about a veteran’s hospital care in Australia, not a 2017 “deathbed confession” in the United Kingdom.

YourNewsWire, which has rebranded itself as NewsPunch, has taken down the article that was published in 2017.


  • Reported in: Issue 163
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: UK
  • Keywords: fake news, Conspiracy theory
see more

Disinfo: Volodymyr Tsemakh was released because he ceased to be of interest to international investigators and Ukraine

Tsemakh was released due to the fact that he ceased to be of interest to the JIT and Ukraine.


New narrative in the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the downing of Flight MH17. In fact, the Netherlands Prosecutor's Office, as well as the Joint Investigative Group, stated that they would like to talk with Volodymyr Tsemakh as part of the investigation of the MH17 case. Also, there are no statements from the Ukrainian prosecutor's office that Volodymyr Tsemakh has ceased to be of interest to the investigation. Indeed, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office objected to Mr Tsemakh's release, saying that he would not be safe. "We believed that detention was the only possible preventive measure for Mr Tsemakh. His life might be threatened," said spokesman Oleh Peresada. Ferd Grapperhaus, the Netherlands justice minister, said the release was "nasty news" and urged Ukrainian authorities to reverse the decision. He said the Dutch government was only notified of the decision shortly before the release order was delivered. In addition, in a commentary on Radio Liberty, the speaker of the international Joint Investigative Group, Brechtje van de Moosdijk, stated that Tsemakh was "a person of interest for the investigation" for them. “We wanted to talk to him, but now it will be difficult. I would like him to stay in Ukraine so that we can talk with him,” said the representative of the JIT. Further debunking by StopFake.

Disinfo: Ukraine is an anti-Russian project

As a state, Ukraine is an Anti-Russia. Ukraine cannot be anything but an Anti-Russia.


This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation conspiracy narrative about Ukraine and an anti-Russian project, questioning the statehood of Ukraine: similar cases here and here. Ukraine is a sovereign nation-state, not an anti-Russian project. In 1991, Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union.The Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine was adopted on 16 July 1990. Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and the 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. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Russia established diplomatic relations and signed a number of important treaties. On 31 May 1997 the countries signed a comprehensive Friendship Treaty. As a result, Russia recognised Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. It also recognised that Crimea belongs to Ukraine. Together with the Friendship Treaty, Ukraine and Russia signed the Partition Treaty on the Black Sea Fleet. The countries divided the former Soviet Union Black Sea Fleet stationed in Sevastopol. Ukraine also allowed the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Sevastopol naval base until 2017. On 24 April 2010 the Kharkiv Pact was signed prolonging the initial agreement until 2042. In March 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, Russian Duma voted for the denunciation of the Partition Treaty and the Kharkiv Pact. In December 2018, after Russia illegally ceased Ukrainian ships and their crew in the Kerch strait, Ukraine unilaterally denounced the Friendship Treaty with Russia. Both Ukraine and Russia were the founding countries of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), a free association formed by 12 former Soviet republics (except Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania). Ukraine ceased to participate in CIS from 2014 after the annexation of Crimea by Russia and its occupation of Donbas. In 2018, Ukraine withdrew from all statutory bodies of CIS.

Disinfo: NATO invents a "Russian threat" to expand its presence near Russia

NATO invents a “Russian threat” to expand its presence near Russia. Moscow has repeatedly remarked that NATO states would invent a “Russian threat” to expand their presence near the Russian Federation.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea created and spread by NATO to encircle and weaken Russia. In fact, NATO is not a threat to Russia. NATO is a defensive alliance. Its purpose is to protect the member states. NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – nor any other country. However, in March 2014, in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia. NATO does not seek confrontation, but it cannot ignore Russia breaking international rules, undermining stability and security. See more for NATO's response to the crisis in Ukraine and security concerns in Central and Eastern Europe here. For similar cases, see here and here.