Disinfo: A publication of the NYT about Catalonia is a stupid forgery


The [NYT] newspaper's publication is fake news, sarcastically noting that "the meaning of the article is traditionally revolutionary - Russia is interfering."

Oleg Syromolotov never met Josep Lluis Alay in Moscow or abroad, he had no contact with him and still has not. The entire publication of the newspaper is a stupid forgery.

The newspaper did not ask the Russian Foreign Ministry to confirm or deny the information about the meetings, which is further evidence of preplanned provocation.

The New York Times as well as all the other media which reproduced this disinformation are obliged to write a denial.


Recurrent self-victimisation technique to deny a piece of embarrassing news and qualifying it as Russophobia or planned provocation.

The article of the New York Times is based on a report from European intelligence that synthesises a long investigation that included the interception of conversation between pro-independence figures in Catalonia. The leak from the Spanish police was also consulted by other media organisations like OCCRP or El Pais.

Asking for conformation from Russian MFA: The meeting between an emissary of the independentists and Oleg V. Syromolotov, former chief of counterintelligence for the Federal Security Service is not information that is likely to be confirmed by the Russian MFA as the secrecy is an important part of this profession. Moreover, this information is only a detail in this long investigation. The technique to focus on a small detail difficult to confirm to deny the whole story is classical in denial policy.

Eventually, the sarcasm here expressed implies that also Kremlin meddling in other countries is a myth. It is untrue at different levels, first, the New York Times explains that this investigation did not establish Russian interference, though contacts happened, and the Catalonian side had a strong desire to please Russia and censored its own statements for this purpose. Secondly, Kremlin meddling in other countries' political life has long been proven by facts on many occasions.

Read also related stories: Macron distributes fake news on Russian meddling in referendums or Western criticism of the Navalny case is interference; Russia doesn’t mess with other countries' affairs.


  • Reported in: Issue 258
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/09/2021
  • Article language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Spain, Russia, US
  • Keywords: The New York Times, Provocation, election meddling, Catalonia, FSB, Maria Zakharova, fake news, Propaganda, Russophobia
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Recurring disinformation linked to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Lithuania, as the whole EU and other international bodies, has not recognised the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Disinfo: 2014 Vrbětice explosion is being used as part of a planned disinformation campaign

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Part of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative according to which Russia is a victim of a Western anti-Russian campaign driven by Russophobia. This narrative is employed as a way to deflect accusations of wrongdoing levied against Russia.

There is a significant body of evidence proving that Russia was involved in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion, therefore there is no ground to claim that the Vrbětice case was a planned disinformation campaign.

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This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that Russia is a mediator in Eastern Ukraine along with France, Germany and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), while Ukraine and the separatists are the only warring sides.

In reality, it is an established fact that Russia is a party to the Donbas conflict. Ukrainian troops have seized several Russian active-duty soldiers in Donbas since the war broke out in 2014. Russia has been supplying the separatists with weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 acknowledged Russian military presence in Donbas, adding that they were not servicemen. However, he admitted Moscow’s military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. Separatist leaders themselves admit that there are a lot of Russian servicemen in Donbas, who fight there while on vacation from duty in Russia. Although these people may be on vacation, it does not deny the fact that Russian soldiers and officers do serve in Donbas.