Disinfo: After the Soviet Union fell apart, the US offered Russia to keep so-called "grey zones" in Eastern Europe

Summary

[Context: Georgia’s potential NATO membership] After the Soviet Union fell apart, the US offered Russia to keep so-called “grey zones” in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, which will be in nobody’s sphere of interest and will serve as a “security buffer zone”,

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on US and NATO. NATO made no promises not to accept new members from eastern and central Europe back in 1990, which was confirmed by the former president of the Soviet Union Mihail Gorbachev. Back in 2014, Gorbachev said:"The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility." www.rbth.com/international/2014/10/16/mikhail_gorbachev_i_am_against_all_walls_40673.html. Furthermore, the claim about NATO "expansion" misrepresents the process of NATO enlargement. NATO does not "expand" but considers the applications of candidate countries which want to join. In any case, no such promise was made www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_109141.htm.

Further debunking at DFRLab medium.com/dfrlab/balticbrief-russia-claims-secret-nato-deployment-e6c0e649ccfb.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 121
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/10/2018
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: USSR, Georgia, US
  • Keywords: Caucasus, Central Asia, Sphere of influence, EU/NATO enlargement
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No court case in Russia for "liking" on social media

[Context: Russia’s legislation on extremism] Not a single court case has been instituted in Russia for “liking” on social media, said Alexander Kurennoy, the official representative of the Prosecutor General.

Disproof

In fact, Russia's investigative committee opened a criminal case under the article on extremism against a doctor from Khabarovsk, who “liked” a picture condemning the participation of Russians in the war in eastern Ukraine. The man claimed to have liked the image by accident. Further debunk by The Insider.

The Macedonians said "no" to NATO and the EU

On the referendum regarding the new name of their country, the Macedonians said “no” to NATO and the EU.

Disproof

The referendum on changing the name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as part of a deal that would pave the way for EU and NATO membership had a low turnout of 37 per cent - but among those who voted it won an overwhelming support. Results showed 91.3 percent of voters approving the deal. With the support of more than 600,000 citizens in favour of a new country's name, FYROM’s prime minister has now referred the issue to the parliament.

Most Europeans have a negative attitude towards the EU

The EU project has failed. According to all public opinion polls, most Europeans have a negative attitude towards the European Union, the European Commission and other official bodies of the EU. Eurosceptics throughout Europe consider the European Commission to be a parasitic formation, a cold and bureaucratic monster that does not express the interests of the peoples of Europe, was not elected by anyone and defends abstract neo-liberal principles.

Disproof

According to PEW research centre, most EU citizens didn’t want their countries to leave the Union in 2017. One year later, in 2018, Eurobarometer survey showed highest support for the EU in 35 years. Two thirds of Europeans believe their country has benefited from being a member of the EU, the highest percentage since 1983. In addition 60% of Europeans consider EU membership a good thing. Regarding the European Commission, it is the EU's politically independent executive arm. It is alone responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Political leadership is provided by a team of 28 Commissioners (one from each EU country) – led by the Commission President. European Commission's principles include: transparency, language coverage, responsibility towards the environment, equality and ethical behaviour.