Disinfo: Amsterdam may use coronavirus to commit frauds against Russia in the MH17 trial

Summary

The West may use coronavirus to commit frauds against Russia in the MH17 trial. It could intentionally ban Russian representatives from attending the court hearing and suppress the public speaking of the 13 so-called unnamed witnesses. The Coronavirus may also become a pretext for provocations against Russia in court.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is a conspiracy theory about the coronavirus, and one of many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives aiming to undermine the results of the MH17 investigation and the outcomes of the future trial. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) - which is comprised of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service officials and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine - 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 Pervomaiskiy. 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. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, 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 MH17 and murdering the 298 persons on board. The public hearing is scheduled for 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the BUK installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable. Read other disinformation narratives alleging that The Netherlands is going to sabotage the MH17 trial, The MH17 trial will be a show process, and that There was no BUK, MH17 crashed because of an explosion on board.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/03/2020
  • Outlet language(s)
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: The Netherlands, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, MH17
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Washington is testing options for invading the Kaliningrad region

About 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries will take part in the military exercise “Defender Europe 2020”. 20,000 of them are American military personnel. The main goal is to practice the rapid deployment of American forces to the Russian border. Experts believe that Washington is testing options for invading the territory of the Kaliningrad region.

Disproof

This article is in line with the pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of encircling Russia, claiming that US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020" is directed against Russia. Find similar cases here. Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theatre to various training areas. The aim of the exercises is to increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force and equipment from the United States to Europe; and alongside its allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis. "The joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. The exercise supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries. Approximately 37,000 U.S., allied, and partner nation service members are expected to participate with roughly 20,000 soldiers deploying from the U.S," states the official web site of the exercises. Eighteen countries are expected to participate, with exercise activities occurring across 10 countries. More details about the exercise can be found here. At a press conference in Berlin on January 14, 2020, the Deputy Commander of the US Armed Forces in Europe, General Andrew Rawling, announced that Defender 2020 is not directed against Russia or against another country: "These manoeuvres are not related to any particular country. In this, they differ from past exercises of the Cold War. It is a question of defence in general under various crisis scenarios." Read similar cases about the Kaliningrad region being threatened by NATO and US.

Euromaidan was a coup d'état carried out by oligarchs

The events of 2014 are not even Maidan, it was a coup d’état.

We see that the coup d’état was made artificially. It was not a revolution for people, it was just a coup d’état that the oligarchs carried out.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives painting the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat that was artificially orchestrated. It was also alleged that the Euromaidan was led by fascists and neo-Nazis and carried out by Western intelligence.

The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. For more cases about the Euromaidan protests, see here.

Ukraine is a quasi-state with failed economy

Ukraine is a quasi-state. Everything that has happened over the past 30 years has worsened the situation of these territories. Ukraine is one of the few examples in the post-Soviet space when the economy has not only ceased to improve over 30 years but has been in a recession.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine as a failed state. Consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives alleging that Ukraine is a degrading state that has failed to become Europe.

Ukraine has a functioning government and economy, it is a member of many international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Council of Europe, and a party to international agreements. Ukraine has bilateral diplomatic relations with the majority of states.