Disinfo: Military excercises in Estonia are provocative and threaten regional stability

Summary

The Russian Federation has repeatedly offered to the United States and its allies to limit training activities and to divert exercise areas from the line of contact between Russia and NATO. We consider the actions of the US Armed Forces in Estonia provocative and extremely dangerous for regional stability.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia.

Every nation has the right to conduct exercises, but it is important that they are conducted transparently and in line with international obligations.

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. During the Warsaw summit in July 2016, NATO has made it clear that "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia". NATO's exercises and military deployments in the Baltic states are not directed against Russia – or any other country. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently, transparently and publicly over the past 29 years.

The claim that NATO is encircling Russia is one of the myths about NATO. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members.

Russia has military bases or soldiers in three of the EU's Eastern neighbourhood countries, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, without the consent of their governments.

See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members, that the EU is encircling Russia and creating additional conflict zones, while NATO exploits non-existent “Russian threat” to increase its presence close to Russian borders.

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Belarus is surrounded by foreign troops

Foreign military surrounded Belarus. The West has increased intelligence against Minsk, as well as deployed a foreign contingent to the borders. More than 10 thousand soldiers, 40 combat aircraft and 500 units of heavy military equipment are located near the borders of Belarus. // NATO neighboring countries are increasing their military presence and intelligence activities towards Belarus.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is part of a Russian disinformation campaign on post-electoral events in Belarus, merged with recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives portraying NATO as an ever-aggressive organisation. In an earlier statement, NATO has dismissed allegations that it was conducting a military buildup near the country’s western border but said it was closely monitoring the situation following his contested re-election. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticise them in Minsk; that the arrest of Russian mercenaries in Belarus was a Ukrainian provocation, and the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks on Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

The “colour revolutions” recipe happening in Belarus

The scenario of colour revolutions is almost always the same around the world and the main principles by which such coups are carried out date back to the 1990s when the American Colonel Robert Helvey, in 1999 in Budapest, had organised courses for young Serbian revolutionaries, and techniques that were used on that occasion, can now be easily seen in the events in Belarus.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus and colour revolutions. There is no coup in Belarus, the protests erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections in Belarus, which took place on the 9 August and are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has also stated that the elections were neither free nor fair. Pro-Kremlin media frequently use disinformation narratives about popular protests around the world allegedly incited and funded by the US and other Western states, including colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. This narrative claims that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are “colour revolutions” directed and funded by the West. See similar cases claiming that the protests in Belarus are a colour revolution conducted according to a Maidan scenario and that the West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus.

Russian doctors saved Navalny's life, therefore he could not have been poisoned

The Russian doctors did everything they could to save the life of the dissident Alexei Navalny; he was taken to the hospital very quickly, and then he was treated by professional doctors, which cast doubts on the assumption that he was poisoned by the [Russian] authorities.

Disproof

Disinformation campaign around the poisoning of opposition leader Alexi Navalny. The fact that the medical staff at the Omsk hospital tried to save the life of Alexei Navalny does not rule out the possibility that he was poisoned. To argue that professional medical staff conspiring to let a patient die is the only proof of an attempt on that patient's life is contrary to reason to say the least. This line of reasoning was not critically challenged or counterbalanced in the article. The preliminary test results from the Charité – Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin where Navalny is being currently treated indicate that the Russian opposition leader was poisoned during his stay in Siberia. Clinical findings indicated that poisoning occurred using a nerve agent from the Novichok family. Background: Russian opposition leader and a critic of Vladimir Putin Alexey Navalny has been suffering from suspected poisoning. He fell ill during a flight and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. Siberian doctors denied allegations on poisoning. Navalny has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. The EU High Representative Josep Borell condemns in a statement what seems to be an attempt on Mr. Navalny's life.