Disinfo: Anti-Russian hysteria gave birth to daemons such as fascism and Banderism

Summary

Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, it makes no sense to look for the daemons of the XXth century in Moscow. Anti-Russian hysteria has already given birth to daemons such as the apology of Banderism in Ukraine, fascism in the Baltic states, and the Polish mix of consent towards Banderism, chauvinism, anti-Semitism and “bleaching” of fascism.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative attempting to link the Baltic countries, Ukraine, and Poland with Nazism, Fascism, and anti-Semitism. The accusation of Nazism is a popular propaganda technique used by pro-Kremlin outlets as explained in our following analysis Nazi east, Nazi west, Nazi over the cuckoo's nest. There is no evidence about how imaginary “anti-Russian hysteria” has resulted in an alleged increase in support for “fascism, anti-Semitism and chauvinism” in the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.

As other examples of this narrative, see the debunking of the claim that the European Union is a Nazi Project here.

In addition, see similar disinformation cases such as Europe is becoming Nazi again, Baltic states openly glorify Nazism, Poles are stoking nationalist sentiment in Ukraine in order to annex Kyiv and the EU continues the aggressive policies of Nazi Germany.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Baltic states, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Cold War, Anti-Russian, Stepan Bandera, Russophobia, Nazi/Fascist
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There was a Ukrainian provocation in the Kerch strait

Russian border guards seized the Ukrainian military ships during a provocation in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Kerch incident. On the 25th of November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members. Russia stated they were in Russian waters. However, according to the bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia, the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov are the internal waters of both Russia and Ukraine. The agreement gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels. Furthermore, both the 2003 bilateral agreement and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for freedom of navigation. On the 25th May on 2019, the UN International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled that Russia should release the sailors detained in the Kerch Strait and return the ships to Ukraine. Twenty-four military sailors returned to Ukraine on 7 September as part of a mutual release of detainees by Ukraine and Russia. On 18 November, 2019, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had handed three naval ships back to Ukraine. For further reporting see Bellingcat, DFRLab and Polygraph.

The US tries to weaken Russia by spoiling Moscow-Kyiv ties

Realising the critical role which Ukraine plays in maintaining Russia’s great-power status, US officials have long tried to drive a wedge between Moscow and Kyiv as a means of weakening Russia globally.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation casting the US as a malign influence on European affairs, Ukraine as a quasi-state with little geopolitical autonomy, and Russia as a great power fending off Western efforts at destabilisation and encirclement. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. The USA recognised Ukraine as an independent state on the 25th December 1991. US policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous and free Ukraine, more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. See here and here for earlier claims that Ukrainian foreign policy is dictated by the West.

French authorities set up violence at peaceful Yellow Vests' anniversary rally

The strategy of order enforcement chosen by the prefect of Paris has been highly criticised. He wanted the Yellow Vests’ demonstration to start at Place d’Italie, an area under construction which contains construction equipment, often thrown by the thugs and who, surprisingly, were there since the early morning. Controversy is also growing over a video clearly showing “two people framing a third man, all dressed in black, who were behind the line of CRS [riot police] who let them pass whilst repeating: ‘This is the BAC, it is the BAC [branch of the criminal police in France]’,” as noted by Liberation’s CheckNews. That led to accusations about police infiltrators within the thugs. All this was wanted by the government only to destroy the anniversary of Yellow Vests. It’s worse than a fracture. It serves the dictatorship that is being put in place.

Disproof

Biased conspiracy theory coverage of the Yellow Vests' one year anniversary protests in Paris. Speaking about the video proving the presence of law enforcers in civilian clothes among protesters (assumed by the French police itself), the article quotes the French newspaper Liberation and its CheckNews service. The video is supposed to "feed the accusations" that the police infiltrated the thugs. In reality, Liberation states the contrary, debunking those accusations. This is what Libération actually writes:

"It should be noted that beyond the infiltration of police for intelligence missions and arrests, commentators also accuse police officers of infiltrating the rallies only to organise violence and to help to destroy the image of the movement in public opinion. This is particularly the case of the yellow vest François Boulo, who claims to have seen disguised policemen turning over a car, and he goes to imagine that 'police-thugs' were able to degrade the stele of Marshal Juin. No elements in CheckNews' possession support such accusations."

No evidence is given to support other claims that the Paris city hall conspired to tarnish the Yellow Vests' anniversary. It is worth recalling that the Yellow Vests presented their candidates' list for the European Parliament elections in 2019, which would be impossible under a dictatorship. According to Freedom House, the French political system features vibrant democratic processes and generally strong protections for civil liberties and political rights. See more disinformation cases linked to the Yellow Vests. The analysis of the Russian disinformation media's non-stop coverage of Yellow vests and also of the manipulated social media discussions can be read here.