Disinfo: Beijing uses the protests in Russia to gain leverage on the Kremlin

Summary

Fake news also became the integral part of this anti-government campaign. They were mostly dedicated to alleged killings and incredible numbers of arrests by the authorities. These messages were actively endorsed by mainstream social media, including the Chinese-operated TikTok. While Washington, which prefers to see the Russian statehood destroyed, Beijing is also not averse to use the situation for getting additional leverage on the Kremlin to strengthen its own position in joint projects.

Disproof

The claim that Beijing have influence over the nation-wide January protests in Russia is not supported by any evidence.

This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are "colour revolutions" directed and funded by foreign intelligence services or other actors in order to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change.

The 2021 Russian protests began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 3,300 people were arrested in protests spanning nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia.

See other similar cases claiming that The neo-liberal forces behind Navalny will intensify their attempts to destroy Russia, or that The West is sending Navalny back to Russia to prevent him from becoming irrelevant.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Country: China, US, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Protest
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The "handwriting" of Kyiv puppeteers was discovered in Russia

The “handwriting” of Kyiv puppeteers, who had a hand in the protests in Belarus, was discovered in Russia. “Demanding justice” activists of unknown origin, probably began to prepare raids on security officials who controlled order at illegal actions (street protests) in support of blogger Alexei Navalny.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Alexei Navalny, Belarus and Ukraine, and Ukraine being somehow involved in the protests in Belarus, and now in Russia.

The article cites an expert, who says that there is a Telegram channel about Russian "punishers", where "they" intend to "drain" the data of the security forces. And, allegedly, it is controlled from Kyiv. But, as usual, absolutely no evidence is given.

The West needs Alexey Navalny to destabilise the situation in Russia

The West needs this “leader”(Alexey Navalny) to destabilise the situation in Russia, for social upheaval, strikes and new “Maidans”. What this can lead to, we see the example of Ukraine, which has practically lost its independence.

Disproof

Disinformation built around the concept of ubiquitous Russophobia and anti-Russian provocations by Western countries to encircle and destabilise Russia and Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. The article also contains a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about lost sovereignty undermining Ukrainian statehood.

Alexei Navalny is a founder and leader of the "Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), which has investigated embezzlement from the state budget, uncovered the lives of Russian politicians and businessmen close to the government and different corruption practices. FBK's goal is to eliminate corruption. Their funding comes from donations and therefore the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation recognised FBK as a "foreign agent" due to the Russian "foreign agent" law, since they receive donations from outside Russia. However, FBK does not agree with this claim and is trying to appeal it in court.

The West needs Navalny to create new “Maidans”

Western countries need this “activist” [Alexei Navalny] to destabilise the situation in Russia, for social upheaval, strikes, and new Maidans.

We have the example of Ukraine where this can lead to, with Ukraine in practice having lost its independence.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, aiming to deflect the authorities' responsibility in his poisoning attempt and to discredit him by portraying him as a puppet of the West, and another example of disinformation narratives about the 2013-2014 Maidan protests and Ukrainian statehood.

Contrary to the claim, which is not backed by any evidence, Alexei Navalny is an independent Russian politician, not a pawn of any foreign government.