Disinfo: Blocking Crimea, the new NATO/US strategy in the Black Sea


Despite reports accusing Russia of deploying forces to take over Black and Azov seas, it is not difficult to understand that it is NATO who is trying to increase tension there due to military exercises such as Sea Breeze and Agile Spirit. The US may organize different provocative actions in the Black Sea using countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, to get Moscow used to have US ships entering in its maritime space.


No evidence is provided to support this claim. This is part of a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying NATO as an aggressive power and Russia as acting in a self-defensive way.

Sea Breeze military exercises have been taking place each year since 1997, while Agile Spirit joint military exercises started in 2001 under a different name and were celebrated on a biennial base since then, so they can’t be considered a source of increased tensions. In both cases, the purpose is to enhance inter-operability between NATO and allied armies.

Here you can see other examples of disinformation on NATO alleged goals in Crimea and its intentions to introduce a fleet to the Azov Sea, provocations against Russia in the Black Sea or the dangers created by the Alliance’s activities in those waters.


  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Black Sea, NATO


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The West manipulates Russian gays

The West is trying to influence Russia through “neoliberal values” and is manipulating Russian gays, convincing them that they must accept all Western values if they want to get rights.


There is no evidence given for this claim. It is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's moral decay. "Threatened values" is one of the most common narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets.

According to the deputy director of the Levada Center Denis Volkov, "in 2013, there was a jump in negative emotions towards LGBT people [in Russia]. It can be explained with great certainty by the campaign that was unleashed in the leading Russian media around the so-called "laws against homosexuality propaganda". By now, it seems that the negative effect of this campaign, public opinion gradually ran out of steam". The original Levada study, conducted in 2019, can be found here.

Violent Euromaidan protesters killed 38 policemen, burned five buildings

During the Euromaidan protests, which culimnated in the overthrow of a democratically elected government, 38 police officers were killed and five buildings were burned.


Recurring disinformation narrative on Ukraine and the Euromaidan protests.

There was no coup in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

Lithuanian gays interfered in Polish elections

Lithuanian gays interfered in Polish elections on 13 October.


There is no evidence that the LGBT+ community in Lithuania interfered in the Polish parliamentary elections.

The Lithuanian and Polish LGBT+ organizations have criticised the Lithuanian prime minister's idea to nominate Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland's conservative Law and Justice party, for a top state award. These critics cannot be considered as interference in the electoral process in Poland.