Disinfo: Bloomberg started information war against Russia and works against Belarus-Russia relations

Summary

Bloomberg wrote about Vladimir Putin’s insidious plot concerning Belarus and referred to an anonymous source close to the Kremlin. The anonymous source is a trick, as in reality it does not exist. Anything can be published based on references to the “sources close to the Kremlin”. Bloomberg does its best to turn Belarus and Russia against each other to prevent the establishment of the Union State between the two countries. Bloomberg will continue writing about political and economic disagreements between Belarus and Russia, and its future allegations will be based on the “sources close to the Kremlin”. It was indeed Bloomberg who started an information war against Russia, and it was Bloomberg who was at the head of all international conflicts.

Disproof

This message is conspiracy which is consistent with repetitive pro-Kremlin narratives about the West staging an anti-Russia information war, West's attempts to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, and about Western media outlets as subservient to Western political elites.

On 24 April 2019 Bloomberg published an article, titled Putin’s Term Limit Stirs Fears of a Takeover in Belarus. It says that Russia's recent slash of economic subsidies to Belarus fuels fears in Minsk that the Kremlin may look for Belarus' possible absorption. According to the article, three people close to the Kremlin said to Bloomberg that "Putin may lay plans to head a unified state with neighboring Belarus to sidestep a constitutional ban on remaining president after 2024."

The use of unnamed sources does not violate journalist ethics under certain conditions. It is justified when information from source is important to the story, could not be obtained any other way and the source is credible, the International Journalists' Network explainer says.

After an increase in tensions between Belarus and Russia in December 2018, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko himself publicly spoke about Moscow's interest to incorporate Belarus under the cover of 'deep integration'. Belarusian and Russian state-owned and state-controlled media regularly report about political and economic disagreements between the two countries. Episodic Bloomberg publications about Belarus-Russia relations do not stand out in this respect.

See a similar recent disinformation case alleging that Russian company Rosneft is an object of defamatory campaign by Reuters and other western media.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Belarus
  • Keywords: West, Anti-Russian, Media, Information war, Conspiracy

Disclaimer

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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Ukraine is a degrading state

If one would compare Ukraine to a hotel, one could say it sank to the ranking of a two-star hotel. Ukraine is degrading rapidly. The situation for the Ukrainian people is very sad.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine as a failed state.

 

Ukraine’s claims regarding the Kerch Strait are not adequate

Ukraine’s claims regarding the Kerch Strait presented in the International Sea Tribunal are not adequate. The issue of authority over Crimea as an integral part of Russian Federation and Crimea-adjacent sea territories essentially cannot be subject of any court proceedings.

 

Disproof

A recurring narrative on the Kerch Strait and Crimea.

The use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov is regulated by a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004. According to the document, the Sea of Azov is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

Belarus and other peoples of Northern Eurasia are part of the Russian World

The Roman empire died because of internal decay, when material benefits were placed at the top of empire’s development agenda. Similarly, the Union State between Russia and Belarus cannot exist with a sole purpose of raising the well-being of its citizens. It needs the unifying idea, and that is that Russia and Belarus are part of Russian civilization, the Russian World, which has fairness as one of its underlying principles. The Russian World is intended to gather other peoples of Northern Eurasia around the eastern Slavic core. Northern Eurasia peoples are those who were involved in building the Russian empire and the USSR.

Disproof

The Russian World ('Russkiy Mir') concept is closely linked with an an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology of "all-Russian nation", a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians as well as their sovereignty.

Earlier cases alleging that Belarusians are part of Russian people can be found here and here,  whereas other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets' attempts to question the Ukrainian nation can be seen here and here.