Disinfo: Brussels uses Russophobia as a uniting idea to prevent the EU’s collapse

Summary

Following the destruction of Iraq and Libya by the EU and NATO as instructed by the US, the EU faced large flows of refugees from the Middle East and Northern Africa. The increase in popularity of Euroscepticism due to the migration crisis posed a challenge to the EU’s existence. To address it, Brussels took Russophobia as a cementing idea. Lately it has taken the form of history falsifications, especially when it comes to WWII. Following Brexit, only those countries remain in the EU which either fought against the USSR with Hitler, or supported the Nazis economically. Since at the moment of the Nazi Germany invasion against the USSR in 1941, the largest European economies were under Germany, the USSR was de facto attacked by a united Europe headed by Adolf Hitler.

Disproof

This is conspiracy and a mix of groundless claims and manipulations aimed to discredit the EU and the West as a whole. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about ubiquitous Russophobia. Read our analysis: The “Russophobia” Myth: Appealing to the Lowest Feelings and look at earlier disinformation cases, alleging that Russophobia is the main activity of the Latvian state and that Russophobic Lithuania plans to tear Belarus away from Russia by dragging it into the Western energy network.

The message also uses the accusation of Nazism and alleged association to Hitler, which is one of the commonly used techniques of pro-Kremlin outlets, as explained in our past analysis.

The EU does not face a threat of collapse as alleged. Support for the EU, as shown in 2019 Eurobarometer poll, remains at historically high levels. Continued support for EU membership goes with a strong belief (68%) that EU countries overall have benefited from being part of the EU – equalling the highest level recorded since 1983, as communicated by the European Parliament's Press.

Read earlier disinformation cases alleging that neo-Nazism flourishes in the European Union and that the Baltic states’ policies equal to Third Reich whereas Russophobia has become a Western value.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Iraq, Libya, UK, USSR, Germany
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, Brexit, Historical revisionism, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Russophobia, Migration crisis, Nazi/Fascist

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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Europe justifies the Munich Agreement with Hitler

Until recently it was unthinkable that the fierce debates on the reasons and consequences of WWII will take place in Europe, which equates the USSR and Nazi Germany. And is doing it as if there was no “Munich” before the “Pact”. Where to find objective history? The truth is revealed in a Cambridge Scholars Publishing book called “History of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy in the 20th Century”. It restores realism in international relations.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by stating that other European countries signed various international agreements with Germany throughout 1930s.

The Munich Agreement (signed 30 September 1938), did indeed permit German annexation of the Sudetenland, in western Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler was heavily criticised in Europe and proved to be a disastrous move. World War II began in Europe on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, knowing that the Soviet Union did not oppose them and would also invade Poland from the east. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany on 3 September.

Accusations of Russian interference in US elections is a PR campaign

We cannot exclude the possibility that accusations of Russian interference in US elections are a Democratic PR-campaign, where everything is based on repeating the same accusations again and again. Those who are familiar with the findings of the Mueller-investigation no longer believe the tales about Russian hackers.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative denying Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election.

Before the Mueller report was published, Russian meddling in the 2016 election had already been established by US intelligence agencies. Thus, the Special Investigation was primarily concerned with "whether any Americans […] joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election" (p.2).

The West sows animosity towards Russians among Little Russians; Belarus is next target

Russia and the Russian World, hence Belarus too, face a global challenge. Russian geopolitical opponents wage hybrid wars targeting all-Russian consciousness among Great Russians and Belarusians and attempting to sow animosity among them. Earlier, Western strategists succeeded with a coup d’etat in Ukraine. They managed to sow animosity in the souls of millions of Ukrainians / Little Russians towards Great Russians and now want to do this to Belarus.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy which is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's intentions to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. It also depicts the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup d’état orchestrated by the West and presents wide-spread anti-Russian sentiments among Ukrainians as aggressive Western actions rather than the result of Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

The narrative denies Russian military involvement in Donbas while there is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. The EU has condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.