Buzzfeed hires Russophobic journalists, spreads false information and incites hatred

Summary

Buzzfeed, which sees “Russian threats” everywhere, hires Russophobic journalists to conduct anti-Russian investigations, spreads false information and incites hatred.

Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev, who also works with Bellingcat, is often involved in Buzzfeed’s dubious “investigations”, for example on the Skripal case. Grozev has spread a great deal of false information, such as the claim that Donetsk “separatists” received instructions to falsify the results of the referendum. Grozev graduated from the American University of Bulgaria, which is sponsored by the Soros Open Society Foundation and the US Agency for International Development.

Anton Shekhovstov, who like Grozev also built his career on the use of defamation, has publicised his books through Buzzfeed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at discrediting serious journalists and scholars that engage in research on pro-Kremlin disinformation and propaganda, by claiming they are Russophobic and spread false information.

The article, which seeks to discredit serious researchers such as Christo Grozev, Anton Shekhovtsov, and Andreas Umland, also implies that “Russophobic” researchers are linked to the Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist George Soros. This claim is consistent with pro-Kremlin conspiracy theories about Soros.

The partnership between the American University in Bulgaria and the Open Society Institute dates back to 1992. The aims of the Open Society Scholarship Programmes are to promote critical thinking, free and open intellectual inquiry, and cross-cultural tolerance and respect, NOT to spread anti-Russian disinformation.

No evidence is provided that Grozev has spread false information. On the contrary, Grozev is a qualified investigative journalist and has done serious research on the Skripal case, the downing of flight MH17, and the planned coup in Montenegro in 2016. The information that Donetsk separatists received instructions to falsify the referendum, which the article claims is false, is actually true. For Grozev’s investigation on this issue see here.

Similar cases can be read here claiming that Buzzfeed and Bellingcat deliberately spread anti-Russian disinformation.

The geopolitica.ru website had previously posted an article that attempts to discredit Grozev, Shekhovtsov, and Umland and to link them to Soros.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, West, Montenegro, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Anti-Russian, Donbas, NATO, Conspiracy, MH17
  • Outlet: Geopolitica.ru
see more

The Russian threat is ‘an invention’ of those who want to benefit from it

The Russian threat is ‘an invention’ of those who want to benefit from their “role of the advance department in the fight against Russia”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Western belligerence towards Russia claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea.

While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the West is trying to keep open channels of communications with Russia, but not to invent the 'Russian threat' in order to 'fight against Russia'. After the end of the Cold War until the 2014 Ukraine crisis, most US and Western policymakers no longer viewed Russia as an adversary, instead, taking the opinion that it could potentially become, or already was, a credible and responsible partner for Western states.

Ukraine is preparing a plan for the deportation of Donbas residents

To deport the people of the People’s Republics for “re-education” in the Western regions [of Ukraine] and to force to move to Russia those who do not agree to leave their houses. The day before, a Ukrainian “plan for the deportation of the people of Donbas” had been made available on the internet. It describes the so-called “strategy for the safe reintegration of Donbas.”

Ukraine has created a “plan for the deportation of the people of Donbas”, which refers to the resettlement of the inhabitants of the DPR and LPR to the cities of Western Ukraine, but by tradition, Kyiv did not ask people for their opinion.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory presented without any evidence; it is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine and attempts to discredit the democratically elected Ukrainian government.

The so-called “plan for the deportation of the people of Donbas” first appeared anonymously on the Internet. The story has received widespread coverage in pro-separatist and pro-Kremlin media where it is claimed to be authentic. The source of this information was a fake document allegedly from the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine with incorrect details such as the address of the Council or names of the officials. It was spread on the social media platform "Telegram" with the help of an anonymous account.

The US plans to take over Kalinigrad region

The US plans for war against Russia are voiced more and more. Dr. Richard Hooker, senior researcher at the Jamestown Foundation (USA), recently talked about a plan to invade Kaliningrad, while the American publication Foreign Policy reports that Washington will “protect itself from Russia” by horizontal escalation, that is, by attacking the Russian contingent in Syria […].

Disproof

This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Western aggression against Kaliningrad.

The origins of this NATO scenario comes from a recent report by the American Jamestown Foundation entitled “How to Defend the Baltic States”, published in October 2019. The report mentions that “three Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—face powerful Russian forces” and therefore this report comes to “lay out the military units and force posture, along with changes to Alliance command and control, that would be needed to prevail in case Russia was to spark hostilities in the Baltic States”, after it was proven that "Russian aggression in Chechnya, Georgia, Donbas, Crimea and Syria have proven that military force can be used successfully without eliciting a forceful response from the West".