Disinfo: Center for the Study of Democracy is NATO branch office

Summary

Sofia-based NATO center accuses Serbian Orthodox Church of being a bastion of Russia:

The Orthodox Church is one of the important links for strengthening Russian influence in the Balkans and a spiritual mediator in the spread of Russian politics, according to an analysis by the Bulgaria-based Center for the Study of Democracy, which studies Russian influence in the Western Balkans.

“Through the Orthodox Church, Russia is launching various initiatives under a religious veil. Paradoxically, the Russian and many Orthodox churches in the region were bastions of the former secret services, and are now strengthening the Kremlin’s influence, according to a study called Russia’s Economic Impact in the Balkans.

This is just another set of studies being fabricated by NATO branch offices in the region, which undoubtedly can be said for the Sofia Center for the Study of Democracy.

Disproof

The Center for the Study of Democracy from Sofia is an independent NGO, and there is no evidence that it is a “NATO branch office”.

The claim that someone is under the control of someone else is common in pro-Kremlin media. Usually, NATO or the US is controlling European countries, but sometimes things are more concrete: Poland is governed by the US Embassy and the American troops.

The same goes for NGOs, as pro-Kremlin media tends to portray them as subservient to the West, and also Russophobic NATO and Western puppets. 

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Serbian
  • Country: Serbia
  • Keywords: NGO, Russophobia, NATO

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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WADA discriminates Russia; Norwegian athletes use drugs that are not allowed

Interestingly, WADA is trying to discriminate Russia, while on the other hand Norway, whose athletes, mainly skiers and biathletes, are severely ill on paper and use serious drugs that are not allowed to so-called healthy athletes, and they perform under their own flag. 

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given, aligning with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the World Anti-Doping Agency and the denial of state-sponsored doping scheme of Russian athletes. This message is an example of "whataboutism": attempting to discredit an opponent’s position by accusing them with no evidence. Russia has received the same treatment as any other country probed for doping violations. See here debunking by Polygraph.info.

There is no evidence given for the claim for Norwegian state organised doping of athletes. 

There is no evidence of Russia’s state-sponsored doping

The data were submitted as part of RUSADA’s conditions of return after a three-year suspension on charges of state-sponsored doping, which Russia categorically denies. The investigation into the Russian state’s sponsorship of the widespread doping campaign in 2015 was launched by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren. Although the investigation did not produce results, RUSADA was suspended.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative saying that there is no evidence of Russia state-sponsored doping

The McLaren report is an independent investigative report of state-sponsored doping scheme of Russian athletes. After months of denying, Russian officials themselves have already admitted there was a widespread doping programme.

WADA made a political decision against Russia

WADA made a political decision against Russia.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the World Anti-Doping Agency and the denial of state-sponsored doping scheme of Russian athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned Russia from participating in major sport events for 4 years. The unanimous decision by WADA's Executive Committee was made after Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared uncompliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonising anti-doping policies in all sports and in all countries.