Disinfo: Conflicts in post-Soviet space are part of the policy of containment of Russia

Summary

The appearance of all these conflicts at the same time seems coincidental. But not so – the very fact of their appearance shows they are part of the policy of containment of Russia, through destabilising the countries which are part of the Russia-centric processes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging the West has an anti-Russian policy and claiming that popular unrests in post-Soviet space are colour revolutions directed against Russia. The recent wave of protests in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan are a result of popular discontent with the results of elections the people claim were neither free nor fair. There is no evidence that these events are an attempt to "destabilise the situation in post-Soviet space" or to "contain Russia". Pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives frequently claim that popular protests around the world are allegedly incited, and funded, by the US and other Western states, including colour revolutions in post-Soviet states, the “Arab Spring” revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia and others. This narrative claims that protests, disorders, and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are “colour revolutions” directed and funded by the West. See similar disinformation cases claiming that Ukraine is stirring up revolutions in Belarus and Russia, that Belarus is under attack by the unilateral globalist world to indirectly destabilise Vladimir Putin, that Berlin sets a course of containment towards Russia, or that Nagorno-Karabakh conflict favours US interests and someone wants to divert Russia from Belarus and Syria.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 215
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy theory
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Germany refuses to provide clarifications about Navalny poisoning

Moscow asked Berlin to present the results of [Alexei] Navalny’s medical analysis to clarify the circumstances of the case, but the German side has always avoided giving a response.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Aleksei Navalny's poisoning. Germany has responded to past Russian calls for Navalny's medical samples by saying that Russia should already have all it needs after its initial treatment of the dissident. The German Federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. In addition, on 14 September, the German government provided research by two more independent laboratories in France and Sweden, which confirmed the presence of poison from the Novichok group in the body of politician Alexei Navalny. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Germany informed the Russian ambassador to Germany, the EU and NATO, on the results of the investigation. Germany also informed Russia via diplomatic channels on the progress of the investigation. Arne Collatz, a spokesman for Germany’s Defence Ministry said the data had been provided to the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“This international organization, of which Russia is also a member, has a treaty-based mandate to oversee and enforce the ban on the use, production, storage as well as research into chemical weapons.”

The OPCW report, published 8 October, also supports the German conclusions. The OPCW report can be found here. Furthermore, on September 11, Berlin’s Justice Ministry approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation and information on Navalny’s state of health, “subject to his consent.” The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms. Read similar disinformation messages alleging that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny, that only traces of alcohol and caffeine were found in Navalny's blood, that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko.

The European Union sent Moldova instructions on how to conduct the elections

The European Union sent Moldova instructions on how to conduct the elections. The Moldovan authorities received a special letter of instruction, which listed some of the requirements and simply the expectations of the European colleagues for the presidential elections scheduled for November 1.

Disproof

Recurring the pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western involvement in internal affairs, including elections, in many states, especially the ones of the former Soviet Union. See here a case about the West trying to destabilise the situation in Belarus before the election. The claim refers to the Statement by the Spokesperson on the upcoming presidential elections in Moldova, issued on 30 September 2020, calling on the Moldovan authorities to organize credible, inclusive and transparent elections. "The European Union calls on the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to implement fully and without further delay the recommendations of the Council of Europe Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR to guarantee the transparency of party and campaign financing," the statement said. Presidential elections will take place in Moldova on 1 November 2020.

Novichok is a word coined by a British TV series in early 2000

The name Novichok isn’t a Russian name but was taken from a British series broadcast in early 2000, and it has since stuck in people’s heads.

Disproof

The story advances the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the poisoning ofAlexei Navalny. “Novichok” - “Newcomer in English” is a name that was given to a group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s in a covert programmecodenamed Foliant that was revealed by defectors. Most of whatwe understand about Novichok agents comes from the testimony and memoirs of Dr Vil S. Mirzayanov, the Chief of the Department of Counteraction against Foreign Technical Intelligence at the Russian State Union Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT) who authoreda 1994 report with the Stimson Center describing the state of chemical weapon disarmament in Russia, revealingNovichok's existence. Following this revelation, the US National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in 1998, added Novichiok to its spectral data which has 300,000 compounds and is regularly updated. Furthermore, since the beginning of the 1990s, US chemical demilitarization programmes in the Commonwealth of Independent States (former USSR) included joint research on Novichoks in order to develop effective detectors, detoxifiers, reactivators and bio-scavengers. Alas, the name Novichok has already appeared in several news articles before 2000, including the New York Times 1999, New Scientist in 1994. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims thatonly caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the US wanted to use it toblock Nord Stream 2 andRussia’s vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to havean excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations about Navalny’s case are as false as they wereabout Sergey Skripal and Aleksandr Litvinenko. The same video interview contained another disinformation claim alleging that Alexei Navalny did not shown any symptoms of Novichok.