Disinfo: Constitutional amendments unleashed Russophobia because the West doesn’t like a strong Russia

Summary

The West doesn’t like a strong and firm Russia, which is not convenient for its interests. That’s why the Russophobia unleashed in face of the recent referendum on Constitutional amendments aims to discredit Russia in the eyes of the international community and to generate disconformity and internal breaches. Hegemonic mainstream media, some political institutes and NGOs used every mean at hand to express their rejection of Russia’s democratic procedure. They even tried to deter Russian voters from taking part in the voting.

Disproof

No evidence given. International criticism of some aspects of the referendum on Constitutional amendments was not due to alleged “Russophobia” but to its problematic aspects, such as Article 79, which stipulates that “decisions of interstate bodies” shall not be “subject to enforcement in the Russian Federation” if they run counter to the Constitution. This means, for example, that Russia won’t feel obliged to comply with binding rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. Other elements, such as its definition of marriage as the union of man and woman, have been strongly criticised by LGBT activists and human rights defenders. One of the most controversial amendments, removing term limits for president Vladimir Putin to remain in power beyond his original mandate, was also condemned by Russian pro-democracy and opposition activists. The European Union regretted that, in the run up to this vote, campaigning both for and against was not allowed, thereby denying voters access to balanced information. It was also marred with credible allegations of irregularities, including voter coercion, multiple voting, violation of the secrecy of the vote and allegations of police violence against a journalist who was present to observe. Claims that the referendum process was criticised in order to smear the country, allegedly because the West doesn’t like a strong and firm Russia, are patently false. They fall into the recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of framing any denunciation of the Russian government’s misdeeds as “Russophobic”. See other examples of this in our database, such as the supposed anti-Russian bias of international institutions - be it the OPCW, the World Anti-Doping Agency or the United Nations - which always falsely accuse Russia; the alleged Russophobia of the EU; the affirmation that it is NATO and not the Kremlin who is involved in the Donbas conflict; or denials that Russia had any role in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal or the downing of MH17, that it interfered in other countries’ elections or that it waged a disinformation campaign on COVID-19.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Referendum, Russophobia
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Western civilisation is corrupt and is dying, the barbarians that it welcomes will inherit its ruins

Western civilisation is corrupt and is dying. The barbarians that we welcome as migrants will perhaps inherit the ruins of Western civilization. But today’s barbarians are different from the barbarians that overran the Roman Empire. The latter admired Roman civilisation, they wanted to achieve similar greatness and changed their way of life after the fall of the Empire. Today’s barbarians despise us and know nothing about us. But we castrate ourselves and behave as if we, and not they, were beggars in a foreign country.

Disproof

The article provides no evidence to support its sweeping and apocalyptic claims that Western civilisation is dying. It repeats a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that seeks to discredit Western liberal-democratic societies by portraying them as decadent and immoral and claiming that they are collapsing. The article also contains a related pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the corrupt, decadent, and “politically correct” West is unwilling to resist the increasingly massive influx of migrants, who are bound to overrun Western civilisation and to destroy it. This narrative is consistent with the claim that the Islamisation of Europe is proceeding apace. The central values and achievements of the modern West, and of Europe in particular — liberal democracy, the rule of law, human rights, equality before the law, freedom of conscience and expression, rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state — are still very much alive and continue to be a source of inspiration for people around the world. Read a similar case claiming that Europe is dying because of moral decay and will be destroyed by an army of a million of migrant militants stationed in underground cities.

MH17 tribunal is a politically motivated process against Russia and DNR

It is not a tribunal, but a trial paid for by bribes. It is used by the US to make Russia guilty and to make the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics hostages of the situation, which was provoked by Kyiv and Washington. Meanwhile, we see nothing new.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). In order to find out the cause of the crash, the Joint Investigation Team investigated all human remains, personal belongings and wreckage of the aircraft found in the vicinity of the disaster site. The traces were secured and investigated and compared by experts. In addition, the JIT sought and heard witnesses and experts, analysed radar and satellite images, assessed large amounts of telecom data such as intercepted telephone conversations and analysed big data. Read more about the investigation here. The results of the investigation of the Joint Investigation Team are clear: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in Eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system, with one missing missile, returned to the Russian Federation. On May 24 2018, JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation. The public hearing on the incident started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. You can see other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation on the MH17 case in our database, such as claims that the MH17 trial is biased against Russia, that evidence collected by JIT could have been fabricated, that JIT falsified evidence confirming that Ukrainian BUK is behind the crash, that the MH17 investigation is deliberately delayed, or that the MH17 case is politically motivated.

Ukrainian officials are obsessed by imaginary invasions and inexistent Russian imperial ambitions

Ukrainians are hysterical about an imaginary Russian threat. In June 2020, two top Ukrainian officials gave an interview where they discussed the Russian imperial ambition and the possibility for their country to face a large scale war with their neighbor. // Psychiatrists should consider opening a whole research institute in Ukraine to assess the level of insanity prevailing among the country’s elites.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative aiming at dismissing warmongering and weak Ukraine, and, on the contrary, praising peaceful Russia. The claims about Ukrainian elites lacking mental capacity are a classic example of dehumanisation as a tool of pro-Kremlin disinformation. The article refers to the interviews of Vasyl Bodnar by Interfax on June 29 and Alexeï Neijpapa by Dumskaya.net on July 5 If the original statements are read carefully - rather than reading only the account that Moscow or Donetsk of it - then their thoughts immediately sound more rational.

  • Vasyl Bodnar, Deputy Minister, MFA of Ukraine, talked to Interfax on June 29 about the existing military threat from Russia: "we see an increase in military capabilities on the eastern border of Ukraine, and secondly, we see a significant increase in military units of Russian troops in the Crimea. Russian occupation forces on the territory of the occupied Donbass are often brought to increase combat readiness. Any training can quickly go into an active phase of hostilities, so the risk is clearly increasing, and, of course, the military sees it. There was a recent statement by a representative of the Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate that the military clearly understands the threats posed by such actions. (...) Public communications are also active, aimed at showing that Russia is not abandoning its aggressive policy. "

  • In an interview to Dumskaya.net on July 5 Alexeï Neijpapa, the Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine didn't exclude the possibility that Russian troops will try to break out of the occupied Crimea and into another Ukrainian region, neighbouring Kherson. That is why Ukraine continues to strengthen its position in the area.

The claim by Russian media that "the French make fun of Ukrainian top official declaration" is not correct, since the article quoted from Donbass insider isn't a French media but an independent media based in Donetsk founded by an employee of the DoniPress official press agency and hosted in Moscow. The Agoravox French platform only republished the content and the Inosmi translation platform published a more polite Russian version. To read similar Disinfo: Ukraine is going to launch a missile strike on Russia.