Disinfo: During January 13th events in Vilnius, Soviet soldiers did not kill any people

Summary

In 2016, Lithuania began the trial over January 13th events in Vilnius. Lithuania assumes that people, who died in the clash at that time, were killed by Soviet soldiers.

Russia argues that during the events in Vilnius, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union and was not an independent state. Respectively, the army carries out official duties according to law. It seeks to ensure public order. Moreover, not one person died due to the actions of Soviet troops.

Disproof

The case contains historical revisionism and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the events of January 13th, 1991.

Lithuania restored independence from the USSR in March 1990. Moscow tried to foil the secession with an economic blockade. When that proved ineffective, Soviet troops still garrisoned in the capital Vilnius attacked its TV broadcast tower and sole TV station, killing 14 civilians. The events of the January 13th, 1991, and crimes committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented. See also BBC reporting from 1991.

This disinformation message is periodically repeated. See a similar disinformation case: Actions of Soviet soldiers at the Vilnius TV tower in 1991 were absolutely legitimate. This message also is linked to the negation of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 219
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/11/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Lithuania
  • Keywords: January 13, Occupation, Baltic states
see more

Nobody talks about the White Helmets anymore, because now everyone knows they faked everything

The White Helmets, now everyone knows that this was a total fake. And no one talks about them now. Where did they go, do we know? They won their Oscar and then they left?

Yes, they probably have other parallel activities, surely of the same kind. We know that they are the ones who mounted false chemical attacks in Syria. The Russians, moreover, recently warned that they had information that others, this time not the White Helmets, were preparing a new fake chemical attack in the region of Idlib.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative on the White Helmets.

The White Helmets movement originated in Syria in 2012. The organisation, which is made up of 3,400 volunteers including teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters, states that it has no affiliation to any political or military actor and is committed to rendering services to anyone in need. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes.

Crimea was and is Russian

Crimea returned as a Russian federal region, after a referendum that took place on March 16, 2014, in Crimea and Sevastopol, and both regions became within the Russian Federation, as of March 18, 2014, and this day was considered an official holiday in Crimea, and the city Sevastopol.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The EU does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and continues to condemn this violation of international law by sanctions. Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (A/RES/68/262).

Certain forces have encircled Russia with an explosive geopolitical belt

A gigantic effort will indeed be required from the Kremlin along the entire perimeter of the Russian state border. You can start with Finland, then walk along with the Baltic troika, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Further – Central Asia … And so on up to the Pacific Ocean and Japan. You just need to understand that there is an openly explosive geopolitical belt, with which certain forces, working for decades, have ringed Russia. And this “martyr’s belt” was closed in the South Caucasus.

Disproof

The article appeared in the context of the recent escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh which is a continuation of the decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is a conspiracy theory framing Russia as the ultimate target of international events, conflicts, revolutions and protests, based on a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia being encircled through a so-called “Anaconda plan, as well as narrative about NATO's aggressive agenda toward Russia.

This recurring pro-Kremlin narrative paints all manifestations of popular discontent in the region as colour revolutions, portrays entire nations of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as pathologically Russophobic, and alleges that the West is attempting to encircle Russia and create instability around all Russian border.