Disinfo: The attacks of the Dutch authorities on Russia are groundless

Summary

The establishment of relations between our countries [Russia and the Netherlands] is not facilitated by regular anti-Russian attacks by the Dutch authorities. We saw how a scandal was fanned from scratch in connection with the so-called attempt of a GRU cyber attack on the OPCW headquarters in The Hague. Dutch politicians regularly intimidate their citizens with the presence of the so-called Russian threat to the West.

Disproof

This recurrent disinformation narrative consists of rejecting and mocking any investigations in connection to Russia's hostile acts, such as the attack on OPCW's headquarters, which happened after years of Russian disinformation about the OPCW's reports on chemical weapons in Syria and on the nerve agent Novichok used to poison the Skripals. Pro-Kremlin media regularly accuses other countries of russophobia.

The Russian cyber-attack on the headquarters of the international chemical weapons watchdog was disrupted by Dutch military intelligence just weeks after the Salisbury attack. The Netherlands expelled the suspects who traveled to the country as diplomats. In an unprecedented step, on October 4, 2018, the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) and the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice disclosed the identities under which four Russian individuals, believed to be officers of the cyber-warfare division of the Russia’s Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (GRU). The four individuals travelled to the Netherlands in April 2018 in an attempt to hack into the computer network of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague. These four men traveled under diplomatic passports, two of which had consecutive issue numbers. Their identities were independently checked by the investigative websites Bellingcat and The Insider.

See more disinformation cases on Russophobia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: GRU, OPCW, Anti-Russian

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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The space shuttle of Elon Musk is probably made in Russia, moon landing of the Americans is in doubt

The State Duma suspected that Elon Musk’s space shuttle is of Russian origin.

We need to see, from which components the space shuttle is made. The flight of the Americans to the moon is also in doubt. We need to see how many components in this shuttle are Russian. Whose engines are on the spacecraft by Elon Musk? We need to find out this question. I can’t clearly say so far.

Disproof

No information is available on the Russian made components of the spacecraft Falcon Heavy. The design is based on Falcon 9's fuselage and engines. On May 30, a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station as part of SpaceX’s second demonstration mission under the Commercial Crew Programme,  the first mission to launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil to the station since the Space Shuttle Programme.

The staged moon landing of the Americans is a recurrent conspiracy theory promoted by the pro-Kremlin media outlets. See more examples and the detailed debunking here.

JIT didn’t do a proper investigation of MH17’s downing, accusations against Russia are unfounded

The joint investigation team (JIT) investigating the Malaysian Boeing MH17’s downing did not conduct a real investigation into the role of Ukraine in this tragedy.

The materials transmitted by us [Russia] were either ignored or called fabricated. At the same time, without any questions, data from dubious sources, including what was obviously provided by the interested party, Ukraine, were included in the case. However, no real investigation was conducted into the role of Ukraine in the crash of flight MH17 – in connection with the Ukrainian authorities not closing the airspace for civilian flights over the zone of armed conflict.

Allegations of Russia’s involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing are unfounded and regrettable, the investigation is biased and one-sided.

All the missiles, the engine of which the Dutch investigators demonstrated, were disposed after 2011 in Russia.

Disproof

The report advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the dowing of the flight MH17 and the subsequent Joint International Investigation. 

The public hearing on causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering the 289 persons on board started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. The trial, and not any other institution or official, is able to assess the evidence provided. The Russian government is not an official party at the trial for formal legal reasons: the downing occurred over Ukrainian territory and there were no Russian citizens aboard. At that, the sole Russian defendant represented at the trial has the possibility to effectively carry out his defence and advance his own evidence.

US military biological laboratories encircle Russia

US military biological laboratories encircle Russia.

US military biological activities can be observed all over the world, and also on Russian borders. Moscow has long been concerned about the biological security in neighbouring countries. In Kazakhstan, Armenia and Tajikistan, the Americans created a network of biological laboratories. The Russian authorities have many questions particularly about the Lugar Centre in Georgia.

(…) Journalists and bloggers wrote seriously that the Americans had deliberately allowed the virus to spread. This was allegedly to test the efficiency of biological weapons under development in the lab (in Kazakhstan). (…) Experts agree that the post-Soviet states, with their willingness to accept foreign assistance, may lose control of the epidemiological situation. This could have serious consequences. In times of pandemics such as at present, laboratories of this kind are increasingly coming into focus because they provide worrying suspicions.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the development of biological weapons by the United States. The conspiracy about US biolabs in countries bordering Russia aiming to encircle Moscow and spread infectious diseases is a part of a years-long disinformation campaign led by the Kremlin.

There is no evidence to claim that the US is developing biological weapons. There is also no evidence to support the claim that partnering biolabs under the agreement have become epicentres for the spread of infectious diseases or have been used to attack populations.