Disinfo: EU bureaucrats want to limit the use of Christmas symbols

Summary

The bureaucrats of the European Union have declared that a large number of Christian symbols on the streets and various offices might hurt the feelings of refugees and migrants from the Middle East. Thus, there is a need to limit the use of such symbols. /…/ In Brussels, the main Christmas tree has been replaced with an LED-construction, representing the “Winter holidays”

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative, forwarding hostile narratives on migrants, threatening Christmas and New Years Eve traditions, and about the decline of Christianity in Europe.

Neither has “EU Bureacrats” declared a limitation on the use of Christian symbols, nor has Brussels forbidden the Christmas tree (a symbol, without relation to Christianity). The Brussels Christmas tree of 2020 can be observed here on webcam. Municipal authorities in Brussels and most other Belgian and European cities have cancelled Christmas markets due to the COVID-19.

Unfounded claims about Muslims posing a threat to Christmas have been debunked multiple times, see for example here and here.

Similar cases are: "Sweden cancelled Christmas TV concert not to irritate migrants", "France is banning Christmas symbols", or "In order not to aggravate people of other religions, there was no Christmas tree in Brussels".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 224
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Belgium
  • Keywords: migration, Christmas

Belarus

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Disinfo: The EU must stop suffocating Donbas residents

The EU considers defending human rights one of its main goals worldwide, but it essentially became compliant in suffocating the residents of Donbas. They decided not to recognise the Russian passports issued to locals for humanitarian reasons, as they did with Crimea.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation about the European Union's role in Ukraine.

The European Union is in fact providing support for the most vulnerable people affected by the ongoing hostilities. In April 2020, Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic announced EUR 13 million to support conflict affected population. In October 2020, the EU allocated a further EUR 10 million to "support the most vulnerable people in eastern Ukraine ahead of the upcoming winter and in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic."

Disinfo: Genocide invented by Ukraine is "hype, which has no plot"

Ukraine is stubbornly trying to create “hype” on this topic [Holodomor], not noticing that there is no plot for this.

Natural factors played a huge role. In 1932, the El Niño climatic cycle ended and famine was raging throughout the northern hemisphere due to drought and crop failure.

The famine of 1932-33 was not ethnically directed against the Ukrainians.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Holodomor in Ukraine.

In fact, the Holodomor was not caused by a poor harvest. It was caused by the directed actions of the Soviet authorities - the destruction by famine - against the Ukrainian countryside. In 1932, no critical weather conditions were recorded that could lead to grain shortages and the deaths of more than 7 million people. This year, compared to 1931, less grain was actually harvested (12.8 million tons against 17.7 million tons in 1931). The reason for lower yields was the ill-considered policy of grain procurement: in the villages, there was not enough grain to sow the fields, it was increasingly taken out of the USSR, leaving nothing for sowing. But even that number would be enough to avoid famine if the policy of genocide were not directed.

Disinfo: In Ukraine, it will be forbidden to communicate in Russian from January 2021

From January 16, 2021 it will be necessary to use the state language when ordering a cup of coffee, buying medicine. The so-called “language ombudsman” Taras Kremin underscoredthat from January 16, 2021, the service sector should switch exclusively to the Ukrainian language.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative about the alleged discrimination of Ukraine's Russian-speaking minority and the country's ubiquitous Russophobia.

This is one in a series of news stories with false and manipulative headlines. The Russian language will not be banned in Ukraine. In Ukraine, service workers must start a conversation in Ukrainian from January 16, 2021, but they can change the language of communication at the request of the client. This is a quote taken out of context by the Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language Taras Kremlin. He recalled that "at the request of the client, his/her personal service can be carried out in another language."

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