European elites deliberately spread unfounded fears of alleged Russian interference in upcoming May European elections

Summary

European elites are making alarmist statements about the dangers of “Russian meddling” in the May elections  in order to pursue two objectives: 1) to encourage greater public interest in these elections and thus to get more pro-European voters to turn out (given that Eurosceptic voters are much more active than pro-European ones); 2) to be able to pin the blame on Russia in case European elites fail in the May elections and Eurosceptic parties significantly increase their influence in the European Parliament.

Senior EU officials, mainstream European journalists and political analysts are now deliberately spreading fake news and unfounded fears about an alleged Russian interference in the upcoming May European elections. No evidence was ever provided to support the claim that Russia influenced the 2016 Brexit referendum.

 

 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that allegations of Russian interference in electoral processes in the EU and in the West are spread by European elites in order to divert attention from the real problems of  EU countries.

Disinformation produced and/or spread by Russian sources has been reported in the context of several elections and referenda in the EU, as noted in the EU's action plan against disinformation.
Ahead of the elections, Microsoft registered cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organizations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, and public policy and that are often in contact with government officials. Microsoft continues to investigate the sources of these attacks, but is confident that many of them originated from a group called Strontium, also known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – which is believed to be associated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. Read more here.

Numerous investigations have provided convincing evidence of  Russian interference in the Brexit referendum and in elections across Europe and in the US - see more information here, here and here.

See here for the list of the reports on Russian efforts to influence elections in various European countries.

 

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 141
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: UK, Russia, EU
  • Keywords: EU elections 2019, election meddling, Brexit
  • Outlet: Sputnik Italia
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Poroshenko wanted to trade Crimea for membership in the EU and NATO

In 2014, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko considered the option of giving up Crimea to Russia in return for membership in NATO and the European Union. The situation in Ukraine is similar to what happened to Georgia. It is already clear that Abkhazia and South Ossetia will not return to Georgia. However, the loss of Crimea can be used to acquire membership in the EU and NATO.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, representatives of the European Union and NATO have consequently declared their position on the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia. For example, during his speech at the Ukrainian breakfast in Davos in 2019, Petro Poroshenko clearly repeated his message about the fact that Crimea should return under the control of Kyiv. Moreover, Poroshenko signed the decision of the Parliament of Ukraine in which Crimea is recognised "temporarily occupied", while Russia is an occupying state.

The nationalist sentiments of Kyiv are beneficial to Washington

Washington favours nationalist sentiment in Ukraine. Therefore, no sanctions in connection with human rights violations will follow. Washington even benefits from the existence of powerful neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine as they implant a radically anti-Russian ideology.

 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Nazi Ukraine  and foreign involvement in Ukrainian internal affairs. The article of RT refers to the 2018 Human Rights Report dedicated to Ukraine where human rights violations are listed. The report was prepared by the State Department, and it doesn’t, in any way, claim the existence of nationalist groups in Ukraine as something beneficial.

The document is quoting the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: “the failure of police and prosecutors to prevent these acts of violence (by nationalist groups), properly classify them as hate crimes, and effectively investigate and prosecute them created an environment of impunity and lack of justice for victims”.

Washington confused Crimea with Ukraine when listed human rights violations in the peninsula

The US State Department has published a list of human rights violations in Crimea. It is obvious that the Americans have confused Crimea with Ukraine. In Crimea, just as anywhere else in Russia, citizens’ rights and the freedom of expression are respected.The claims about human rights violations in Crimea is just a fantasy.

Disproof

The US State Department's Ukraine 2018 Human Rights Report was published on 13 March 2019. It covers human rights violations in Ukraine mostly, but includes a section listing abuses in Russian-occupied Crimea.

The report clearly listed violations in Crimea: disappearances, torture, harsh prison conditions and removing prisoners to Russia, political prisoners, pervasive interference with privacy, severe restrictions on freedom of expression and the media (including closing outlets and violence against journalists), severe restriction of freedom of association, including barring the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, systemic discrimination against Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians.