Disinfo: Experts of the Russian threat will recognise they were wrong about Russians meddling in EU elections

Summary

All elections are subject to Russian interference. The intelligence services of Estonia consider Russian intervention in the European elections very likely. It is a question of propaganda rather than manipulation. Like the Benalla case or the Yellow Vest movement where some have seen the shadow of the Kremlin, it is possible that once again, the so-called experts of the Russian threat will recognise that they were wrong and have to eat their hats.

Disproof

Currently, the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN) in France is in charge of the ongoing investigation of the alleged meddling of Russian social media accounts in the yellow vests protests. Therefore, no experts have been already forced to recognise they were wrong, as the report suggests.

Ahead of the European elections, Microsoft registered cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organisations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, public policy and whom 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. In the past, the 2018 report by the French Foreign Ministry and Ministry for the Armed Forces think tanks says "Russian media, with Sputnik and RT at the head, played a non-negligible role in the diffusion of this information [from the hacked Emmanuel Macron's party En Marche e-mails].What can be safely assumed is that, whoever the perpetrator was, they were at least linked to Russian interests and received help from the American alt-right and French far-right". See more disinformation cases on Russia's elections meddling in France and elsewhere and on the EU election 2019.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 148
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: France
  • Keywords: EU elections 2019, election meddling, European Union
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There is no evidence for accusations there was an alleged "occupation" of the Crimean peninsula in 2014

There is no evidence for accusations there was an alleged “occupation” of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 The Crimea had decided to reunite with Russia by referendum in 2014.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.The European Union does not recognise, and continues to strongly condemn, this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here. Background: Following the covert invasion of “little green men,” power in Crimea was vested in a makeshift executive headed by Sergey Aksenov, a former mafia enforcer. The new Crimean regime conducted the referendum hastily and at gunpoint, barred impartial observers from entering the peninsula, and instead invited dozens of fringe politicians and activists to “monitor” the procedure, most of them far-right Kremlin loyalists. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The Baltic states pursue anti-Belarusian policies

Lithuania stands out among the Baltic states with its active anti-Belarusian foreign policy. It attempts to block the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Latvia seems to be willing to buy energy produced at the Belarusian nuclear plant. However, it is under external control and will not allow the energy to pass through its territory to other EU countries.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory about Latvia under external control and ungrounded generalisations about foreign policies of the Baltic states. Lithuania's decision to ban the import of electricity from Belarus' nuclear power plant in Astravets is based on security concerns, rather than political considerations and anti-Belarusian policy as alleged. On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the case of the Astravets nuclear power plant. In February 2019, the draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations. See earlier disinformation case alleging that Lithuania fights against the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant on the orders of Sweden and Finland.

American curators of Zelensky demand Ukraine support US anti-Russian course

The US Congress gave new instructions for the work of the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. American curators demand that Ukraine support the country’s anti-Russian course and declare that they will help Volodymyr Zelenskyi in this matter.

Disproof

The statement that Ukraine is controlled by "American curators" is one of the most common narratives of Russian propaganda. The US Congress did not make such statements and did not give any instructions to Ukraine regarding the country's domestic or foreign policy. The Russian media manipulated information that the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of the US Congress held open hearings on the topic of countering Russian aggression. As a result of the event, a number of statements were made, which stated that the United States intends to continue to support Ukraine in resisting Russian aggression. The Committee said that the United States must demonstrate strong support for Ukraine, increase political, diplomatic and military-technical assistance in the fight against Russian aggression. Also during the meeting, US experts stressed that democratic and free presidential elections were held in Ukraine, and the newly elected head of state will face important tasks: to continue anti-corruption reforms, ensure political stability and economic well-being of the country.