Disinfo: For the West, Russia is an enemy that must be surrounded with military bases

Summary

Another reason for the growth of neo-Nazi sentiments is a kind of politics of “historical memory” in the young states of Europe that originated from the USSR. The ruling elites of these countries are building their own version of national history – the opposite to the one introduced into public consciousness during the Soviet period. As a result, often along with the restoration of historical justice, either open accomplices of Hitler’s National Socialism or radical nationalists not directly connected with the Nazi regime in Germany, become national heroes.

Besides objective reasons, subjective reasons also contribute to the growth of neo-Nazi and nationalist sentiments in Europe and America. For the collective West, Russia is an enemy that must be surrounded on all sides with military bases and must be imposed with sanctions. For this, even the falsification of history is enough.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about historical revisionism and Western belligerence towards Russia. There is no evidence that the West sees Russia as an enemy.

The Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism accuses the West and particular EU members such as the Baltic states and Poland of the “falsification and re-writing” of WWII history. European states are continuously accused of their support for the Nazi or Fascist ideology. Any disagreement with the Kremlin's official view on the history of WWII is automatically labelled by Russia as support for “Nazism” or “falsification of history”.

While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the West is trying to keep open channels of communications and cooperation with Russia. For instance, NATO as the Western organisation created cooperation bodies – the Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Russia Council – to embody its relationship with Russia. It also invited Russia to cooperate on missile defence. The Warsaw Summit Communique 2016 describes NATO's official policy towards Russia: "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot, and will not, compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest." No other country outside the alliance has such a privileged relationship with NATO. NATO is not encircling Russia. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members.

Also, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. Every sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security, one that Russia has also subscribed to and should respect. NATO enlargement has brought more stability and prosperity to Europe, including Russia.

The EU and its member states have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts, in line with five guiding principles of relations with Russia.

For background, see EUvsDisinfo analysis "The “Russophobia” Myth: Appealing to the Lowest Feelings" here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 224
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Europe, Military, Historical revisionism, USSR, Encircling Russia, Nazi/Fascist
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Russia is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict

In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed LPR and DPR, which declared independence after the coup d’etat in Ukraine in February of the same year. According to the latest UN data, about 13 thousand people became victims of the conflict. Kyiv has repeatedly accused the Russian Federation of intervening in the conflict in the region. Russia denies these charges. Moscow has stated more than once that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict and is interested in seeing Kyiv overcome the political and economic crisis.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, attempting to portray it as a civil war.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

There is no doubt Russia has total sovereignty over the Kuril Islands

According to the resolution taken in 1945, the Kuril Islands became part of the Soviet Union. Today, the US State Department puts the results of World War II into question and encourages a tendency for revenge (By requesting Russian citizens born in the Kuril Islands to obtain an American residence permit).

Moscow insists that the aforementioned islands have become part of the Soviet Union legally, based on the results of the Second World War, and are part of Russia’s territory as the successor to the Soviet Union, noting that Russia’s sovereignty over the four islands is not questionable.

Disproof

Japan has disputed Russian ownership of the Northern Territories / Southern Kurils since the end of World War II.

The Island chain referred to as the Kuril Islands stretches northeast from Japan’s main northern island of Hokkaido to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

Sweden supports Russia on Crimea

Sweden supports Russian on the ownership of Crimea. Crimea was always Russian. This view predominates in Sweden, says billionaire Dan Sten Olsson. According to the businessman, this view in only not supported by NATO.

Disproof

A recurrent claim on Crimea’s status and a false statement on Sweden’s position on the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Mr. Olsson is the head of a Swedish transnational corporation with large trade with Russia. He did express support Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in an interview with the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, but the claim was a personal view of Mr. Olsson. The businessman does not suggest that his views are representative for neither Swedish business circles, nor among Swedes in general.