Disinfo: Foreign diplomats meddle in Russia’s sovereign affairs

Summary

Meddling in sovereign affairs. Foreign diplomats gather at Russian court to support Western puppet Navalny.

According to local sources, diplomatic staff of at least 18 foreign states, including those from the United States, the UK, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, are present.

Disproof

Court hearings are, as a rule, open to the public. Diplomats have the right, just as any other member of the public, to attend a court hearing. International diplomats are present to observe whether the Russian judiciary fulfils its functions according to Russian law and Russia's international obligations on human rights.

The unfounded and recurrent claim on Navalny being a "Western Puppet" is presented without any evidence. Similar cases here and here.

Pro-Kremlin outlets attempt to obfuscate the Russian government's role in the attack attributed Navalny's illness to moonshine, psychosomatic stress, overzealous dieting, low blood sugar, a flare-up of an unspecified chronic illness, and psychiatric medication.

Upon his arrival in Germany in August 2020, Navalny was hospitalised at the Charite Hospital in Berlin. The presence of the nerve agent Novichok in Navalny's blood was independently confirmed by Germany, France, Sweden, and the OPCW.

The EU has condemned the detention of Alexei Navalny and called for his immediate release.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/02/2021
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Bulgaria, UK, Latvia, Lithuania, US, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia, Alexei Navalny

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.

see more

Navalny is not a politician with a programme, he is only a populist who denounce the establishment

Populist anti-establishment speech is Navalny’s only speech. He doesn’t have a more articulate speech. No matter how hard we look, we can’t find any indication of what his foreign policy would be, his economic policy, what he thinks of Russian monetary policy as it is conducted today. Does he have an opinion on how to change the financing of social protection? Does he have an opinion on how he would like to carry out pension reforms? The populist leader is the one who takes the lead in the protests, but who has no agenda.

Disproof

Disinformation message on poisoned and jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

The FBK, Foundation for Combating Corruption, led by Alexey Navalny is a Russian nonprofit organisation based in Moscow established in 2011. Its main goal is to investigate and expose corruption cases among high-ranking Russian government officials. He is also a politician with a political party (firstly People's Alliance then Progress Party when authorities refused the first name), despite the fact that the Russian authorities have repeatedly refused its registration for years based on various formal reasons.

The protests in Russia were a failure

In two words: a failure and a disappointment. No coordination whatsoever, very small numbers. Together with journalists and curious bystanders maybe up to two thousand.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin media are attempting to downplay the country-wide protests in Russia in support of Alexei Navalny.

The Russian civil rights’ NGO OVD-info has documented over 1,800 detained in Moscow alone during the manifestation 31 January, 2021. Around 4,000 people have been detained country-wide. This number equals the numbers detained during the manifestations 23 January, 2021.

The US interfered in Russia’s internal affairs through protest rallies

United States Ambassador Sullivan was called to Smolensk Square [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia] today. The diplomat was handed a decisive note of protest over interference in the internal affairs of our country. The United States not only announced the time and places of the rallies in our Russian cities, but also invented a procession in Moscow that would move towards the Kremlin.

Disproof

Distorted statement. Regarding the protest rallies, organised by local opposition activists, the US Embassy in Russia published the following message:

"Media sources indicate that on Saturday, January 23, demonstrations are being planned throughout Russia in support of an opposition activist. These demonstrations are likely to be unauthorized. Given the likely substantial police presence and possible dispersal of demonstrators into other areas of the cities, U.S. citizens should avoid these demonstrations and any demonstration-related activities".

This message, dedicated to the safety of US citizens, written in English language, could not contribute to any of the protest rallies. Appeals for people to come out and march were spread by the Russian opposition, including to take the itinerary towards the Kremlin (Manezhnaya square). In another reports, pro-Kremlin media scornfully call the protesters "Tik-Tokers" and "Zoomers" showing their expertise for particular social media accounts sharing appeals to protest. In this context, speaking about the US Embassy, pro-Kremlin media seem to be perfectly aware of what they are doing - using the method of "always blaming the West for the internal problems of Russia".

See other disinformation cases on Russian protests 2021.