Disinfo: Foreign instructors of Navanly team were dissatisfied with disruption of protests in Russia

Summary

During an online conference in the Polish embassy foreign instructors of Navalny’s team express their dissatisfaction with the announcement of [Leonid] Volkov about ceasing the protests. And demand to continue protests in any form, as not to lower the emotional impact.

[The same technology of] holding up flaslights were used in Minsk […], the flashlights were used in front of the Parliament building in Bishkek, bright lights were used two years ago in Hong Kong, and seven years ago in Maidan.

[…]

Gene Sharp’s book written almost half-a-century ago remains relevant to provocateurs all over the world, trying to instigate regime change.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about protests in Russia casting them as a "colour revolution" instigated from abroad. This claim also contains disinformation about Alexei Navalny and his collagues and smears political scientist Gene Sharp.

The disinformation message appeared in the context a video conference between Alexei Navalny's colleagues and the EU, US, UK, Canadian, Ukrainian diplomats, organized by the Poland's Permanent Representation to the EU, to discuss the recent developments in EU-Russia relations. The event was deliberately distorted by the Russian authorities, to portray it as a “NATO meeting”. See Polygraph and the Insider for further debunking.

To discredit the Russian opposition the pro-Kremlin media frequently accused it of being a "foreign agent". There is no basis for such claims.

Thousands of Russians took to the streets in January 2021, in support of arrested Alexei Navalny and in protests against government corruption. After a few weeks the street protests stopped as a result of violent crackdown and persuction of protesters. Detention of peaceful protesters and police brutality was condemned by the EU.

To avoid unprecedented police violence colleagues of Alexei Navalny, called on Russians to wave their phones outside their homes on February 14th, to express their support.

Gene Sharp was a political scientist, who founded an academic field of non-violent resistance. His books and his list of 198 methods of nonviolent action have been circulated by democracy groups in many of the world’s most repressive states. His basic theory is that power comes from the people and from institutions such as the police, army, media, business and religious groups that support a government; when the people and institutions of a country remove their support for a dictatorial government—without using violence—the dictatorship will fall. Academic research into non-violent resistance, no matter how popular, is not a proof of "orchestrated colour revolutions".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/02/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Alexei Navalny, Protest, Colour revolutions
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Armenia initiates a referendum to ratify the Istanbul Convention

The authorities initiated a consitutional referendum to change members of the Constitutional court. This is aimed at ratifying the Istanbul Convention, even though it contradicts the Constitution.

For the Convention to be ratified, the Constitutional Court needs to conclude that it does not contradict Armenia’s Constitution.

With its current staff, the Constitutional Court of Armenia, would never reach such a conclusion. So, it is very important for the authorities to change the members of the Constitutional Court as soon as possible.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the Istanbul Convention. The Istanbul Convention (the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) is a treaty of the Council of Europe for the creation of a legal framework at pan-European level to protect women against all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence.

The referendum has nothing to do with the Istanbul Convention. Under the proposed amendments, the Constitutional court’s chairman and six other members appointed by former Armenian governments would be replaced by other judges to be confirmed by the current parliament. The chairman and members of the CC are accused of having remaining links to the “former corrupt regime”.

Ukraine's chances of joining the EU are miserable, economy is destroyed, industry in ruins, millions have left the country

Ukraine’s chances of joining the EU are miserable. Ukrainians are pleased to be among “good company”, but nobody wants to take them into such a company.

If you ask the Ukrainian authorities what they really did to join the European Union, the answer will be very sad. The economy of Ukraine is destroyed, industry is in ruins and the standard of living has fallen to such an extent that millions of Ukrainians have become migrants.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the European Union is tired of Ukraine and no longer wants to help it and that there is no chance of Ukraine joining the EU. It is also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying the economic situation of Ukraine as disastrous.

European integration is defined by the Ukrainian authorities as a priority. On 11 February 2020, Prime Minister of Ukraine, Oleksiy Honcharuk, met with EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Olivér Várhelyi, and discussed priorities for Ukraine-EU bilateral cooperation for 2020.

A small group of EU countries reinforces historical phobias about Russia

There is a small group of countries in the EU that reinforces historical phobias about Russia and constantly calls for Russia to be contained and for sanctions not to be reduced.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia in the EU. EU sanctions against Russia were imposed after illegal actions by the Russian Federation, including the annexation of Crimea, and against persons that have been involved in the violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. The EU remains ready to ease sanctions when Russia starts contributing actively to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. “Russophobia” is a manipulative defensive line, often used by Russian propaganda to delegitimise any criticism of Russian policies or the state by implying that such criticism derives from an irrational intolerance of the Russian people. Outlets such as RT, Sputnik and Russian national state television use the term to portray almost any foreign criticism of the Kremlin's policies. Read similar disinformation cases alleging that Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine are Russophobic and anti-Semitic and that Western journalism is dominated by Russophobia and prefers fantasy and story-telling to objective reporting.