Disinfo: Ukrainian involvement found in Beirut explosion

Summary

A Ukrainian trace was found in the explosion in Beirut […]. A ship from Mariupol, a Ukrainian city located in close proximity to the conflict zone in Donbas, could have caused an explosion in Lebanon. The vessel delivered a secret cargo from Ukraine to Lebanon, presumably explosives.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. Powerful explosions occurred in the Beirut port area on the evening of 4 August, as a result of which at least 78 people were killed, about 4,000 were injured, the explosion caused serious damage to several adjacent neighborhoods. The preliminary cause of the powerful explosion is 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which was stored for about six years in a warehouse with confiscated goods. Two Ukrainian ships, MERO STAR and RAOUF H, were allegedly in the port of Beirut at the time of the explosion. According to Samir Madani, co-founder of the ship tracking site TankerTrackers, the Ukrainian ships most likely suffered from the explosion, but the ships have nothing to do with the origin of the tragedy. The analyst also added that the Mariupol ship was most likely carrying grain. "These vessels weren't the source of anything explosive other than that they most likely blew up and made things worse.," Madani tweeted. Information about the Ukrainians who were allegedly injured in the explosion in Beirut was being clarified.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 207
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Lebanon, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Terrorism
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Baltic countries interpret their status in the USSR as an occupation, ignoring that their Parliaments chose it

80 years ago the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania proclaimed the creation of their respective Soviet Socialist Republics. Today, those countries interpret their status inside the USSR as an occupation, but for many people, at that time the Union was real salvation from the Nazis. Experts in the Baltic countries tend to read the integration of these nations in the USSR in 1940 as some kind of intervention of Soviet forces in the internal affairs of those countries. However, most of them ignore or don’t consider the events that led to this scenario.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States. On 23 August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression (Molotov-Ribbentrop) pact whose secret protocols divided the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Romania into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence. Soviet occupation of the Baltic States lasted for 50 years and resulted in mass deportations and repressions against local populations. On 24 December 1989, the Parliament of the USSR, the Congress of the People’s Deputies, adopted a resolution, acknowledging the annexation of the Baltic states as a violation of the USSR's obligations. See other examples of disinformation narratives on the Baltic States, such as claims such as the “myth of Soviet occupation”; that Russian-speaking communities there are as discriminated as African Americans; that NATO wants to turn the Baltic countries into an empty field against Russia, and the US will betray and hand them over to Russia; that Lithuania is a hostage of US interests, Latvia is a US vassal state and Estonian foreign policy is controlled by Washington; or that the Pentagon is working out a biological war strategy in the Baltics.

Europe has forbidden Ukraine to save its industry

The European Union prevents the Ukrainian government in every possible way from taking production out of a difficult situation. Europe has forbidden Ukraine to save its industry.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on EU-Ukraine relations. Ukraine is a priority partner for the European Union (EU). The EU supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens and is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Association Agreement (AA), including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) signed in 2014, is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together, promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. Ukraine continues an ambitious reform programme to accelerate economic growth and improve the livelihoods of its citizens. To assist Ukraine in this endeavour, the EU and European Financial Institutions have mobilised over €15 billion in grants and loans since 2014 to stabilise Ukraine’s economy, to support comprehensive reforms and to help improve the lives of its citizens. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU has mobilised a €190 million support package for Ukraine. In July 2020, the EU also provided €105 million to Ukraine to support small and medium enterprises, small farms and reforms implementation. The EU also encourages investments in other sectors of Ukrainian economy. See other disinformation cases in our database relating to the statehood of Ukraine: that the West controls Ukrainian economy and pumps out its resources, that the EU Association Agreement made Ukraine a colony of the EU, that Ukraine is a fake country and Ukrainian ideology was created to split the Russian nation, and that Ukraine is a collapsing, degrading state with no sovereignty and rule of law.

Only 10% of Belarussians oppose the union with Russia

Only 10% of Belarussians don’t support (oppose) the union with Russia.

Disproof

A nationwide representative poll, which was conducted in December 2019 and published in February this year by the Belarusian Analytical Workshop (BAW), shows that in Belarus the number of supporters of the union with Russia in Belarus decreased from 60.4% to 40.4% during 2019. At the same time, BAW records an increase in pro-European sympathy over the same period from 24.4 to 32 percent. The poll was conducted against the backdrop of protests against Belarusian-Russian integration. 1061 people were interviewed. Replying to a question “In what union of states would it be better for the people of Belarus to live in – the EU or Russia?”, 40,4 of respondents favored the union with Russia, and 32% – the EU.