DISINFO: France and Germany plan to introduce Western propaganda in Russia
The governments of Germany and France plan to introduce Western propaganda in Russia, according to a report obtained by the US news agency Bloomberg. “Germany and France want the European Union to drive a wedge between President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people with a propaganda campaign within Russia”, the report says.
The claim is a deliberate manipulation of the original Bloomberg article. Although part of this Sputnik story contains accurate reporting on a joint non-paper obtained by Bloomberg and titled “Defending the international order in an age of systemic rivalry: EU-Russia relations”, it includes a crucial distortion in the headline and the initial paragraphs. The original article states: “Germany and France want the European Union to drive a wedge between President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people with a campaign to counter propaganda within Russia”, which is very different from the allegation made by this disinformation story about “a Western propaganda campaign in Russia”. Through this distortion, Sputnik tries to equate Russian disinformation with the efforts to counter it, while promoting other long-term pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Western initiatives to destabilise Russia.
Distorting articles in Western media to make them appear as supporting pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives is a frequent technique of pro-Kremlin outlets. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that Financial Times reported that Ukraine threatened Russia with terrorist attacks, that The New York Times reports that Russia is barely affected by sanctions, that Germany doesn’t trust Zelenskyy according to Der Spiegel, that The National Interest explained why the US should side with Russia in Ukraine; or that Foreign Policy explained why Washington needs a “Russian intervention”.