Disinfo: Germany’s accusations on the Khangoshvili murder are baseless

Summary

Germany said it may introduce new sanctions against Russia regarding the murder committed in Berlin in August 2019. German prosecutors said the Russian authorities were involved in the murder. However, no evidence was presented. The Russian ambassador to Germany called Berlin’s statements baseless and unfounded.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that there is no proof behind accusations made against Russia and that the West blames Russia unfairly. Consistent with the narrative on Russophobia.

A 40-year-old man, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, was shot dead in a Berlin park just before midday on 23 August 2019. The victim was a Chechen exile who had survived two previous attempts on his life. The Dossier Center, a London-based research group founded by Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, and other investigation groups, such as Bellingcat, identified the suspect as Vadim N. Krasikov, a 49-year-old Russian citizen from Siberia who, according to Bellingcat, used fake identity documents to enter Germany a few days before.

The German Foreign Office says Russian officials have not responded sufficiently to repeated requests for information, despite repeated high-level and urgent demands. In addition, the German Federal Foreign Office insisted in a statement that "the Federal Public Prosecutor General has taken over the investigations into this case as there are sufficient grounds to believe that the killing was carried out either on behalf of state authorities of the Russian Federation or of those of the autonomous Chechen Republic as part of the Russian Federation". On December 4th, Germany expelled two Russian diplomats in response to this incident.

Germany's federal prosecutor took over the investigation in December 2019. On Thursday, 18 June 2020, almost ten months after the murder, they said they had gathered sufficient evidence and brought charges against the suspect.

See similar cases on the Khangoshvili murder here, and similar narratives on Skripal and MH17 cases.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Germany
  • Keywords: Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, Sanctions
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Neo-Atlantist Poland, Baltic states and Romania are used by the USA as an instrument of pressure on the EU and Russia

Poland, partially, the Baltic states and possibly, Romania, believe in something called post-Atlantism or neo-Atlantism, which assumes the rupture of ties with Western Europe and its replacement with a union of Eastern European countries with the United States. This situation is important for the USA as it is used as an instrument of pressure on the EU and on the other hand, these states are used against Russia. The perspective for the establishment of such a block of Poland with the Baltic states and Romania is very real.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, alleging that the United States fully controls the foreign policy of the EU member states, including Poland, Romania and the Baltic states (these countries are often presented as American “vassals” or puppet states).

The statement that the USA is using the “Atlanticist” Poland, Romania and the Baltic states against the EU and Russia is a conspiracy theory.

Western revisionism targets Putin

The historical revisionism orchestrated by the West concerning World War II is aiming to damage the image of Russia and of Vladimir Putin personally. Western efforts to rewrite the history of the war – like the 2019 European Parliament resolution which holds the USSR responsible for the start of World War II – are “Russophobic” and aim to discredit Russia’s President.

Disproof

This is part of sustained Kremlin’s campaign on historical revisionism on World War II in order to boost its legitimacy and deny the USSR’s responsibility in the outbreak of the conflict.

The European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe stressed the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The resolution is aimed at the promotion of historical remembrance about WWII and condemnation of totalitarian ideologies.

NATO’s politicians use Defender Europe 2020 as an opportunity to escalate tensions with Russia

NATO’s politicians use Defender Europe 2020 as an opportunity to escalate tensions with Russia.

NATO is demonstrating its willingness to drive an opponent from the alliance territory if it enters, […]. In addition, troops involved in the manoeuvre (including those from the Czech Republic and Lithuania) will receive instruction in the use of American military technology, which will be offered for sale to NATO countries. (…) Part of this story is also that all the Baltic Sea countries are entitled to military manoeuvres in the region. However, NATO manoeuvres have been shifting more and more towards Russian borders for years. Alliance politicians use the exercises as an opportunity to escalate tensions with Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that NATO threatens or encircles Russia and that the US-led military exercise Defender Europe 2020 is directed against Russia.

NATO does not aim to escalate relations with Russia. Neither Defender Europe 2020 nor other NATO military exercises are directed against Russia.