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

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.

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EU is subject to American domination

The European nation combined with its influence and all its might is subject to the domination of the United States of America over it.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, portraying Europe as a vassal of the USA and trying to undermine the sovereignty of European countries.

The European Union was created by the voluntary initiative of European nations. Its citizens are directly represented in the European Parliament and Member States are represented in the European Council and the Council of the EU. The United States of America is not part of these institutions. The US had no role in the creation of the EU and has no say in its decisions.

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.

Poland’s militaristic rhetoric and Russophobic sentiments prevent improvement of relations with Russia 

Warsaw is trying to play a role of some kind of vanguard of NATO in the East by repeating the slogans of “deterrence of aggressive actions” of Russia against Poland. Militaristic rhetoric and spread of Russophobic sentiments do not contribute to the development of good Polish-Russian relations, which have been very tense for a long time.

Disproof

This message is a part of the Kremlin’s widespread narrative about Russophobic Poland. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies. Within this narrative, the “Russophobic” policies of Poland are often explained by the claim that the United States fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country (presenting Poland as an American “puppet-state” or a “banana republic”).

The Polish authorities do not spread Russophobic attitudes and do not use “militaristic rhetoric”. The main current Russia-related concerns of Poland are a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's armed military aggression in Ukraine. The Polish government shows its full support to solving the Russia-Ukraine conflict and complete restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine.