Disinfo: In contrast to Russia, western Europe is abandoning Christian roots

Summary

Western Europe is moving away from its Christian roots. The western European society gets dominated by materialism and pursuit of money. Western Europeans are disappointed with the Christian church primarily because of the way of life of local priests, which is full of materialism and debauchery. European culture has abandoned Christianity, and is getting absorbed by Muslim migrants. In contrast, the Russian Orthodox Church has preserved the original Christian spirit. Eastern Slavs are more likely to sacrifice themselves and their lives for the others.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Islamisation of Europe, in line with a similar narrative on the morally decaying West. Despite the dropping levels of religious practice in Europe, the majority of western Europeans still identify themselves as Christians, a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center shows. According to the same survey, 31% of western Europeans who identify themselves as Christians attend religious services at least monthly. At the same time one of the 2018 polls in Russia concluded that 17% of Russians who identify themselves as Orthodox Christians attend church at least monthly. See a collection of earlier disinformation cases concerning the Orthodox church.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/05/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: West, Russian superiority, Orthodox Church, Muslim/Islam, Christianity, Conspiracy theory
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Kyiv is not going to fulfil the Minsk Agreements

Ukraine has repeatedly tried to solve this issue by force. This is what led to the Minsk agreements. The words of the commander of the military operation, Sergei Naev, that they ‘would need just one day of military action to liberate the occupied territory’, once again confirm that the Ukrainian side is not going to fulfil the Minsk agreements.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Minsk agreements. In the interview with "TSN. Tyzhden", which is being discussed, General Sergiy Naev only answered the journalist's question about how long the liberation of occupied territories would take. At the same time, General Sergiy Naev noted in the same interview that at the moment there are no immediate plans for the returning the occupied territories, and the operation first and foremost has a stabilisation function.

Saudi Arabia takes steps towards recognising Crimea as part of Russia

The Saudi Embassy in Moscow issues visas to Russian Crimean Muslim pilgrims without informing the Ukrainian authorities. Riyadh has de facto recognised the Crimeans as citizens of Russia. Despite the absence of official recognition, the monarchy is changing its attitude towards Crimea and Russia as a whole.

Disproof

Saudi Arabia's Embassy in Moscow confirmed that it has been issuing visas for Crimean Tatars willing to make a Hajj, in Moscow, in their Russian passports, since 2014. Since 2015, a Russian intermediary company with offices in Moscow and in Crimea has been operating as a Hajj tour operator. However, Saudi Arabia does not link the issue of visas with the recognition of Crimea. The Council of Muftis of the Russian Federation urged Russian media outlet "Izvestia", which raised the question itself, not to mix politics and religious pilgrimage. The practice of the Saudis issuing visas for pilgrims has been going on for five years. No recent changes showing a different attitude of Saudi Arabia to this issue can be demonstrated. In 2014, Saudi Arabia voted for the UN GA's resolution 68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Saudi Arabia did not express any intent to recognise Crimea Russian since then. No direct international flights can go from Crimea to Saudi Arabia, following the ICAO sanctions, and the pilgrims use Russian airports. See more disinformation cases about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

NATO is an offensive alliance

NATO has always been an offensive alliance. (…) NATO is an artificial structure of a badly concealed power politics that wants to occupy the globe. (04:39-4:50)

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a threat to peace and having a belligerent agenda. NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. Its exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – or any other country. NATO is regularly updating the military requirements for civilian infrastructure, at a time when there are increased challenges to security.