Disinfo: In Germany people cannot demonstrate like they do freely in Russia

Summary

German citizens do not believe Western media accounts of Russian police brutality. They are convinced that the demonstrators are treated peacefully.

On social media, many compare the law enforcement agencies of the two countries, pointing to the crudeness of the German law enforcement agencies.

  • “They should take an example from Germany, in Berlin at the Reichstag they also used water cannons.”

  • “It reminds us a lot of the events of November in Berlin. Where are the water cannons?”

  • “If an unauthorised protest takes place in Berlin and the government is not happy with its goal, everyone is arrested. Everything is not the same in Germany as in Putin’s country.“

  • “If anyone started such a protest against the German government, it would be immediately banned because of COVID. They hear the people there. What’s wrong?”

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation message using relativism to undermine the West and at the same time legitimatise low standards of democracy, in this case in Russia.

Regarding the latest protests in Russia, following the arrest of opposition leader Navalny upon his return to Russia last week, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EU Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles stated on 23 January 2021 :

Following unfolding events in Russia with concern. I deplore widespread detentions, disproportionate use of force, cutting down internet and phone connections.

French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian declared on 24 January 2021 :

I find this authoritarian drift very worrying. I find that the questioning of the rule of law by these collective and preventive arrests is unbearable ... And I also find that the success of the demonstrations on Russian territory is impressive.

German Minister of foreign affairs, Heiko Maas, declared on 25 January 2021 :

Today we in the EU very quickly agreed that Navalny and the peaceful demonstrators must be released immediately. The EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell will travel to Moscow and discuss this clearly with his interlocutors.

The FIDH stated that :

Between 250,000 and 300,000 individuals participated in the 23 January protests. Despite preemptive arrests of organisers of the marches, intimidation of and threats to likely protest participants, including students, individuals from 125 cities all across the country joined the protests. These peaceful demonstrations were violently repressed by law enforcement, including riot police. Video footage from the protests shows that the police used disproportionate force against the protesters: at least 28 people suffered injuries as a result of strikes with rubber batons, or during harsh detentions. The case of a woman who was kicked in the stomach by a policeman for blocking his way when he and a colleague dragged a detainee to a police van sparked a public outcry. Lawyers from Memorial Human Rights Center, FIDH’s member organisation in Russia, documented a significant number of violations against detainees in 39 Russian cities. Detainees were ill-treated in at least 25 police stations. In many cases, detainees were threatened, denied access to lawyers, had their passports confiscated, were forced to sign reports or, conversely, were not allowed to write complaints. Nearly 3,700 people were detained and 15 criminal cases initiated against peaceful protesters for simply participating in the marches.

The Russian NGO OVD-Info stated that at least 3695 people had been arrested in 125 cities, among which 1454 and 557 in respectively Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

As a comparison, such massive non-violent demonstrations did not happen throughout Germany. Last summer, on 29 August 2020, in Berlin a 38,000 people demonstration took place in Berlin against the restrictions linked to the Covid-19 sanitary crisis. This size is comparable to the demonstration that happened on Saturday 23 January in Moscow. Not only Nazi symbols, Reichsbürger and Imperial German flags were displayed by some protestors but also hundreds of protesters, tried to storm the Reichstag, the home of Germany's federal parliament. About 200 people were arrested after stones and bottles were thrown, which is far from the nearly 3700 arrests in Moscow.

Furthermore, In Berlin the same day nearby, a separate protest with around 30,000 was expected to carry on until 9 p.m. because demonstrators were respecting the social distancing rules, Berlin’s interior minister Andreas Geisel said.

On 18 November 2020 Police, who had earlier warned the several thousand demonstrators, many of whom were not wearing masks or distancing, to adhere to restrictions, said they made 367 arrests. “Two of those arrested will be brought before a judge. Nine police officers were injured in action”. The order of magnitude of arrests in Moscow and Berlin are not the same, as well the prosecution against demonstrators.

The Russian police did not use water cannons in January protests not only because of the freezing weather making the use of this instrument very dangerous but also because the doctrine of public order was different, the police presence was massive and agents were in physical contact with the demonstrators making batons more useful.

Read also similar cases: Repressions in Belarus are extremely small compared to Yellow Vests or BLM, Double standards around violent protests in France, Germany and Poland, The EU criticised the elections and repression in Minsk, but in fact, the EU and its members have the same lack of democracy and repression.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) French, Russian
  • Country: Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: Totalitarianism, Repression, Police, Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin
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Neo-Liberal opposition and their foreign sponsors use children in Russia to increase their own wealth

The Russian neo-liberal opposition has once again demonstrated that it is ready to use any dirty tricks and even use children for its own political purposes. The leaders of these pro-Western groups are in fact not associate themselves with the Russian state and the Russian nation and use populist and anti-government rhetoric just as a tool of serving interests of their foreign sponsors as well as increasing their own wealth.

Disproof

Recurrent conspiracy narrative on "colour revolutions". The pro-Kremlin ecosystem excludes popular discontent as a genuine reaction to grievances and view them exclusively as instruments of powerful outside forces. “A colour revolution, instigated by the Anglo-Saxons/America/the West” is the reaction of pro-Kremlin media(opens in a new tab) whenever crowds gather in the streets to protest against corruption, government abuse and curbing of civil rights.

Alexey Navalny is a prominent Russian opposition leader, head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation FBK(opens in a new tab), who was brutally poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok(opens in a new tab) in Omsk, Siberia. Pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about this poisoning are mutually exclusive: "Navalny was not poisoned",(opens in a new tab) "he could have caused the coma himself"(opens in a new tab), "his friend poisoned him"(opens in a new tab), "he might had been injected with Novichok in Germany"(opens in a new tab), "Khodorkovsky is the suspect number one in attack on Navalny"(opens in a new tab) and others.

The real aim of the Russian opposition is a plan of feminists and perverts to stop children from being born

Another revolution is coming from the West upon us, and the West has made the rights of perverts and the delusions of “feminism” a main part of its ideology. It is more important than democracy. Even worse: for modern westerners, the concept of “Freedom” means the freedom of perverts and feminists, and the aim of the political activity of those people is the destructions of all pillars of the traditional society; first and foremost – the family.

This is why a feminist negro, not known for anything else, read a poem at the inauguration of the new president of the United States, performed at gunpoint. This is why Navalny is mentioned on the bottom of the demands of the fliers of the demonstrations – he is irrelevant. He is an instrument (and his allegedly ideal family is only a problem with the cause) to achieve the main thing: that children could be taken from their families. That children should not be born at all.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative portraying the West as decadent and hostile to traditional values and Europe as ruled by homosexuals and lesbians who are imposing their perverted values on the rest of society. The narrative about “threatened values” is adapted to a wide range of topics and typically used to discredit liberal Western attitudes about the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities and LGBTI groups, among others. According to this narrative, the “effeminate West” is rotting under the onslaught of decadence, feminism, homosexuality and “political correctness”, while Russia defends traditional family values.

The claim also forwards a conspiracy narrative on "colour revolutions". The pro-Kremlin ecosystem excludes popular discontent as a genuine reaction to grievances and view them exclusively as instruments of powerful outside forces. “A colour revolution, instigated by the Anglo-Saxons/America/the West” is the reaction of pro-Kremlin media(opens in a new tab) whenever crowds gather in the streets to protest against corruption, government abuse and curbing of civil rights.

A war with Russia - the last hope of the globalists

The victory of Joe Biden equals the victory of the neo-liberals and globalists over the national-oriented part of the American elites. Thus, it is logical to expect a drastic increase of pressure on Russia via “soft power” methods, including economic sanctions, the expansion of specific propaganda and psychological operations to destabilize Russia and its system of governance. The strategic goal of such a campaign would be to weaken the Russian leadership and create conditions for carrying out a devastating preventive strike or to destroy its statehood and disrupt the country by non-military means.

If this approach does not succeed before 2024, the administration of the US neo-liberals, in order to remain in power, could raise the stakes and initiate a nuclear conflict.

Disproof

This article repeats the recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the aggressive and dangerous nature of US and Western foreign policies, accused of engaging in military interventions around the world(opens in a new tab) and threatening world peace(opens in a new tab). The article’s message is also consistent with the ongoing disinformation campaign against US President Joe Biden.

See previous cases claiming that the West causes chaos and wars while Russia is a force for peace and stability(opens in a new tab) and that in the past 30 years all wars have been started by the US or NATO(opens in a new tab).