Disinfo: In The Hague, there is no case against Russia related to Ukraine

Summary

It is unclear to which case against Russia in the court in The Hague the materials from the interviews with Girkin and Poklonskaya can be attached. In The Hague, there is no case against Russia in relation to Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the lawsuit trial between Ukraine and Russia at the International Court of Justice in Hague. Read a similar case, claiming that Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia is groundless.

Ukraine has filed a complaint against Russia to the International Court of Justice in Hague on 17 January 2017, concerning the events in separatist areas of Ukraine, Donetsk and Lugansk, including the downing of the MH17 Malaysian plane in July 2014. Ukraine invoked the violation of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Ukraine requested the Court ”to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation bears international responsibility, by virtue of its sponsorship of terrorism and failure to prevent the financing of terrorism under the Convention, for the acts of terrorism committed by its proxies in Ukraine”, and ”to adjudge and declare that the Russian Federation, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities exercising governmental authority, including the de facto authorities administering the illegal Russian occupation of Crimea, and through other agents acting on its instructions or under its direction and control, has violated its obligations under the CERD”. See details here.

On 8 November 2019, the Court fixed the time-limit for Russian Federation to present the counter-memorial in this trial. In the same Judgment, the Court rejected the preliminary objection raised by the Russian Federation to the admissibility of the Application of Ukraine in relation to the claims under CERD. Thus, the UN Court will consider the case.

The lawsuit was filed at the International Court of Justice by the then President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, in early 2017.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 198
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas, MH17
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Soros’ structures saw an opportunity in the pandemic to attack the “bad guys”

An article in The Guardian affirms that the coronavirus pandemic became a blessing for authoritarian figures, tyrants and zealots all over the world. The first in the list of “bad guys” was Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad, criticised by the West when he tries to liberate regions of his country captured by extremists, and quoting data from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a US structure that is regularly funded by the Open Society Foundation of the scandalous oligarch George Soros. China is also criticised, accused of maintaining a million Uyghur Muslims in training camps and forcing them to work instead of allowing them to stay at home. The article also quotes the head of Chatham House, funded by Soros too.

Disproof

The article is a deliberate distortion of the original op-ed by Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian, trying to discredit it in order to defend Kremlin allies such as Syria’s Bashar Al Assad; or China’s Xi Jinping. While Freedland’s piece describes Assad as deliberately leaving Syrians in opposition-held areas more vulnerable to the pandemic, the disinformation article sticks to a recurrent Russian narrative by labelling Assad’s opponents as “extremists” and accusing the West of supporting terrorism for criticising Damascus’ actions.

By describing The Guardian and think tanks CSIS and Chatham House as “Soros’ structures”, the article aims to portray them as having a hidden agenda linked to billionaire George Soros, a frequent target of pro-Kremlin disinformation. Both CSIS and Chatham House receive funds from the Open Society Foundation (among many other donors) and report that to the public openly.

The main source of the coronavirus spread was an American laboratory in Armenia

The ratio of infected to the total number of citizens in Armenia exceeds the indicators of the neighboring Caucasian republics by several times. What is the reason for such a critical epidemiological situation in the country? The main source of the spread of the new coronavirus infection in Armenia was the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC). In the post-Soviet republic of Armenia the USA actually acquired a dual-use controlled laboratory, military and civilian.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory about the coronavirus, based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about biological weapons, consistent with the Pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against biological laboratories in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine and other countries.

The story fits the broader set of conspiracy theories on the supposed man-made origins of various infectious diseases. There is no evidence to suggest that the novel coronavirus was manufactured inside laboratories. The virus "2019-nCoV” comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. The medical Journal “Emerging Microbes & Infections” specifically said there is “No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering.” The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 5,5 mln globally with over 346000 deaths by 25 May 2020. Cases have been reported in more than 200 countries, territories and areas.

National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Armenia is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia. The laboratories are not American, they belong exclusively to the Republic of Armenia. No other state or state structure has an impact on its activities or governance. For further debunk read here.

Many other claims have been pushed by pro-Kremlin media since the outbreak started in January, for example, that it was born in a laboratory to infect Chinese, that it is an element of hybrid warfare and that the remedy has been developed in Ukraine.

Historical revisionism on WWII is used to justify geopolitical measures against Russia

During the Cold War, history was used as a propagandistic weapon against the enemy, but three decades later there is still no search for historical truth on WWII. Today it is common to put at the same level the role played by the Third Reich and the Soviet Union, practically considered a historical certainty that is even backed by European Parliament resolutions. To maintain those narratives 75 years after the defeat of the Third Reich is vital to adopt and justify current geopolitical measures.

Disproof

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

Though pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on WWII predate the mentioned European Parliament resolution on historical remembrance of September 2019, they increased as a reaction to it, after which Russia launched a campaign blaming Poland for the war and accusing it and other EU members -especially the Baltic states- of twisting history to justify anti-Russian measures.