Disinfo: Informed Japanese believe that the Kuril Islands are an integral part of Russia


All Japanese who know Russia’s position have long believed that the Kuril Islands are an integral part of Russia. The time for land exchange between Russia and Japan, which had previously taken place as a result of previous wars, has passed.


It is a false claim that Japanese people who are knowledgable about the situation believe that the disputed islands are an integral part of Russia. The four southernmost island in what Russia refers to as the "Kuril Islands" have never been a part of Russia until WWII. The Island chain referred to as the Kuril Islands stretches northeast from Japan’s main northern island of Hokkaido to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. Japan makes its territorial claim for only the four most southern islands in the chain and refers to them as the "Northern Territoies", and does not consider them part of the Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union occupied the four islands at the end of the war expelling all 17,000 Japanese residents. The islands were never under Soviet or Russian sovereignty before that date. On the other hand, in 1855, Russia and Japan signed the Treaty of Shimoda, which gave Japan ownership of the four southern islands and Russia ownership of everything to the north. Under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed between the Allies and Japan in the aftermath of WWII, Japan renounced "all right, title and claim to the Kuril Islands", as well as over other possessions. However, Russia did not sign the treaty and the Japanese government has never recognised the four islands as part of the Kuril chain. Part of the dispute is based on the definition of Kuril Islands and whether it includes the four islands in question. Russia claims they are part of the Kuril Islands chain and Japan says they are not. In 2005, the European Parliament issued an official statement urging the return of the territories in dispute to Japan. In an opinion poll conducted in late 2018, an initial return of two islands garnered 46% support in the survey among Japanese people. 33% wanted all four returned together, while only 5% were satisfied with getting just two islands back. This defies the claim of the article that people in Japan "who know the Russian position" realize that the islands are an integral part of Russian territory.


  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic, , English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Japan, Russia
  • Keywords: Territorial dispute
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Disinfo: Russophobia and Nazis are the main reasons for the conflict in Donbas

The main reasons for the conflict in Ukraine was that the Eastern regions rejected Russophobia, Nazi glorification and the ideology of Nazism. The tragedy of Donbas is that Russia did not come to the aid of local residents when the Ukrainian authorities sent tanks and artillery with aviation against unarmed civilians. […] in the cities of Donbas, women and their husbands met the heavy equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with their bare hands.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, aiming to portray the conflict as Ukraine's civil war. The war in Eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of ongoing aggression by Russian armed forces, since February 2014. The military actions in Donbas began after separatist rebels and militants from Russia seized key areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. On 7 April, pro-Russian rebels took control of the SBU armoury in Donetsk. On the same day, they declared the so-called "Donetsk Peoples' Republic". On 12 April, 52 armed militants led by Igor Girkin (Strelkov), a retired colonel of Russia's military intelligence GRU, attacked governmental offices in the city of Sloviansk and later in Kramatorsk. Both cities were under militants' control until the beginning of July 2014. The Ukrainian government reacted to the attack by introducing an "anti-terrorist operation" in the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts which officially began on 15 April. Read similar disinformation alleging that Americans provoked the overthrow of legitimate authority in Ukraine and civil war in Donbas, that Donetsk and Luhansk independence triggered a Ukrainian military operation, that Euromaidan coup led to civil war in Donbas, that war in Ukraine is a civil war.

Disinfo: Western countries have been actively trying to rewrite the history of World War II

In recent years, Western countries have been actively trying to rewrite the history of World War II, to belittle the role and contribution of the people of the former Soviet Union in the victory over fascism.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about WWII that is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism. The Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country which had won in WWII. See other examples of similar disinformation narratives claiming that European countries try to rewrite history of the WWII – Russia preserves the truth,, that The West wants to rewrite the history of WWII, that EU fiercely rewrites the history of WWII, Poland lies about WW2 to weaken Russia's position or Revision of the WW2 history is the state position of Warsaw.

Disinfo: Nobody knows what happened in Salisbury two years ago

In Britain, a dubious espionage scandal was the occasion for a high-profile premiere. The series about the events in Salisbury. The screen version of the scandalous events once again fueled interest in a story that has already started to be forgotten. If this was the goal, then the contractors of the series probably reached it. Because the artistic value of the product is clearly low. It could not have had been otherwise, giving that it is still unknown what really happened in Salisbury two years ago.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Salisbury poisoning in reaction to the BBC series broadcast this week. After a hearing in the Court of Protection, British High Court Justice David Williams issued an approved judgement about what had happened to the Skripals around three weeks after their poisoning in March 2018. The British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. The evidence was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, Anatoliy Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin with the attack on the Skripals, both Russian military intelligence operatives from the GRU, who travelled to the UK using fake names and documents. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent, specifically the purity of the toxin while emphasising that the OPCW team “worked independently and was not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities", to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations. The pro Kremlin narrative also claims that the Skripal story "starts to be forgotten". In fact, the UK's official assessment of the incident was supported by 28 other countries which responded similarly. Altogether, an unprecedented number of 153 Russian diplomats were expelled around the world. See more disinformation cases on the Skripals poisoning (Salisbury poisoning).