Disinfo: Kerch Strait incident was a rehearsal for a larger provocation to drag Russia into war


The Kerch Strait incident was merely a rehearsal for a larger provocation to drag Russia into war. Such attempts have been going on for five years. But it did not work. Ukraine expected that all 24 sailors would die, but only 3 were injured.


No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Azov Sea incident. For earlier examples see here. 

For background:

On November 25th 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.



  • Reported in: Issue 138
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/02/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Military, Provocation, Anti-Russian, War preparation
  • Outlet: Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (15:22 - 17:20)
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Novichok: The West is trying to block the TurkStream project in Bulgaria

The alleged Novichok poisoning in Bulgaria is part of the West’s scenario to block the TurkStream project in Bulgaria.

The West is trying to blame Russia and to remove Bulgaria from the implementation of this project. American influence is clearly visible here.


No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning. For more examples see here.

Emilian Gebrev fell into a coma in April 2015, along with his son and one of his company directors. They survived the suspected poisoning, but the case was never solved. On March 4th 2018, the Skripals were poisoned in Salisbury with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. In October 2018, Gebrev approached Bulgarian prosecutors with the results of laboratory tests from 2015, which he believed showed he could have been poisoned with a nerve agent similar to Novichok.

White Helmets kidnap children, traffic human organs, and stage chemical attacks

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This piece refers to an unverified report aimed to advance the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative of crimes and hoaxes perpetrated by the White Helmets.

The report in question was presented by Maksim Grigoryev, a member of Russia's Civil Chamber, and bases its claims on a "fact-checking" methodology consisting solely of purported witness testimony and unverifiable hearsay. The presenter himself pointed out that Grigoryev's findings are merely "evidence heard" at this point, as the UN has yet to assess their veracity and take an official stance on them.

Poroshenko may provoke a military clash with Russian forces in order to postpone election

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko may provoke a direct military clash with Russian forces before the election – that way, voting will be postponed and he will remain in power. But since Poroshenko is not an independent figure and does not make military decisions himself, this strategy would be part of unified plan led by NATO and the US, just as it happened in August 2008 in Georgia. Alternatively, if the elections take place after all, this orchestrated clash would help Poroshenko mobilise voters in his favour.


Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. This case is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the election in Ukraine. For similar cases see: Kerch confrontation - part of Poroshenko's plan to postpone the Ukrainian election.

This disinformation case occurred in the context of President Poroshenko's address to the UN, where he declared his expectation that the UN will continue with its peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine.