Disinfo: Latvia is blinded by Russophobia 

Summary

The decision to ban television broadcasts of RT is an indication of the level of stupidity and ignorance of the Latvian authorities, who have been blinded by the Russophobia, indicating that the reason for the ban has no legal meaning.

Disproof

A recurrent narrative against the Baltic states allegedly being Russophobic and acting irrationally against RT and Sputnik. Latvia has banned the state-owned Russian television channel RT, saying it is controlled by an individual, Dmitriy Kiselyov, who is under EU sanctions. According to the Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), Latvia's national media watchdog, RT and the network of channels operated by it are under Kiselyov's "effective control". Read full NEPLP's position here for details. For further debunking please see the Insider. Read similar stories: Russian Media are being discriminated against in the Baltic states, Estonian laws only foresee asset freezing for people and companies mentioned in the EU sanctions list.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Baltic states, Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Russia Today (RT), Censorship, Dmitry Kiselyov, Sanctions, Russophobia
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Discredited conspiracy theories about Russian meddling in US elections are back

Conspiracy theories against Russia are back. US TV station MSNBC is doing its best yet to spread the theory that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. “Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election and he doesn’t want to make him mad for 2020?”, anchorman Chuck Todd asked former National Security Advisor John Bolton in an interview in the show Meet the Press. This caused commotion in social media, since the Democrats’ affirmation that Trump colluded with Russia to somehow ‘steal’ the presidency seemed to have been put to rest after an attempt to impeach the president that came to nowhere. Bolton avoided Todd’s bait and said that there was “no evidence” that the president colluded with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Todd tried to put some distance and clarified several times that he wasn’t talking about “collusion”, without explaining what he was talking about if it wasn’t of “collusion”.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia’s innocence of meddling in US elections. The article deliberately merges the accusations of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin with those of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. While the investigation of US special counsel Robert Mueller found no conclusive evidence of collusion -of which president Trump immediately claimed to have been exonerated-, there is massive proof of Russian meddling in the elections through social media, hackings and interested leaks, as the US intelligence community unanimously concluded. The mentioned impeachment process against Donald Trump was not related to any of this. Trump was impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice, and the procedure was motivated by the US president's alleged attempt to use his leverage on Ukraine's president against his political rival Joe Biden. See other examples of this disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims about the supposed anti-Russian bias of international institutions - be it the OPCW, the World Anti-Doping Agency or the United Nations - which always falsely accuse Russia; the alleged Russophobia of the EU; the affirmation that it is NATO and not the Kremlin who is involved in the Donbas conflict; or denials that Russia had any role in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal or the downing of MH17, that it interfered in other countries’ elections or that it waged a disinformation campaign on COVID-19.

None of the JIT's evidence is valid, all accusations are based on some articles in the media

In the trial of the flight MH17, the entire case against the Joint Investigation Team is drawn from digital media, from media in general because there is not a single piece of evidence that could used legally.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) investigated the case, collected evidence and reached clear conclusions: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system with one missing missile returned to the Russian Federation. On May 24 2018, JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation. The fact that other investigators from the media and society also found evidence and uncovered the responsibilities of different persons in the chain of command that led to the tragedy, doesn't imply that the JIT didn't work or that none of the evidence is valid. The public hearing on the incident started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

Russia is wrongfully being sanctioned as a result of a Ukrainian crisis

The European Union decided to take punitive steps against Russia as a result of the conflict in southeast Ukraine and Crimea rejoining with Russia. Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is not a part of the Ukrainian conflict and that the return of Crimea to the strength of Russia is an outcome of an acute political crisis in Ukraine that resulted from the will that was expressed by the overwhelming majority of the peninsula’s population in a popular referendum, in full accordance with international law.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlindisinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea. Crimea is apart of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which wasillegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014. A year after the illegal “return”, Russian President Vladimir Putinadmitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. Sanctions were first introduced in June 2014 in response to the attempts to deliberatelyundermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and destabilise the country. Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy and individual restrictive measures. For the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation seehere. Read similar claims such as Crimea’s reunification with Russia was legal, or thathistorically Crimea was a Russian land, and that Crimea becamepart of Russia after the events of 2014 in Ukraine.