South Ossetia’ authorities link atypical plant and animal diseases to Lugar Lab

Summary

The activities of the Richard Lugar Public Healthcare Research Centre in Tbilisi are to blame for the cases of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), nodular prurigo, and the brown marmorated stink bug in South Ossetia.

Disproof

Long-lasting conspiracy theories about the Lugar Laboratory. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has been disseminating conspiracies about the work of the Lugar Laboratory for years, claiming that it spreads dangerous viruses and exports them to Russia.

For the diseases to spread from the Lugar Laboratory to the occupied territories of Georgia, the outbreaks should have first been recorded in Tbilisi, within the functionality area of the lab.

In fact, the first case of ASFV was recorded in Georgia several years before the launch of the lab in 2007. As for nodular prurigo, it spread in the whole of Eastern Europe in 2016, with only four cases recorded in Georgia. As for the brown marmorated stink bug – its origin is South-East Asia, from where it first spread to Abkhazia and then to other regions of Georgia. See more about the case here.

Read more about Lugar lab on Myth Detector. See other disinformation cases against the Lugar Lab here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 160
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/08/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Georgia
  • Keywords: Lugar
  • Outlet: Sputnik Ossetia
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Young people leave the Baltic states. The empty territory will be used either for NATO bases or to home migrants

Unemployment prompts young people to leave the Baltic states. As a result, the UN has already put Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on the list of countries which may become depopulated in the coming decades. NATO will deploy its bases on the depopulated territories of the Baltics, or they may become a shelter for Asian and African migrants.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the Baltic states are disappearing due to declining demographics. Sputnik's claim contains several disinformation statements and conspiracy theories.

  1. The UN reports do not include any list of endangered countries. According to the UN data booklet on world population prospects, the population of the Baltic states will decline in 2050 and 2100, but they are far from “extinction.” The tendency of population decline has been observed in Eastern Europe, as well as in other parts of the world.
  2. According to Eurostat data, the unemployment rate, as well as the youth unemployment rate decreased in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 2005-2018.
  3. Two open questions at the end of the video that NATO will deploy its military bases on the depopulated territory of the Baltic States or that these territories may be used to home Asian and African migrants are conspiracy theories.

See more here and similar disinformation narratives here.

All US partners have to accept the US narrative about termination of the INF Treaty

It is not surprising Angela Merkel accused Russia for the demise of the INF treaty. The US narrative about termination of the INF Treaty is now accepted by all its partners as an axiom. To say something else is to admit Washington’s cardinal untruth.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the INF Treaty.

NATO stated that Russia bears sole responsibility for the demise of the INF Treaty because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the Treaty. The US has gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometres and has spent almost six years in dialogues with Russia to try to resolve Russia’s non-compliance. However, Russia consistently refused to address US and NATO concerns.

Fitch agency confident in economic stability of Russia despite unfair sanctions

The international rating agency Fitch believes that Moscow will be able to cope with the new sanctions imposed by the United States on its financial sector because of the alleged involvement of Russia in the Skripal case, although no evidence of such involvement has been provided so far.

This decision [of Fitch] to upgrade Russia’s rating confirms once again that the Russian economy has fully adapted to existing challenges and is able to achieve new growth rates.

Disproof

Fitch’s press release states that “the continued threat of sanctions' escalation will weigh on Russia's external financing flexibility, investment and growth prospects”. It also clearly indicates “failure to raise growth”: “Current sanctions and uncertainty regarding the potential type and scope of future sanctions will continue to weigh on growth prospects, create risk for sovereign and external financing flexibility and continue to test Russia's macroeconomic and financial sector resilience. Perceived failure to raise growth and living standards could increase political and social pressures on the policy framework to provide greater support for domestic economic activity”, - according to Fitch.

See other disinformation cases on “noneffective” economic sanctions against Russia here.