Disinfo: Macron spoke about RT and Sputnik in order to distract the audience from problems in France

Summary

Macron spoke about RT and Sputnik in order to distract the audience from problems in France. In late January, speaking to journalists about the yellow vests protests, Emmanuel Macron referred to “the assistance of a foreign power,” such as Russia, which, “through Russia Today or Sputnik, […] often features in their discourse.” These very surprising remarks contradict the information provided by the French intelligence services. It may be an attempt to hide the fact that there is a problem in the country. French authorities have not found any trace of Russian interference in the yellow vests protests.

Disproof

The disinforming outlet gave a simplified and cut-out version of what Mediapart.Fr reported on March 8, 2019. Indeed, Mediapart spoke to unnamed French intelligence sources asking for comments on whether any Russian meddling in the yellow vests' protests had taken place and received a negative answer. But, as Mediapart.fr admits, there is another body which is in charge of a proper investigation of this alleged meddling: the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN). The latter's investigation has not been concluded yet. See further reporting on potential Kremlin involvement in amplifying the yellow vests' protests here and here. Pro-Kremlin outlets often try to convince the audience that some claims are only made to distract us from the real problems. This is applied in this case, and we have also seen it, for example, in the Skripal poisoning case.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 140
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: France, Russia
  • Keywords: yellow vests, Russia Today (RT), Sputnik
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Ukraine risks on being ripped apart

The conflict in Donbas will not end until there is a regime change in Kyiv. As long as the nationalists rule Ukraine there can be no change in the situation. But whoever wins the Ukrainian elections will continue to serve the interests of the US. Ukraine will be torn into two parts, a Western and an Eastern state. The Donbas will not likely ever return to Ukraine; it has developed its own managerial system, culture and economy. The “Donbas model” suits the needs of the Eastern part of Ukraine better than the Kyiv model.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narratives on Ukraine's elections and about Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood. Similar cases can be found here and here.

West is preparing a new colour revolution in Belarus

In 2010, Belarus became the first post-Soviet country in which a colour revolution did not succeed. The West invested millions of dollars in the revolution, however, the Belarusian authorities managed to withstand their attempts. Western political consultants honed their skills in Ukraine and are ready to try again in Belarus. Preparations are already underway through the creation of information platforms and foreign media, including the Ukrainian UATV channel which started broadcasting in Belarus. On top, there is a high probability that nationalists who have been trained on the Maidan and in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine will be sent to Belarus.

Disproof

This disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood and to arrange 'Belarusian Maidan'. Examples of earlier disinformation with a similar narrative here and here. In Belarus in 2010, post-election mass demonstrations were a peaceful civic protest by Belarusians against false elections rather than a product of western destabilising actions. The article also follows another disinformation narrative about the destabilising effect of the Ukrainian UATV channel which was allowed to broadcast on Belarus' cable networks.

Kyiv promises Donbas filtration camps after punitively clearing the area

After the de-occupation of certain territories in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, Ukrainian nationalists will send all Donbas residents to filtration camps. Kyiv promises the same fate as Nazi Germany for the entire population of the ‘LDNR’ groupings: special “punishers” will clear the territory, after which local residents will be checked into special camps.

Disproof

Claims on "filtration camps" are unfounded; there are no evidence to support the claims. The Government of Ukraine promised amnesty to the residents of Eastern Ukraine who collaborated with the occupation authorities back in 2014, when the Verkhovna Rada adopted the relevant law. The representative of Ukraine in the humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group on the peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbass, Rada Vice-Speaker Iryna Gerashchenko, on February 20, 2018, reiterated Ukraine's position on the Donbass after the de-occupation of the Ukrainian territories. However, the Vice-speaker stressed that the amnesty will not apply to individuals involved in the shooting down of the Malaysian Boeing and other war criminals. "Those who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Donbas during the war, should not expect forgiveness”, – Gerashchenko said.