Disinfo: Military exercises, like Defender 2020, are directed against Russia


In NATO, they said the main task of the exercises (Defender Europe 2020)  is to develop logistics and interaction between the Allies forces. However, the Russian Ministry of Defense indicates that maneuvers are directed against Russia. Almost all combat missions were practiced at training grounds located in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders. Objects located on the territory of the Russian Federation were considered as probable targets of defeat.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020".

US Major General Andrew Rohling Deputy Commanding General for the US Army in Europe, informs that the US-led exercise "Defender 2020" is an American exercise with 18 NATO partner countries. Rohling emphasises that the aim of the exercise is not to target any country, but rather to test strategic readiness and how to react to a crisis. Defender Europe 2020 is not aimed against Russia and is defensive in nature. NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg affirmed as well that it is not directed against any particular country. Its purpose is to practice the rapid deployment of large-scale forces across the Atlantic into Europe, demonstrating the US military’s ability to quickly send a massive contingent to support NATO and respond to any crisis.

See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members or its plans to continue attacking other countries.


  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Poland
  • Keywords: Defender Europe 2020, Military, Encircling Russia, Military exercise, Russophobia


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding ordered research legitimising confrontational Eastern policy of Poland

Russophobia has been a widespread phenomenon among the Polish political class for so many years that the majority has become used to it.
Recently, the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding, an institution subordinate to the Polish Ministry of Culture, ordered a research, which was supposed to prove the statement that the Poles perceived Russia as a threat. This research was supposed to legitimise the confrontational Eastern policy of Poland.


This message is a part of the Kremlin’s widespread narrative about Russophobic Poland. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies.

The claim that “Poland realises a confrontational Eastern policy” is a conspiracy theory – the Eastern policy of Poland is based on the respect of the sovereignty of the post-Soviet countries. Also, Poland declares its willingness to develop dialogue with Russia in areas such as human, cultural, and economic cooperation and student exchange.
Recently, the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding presented a report “Information war and historical propaganda”. This report presents the sociological research on reactions of the Poles to the Russian propaganda efforts in the historical sphere. The report states that the major part of the Russian disinformation messages is negatively perceived by the Poles.
The claim that the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding has “ordered” this report in order to prove the statement that the Poles perceive Russia as a threat and to justify “the confrontational Eastern policy of Poland” is a conspiracy theory.
See other examples of similar messages claiming that constant intimidation with Russia is used to make Poland economically dependent on the USAthe Polish authorities created an insane hysteria of intimidation with Russia, used for the needs of domestic politics and the national security strategy of Poland is a manifestation of traditional Russophobia of the Polish authorities.

Children in the West are taught to fear and hate the police

Children in the West are taught to fear and hate the police.

The almost nine-minute video on the (Nickelodeon) channel broadcasts a simple idea to young viewers: “The American police are killing people” – thereby instilling them with fear of law enforcement agencies.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the current protests in the US.

Last week, along with other networks, Nickelodeon paused its scheduled programming for exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time Derek Chauvin from the Minneapolis Police Department had his knee pressed on Floyd's neck as he repeatedly said, "I can't breathe."

In Poland, the Red Army monuments are destroyed as a result of politicians’ decisions

In Washington, the monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko was devastated and damaged as a result of, let’s say, grassroots social protests. In Poland, the destruction of the Red Army monuments is carried out based on the decisions of the politicians. These two situations are different.



A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States as countries which do not respect the history of WWII and its heroes.

In 2017, Poland introduced new laws to ban totalitarian propaganda. According to this Law, up to 230 Soviet monuments may be replaced, a decision to be made by Polish local authorities. The Polish MFA underlines that Red Army burial places and cemeteries situated in Poland will be carefully protected. It is possible to dismantle and remove only symbolic monuments to the Red Army.