Disinfo: Mueller report concludes that there was no Russian meddling in the US elections, new sanctions against Russia are unfounded

Summary

Despite the prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report, concluding that there is no evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, Washington is preparing new sanctions against Moscow. It is unlikely that these Russian defendants will ever show up in an American courtroom. Therefore, no alleged evidence on which these allegations are based will be subject to adversarial review. This is essential, especially in the cyberworld, as leaked internal CIA documents have revealed that intelligence agencies can usurp the origin of an attack to give the impression that it came from a different country than the one who actually perpetrated it.

Disproof

Although Robert Mueller's investigation was concluded with no proof of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, it did conclude that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election" (see further debunking by The Insider). It led indeed to US senators proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further elections meddling. The given conspiracy-like explanation that the incriminated Russians won't show up in the court in US and therefore are considered innocent is not sustainable. The unwillingness to show up in court could not be considered as a proof of innocence, but rather as disrespect to rule of law implementation proceedings. Russian prosecution also did not make any effort to interrogate the incriminated Russian citizens itself. Read more about election meddling in US, France and elsewhere here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/04/2019
  • Outlet language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller
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Russia is regarded as an enemy in the plans of NATO

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of NATO, the Alliance Defence College presented three ways to develop the military bloc. The report includes the “good”, “bad” and “terrible” scenarios, and in each of the forecasts, Russia is considered an enemy.

Disproof

This is a recurring Kremlin narrative about the belligerent West and NATO attempting to encircle and weaken Russia. According to the research paper "NATO's futures: the Atlantic Alliance between Power and Purpose", where three scenarios of NATO's future are mentioned, Russia is not regarded as the main enemy. Before the description the author explains: "The opening discussion of geopolitics pointed to the key trends we must assess as part of this more circumscribed approach to future history: not least the United States' approach to its modern-day Monroe doctrine but also the ability of all Allies to protect their Alliance into the future where China looms large, their ability to engage Russia in a regional order, and then their ability to contain non-state disruption to the south". While the three scenarios do explore potentially difficult relations with, i.a., a contentious Russia, the conclusion encourages a NATO mindset change on Russia to ensure a an all-around more sustainable outcome. "To secure NATO’s future and these wider benefits, the Allies should contemplate a number of ideas outlined in this report: that NATO should shift its mindset on Russia, downgrade its hope of friendship (which, when disappointed, heightens the level of antagonism) and instead offer Russia a partnership in a revised balance-of power arrangement for Europe." (p. 2)

Under the leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Kyiv has not advanced in the way of Europe

The State Duma recalled that over the past five years, under the leadership of Petro Poroshenko, Kyiv has not advanced in the way of Europe, but only moved away from Moscow.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine's lack of progress on its European ambitions. Ukraine is a priority partner for the European Union, also within the EU's Eastern Partnership. An Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine, was negotiated between 2007 and 2011 and signed on 21 March and 27 June 2014 under the presidency of Petro Poroshenko. It replaces earlier frameworks for cooperation. The Association Agreement is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together: it promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values. On 20 April 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens. As of June 2017 Ukrainians have been able to travel visa-free to the Schengen areas.

Half of internally displaced people from Donbas cannot find work in Ukraine

More than half of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Donbas who left the combat zone in 2014 still cannot find work on the territory controlled by the government of Ukraine. The reason for this is the low level of wages and the catastrophic shortage of jobs for Ukrainians. In addition, internally displaced persons cannot find housing, and therefore return to the occupied territories.

Disproof

According to the report of the National Monitoring System in Ukraine, which was submitted on April 9, Ukraine does not have a “catastrophic” level of unemployment. The study is based on surveys of focus groups of internally displaced persons, which included about 6,500 people (out of 1.6 million officially registered IDPs). According to the report, the number of internally displaced persons unable to work was 48%. These are pensioners, the sick, mothers on maternity leave, students etc. The remaining 52% of internally displaced persons are economically active. 44% of active IDPs have a permanent job that matches their qualifications. The remaining 8% are actually looking for work. Simple arithmetic shows that out of 6,500 IDPs, only 8% cannot gain employment - this is about 270 people. Thus, the Russian media have overstated data on unemployment among immigrants by more than ten times.