Mueller report provided no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow

Summary

Last April, a report by former US Attorney General Robert Mueller on “Russian intervention” in the 2016 US presidential election concluded that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the elections.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the Robert Mueller report connected also with the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Robert Mueller's investigation 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". It led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further election meddling.

The claim that the report provides no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion is spurious. Gathering evidence of "collusion" - which is not a legal concept - fell outside the scope of the investigation. The aim of the probe was not merely to ascertain contacts between the Trump Campaign and Russia-linked individuals during the election period, but to establish whether these interactions were deliberate enough on the part of Trump Campaign officials to sustain charges of conspiracy (p. 2).

The report explicitly identifies "numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign" (p. 9).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 170
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, United States
  • Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller
  • Outlet: Sputnik Arabic
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Crimea chose to be part of Russia

Crimea became part of Russia, once again, after the March 2014 referendum, with 96,77 percent of the Crimean electorate and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol’s population voting in favour of joining Russia. This came after the toppling of the regime in Ukraine, in February 2014.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

No international body has recognised the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014.

The Church of Greece only recognised the Church of Ukraine because it is dependent on Western financial support

The Church of Greece’s decision to recognise the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is not a surprise. What else could have been expected from a church that is entirely under the control of the Greek government? Priests in Greece are government officials. And the Church of Greece is literally completely dependent of Western financial and political support. The fact that it received a large number of visits from US officials and the number of “informal” conversations between Ambassador Pyatt and Greek leaders says a lot.

 

 

 

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory aimed at undermining support for the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), presented without any evidence. Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets have frequently and consistently attacked the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian Church. There is no factual evidence to suggest that Western support for the Church of Greece forced its decision to recognise the UOC.

In October 2019, the Greek Orthodox Church decided to recognise the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, following the decision by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The latter delivered the so-called tomos of autocephaly to the UOC in January 2019. For more information on the tomos, see here.

The Russian army doesn’t deliberately target civilians, unlike the US

Despite having lost soldiers in Syria and the fact that Turkey downed a Russian airplane and caused the death of its pilot, Russia didn’t take any inappropriate retaliation measures. It didn’t kill civilians on purpose, as it is known that the US did.

Disproof

Deliberate targeting of civilians by the Russian air forces has been a permanent concern for human rights groups and observers of the Syrian conflict since the beginning of its intervention in the country in 2015. Both Syrian and especially Russian armed forces have been repeatedly accused of purposefully attacking schools, rescue workers and hospitals by Amnesty International, Western governments or the United Nations in different moments of the war.

Bombing of hospitals in Syria have been a recurrent event during the armed conflict, which MSF attributed to Russia in 2017. Moscow flatly denied any responsibility, trying to shift blame on the US air forces without presenting any evidence. In June 2019, doctors in the rebel-held area of Idlib stopped sharing coordinates of medical facilities with the UN after suspicions that they were being deliberately targeted by pro-Bashar Al Assad and Russian forces in what many observers considered a coordinated strategy. On October 13, 2019, The New York Times published an article analysing radio recordings linking Russian pilots to the purposeful bombing of four Syrian hospitals in May 5 and 6, 2019.