Disinfo: NATO is planning to invade Belarus

Summary

NATO military exercise Anakonda is an attempt to provoke Belarus and create a buffer zone on its territory.

Disproof

Disinformation that appeared when the Lithuanian news portal kaunas.kasvyksta.lt/ was hacked and an article accusing NATO of planning to occupy Belarus was planted. The article first appeared in an English language blog with imagery linking to a user-generated entertainment website. The news portal kaunas.kasvyksta.lt was hacked using the credentials of a former employee via foreign servers. The article has been removed as soon as the media outlet became aware of it. The outlet kaunas.kasvyksta.lt was also the first one to report its own hacking. At least 7 copies of the article were disseminated across other news outlets and social networks using both fake online personas and cyber activity. The content of the planted article revolves around a common pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that NATO is a threat to Russia's security and is preparing to attack. Further debunking and information about the hacking: DFRlab and kaunas.kasvyksta.lt

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 127
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/10/2018
  • Outlet language(s) Lithuanian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belarus, Lithuania
  • Keywords: NATO
see more

The EU claims that it owns Black Sea

The European Union claims that it owns Black Sea. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini warned Russia and Ukraine against building up military power in the Black Sea region.

Disproof

According to the original statement, published on the EEAS website, Federica Mogherini correctly stated that the Black Sea is a European sea: "Let me remind us all that the Black Sea is a European sea, and we do not want to witness yet another military build-up in our immediate region. We will continue to push for the respect of international law and conventions, and to support Ukraine in these challenging circumstances. I am sure that I can count on the support of this [European] Parliament in this work we are doing". See also article on our website. Further debunking by the Insider and StopFake.

UK: There is no evidence of Russia's interference in democratic processes

The UK government did not find any evidence of Russia’s interference in democratic processes of the Kingdom.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about election meddling and Brexit. In fact, the UK government stated that the disinformation campaign was just not successful:

"In November 2017, the Prime Minister accused the Russian state of ‘a sustained campaign of cyber espionage and disruption’ which has included meddling in elections and hacking the Danish Ministry of Defence and the [German] Bundestag. As noted by the Committee, the Prime Minister stated that Russia is seeking to weaponise information, ‘deploying its state-run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo-shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions’. Following the nerve agent attack in Salisbury in March this year, we judged the Russian state promulgated at least 38 false disinformation narratives around this criminal act.

Ukrainian Deputy Minister Wants to Return Crimea with the Help of the Army

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister for Information Policy Emine Jepar wants to return Russian-annexed Crimea to the Ukrainian using the Ukrainian Army.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about war in Ukraine. Ukraine’s Deputy Minister for Information Policy Emine Jepar did touch upon the theme of returning Ukrainian jurisdiction over Crimea, but she did not speak about using the army to accomplish that goal. She simply said that Ukraine had to be ready for every eventuality, use all means to reclaim Crimea and be prepared for whatever unpredictable steps the Russian Federation takes regarding the peninsula. Further debunking by the StopFake.