Disinfo: NATO maneuvres in Europe are organised to create zones of tension for Moscow

Summary

In February, the Americans, Norwegians, as well as the Dutch and the British, about ten thousand fighters in total, will take part in the large-scale Joint Viking 2021 maneuvers. Joint Viking exercises are held annually. The Pentagon is artificially aggravating the situation as the US and NATO stubbornly refuse to abandon their claims to the Arctic.

The exercises of the Marines will be offensive, not defensive. They will also work out actions against Russia. If we analyse the NATO maneuvers in Europe as a whole, it is clear that they are organised to create zones of tension for Moscow.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia and the military exercise Joint Viking 2021. The exercise was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every nation has the right to conduct exercises, but it is important that they are conducted transparently and in line with international obligations.

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. During the Warsaw summit in July 2016, NATO has made it clear that:

"The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia".

NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – or any other country. Exercises are designed to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. Anyway, Norway has recently cancelled Allied exercises over COVID-19 safety concerns.

For more information about NATO-Russia relations and disinformation narratives about NATO, see here and here.

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, that Military exercises, like Defender 2020, are directed against Russia, that the Sea Breeze exercises are directed against Russia, or NATO exercises in Estonia are an unfriendly message addressed to Russia and that NATO’s politicians use Defender Europe 2020 as an opportunity to escalate tensions with Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Military exercise, Encircling Russia, NATO
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Foreign special services are behind demonstrations in Russia

The actions in Russia were held with the assistance of foreign special services. State Duma’s commission for the protection of state sovereignty has credible data to confirm these statements.

Disproof

An unfounded claim presented without evidence. This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are "colour revolutions" directed and funded by Western intelligence services or other Western actors in order to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change. And the West is always an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups and colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. This narrative has been applied, among others, to the Arab Spring revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia, Venezuela, Georgia, and Belarus.

The 2021 Russian protests began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 3,300 people were arrested in protests spanning nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia.

Russia’s superiority forces western spies to act now

“Navalny’s supporters”, or, to put it simply, the henchmen of the US Democratic Party, will continue to organise protests up to the parliamentary elections in September 2021. After the elections they will declare that the “election was stolen” and summon the mutinists for a decisive attack.

Why is this attack happening in 2021, why did they not prepare it earlier or later? Why did the western special forces decide to go ahead on operation “Navalny” last summer and only now give order on a killing blow on the Russian state? The answer is obvious: in 2020 Russia demonstrated its superiority compared to the united West.

Disproof

A combination of several disinformation tropes, employed by pro-Kremlin outlets: the concept of”Russian superiority”, of “Western aggression” and a recurrent narrative about expressions of popular discontent as results of foreign involvement.

Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

NATO secret services made a blunder in their script for Navalny

Judging by all, it was there [in a German mountain resort] that Navalny was given a text of supposedly “his” investigation into supposedly “Putin’s” palace. In the beginning the text was clearly written in English and translated into Russian in such inept manner, that it makes one laugh out loud. NATO secret services made a blunder here. For example a word “mudroom”, which translated from English simply means “entryway”, Navalny translated as “room for mud”. There are a lot of strange things in the material released.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The disinformation message refers to investigation published by Alexei Navalny into the wealth of Vladimir Putin. The insight's of Navalny's investigation were widely shared by the international media.