Disinfo: NATO prepares a large scale military conflict in the Black sea region

Summary

The growing operational activity of the US/NATO naval and air forces in the Black Sea region provokes an adequate reaction from the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Navy. The destroyers of the 6th fleet of the US Navy in the Black Sea regularly display the star-spangled banner and Tomahawk cruise missiles. In Bulgaria and Romania, military infrastructure and materiel stocks are created. More, the Romanian air base Câmpia Turzii has become a platform for the deployment of US strategic offensive weapons. According to Russian military leaders, the manoeuvre scenarios testify to NATO’s targeted preparation for a large-scale military conflict.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on NATO belligerence towards Russia and on Russophobia. NATO's exercises and military deployments in the Black Sea 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. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently, transparently and publicly over the past 29 years. The allegation about NATO's plans to wage a war against Russia was addressed on NATO's official website: "Any claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are absurd." NATO is a defensive alliance and does not pose a threat to Russia. Its purpose is to protect its member states. Every country that joins NATO undertakes to uphold its principles and policies, and this includes the commitment that "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia," as reaffirmed at the Brussels Summit. For more information about NATO-Russia relations and disinformation narratives about NATO, see here and here. Here you can see other examples of disinformation on NATO alleged goals in Crimea and its intentions to introduce a fleet to the Azov Sea, provocations against Russia in the Black Sea or the dangers created by the Alliance’s activities in those waters, preparations for big war, NATO provokes Russia in the Black Sea region.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 198
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Romania, Bulgaria, US, Russia
  • Keywords: Military, Black Sea, Encircling Russia, NATO
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Ukraine does not want Donbas

Ukraine is increasingly losing its chance to return Donbas, and the so-called “Plan B” implies the actual construction of a wall with the republics, which will draw the final line under the final break-up. Ukraine doesn’t need Donbas, therefore these cries that “we want to return Crimea and Donbas” are not true, they do not want to return them.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. During the “Normandy Four” summit in Paris on 9 December 2019, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated that achieving peace in Donbas is the strategic priority of the Ukrainian government. In the communique that was signed by Ukraine, Germany, France, and the Russian Federation, the next security steps have been agreed, such as the “full and comprehensive implementation of the ceasefire”, “exchange of detainees […] based on the principle all for all”, establishing “three additional disengagement areas”, establishing “new crossing points along the line of contact” and “the development and implementation of an updated de-mining plan”. President Zelenskyy has been stressing on numerous occasions that his main strategic goal and the first and foremost task as president is to achieve a peaceful settlement of the war in Donbas as soon as possible. For instance, on 13 October 2019, he underlined that “ending the war in Donbas” is a priority for the Ukrainian government. To accomplish this task, Ukraine has fulfilled all preparatory steps, including the withdrawal of troops on three sites, which are necessary to hold the meeting in the “Normandy format”. See related examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming that Kyiv is imposing a siege on Donbas, the main task of Kyiv is the return of Donbas territory without its people, any attempt to give Donbas to Ukraine will be perceived as surrendering the territory to Nazis.

The main goal of American bio-labs is to surround Russia and hit it with bioweapons

The main goal of the United States is different: to surround Russia not only with troops but also with bio-labs, which, in the event of a possible military threat, will make it possible to deliver a quick strike with the most unpredictable and deadly biological weapons.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about 'secret laboratories' on Russia's borders. See related examples of disinformation about the Lugar lab in Georgia. There is no evidence to claim that the US is developing biological weapons. Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the Richard Lugar Centre for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Georgia, is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). The Lugar centre is a top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system. In no case has this laboratory designed, redesigned or built biological weapons. Read more about the Lugar lab on Myth Detector. In Ukraine, the US supports the research against dangerous infectious diseases through the Biological Threat Reduction Program. In the wake of a disinformation campaign about the US-Ukraine cooperation to reduce biological threats, the US Embassy in Ukraine reaffirmed that the country offers its support to ensure Ukraine can detect and report outbreaks caused by dangerous pathogens before they pose security or stability threats. See related disinformation cases alleging that US laboratories in Ukraine are deadly; that COVID-19 brings attention to secret US laboratories on the borders of Russia and China; that the US is afraid of leakage of infectious substances on its territory so it builds secret laboratories in colonised countries.

The West belittles the greatness of victory of the USSR in the war

It is beneficial for Western politicians to belittle the significance of the victory of Soviet troops over Nazi Germany.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as not aggressive. Western historians acknowledge the role played by the USSR in defeating Nazism and do not question the Soviet contribution to the victory in WWII and the status of the USSR as a country. The European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe stressed the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The resolution is aimed at the promotion of historical remembrance about WWII and condemnation of totalitarian ideologies. Read similar cases claiming that Lithuanian authorities rewrite the history of their own country, that Poland and Lithuania question the status of Russia as a country who won WWII, and that US vassals question the outcome and results of the WWII.