Disinfo: While everybody is looking at Syria, NATO prepares for war in the heart of Europe

Summary

The US withdrew its troops from Syria, but is sending its soldiers to Europe to prepare for a war against its geopolitical enemy, Russia. The US troops will take part in the exercises of rapid deployment in Eastern Europe called Atlantic Resolve. Unusually, for the first time, US troops will deploy in the Dutch city of Vlissingen, at a distance of 2,000 km from Moscow.

Disproof

This is deliberate misreporting of an article published by Business Insider, which covered the Atlantic Resolve exercises. The original article states that the exercises are part of "the [US] Army's ongoing efforts to make sure it can get to a fight in Europe if one breaks out". However, it did not mention any preparations for an upcoming war in Europe, nor Russia as a geopolitical enemy and the distance between Vlissingen and Moscow. This is part of a recurrent disinformation effort to portray NATO as an ever-expanding, aggressive power against a peaceful Russia. Here you can see other examples of this narrative, such as NATO's never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members or its plans to continue attacking other countries.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 169
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/10/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: NATO
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Kyiv is sabotaging the peace settlement in Donbas

Kyiv does not want to fulfill all it’s obligations [ to the Minsk accords and the Steinmeier Formula] and, in particular, to withdraw their forces.

Disproof

One of the pro-Kremlin messages about the Kyiv government sabotaging peace in the Donbas region. See previous cases about the Minsk agreements and the war in Ukraine. According to the daily report by the SMM OSCE, the Mission recorded fewer ceasefire violations in both the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but those violations came from both sides. It is the same situation concerning the withdrawal of forces. The SMM OSCE observed weapons in violation of withdrawal lines in government-controlled areas of Donetsk region and in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk region. Steinmeier's Formula calls for elections to be held in the separatist-held territories under Ukrainian legislation and the supervision of the OSCE. The withdrawal of forces is the other step that should be done before the planned elections. "There won't be any elections there if the troops are still there," said the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The West is aiming to destroy Russia

They will use them [ISIS] against us. The task of the West, America, Europe is to destroy our state. They have already tried to do this through the Chechen Republic, through Ossetia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Western belligerence towards Russia and it is also in line with the previous narratives accusing the US and other Western countries in supporting and using jihadist groups to advance geopolitical goals. The US-led military campaign in Syria has been fighting against ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups along with the Global Coalition Against Daesh. Background and a similar case can be seen here and here. The policy of the US or the EU is not directed against Russia or any other country. See similar narratives here, here, and here.

The West is behind terrorist organisations in the Middle East

In fact, as long as the West, Europe and their policies exist, terrorist organisations will also exist, like Al-Qaeda in the past or these shaitans [devils] now. This is not just a gang or a group of bandits or some kind of Islamists. These are trained people who were provided with help from Western intelligence and who know very well what they should do.

Disproof

No evidence given to support this claim and a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that either the US or the West is behind the creation of ISIS/Daesh. This message is part of a broader conspiracy theory alleging that the United States and its NATO partners have established many terrorist organisations and control global terrorism. In reality, the US is committed to fighting terrorist organisations, such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda.

See similar messages about the US being behind terrorist organisations here, here and here.