Disinfo: NATO troops encircle the borders of the Russian Federation

Summary

The Pentagon is increasingly and recklessly “holding back” Russia at the Russian borders. In the airspace over the Baltic and Black Seas, American scouts are simply put under the risk of fire. These are frank and irresponsible provocations with a view to transforming a conceptual conflict into an armed one. // It is NATO troops encircling the borders of the Russian Federation and not vice versa. Russia is forced to react – to build up the strike and defensive assets on the ground, at sea, in the air.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia, about the "Russian threat" as a false idea created and spread by NATO. An attempt to justify the increase in heavy weapons due to the allegedly aggressive NATO policies. 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". The claim that NATO is encircling Russia is one of the myths about NATO. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members. Outside NATO territory, the Alliance only has a military presence in two places: Kosovo and Afghanistan. Both operations are carried out with a United Nations mandate, endorsed by the UN Security Council, of which Russia is a member. In contrast, Russia has military bases or soldiers in three of the EU's Eastern neighbourhood countries, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, without the consent of their governments. 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, 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, that the EU is encircling Russia and creating additional conflict zones, while NATO exploits non-existent “Russian threat” to increase its presence close to Russian borders and that the US creates and spreads a false image about an “aggressive” Russia constituting a security “threat”. The disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claims that "There is a plan of the capture of the Kaliningrad by Poland and the US".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Baltic sea, Black Sea, Anti-Russian, Encircling Russia, NATO
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The EU criticised the elections and repression in Minsk, but in fact, the EU and its members have the same lack of democracy and repression

The EU criticised the elections and repression in Minsk, but in fact, the EU and its members have the same lack of democracy and repression. In 2005, a Referendum in France rejected the constitutional treaty but two years later the treaty of Lisbon was ratified. France did not respect the will of its citizens. Germany didn’t either since no referendum was even organised. This is a violation of democratic principle and all media are silent about it. Ursula von der Leyen, condemned the repression in Belarus and asked for accuracy in the result of the vote. But there is a landslide victory for Alexander Lukashenko whereas no such legitimacy happened for the regime of Merkel or the EU. Furthermore, in France, the repression was violent against the yellow vests. More recently, in Germany, for the day of Freedom where half a million people demonstrated for their freedom on August 1st. The press said only 20,000 people attended the event and demonstrators were arrested by the police. European, French or German elections are in no circumstances any better than elections in Belarus. Even though, Belarus is not a perfect democracy, the European Union is no better.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation message using relativism to undermine European values and at the same time legitimatize low standards of democracy, in this case in Belarus. Following these elections which took place on Sunday 9th August, Ursula von der Leyen declared that:

Harassment & violent repression of peaceful protesters has no place in Europe. Fundamental rights in Belarus must be respected. I call on the Belarusian authorities to ensure that the votes in yesterday’s election are counted & published accurately.

The European Union has also urged the Central Electoral Commission of Belarus to publish the results reflecting the choice of the Belarusian people. Candidates and demonstrators are questioning the honesty of the official election results, as several potential opposition candidates were barred from running. International observers were concerned about the fairness of the electoral process. More cases about Belarus can be seen at the following links: Russia has neutralised many Western attempts to topple the Belarusian government, The EU continues to support a colour revolution in Belarus, The US wishes to destabilise Belarus and provoke a war, Polish ruling elites dream of military intervention, The West is helping to destabilise the situation in Belarus before the election, Belarus will either become part of Russia or the West’s poor colony, NATO pays the Belarusian opposition $1 per one person infected with coronavirus.

EU reaction to Lukashenka's presidential win is an example of Western double standards

Following Belarusian President Lukashenka’s re-election victory, the European Council announced plans to hold a meeting on the imposition of sectoral sanctions against Minsk. Why did the European Council not hold a meeting about the recent presidential election in Poland? Among other things, Poles were prohibited from casting their votes from abroad.

Disproof

The claim is false. Polish citizens abroad were allowed to vote in the 2020 presidential election, regardless of their country of residence. Guidelines and regulations for prospective voters abroad were published by the Polish Foreign Ministry. Although administrative issues prevented some to cast their ballots in time, the Ministry reported record turnout at foreign polling stations, with 311,124 votes cast in the first round and 415,951 in the second. As for the Belarusian elections, candidates and demonstrators are questioning the honesty of the official election results, as several potential opposition candidates were barred from running. The European Union has urged the Central Electoral Commission of Belarus to publish the results reflecting the choice of the Belarusian people. This disinformation message appeared in the same TV broadcast as the claim that protests in Belarus are a colour revolution according to Maidan scenario;

The West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus

The general goal of the West is clear: to rip Belarus away from Russia, to destroy the Union State, our defense cooperation. They have two strategies. The first – to prepare Maidan, to incite protests, topple Lukashenko. The second strategy is to drive the authorities away from Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus and the West. The EU continues a step-by-step approach in its engagement with Belarus, supporting its civil society and victims of repression. The protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which are considered fraudulent by large part of Belarusian society. See similar disinformation cases alleging that Russia has neutralised many Western attempts to topple the Belarusian government; the West pursues Maidan policy towards Belarus to encircle Russia. This disinformation message appeared in the same TV broadcast as the claim that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one nation.