Disinfo: Navalny never presents evidence of corruption, on the contrary WikiLeaks is serious

Summary

Assange and Snowden made Navalny old-fashioned, in the sense that the latter can no longer be considered so much of a whistleblower today, because Assange and Snowden have exposed documentary sources. They have made documentary archives that should not have been available to anybody wishing to consult them. It shocked a lot of people. At the start of WikiLeaks, there was pressure, academic journals rejecting articles that cited sources published by WikiLeaks. There was much more to the Holy of Holies of political power there than what Navalny did in Russia, who did not make any documents available. Navalny is making videos of things about which we have concordant bundles of presumptions, but no physical or documentary evidence of what he says.

In fact, Navalny is a whistleblower who begs us to take his word for it, but he’s not really a whistleblower anymore when compared to people who have genuinely exposed state secrets, like Assange and Snowden. Besides, Snowden did not return to the United States.

Disproof

Disinformation around Alexey Navalny claiming that he does make serious investigations and does not provide any evidence apart from his speech in his movies.

The FBK organisation (Foundation for Combating Corruption) is a Russian non-profit organisation based in Moscow established in 2011 by activist and politician Alexei Navalny. Its main goal is to investigate and to expose corruption cases among high-ranking Russian government officials. The films produced are very visible: "Chaika" reached 17 millions views, "Don't call him "Dimon"" reached 42 millions views and "Putin's palace. History of world's largest bribe" 107 millions view in less than 2 weeks. However, it is important to highlight that before being films with a very large audience, these projects were written investigations with documents to prove what is inferred. The link to the written investigation is usually provided just under the video. The most recent is here.

Of course, as always in cases where leaks are involved, the authenticity and source of the documents referred to is important. But the investigations do not contain only one document or only one source. Moreover, many elements are already known and published in specialised press. Only the presentation in a visual and synthetic form, in a movie, make it more accessible to a large public.

In contrast, Wikileaks doesn't provide large scale investigations.

Additionally, many sources of the investigation are open records or publication that anyone can consult and that are therefore authentic.

Read also related stories: Navalny’s investigation and film “Putin’s palace. History of world’s largest bribe” doesn’t contain anything new, Bellingcat is a Western weapon against Russia , Alexei Navalny is a depleted political project .

The EU has condemned the detention of Alexei Navalny and called for his immediate release.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/01/2021
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Alexei Navalny, Corruption, Edward Snowden

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Victoria Nuland caused 13,000 deaths in Ukraine, including 38 policemen at the Maidan

Victoria Nuland is now the US Deputy Secretary of State. It is a pretty important job for someone responsible for the deaths of 13,000 people in Ukraine, including 38 policemen killed during the Euromaidan. After all, she was responsible for the violent coup which ousted President Yanukovych.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative casting the 2013-14 Euromaidan revolution as a coup, laying responsibility for the ensuing Russian aggression on the US, and simultaneously denying Russian involvement in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

The Euromaidan protests were a spontaneous reaction among large parts of the Ukrainian population, ignited by the decision of former President Yanukovych not to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. More similar cases here.

Protests in Russia are illegal and resemble the Capitol attack

In Washington the Parliament was captured. What are they doing with these people? From 15 to 25 years of prison as for domestic terrorism. Well, what are they? They also came out with political slogans. But out of the framework of the law. Why should everything be allowed outside the framework of the law? Not. Moreover, in no case should minors be pushed forward. This is what terrorists do when they drive women and children ahead of them.

[Context: protest rallies on January 23rd, 2021 in Russia’s major cities]

Disproof

An attempt by Pro-Kremlin media to downplay the protests in Russia and draw comparisons with the US Capitol attack on January 23, 2021. However, the comparison is not correct. According to Article 31 of the Russian Constitution:

"citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, meetings and demonstrations, marches and pickets".

No use of any arms by protesters was noticed during the rallies on January 23, 2021. Nor did the protesters in Russia break into any government building.

Some of the protesters who attacked the US Capitol were carrying weapons. They also smashed doors and windows and broke into the building. Approximately 40 individuals have been arrested and charged in Superior Court with offences including, but not limited to, unlawful entry and firearms-related crimes.

Western countries punish unsanctioned rallies with years in prison

Citizens in Western countries face harsh penalties for organising or taking part in unsanctioned protests. France punishes participation in such protests with up to six months in prison, or up to one year for organising them. In Sweden, organisers get up to four years in prison, other participants face up to two years. In Finland, the maximum prison term is three years. New Zealand punishes illegal assembly with up one year in prison and mass disturbances with up to two years. In the United Kingdom, which constantly tells Russia how it must act, mass disturbances involving twelve or more people can result in prison terms of up to 10 years.

Those who accuse Russian law enforcement of undue violence against protesters should keep the above in mind.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Russia as more democratic than Western states.

The claim deliberately confounds, on the one hand, legal restrictions on violent public behaviour in some Western states and, on the other, the quasi-legal concept of "unsanctioned rally" which the Russian state routinely invokes as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests. The arbitrary use of this provision runs contrary to international judicial precedent (see pp. 6-18), reports and opinions issued by international bodies (e.g. UN Human Rights Council pp. 7-13; Venice Commission pp. 18-26; OSCE pp. 15-21), and Russia's own constitution (Art. 31).