No evidence of Russian meddling in the French and US elections

Summary

Numerous Western politicians, US senators and congressmen, as well as French President Emanuel Macron, have accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in the US elections and elections in France, but have never provided evidence for their claims.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative that there is no proof of Russian interference in the elections in Western countries and the US - see examples here and here.

In reality, there is evidence linking Russian state actors with interfering in electoral processes.

Interference in French elections included personal attacks and mocking of the then presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron. Apart from biased reporting in the pro-Kremlin media, it included a made up story about Macron's offshore accounts (the so-called MacronGate) and an actual hack-and-leak operation. According to the Insider and Mediapart, the hacking was purported by the same GRU unit responsible for the hacking of the Democrats' servers in the US. For more information, see EUvsDisinfo analysis “Tackling disinformation à la française".

The fact of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election was underlined by the US intelligence community already in January 2017. These findings were confirmed by the US Special Counsel investigation which found that "[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systematic fashion" (p. 1). See additional debunking of the "no interference" narrative here.

Read more about election meddling in France and elsewhere here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Bosnian, Serbian
  • Country: US, France
  • Keywords: election meddling, Russia Today (RT), Emmanuel Macron, Sputnik
  • Outlet: Sputnik Srbija
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Brexit is the greatest US victory in the EU’s history

The UK’s exit from the EU is the greatest victory of the Americans in the whole history of the EU. Britain and Poland are the US’s right and left hands.

Disproof

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Brexit, EU-US relations and the alleged US actions to weaken the EU.

In fact, studies show that Russia had an interest in influencing the discussion on Brexit: over 156,000 Russian-based Twitter accounts had massively tweeted about Brexit in the days leading up the June 2016 referendum. According to the study by data scientists at Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley, the accounts posted more than 45,000 tweets about Brexit in the 48 hours before the vote. The majority of the posts encouraged Britons to vote for Brexit. The authors believe the posts were seen hundreds of millions of times.

Washington is playing the “religion card” against societies, not yet under its control

Nowadays, Washington is playing the “religion card” in Georgia by primarily encouraging various Western religious groups to become more active in local communities. This is part of a carefully planned Western policy aimed at destabilising the environment in CIS and other countries where Washington is actively seeking to employ religion to meet its own needs shaped by public opinion in societies that are not yet under its control.

Disproof

No evidence given. Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to instigate revolutions in EU neighbourhood. This narrative is also consistent with a narrative about "The West" challenging traditional values.

Similar cases, where US is accused of attacking traditional values in Europe through "sects" can be found herehere and here.

In a stronger alliance with the US, Poland wants to dictate its will to the rest of the EU

Polish authorities were certain of signing an US-Polish agreement on the establishment of “Fort Trump” during the events of the 1st of September 2019. Poland hopes to become an Eastern European Britain. Then, as the most pro-American country, with US support, it could dictate to the rest of the EU what to do and how to do it. These hopes, however, did not come true.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about US presence in Europe.

The US and Poland did indeed negotiate the establishment of a permanent US military base in Poland known as "Fort Trump." It was expected that the two sides would discuss this issue during Trump's planned visit to Poland on 1 September 2019, however, reports did not refer to plans to sign a final agreement on that date.