Disinfo: No evidence of Russian military jets in Libya

Summary

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) says that Russia sent repainted fighter jets to Libya, in order to support military operations conducted there by the Wagner Group. Such claims have nothing to with reality.

Disproof

The deployment of Russian warplanes in Libya has been confirmed by multiple sources. According to Bloomberg news agency, their presence was first reported by Fathi Bashagha, the security chief in Tripoli, who said at least six MiG 29s and two Sukhoi 24s had flown into the east from the Russian-controlled Hmeimim Air Base in Syria, escorted by two Su-35 Russian air force jets. This was later confirmed by satellite images (see here and here), by images of the aircraft taken by the US Air Force, and indirectly by Saqr al-Jaroushi, the head of the air force of Russia’s backed Libyan National Army (LNA), who on May 20 boasted that his forces were about to launch “the largest aerial campaign in Libyan history”.

Further information on the deployment of the aircraft emerged afterwards. This is happening after the Russia-backed LNA was forced to retreat from the airbase of al-Watiyah and Wagner fighters were allegedly expelled from a location in southern Tripoli in the previous days, which points to a Russian escalation in support of LNA through an increase of air power to compensate those losses.

As POLYGRAPH.info notes, the presence of Russian fighter jets in Libya has been confirmed by multiple "[i]ndependent sources, including those critical of the the US." Most of these reports predate the AFRICOM press release (26 May).

See POLYGRAPH.info's full debunk here, and our own reporting on the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group here and here.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Libya, Russia, US
  • Keywords: North Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Civil war, Hybrid war
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Bellingcat fuels US race riots, attacks RT over satire

Bellingcat, the UK-based enablers of Western narratives in Syria and Ukraine now fueling US race riots, selectively translated a satirical post from Russian social media shared by RT’s editor-in-chief to get her “canceled.”

On Sunday, Margarita Simonyan shared a Telegram post by Dmitry Steshin, a war correspondent for the newspaper KP, which purported to give “advice” to rioters in the US on how to make their uprising more “successful” along the lines of the 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine.

Given that the post was entirely in Russian, it was obvious that the real objective of Steshin – and Simonyan – was to comment on the Maidan uprising in Kiev and the ensuing war in Ukraine. Not so, declared the self-proclaimed experts on “open-source” intelligence. Bellingcat selectively translated a handful of sentences from Steshin’s post and accused Simonyan of – what else? –  racism.

 

Disproof

Disinformation about the independent investigative journalism site Bellingcat.

Bellingcat is an independent international collective of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigation to probe a variety of subjects, including chemical weapon attacks in Syria, Russia's influence operations in Ukraine and elsewhere, the downing of the flight MH17, Salisbury poisoning and others.

Ukraine commits one more crime by not providing water to Crimea

Ukraine is committing one more crime by depriving Crimean residents of the right to drinking water. There is a need for diplomatic negotiations to restore the water supply of Crimea in order to stop this crime being committed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and Crimea.

Crimea and Sevastopol were illegally annexed by Russia in 2014. Under international law, Russia has the duty to provide supplies in those territories.

The attacks of the Dutch authorities on Russia are groundless

The establishment of relations between our countries [Russia and the Netherlands] is not facilitated by regular anti-Russian attacks by the Dutch authorities. We saw how a scandal was fanned from scratch in connection with the so-called attempt of a GRU cyber attack on the OPCW headquarters in The Hague. Dutch politicians regularly intimidate their citizens with the presence of the so-called Russian threat to the West.

Disproof

This recurrent disinformation narrative consists of rejecting and mocking any investigations in connection to Russia's hostile acts, such as the attack on OPCW's headquarters, which happened after years of Russian disinformation about the OPCW's reports on chemical weapons in Syria and on the nerve agent Novichok used to poison the Skripals. Pro-Kremlin media regularly accuses other countries of russophobia.

The Russian cyber-attack on the headquarters of the international chemical weapons watchdog was disrupted by Dutch military intelligence just weeks after the Salisbury attack. The Netherlands expelled the suspects who traveled to the country as diplomats. In an unprecedented step, on October 4, 2018, the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) and the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice disclosed the identities under which four Russian individuals, believed to be officers of the cyber-warfare division of the Russia’s Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (GRU). The four individuals travelled to the Netherlands in April 2018 in an attempt to hack into the computer network of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague. These four men traveled under diplomatic passports, two of which had consecutive issue numbers. Their identities were independently checked by the investigative websites Bellingcat and The Insider.