Disinfo: No pro-Kremlin oligarchs exist in Russia

Summary

Alexei Navalny appeared recently in front of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament saying Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich, Ahmet Usmanov and Boris Rotenberg need to be put on a sanctions list as they are assisting a regime which is poisoning its political opponents. However, Navalny spoke together with certain pro-Western and US-funded opposition figures such as Vladimir Kara-Murza, Vladimir Milov and Ilya Yashin.

Additionally, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov and Vladimir Putin himself have said that no oligarchs exist in Russia today and no firm is receiving favorable treatment by being close to Russia authorities.

Disproof

The article is an attempt to discredit Alexey Navalny and his participation in a hearing at the European Parliameny, including by flatly denying the collusion between political and business interests around the Kremlin. This story is also consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

Oligarchs exist in today's Russia and they have close links with the Kremlin. As far as the three names mentioned by Alexei Navalny in front of the European Parliament, ample evidence exists.

Ahmet Usmanov, who originally comes from Uzbekistan, is involved in almost all lucrative sectors of the Russian business world, including the metal industry, banks and media.

Roman Abramovich, mostly known as the owner of the English soccer club Chelsea, was told by Putin himself to buy the club back in 2003. Boris Berezovsky, another Russian oligarch who turned against Putin, had uncovered various aspects of the Abramovich-Putin connection.

As far as Boris Rotenberg is concerned, he and his brother Arkady have been very close to President Putin since their childhood years and this connection has proven beneficial in their rise. Arkady Rotenberg, who was included in the EU sanctions list after Crimea's annexation in 2014, was also involved in a laundering operation through Barclays Bank which was exposed by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 222
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/11/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Greek
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, European Union, Alexei Navalny
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Lithuania will not buy the Russian vaccine due to its anti-Russian position

Russia is a leader in the production of a vaccine against Covid-19. Nevertheless, Lithuania has no plans to buy the Russian vaccine. It is a political decision. The Baltic States have their role in the anti-Russian game. Because of this, they will prefer the quite expensive American or European vaccine but not the quite cheap Russian one.

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The Sputnik V is a real vaccine. The vaccines from other producers exist only theoretically.

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The US is pushing its partners not to buy the Russian vaccine. It is part of the competition for the market. Americans want to get profit.

Disproof

The message is linked to the topic of the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign in support of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. It contains different narratives, including a statement about the anti-Russian position of the Baltic states and tries to cast doubt on the vaccines developed by Western companies.

The Sputnik V vaccine is not yet certified in the EU. The statement that only the Russian vaccine "is a real vaccine" is false. Other vaccines are developed reported are from Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford University.

The West is considering a military attack against Russia despite its nuclear capabilities

The West realises that its global positions in economic, military, and political spheres are eroding. Hence it decided to slow down the development of other countries, Russia and China in the first place. The West carries out an information war, prevents Russia from getting foreign investment and new technologies. This is a classic imperialistic war similar to previous global wars. Two World Wars erupted due to controversies among capitalist countries. The West is contained by nuclear arms, but nuclear fear is diminishing. In the end, the western countries can start direct military conflict against Russia notwithstanding its nuclear capabilities.

Disproof

This publication is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the disintegration of the West and western bodies, imperialist aggressive West aiming to encircle Russia and to destabilise China. It also promotes historical revisionism about WWII by putting the blame on capitalist countries.

The claim about West's and NATO's plans to wage a war against Russia was addressed on NATO's official website: "Any claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are absurd."

The reasons for the West's criticism of Sputnik V vaccine are political

The Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is the first of its kind to be registered. Until now, the West has tried to criticise the development of Russian scientists, accusing them of haste. The reasons for such statements were political.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the Russian coronavirus vaccine called “Sputnik V”, which was met with scepticism and criticism, even by Russian specialists.

Reservations about the Russian Sputnik V vaccine are caused by the fact that Russia didn’t complete the large trials which WHO insists that a vaccine must undergo involving thorough testing to examine the vaccine’s safety and efficacy before it is released. Rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could endanger the people receiving it.