No proof of Russian involvement in US elections, Salisbury poisoning

Summary

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently stated that that Russia runs a global campaign of cyber warfare to target foreign governments. It is only the latest in a long string of unsubstantiated allegations which Western officials have made against Moscow.

These include the Kremlin’s supposed election interference in the US and elsewhere, as well as a leading role in the Skripal poisoning. But now this “Russia Gate” has collapsed, thanks to the Mueller report, which found no conclusive proof of Russian interference. No evidence has been presented to support either of these claims.

Disproof

The article advances recurring pro-Kremlin narratives denying any Russian role in Western election meddling or the Skripal poisoning. Any accusations made against the Kremlin, however well-founded, are invariably met with knee-jerk charges of Russophobia.

Russia has a documented track record of interfering in Western elections -- see our list of reports and analyses on the subject here.

The claim that the US Special Counsel investigation found no conclusive proof of Russian interference is false. The fact of Moscow's meddling was already established prior to the publication of the Mueller report. The report itself concurs with this assessment, stating that "[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion" (p. 1). See our debunking of the "no interference" narrative here.

The Skripal poisoning was followed by one of the largest Russian disinformation campaigns to date, with more than 100 contradictory narratives promulgated within two weeks of the incident by pro-Kremlin outlets (pp. 36-38). Russia's role in the poisoning has been extensively documented by law enforcement, open source analysis, and media investigations. See our recent debunking of Moscow's denials here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: UK, Russia, EU, US
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, election meddling, Robert Mueller, Propaganda, Anti-Russian, Manipulated elections/referendum, Russophobia, Conspiracy
  • Outlet: Sputnik News
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US troops sent to the Guatemalan border with Mexico to curb immigration

US troops, sent to help fight illegal migration, are already in the country. The troops have been deployed to the border department of Huehuetenango, neighbouring Mexico, one week after two countries signed a cooperation agreement.

Disproof

The US did not send troops to patrol the Guatemalan border and fight illegal migration. On May 31, The Washington Post reported on a US plan to send to Guatemala dozens of agents and investigators of the Department of Homeland Security, who will work as “advisers” to Guatemala’s national police and migration authorities and will aim to disrupt and interdict human smuggling operations. Personnel of the Department is composed of police agents and civilians, not soldiers.

The story fits in the recurring narrative of a US aggressive and militaristic approach to any problem, and was reproduced by many outlets in the Kremlin-linked media ecosystem in several languages. You can see other examples of this here, here, here and here.

The European foreign policy is determined by a group of Russophobes controlled from the US

An aggressive group of Russophobes inside the European Union today determines the entire European foreign policy. This group is controlled by the US.

In addition, the Baltic States constantly pursue a Russophobic policy to convince Europe that they are needed as a barrier against the spread of Moscow’s influence. But Moscow has never interfered in their policies.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is a conspiracy theory, consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and deep state.

The EU’s foreign and security policy, designed to resolve conflicts and foster international understanding, is based on diplomacy and respect for international rules. Read more about EU foreign and security policy here.

Rise in German anti-Semitism caused by mass immigration

Amid a recent surge of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany, many see this worrying trend as a side effect of mass immigration from Muslim-majority countries, long encouraged by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

According to a 2018 EU survey, more and more German Jews feel that “nothing is being done” about anti-Jewish crime and abuse.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the creeping Islamisation of Europe, painting immigrants from Muslim-majority countries as inherently violent and immune to cultural assimilation.

The report offers no data to support the link between immigration volumes and the number of anti-Semitic incidents, relying instead on statements of opinion and assurances that such a link has been made by "many observers," without further elaboration.