Disinfo: Notre Dame fire is a sign of Europe’s decline

Summary

Poles turn to conspiracies after Notre Dame fire. Comments on social media: There is a hidden meaning in the fire at Notre Dame; If we do not convert, we will all burn; Our European civilisation is dying.

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Notre Dame: A Muslim minaret instead of a Catholic spire

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The fire in Notre Dame the starting point for an apocalypse

Disproof

Recurring narrative on the Notre Dame fire, making a connection between the fire and the decline of values in Europe.

The cause of the fire at Notre Dame is not yet clear, the investigation is ongoing. Most sources argue it happened because of electrical circuit and that it was an accident.

See more debunked stories on the alleged decline of values in Europe here.

Sputnik Polska published an opinion piece on April 17, 2019, quoting several social media comments under the headline: ''Notre Dame: ''The French are crying, the Poles are looking for conspiracies''. Picking up individual social media posts to suggest that certain narratives are the most common ones in the entire discussion is a common pro-Kremlin manipulative method.

As in many other countries, also in Poland the discussion about the issue was multi-faceted, with many different threads, coming from both public figures and ordinary citizens.

Later, Sputnik in Polish continued publishing conspiracies about the Notre Dame with a manipulative headline stating a Muslim minaret will appear instead of a Catholic spire on Notre Dame, and that the fire was a starting point for an apocalypse.

*** The case was updated on June 24, 2019 to better explain the information manipulation used in this article.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 147
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: France
  • Keywords: Notre Dame, Catholic church, Western values, European values, Europe
  • Outlet: Sputnik Polska
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At least 9 million Ukrainians support civil war, political terror and extrajudicial killings

The results of the Ukrainian presidential election show that at least 8-9 million Ukrainian voters support domestic and foreign policies by the current Ukrainian authorities. Hence, these people support the continuation of civil war, political terror, extrajudicial killings, keeping thousands of political prisoners without relevant court verdicts and the cannibal economic policy in Ukraine. Furthermore, they support forced Ukrainisation, a split in the church and terrorist shelling of Donbas by the Ukrainian military.

Disproof

This disinformation message contains pro-Kremlin narrative about the war in Ukraine, which does not mention the well documented Russian involvement that violated Ukraine's territorial integrity, including by supporting and arming separatist groups in Eastern Ukraine.

It also contains ungrounded information concerning the situation of human rights in the country. There is no proof about thousands of political prisoners or alleged political terror in Ukraine.

West will tolerate Ukraine’s agony as long as it doesn’t default on its debts

The West always offers a carte blanche to the Ukrainian presidential candidate who is able to convince them of their ability to squeeze money from the population to pay Ukraine’s external debts. Since the shirts of the people have long been taken, they will continue to remove their skin and even the meat from their bones.

Disproof

This is consistent with recurring disinformation narratives about Western meddling in Ukraine's elections, about the EU abandoning Ukraine, and the collapsing Ukrainian economy.

The Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government. The European Union supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous, and democratic future for all its citizens. Since spring 2014, the EU has stepped up its support for economic and political reforms in Ukraine. For EU countries, Ukraine is a priority partner. In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links, and the respect for common values.

Ukrainian oligarchs will divide Ukraine into principalities

Ukrainian oligarchs are likely to attempt to divide Ukraine into principalities where they will enjoy absolute power.

Disproof

This is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine's imminent disintegration and corruption. Despite the advantaged positions that some oligarchs enjoy in Ukraine, there is no grounding to support the claim that the country will disintegrate into "oligarchic principalities", as alleged in the case above.

For example, refer to our past news analysis, Ukraine Under Information Fire, to see other Ukraine-related disinformation narratives and messages.