Disinfo: US senators and Macron accused Sputnik and RT of election interference with no evidence


A number of Western politicians, including US senators and deputies and French President Emmanuel Macron, accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in the elections in the United States and France, but provided no evidence.


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

There is evidence linking Russian state actors to interference in electoral processes.

Interference in the French elections included personal attacks and mocking of the then presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron. Apart from biased reporting in the pro-Kremlin media, there was 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 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.


  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: US, France
  • Keywords: election meddling, Russia Today (RT), Emmanuel Macron, Sputnik


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter or by Ukrainian ground forces

The plane is said to have been shot down by pro-Russian separatist rebels controlled and supplied by the Kremlin. This was and is the “official” Western narrative, which we should not even question: If you deviate from the party line on this, you will probably be branded a “conspiracy theorist” or a “stooge of the Kremlin”. The two main ‘alternative’ explanations are that: (a) MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter or (b) that it was shot down by Ukrainian ground forces, using a BUK system.



One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of flight MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskiy in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system, with 1 missing missile, went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24 May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

The conclusions of OPCW are dubious

The conclusions of OPCW’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) are dubious, as the technical secretariat unfortunately ignored previously the demands of a number of countries to deal with the issue, which was widely echoed about the manipulation of the report of the fact-finding mission in the use the chemical weapons in Douma in April 2018, which was used by other countries for unjustified aggression against Syria’s sovereignty, and we believe this threatens yet another division inside of the OPCW and causes its politicisation.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the OPCW, lending credence to the claim that the 2018 Douma attack was staged, and absolving the Syrian regime of responsibility for chemical attacks.

In a joint statement in 2018, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to the unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW.

German and Lithuanian “revanchist groups” pose a threat to the security of Kaliningrad region

The Kaliningrad region is a specific Russian territory surrounded by Lithuania and Poland, which are the members of the EU and NATO. There are quite serious revanchist groups present in Lithuania and Germany. It is well-known that the population of the Kaliningrad region is an object to active ideological influence from the side of neighbouring countries.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about aggressive plans of the West regarding Kaliningrad region and the Western attempts to “encircle Russia”.

Neither Lithuania nor Poland have any territorial claims for Kaliningrad. The claim that there are “serious revanchist groups” from Germany and Lithuania questioning the status of the Kaliningrad region is not supported by any evidence.