Disinfo: Protests in Russia are illegal and resemble the Capitol attack


In Washington the Parliament was captured. What are they doing with these people? From 15 to 25 years of prison as for domestic terrorism. Well, what are they? They also came out with political slogans. But out of the framework of the law. Why should everything be allowed outside the framework of the law? Not. Moreover, in no case should minors be pushed forward. This is what terrorists do when they drive women and children ahead of them.

[Context: protest rallies on January 23rd, 2021 in Russia’s major cities]


An attempt by Pro-Kremlin media to downplay the protests in Russia and draw comparisons with the US Capitol attack on January 23, 2021. However, the comparison is not correct. According to Article 31 of the Russian Constitution:

"citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, meetings and demonstrations, marches and pickets".

No use of any arms by protesters was noticed during the rallies on January 23, 2021. Nor did the protesters in Russia break into any government building.

Some of the protesters who attacked the US Capitol were carrying weapons. They also smashed doors and windows and broke into the building. Approximately 40 individuals have been arrested and charged in Superior Court with offences including, but not limited to, unlawful entry and firearms-related crimes.

Another cliché accusation, advanced by pro-Kremlin disinformation media to discredit the Russian protests, concerns the massive participation of minors in the rallies. In reality, different age groups took part in the rallies.

See more about the whataboutism propaganda method: the Kremlin regularly attempts to dismiss its critics by accusing them of the same offense (or worse), without actually addressing the criticism in question.

See more disinformation cases on Russia's protests 2021.


  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Civil Society, Alexei Navalny, Protest
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Foreign special services are behind demonstrations in Russia

The actions in Russia were held with the assistance of foreign special services. State Duma’s commission for the protection of state sovereignty has credible data to confirm these statements.


An unfounded claim presented without evidence. This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are "colour revolutions" directed and funded by Western intelligence services or other Western actors in order to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change. And the West is always an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups and colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. This narrative has been applied, among others, to the Arab Spring revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia, Venezuela, Georgia, and Belarus.

The 2021 Russian protests began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 3,300 people were arrested in protests spanning nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia.

Russia’s superiority forces western spies to act now

“Navalny’s supporters”, or, to put it simply, the henchmen of the US Democratic Party, will continue to organise protests up to the parliamentary elections in September 2021. After the elections they will declare that the “election was stolen” and summon the mutinists for a decisive attack.

Why is this attack happening in 2021, why did they not prepare it earlier or later? Why did the western special forces decide to go ahead on operation “Navalny” last summer and only now give order on a killing blow on the Russian state? The answer is obvious: in 2020 Russia demonstrated its superiority compared to the united West.


A combination of several disinformation tropes, employed by pro-Kremlin outlets: the concept of”Russian superiority”, of “Western aggression” and a recurrent narrative about expressions of popular discontent as results of foreign involvement.

Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

NATO secret services made a blunder in their script for Navalny

Judging by all, it was there [in a German mountain resort] that Navalny was given a text of supposedly “his” investigation into supposedly “Putin’s” palace. In the beginning the text was clearly written in English and translated into Russian in such inept manner, that it makes one laugh out loud. NATO secret services made a blunder here. For example a word “mudroom”, which translated from English simply means “entryway”, Navalny translated as “room for mud”. There are a lot of strange things in the material released.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The disinformation message refers to investigation published by Alexei Navalny into the wealth of Vladimir Putin. The insight's of Navalny's investigation were widely shared by the international media.