Disinfo: Pulitzer prize to The New York Times is Russophobic

Summary

Many US media are known for their russophobic stance, and The New York Times is no exception. On May 4, eight of its articles and videos on Russia were awarded with the Pulitzer Price, using clearly russophobic terms like “exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin’s regime”, which exposes the clear bias of Western journalism against Russia and its political management. Two of the materials awarded are about bombings against hospitals and other civilian targets in terrorist- controlled territories in Syria. The NYT investigation seems to be very biased, given that the Russian Ministry of Defence pointed many times that it only carries out attacks on verified targets and it never hits medical facilities nor civilian infrastructures in Syria. The evidences presented by the media seem to be unfounded, since the flight records showed by the NYT don’t prove that Russia is guilty, which raises doubts about the veracity of the information and can’t be excluded that the images could have been fabricated.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, aiming to portray any criticism of Russia’s violations of international law as anti-Russian in nature and to discredit critics by questioning their true motives and attacking their legitimacy. It also intends to boost support for Vladimir Putin’s regime through nationalism, by equating any negative reference to the current Russian government with alleged “russophobia”. Deliberate targeting of civilians by the Russian air forces has been a permanent concern for human rights groups and observers of the Syrian conflict since the beginning of its intervention in the country in 2015. Both Syrian and especially Russian armed forces have been repeatedly accused of purposefully attacking schools, rescue workers and hospitals by Amnesty International, Western governments or the United Nations in different moments of the war. In March 2020, a report of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, confirmed Russia’s responsibility in bombing civilian targets in at least two occasions. The report was based on evidence available, including witness testimonies, video footage, data imagery as well as reports by flight spotters, flight communication intercepts and early warning observation reports, enough for the body to conclude that there was reasonable grounds to believe that a Russian aircraft participated in two episodes tantamount to war crimes (p.6). In both incidents, the Russian Air Force did not direct the attacks at a specific military objective, amounting to the war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas. Bombing of hospitals in Syria have been a recurrent event during the armed conflict, which the NGO Medecins Sans Frontiers attributed to Russia in 2017. Moscow flatly denied any responsibility, trying to shift blame on the US air forces without presenting any evidence. In June 2019, doctors in the rebel-held area of Idlib stopped sharing coordinates of medical facilities with the UN after suspicions that they were being deliberately targeted by pro-Bashar Al Assad and Russian forces in what many observers considered a coordinated strategy. You can see other examples of this disinformation narrative in our database, such as allegations that the Russian army doesn’t deliberately target civilians, unlike the US, or that Amnesty International is an ideological tool of US security services; Russia’s insistence on an alleged lack of interest in finding the truth in the Skripal and Litvinenko cases or in the downing of the MH17 flight; or claims about the anti-Russian bias of the OPCW, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the PACE, Ukraine’s national DNA or the West in general.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, The New York Times, Vladimir Putin, Russophobia, Syrian War
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Ukraine is turned into an agrarian and raw materials appendix of Europe

The main problem of Ukraine is that it is being intensively turned into an agrarian and raw materials appendix of Europe. Therefore, there’s no reason to invest in the Ukrainian agricultural industry. It is uninteresting to invest in agricultural or raw materials production, there is no added value, there is no profit, there are no earnings.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Ukraine as a failed state. Consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives alleging that Ukraine is a degrading state that has failed to become part of Europe. According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, top areas of economic activity in Ukraine for foreign investment are as follows: industry – 32.9%, wholesale and retail trade – 16.2%, financial and insurance activities – 12.9%, real estate transactions – 12.9%, professional, scientific, and technical activities – 6.5%. As the Financial Times writes about investing in Ukraine, "in spite of the conflict in the south-eastern Donbas region, economic growth is slowly picking up, and investment — though still below the level the country needs — is starting to flow." According to the US Department of State, "Ukraine has significant investment potential given its large consumer market, highly educated and cost-competitive workforce, and abundant natural resources. The Ukrainian government actively seeks foreign investment and established investment promotion agencies that have facilitated foreign investments. Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU gives Ukraine preferential market access and is accelerating Ukraine’s economic integration with the EU. Ukraine’s economy demonstrated a real GDP growth of 3.3% in 2018, and the IMF forecasts growth of 2.7% in 2019." For 2019, for the first time investments in Ukrainian startups and IT companies have reached half a billion dollars a year mark. The total volume of venture investments into Ukrainian IT companies has reached $510M, which is one and a half times more than the maximum of 2018.

Ukraine disrupts the peace talks between LDPR and Kyiv

It’s Ukraine which is not interested in conducting Trilateral contact group talks. The illegal regime of Kyiv, whose hands are already up to its elbows in blood, is trying to cheat, it doesn’t want to follow the Minsk agreements.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, casting Ukraine as the sole responsible party for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Since 2014, negotiations with Russia to resolve the conflict in the Donbas have been held within the framework of the Normandy Format and the Minsk process. A special Trilateral contact group is working on a peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas. Three parties are involved in this process: representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. Unofficially, representatives of the "LDNR" factions are also present. At the end of April 2020, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the Ukrainian side in the Trilateral Contact Group offered to hold negotiations in a video format so that negotiations could continue. “At the beginning of each week, we have a Minsk video-call. We want to move forward. Because it is the only thing that brings us closer to solving this issue globally," the Ukrainian President emphasised. At the end of January 2020, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on the status of the monitoring procedure, where Russia was named as a “party to the Minsk agreements”. The PACE resolution noted that the Russian authorities should, among other things, “fully implement the Minsk agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party and to end its military intervention in, and support for, illegally armed formations in Eastern Ukraine." The second set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements was signed on 12 February 2015. The first paragraph of the document relates to an immediate ceasefire. Next, it is necessary to withdraw heavy weapons, ensure OSCE monitoring, release prisoners, grant Donbas special status and hold local elections, provide amnesty to the parties involved in the conflict and restore control over the Ukrainian-Russian border in the conflict zone. You can read other similar cases claiming that Ukraine does not fulfil key point of Minsk agreements on negotiation with the "LDNR" or that Ukraine broke the Minsk agreements by allowing the National Police on the contact line.

The EU would like to make money on "poor Ukraine"

The EU Council has approved the allocation of a loan of 1.2 billion euros for Ukraine. It means that the EU would like to make money on “poor Ukraine”. “Green power” [Zelensky’s team] will steal a billion euros, and force the Ukrainian people to return the money with interest.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the statehood of Ukraine and casting it as abandoned by its partners. The European Union allocates money to help Ukraine and other countries cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU is confident that “together with the support from the International Monetary Fund, the funds will help enhance macroeconomic stability and create space to allow resources to be allocated towards protecting citizens and to mitigating the negative socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.” According to the press-release by the European Council, financial assistance will be provided in the form of loans on highly favourable terms. Ukraine's government believes that money from the EU will help the country. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba, this resource will provide economic stability in the state.