Disinfo: Putin is winning and Europe will have to ease sanctions on Russia, says Politico


Putin confronted European leaders with the bitter truth, says Politico. According to this outlet, the strategy of the Russian president will force European countries to ease sanctions. His policy led the EU to understand that sooner or later the West will have to ease sanctions on Russia, wrote Matthew Karnihnig in an article for this outlet. The coming storm puts European leaders in face of a bitter truth: while Russia and Ukraine fight each other, the Kremlin is defending against Europe. According to Karnitschnig, a top European Commission official confirmed that “there is no doubt that Putin is winning in this regard”.


This is a deliberate distortion of the original article published by Politico Europe on 08 September 2022. None of these sentences attributed to this publication appear in the original story, titled “Putin’s attack on democracy is working. Just look at Europe”. The article says that the Kremlin is succeeding in its efforts to stir up polarisation and undermining democracy, but not that Europe or the West “will be forced to ease sanctions”. It doesn’t say either that “the Kremlin is defending against Europe”, nor that any European Commission official confirmed this aspect. Regarding to this quote, the article actually states: “The main goal of [Russia’s] efforts is not to convert Europeans into supporters of Russia (though the Kremlin would welcome that), but rather to polarize and destabilize Western politics to such a degree that voters don’t know what to believe. “There’s no question that Putin is winning in this regard,” said a senior Commission official.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in the 2022 State of the Union speech that "war is raging in Europe ... and sanctions are here to stay".

Distorting articles in Western media to make them appear as supporting pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives is a frequent technique of pro-Kremlin outlets. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that The New York Times reports that Russia is barely affected by sanctions, that Germany doesn’t trust Zelenskyy according to Der Spiegel, that The National Interest explained why the US should side with Russia in Ukraine; or that Foreign Policy explained why Washington needs a “Russian intervention”.


  • Reported in: Issue 308
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/09/2022
  • Article language(s) Spanish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Russia
  • Keywords: Vladimir Putin, Sanctions, Mainstream media
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Disinfo: The West is provoking Russia

The European Commission is proposing a price cap on Russian gas. It is unfair that the West is taking "provocative" measures against Russia. The West's attitude is wrong because provocations do not achieve results. The fact that Western countries are sending weapons to Ukraine is also a provocation. Europe had already made a mistake by underestimating Russia and failing to think that if it took hostile action against it, Moscow would retaliate by cutting off the gas.


This is a recurring Pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the West has an aggressive stance against Russia.

Western actions adopted against Russia, such as sanctions or diplomatic measures, are a reaction to Russian actions including the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the long-term destabilisation of Ukraine or the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of this peaceful country.

Disinfo: Ukrainian army has been attacking civilian areas in Donetsk with artillery for eight years

The Ukrainian army has been attacking civilian areas in Donetsk with artillery for eight years.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the atrocities of the Ukrainian army in Donbas, such as war crimes and genocide. This is part of a disinformation campaign aiming to deflect attantion away from Russian actions and justify Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

There is no evidence to support the claims of genocide by Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities did not systematically exterminate or abuse the people living in the conflict zone. The claimed dead people – military and civilian alike - are a result of a war Russia had started in Ukraine. It was not an internal civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine which has closely monitored the conflict has observed no such genocide.

Disinfo: The West declared total war against Russia

A total war has been declared against Russia, in hybrid form, in all areas. We can think of the spectacular military and financial support given to Ukraine by the US, the EU and other countries in the midst of the conflict with Russia, and the harsh sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West.


This is a new version of the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about an aggressive West destabilising Russia, being directly involved in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine on the Ukrainian side, aiming to portray Russia as a victim and deflect any responsibility for Moscow’s illicit actions.

Neither the European Union nor Western countries have declared war to Russia. On the contrary, it is Russia that refused the diplomatic process and started an unprovoked war in Europe, capturing more and more territories of a neighbouring country and creating a serious danger to European security.