Disinfo: Reports of police brutality during Russia protests are Western propaganda

Summary

Reports of alleged police brutality during the 23 January illegal protests are Western propaganda.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative casting Western media as pathologically anti-Russian.

The 23 January Russian protests in support of opposition activist Alexei Navalny were not illegal - they were unsanctioned by the state. Russian citizens retain the right, under Article 31 of the Russian Constitution, to:

"assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, meetings and demonstrations, marches and pickets."

There is ample evidence that the law enforcement response to the demonstrations was excessive, with numerous instances of unprovoked police brutality. OVD-Info, a Russian human rights NGO, reports that a record 3,500 people were detailed by 24 January. In a comprehensive account of police violence including severe beatings, arbitrary arrests, and targeting of journalists, Human Rights Watch says:

"The unprecedented detentions and extreme police brutality across Russia are evidence of how low human rights standards have plummeted in the country."

The European Union condemned the crackdown on Alexei Navalny's supporters, mass detentions and police brutality during the protests. The EU has repeatedly called on Russia for Navalny's immediate release.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 228
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Police, Human rights, Protest, Human Rights Watch
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Disinfo: Neo-Liberal opposition and their foreign sponsors use children in Russia to increase their own wealth

The Russian neo-liberal opposition has once again demonstrated that it is ready to use any dirty tricks and even use children for its own political purposes. The leaders of these pro-Western groups are in fact not associate themselves with the Russian state and the Russian nation and use populist and anti-government rhetoric just as a tool of serving interests of their foreign sponsors as well as increasing their own wealth.

Disproof

Recurrent conspiracy narrative on "colour revolutions". The pro-Kremlin ecosystem excludes popular discontent as a genuine reaction to grievances and view them exclusively as instruments of powerful outside forces. “A colour revolution, instigated by the Anglo-Saxons/America/the West” is the reaction of pro-Kremlin media(opens in a new tab) whenever crowds gather in the streets to protest against corruption, government abuse and curbing of civil rights.

Alexey Navalny is a prominent Russian opposition leader, head of the Anti-Corruption Foundation FBK(opens in a new tab), who was brutally poisoned by the nerve agent Novichok(opens in a new tab) in Omsk, Siberia. Pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about this poisoning are mutually exclusive: "Navalny was not poisoned",(opens in a new tab) "he could have caused the coma himself"(opens in a new tab), "his friend poisoned him"(opens in a new tab), "he might had been injected with Novichok in Germany"(opens in a new tab), "Khodorkovsky is the suspect number one in attack on Navalny"(opens in a new tab) and others.

Disinfo: The real aim of the Russian opposition is a plan of feminists and perverts to stop children from being born

Another revolution is coming from the West upon us, and the West has made the rights of perverts and the delusions of “feminism” a main part of its ideology. It is more important than democracy. Even worse: for modern westerners, the concept of “Freedom” means the freedom of perverts and feminists, and the aim of the political activity of those people is the destructions of all pillars of the traditional society; first and foremost – the family.

This is why a feminist negro, not known for anything else, read a poem at the inauguration of the new president of the United States, performed at gunpoint. This is why Navalny is mentioned on the bottom of the demands of the fliers of the demonstrations – he is irrelevant. He is an instrument (and his allegedly ideal family is only a problem with the cause) to achieve the main thing: that children could be taken from their families. That children should not be born at all.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative portraying the West as decadent and hostile to traditional values and Europe as ruled by homosexuals and lesbians who are imposing their perverted values on the rest of society. The narrative about “threatened values” is adapted to a wide range of topics and typically used to discredit liberal Western attitudes about the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities and LGBTI groups, among others. According to this narrative, the “effeminate West” is rotting under the onslaught of decadence, feminism, homosexuality and “political correctness”, while Russia defends traditional family values.

The claim also forwards a conspiracy narrative on "colour revolutions". The pro-Kremlin ecosystem excludes popular discontent as a genuine reaction to grievances and view them exclusively as instruments of powerful outside forces. “A colour revolution, instigated by the Anglo-Saxons/America/the West” is the reaction of pro-Kremlin media(opens in a new tab) whenever crowds gather in the streets to protest against corruption, government abuse and curbing of civil rights.

Disinfo: A war with Russia - the last hope of the globalists

The victory of Joe Biden equals the victory of the neo-liberals and globalists over the national-oriented part of the American elites. Thus, it is logical to expect a drastic increase of pressure on Russia via “soft power” methods, including economic sanctions, the expansion of specific propaganda and psychological operations to destabilize Russia and its system of governance. The strategic goal of such a campaign would be to weaken the Russian leadership and create conditions for carrying out a devastating preventive strike or to destroy its statehood and disrupt the country by non-military means.

If this approach does not succeed before 2024, the administration of the US neo-liberals, in order to remain in power, could raise the stakes and initiate a nuclear conflict.

Disproof

This article repeats the recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the aggressive and dangerous nature of US and Western foreign policies, accused of engaging in military interventions around the world(opens in a new tab) and threatening world peace(opens in a new tab). The article’s message is also consistent with the ongoing disinformation campaign against US President Joe Biden.

See previous cases claiming that the West causes chaos and wars while Russia is a force for peace and stability(opens in a new tab) and that in the past 30 years all wars have been started by the US or NATO(opens in a new tab).