Disinfo: Russia did not interfere in American affairs in 2016 and is not going to intervene

Summary

This is not the first time that the United States blame Russia for its own powerlessness. It was like that when Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election in 2016. It is so now when the American authorities cannot take control of their own citizens. We (Russia) have never interfered in American affairs and are not going to intervene now.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying Moscow's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Electoral interference by Russia has been extensively documented in numerous countries around the world. The independent research, media investigations and parliamentary inquiries point out to evidence linking Russian state actors with interference in various electoral processes, including the 2016 US presidental elections, Brexit vote, in the 2017 French Presidential elections, in the 2017 German Parliamentary elections etc. The list of essential research and analysis about the Kremlin's election meddling effort can be found here (Electoral interference).

Available evidence suggests that Russian meddling the 2016 US presidential poll - which was specifically aimed to damage Clinton's campaign and aid her opponent - did affect the outcome of the vote, particularly in three critical swing states where Trump's victory margins were the thinnest. In addition, the US Justice Department has charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic officials in the 2016 US elections. Previously, 13 Russian citizens as well as the Internet Research AgencyConcord Management and Concord Catering had been charged with interfering with the US political system.

Robert Mueller's investigation did conclude that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Mueller's report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election". The first involved attempts by Russian internet research agency (IRA) to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the US to sow social discord, with the aim of interfering with the election. The second involved the Russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election.

See similar cases claiming that The notion of “Russian influence” in the US is an absurd conspiracy theory, or that Claims about Russia’s interference into US elections are unfounded,  Allegations of Russian meddling in US elections are absolutely insane.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: US racial justice protests, election meddling, Hillary Clinton, Elections

Disclaimer

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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COVID-19 mortality rates are very low in Russia also because many Russians do not get flu vaccines imported from the West

Western media have begun a kind of disinformation campaign against Russia and have questioned why there are so few deaths from COVID-19 in Russia.  One of the reasons why COVID-19 mortality rates are very low in Russia is that many Russians do not get flu vaccinations imported from the West.

Disproof

Recurring  narrative promoted by some pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that flu vaccinations increase the risk of COVID-19 and the lethality of the epidemic. The article provides no evidence to support its claims that Russia’s low official COVID-19 mortality rate are due to less extensive Western-imported flu vaccinations of its population.

The message contained in the article is consistent with  the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign about the coronavirus and attempts to push false health information,  in this case promoting anti-vaccine messaging, which is also a recurring element of pro-Kremlin disinformation.

The US imposed sanctions on Russia because it is afraid of its military might

One expert explained the real reason of US sanctions against Russia. Washington is trying to press Moscow through them because it is afraid of an armed conflict with Russia. The US can smash others in every area, except in the military field. They won’t enter in a war, they are scared.

Disproof

This is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to portray international sanctions as anti-Russian. 

There is a reason for every US and EU round of sanctions on Russia. The US imposed them for the first time in March 2014 as a response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine. After that, it established fresh rounds due to Russia’s election interference, malicious cyber activities, human rights abuses, use of a chemical weapon, weapons proliferation, illicit trade with North Korea and support to Syria and Venezuela.

By claiming that there are Russian warplanes in Libya, AFRICOM is waging a psy-op on US public

US African Command (AFRICOM), in charge of hunting terrorists in Africa, seems more interested instead in waging psychological operations aimed at the US public, the Pentagon and the White House. AFRICOM recently focused its efforts in using friendly journalists, media leaks and statements in social media to lobby Washington for more power, influence and money, publishing a series of tweets accusing Russia of sending warplanes to Libya. Its commander general Charles Townsend said that “they had seen how Russia flew fourth-generation warplanes to Libya”, but no evidence was offered. Russian officials have dismissed this claim as ridiculous. Among explosive tweets, anonymous insinuations to friendly conservative reporters and leaks to liberals, the image that is emerging is one of AFRICOM carrying out a psychological (psychopathic) operation, a propaganda war against US public.

Disproof

The deployment of Russian warplanes in Libya has been confirmed by multiple sources. According to Bloomberg news agency, their presence was first reported by Fathi Bashagha, the security chief in Tripoli, who said at least six MiG 29s and two Sukhoi 24s had flown into the east from the Russian-controlled Hmeimim Air Base in Syria, escorted by two Su-35 Russian air force jets. This was later confirmed by satellite images (see here and here), by images of the aircraft taken by the US Air Force, and indirectly by Saqr al-Jaroushi, the head of the air force of Russia’s backed Libyan National Army (LNA), who on May 20 boasted that his forces were about to launch “the largest aerial campaign in Libyan history”.

Further information on the deployment of the aircraft emerged afterwards. This is happening after the Russia-backed LNA was forced to retreat from the airbase of al-Watiyah and Wagner fighters were allegedly expelled from a location in southern Tripoli in the previous days, which points to a Russian escalation in support of LNA through an increase of air power to compensate those losses.