Disinfo: Russia has not, to any extent, exerted any form of aggression, it is the EU, which is aggressive

Summary

A simple chronological list of events in Europe would remind us that Russia has acted much less aggressively than the West, and has only responded step by step. Russia did not and does not, to any extent, exert any form of aggression. The EU and NATO are aggressive. This aggression is directed against Russia’s security interests.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia and about Western belligerence towards Russia. While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the West is trying to keep open channels of communications and cooperation with Russia. For instance, NATO as the Western organisation created cooperation bodies – the Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Russia Council – to embody its relationship with Russia. It also invited Russia to cooperate on missile defence. The Warsaw Summit Communique 2016 describes NATO's official policy towards Russia: "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot, and will not, compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest." No other country outside the alliance has such a privileged relationship with NATO. Also, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. Every sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security, one that Russia has also subscribed to and should respect. NATO enlargement has brought more stability and prosperity to Europe, including Russia. The EU and its member states have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts, in line with five guiding principles of relations with Russia. For background, read EUvsDisinfo analysis "The “Russophobia” Myth: Appealing to the Lowest Feelings" here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 175
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: West, New Cold War, Anti-Russian, European Union, Encircling Russia, Russophobia
see more

Europe is in danger because of Ukraine's gas dispute

On the predicament in which Kiev put Moscow, on the issue of transit of gas to Europe, the latter, from the first of January, .., with a complete cessation of gas transit (from Russia).. could face energy problems.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative blaming Ukraine for the disruption to the gas talks between Russia and Ukraine and plans to cut gas transit from Russia to the EU. Europe is not "catastrophically lacking gas". On the contrary, there is enough natural gas supply resulting in a fall in prices in Europe this year. This is because the continent has been flooded with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from a number of suppliers since Autumn 2018, including the United States. A mild winter in Asia has driven gas prices to a three-year-low and caused LNG shipments to be redirected to Europe, pushing down the prices. As Polygraph explains, energy experts say LNG has allowed natural gas to become a global commodity that can easily move from one continent to another depending on demand, similar to the way oil is traded.

Amnesty International is an ideological tool of the US security services

Amnesty International’s report claims Google and Facebook’s business models are a threat to human rights. The organisation has always been an ideological tool of the US security services and a US soft power, just as Greenpeace, WWF, and other human rights and ecological NGOs. Hence, Amnesty International’s report is a position of the US’s establishment and part of the US’s political war against Facebook. The US has, for a long time, effectively controlled central media, which promote LGBT, global warming, Greta Thunberg, inflow of migrants to Europe, so called chemical attacks in Syria, Russian hackers, Hillary Clinton, protests in Hong-Kong, harassment of Harvey Weinstein, and anything else which is necessary for the political agenda. Yet the Western world, and the US as its flagship, are concerned with uncontrolled freedom of speech on social media, including for their ideological opponents – be it Russians, Turks, North Koreans, or Venezuelans. Against the background of increasing erosion of ‘soft power’ and collapse of liberal ideology the West starts to introduce rather strict censorship to protect its ideological machine. Given that you cannot name censorship using its own words, various euphemisms are used instead, fake news in the first place. The Western media are themselves the main producers of fakes, lies are a part of their metabolism. Fake news is just a label to tag everything that does not suit a certain ideological model. Under the pretext of fighting fake news and Russian hackers, the West introduces censorship and open manual controls over the media sphere. Earlier, an instrument of pressure on Facebook and other corporations was the alleged meddling of Russians in the US elections and fake news. Now, Amnesty International’s report puts forward “information manipulation” and “abuse of privacy” as new buzz words and a pretext for attacking Facebook and Google.

Disproof

This conspiracy theory is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western media outlets and NGOs as subservient to Western political elites, while Russia protects freedom of speech and the press. In addition, it represents a continuation of the pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy to undermine and delegitimise civil society initiatives and the work of NGOs. Western media are not controlled by the government and do not run coordinated (dis)information campaigns on government orders, as this case alleges. A high degree of media freedom in Western countries is reflected in the top ranks these countries occupy in respective world rankings including the World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders. According to the 2019 World Press Freedom Index, Russia is in 149th place out of 180 countries. There is extensive evidence documenting the Kremlin's efforts to use disinformation as a weapon. Russia's attempts at interfering in democratic processes in the US and Europe have been thoroughly documented. In its new report, Amnesty International indeed says that Facebook and Google’s omnipresent surveillance of billions of people poses a systemic threat to human rights. However, there is zero evidence that Amnesty International, one of the most professional and highly regarded NGOs in the world that is devoted to protecting human rights, is guided by the US governing elite or the security services. Read our earlier analysis, Russian election meddling and pro-Kremlin disinformation, and previous disinformation cases claiming that Amnesty International is a missionary for the CIA and US State Department, that journalism is free in Russia, and that Western media have a list of individuals and organisations to target with defamatory campaigns.

The EU wants to destroy the link between Russia and Belarus

The decision by Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to drop the term “Vitryssland” in exchange for “Belarus” demonstrates that the EU bureaucracy and affiliated global elites seek to put Belarus on Ukraine’s track. To achieve this goal, they need to set conditions for geopolitical aggression in the region. One of the current goals is to cut off the associative link between Russia and Belarus (the White Russia) in the public media sphere. Another point of pressure is attempts to fuel the local anti-Russian nationalism in Belarus.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations and Western aggressiveness towards Belarus and Russia, specifically alleging Western activities to compromise Belarusian identity. The decision of the Swedish MFA to change the name standard for Belarus is the result of a public debate that has been ongoing for several years. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Belarus faces either normal development under Russia or a forced Polonization and economic devastation, that the Eastern Partnership aims to erode Belarusian identity and promote the views of Polish gentry, that Belarus will turn into anti-Russia in case it does not deepen integration with Russia, and putting forward a ridiculous false dilemma, claiming that the only possible scenario for Belarus to prevent descent into Nazism through the politicisation of national clothes is to become a Russian western federal area.