Disinfo: Russia is accused of US election meddling and the Skripals’ poisoning without proofs

Summary

China, of course, is outraged by the US allegations of concealing information and by the currently discussed version that the pandemic resulted from a leak of the virus from a laboratory in Wuhan. No evidence, but a lot of screeching. We saw it already more than once: for example, when Russia was accused of interfering in the American elections or when Russian intelligence services were accused of poisoning the Skripal family in the UK. But anti-Russian sanctions are a reality.

Disproof

A collection of unfounded claims.

A recurring narrative on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. Although Robert Mueller's investigation was concluded with no proof of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, it 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". It led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further election meddling.

The recurrent disinformation message also concerns Salisbury poisoning.

After a hearing in the Court of Protection, British High Court Justice David Williams issued an approved judgement about what had happened to the Skripals around three weeks after their poisoning in March 2018. The British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Parts of the material have been released to the public. The evidence was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, Anatoliy Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin with the attack on the Skripals, both Russian military intelligence operatives from the GRU, who travelled to the UK using fake names and documents.

Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent, specifically the purity of the toxin while emphasising that the OPCW team “worked independently and was not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities. No State Party was involved in the technical work carried out by the Technical Secretariat, to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: UK, Russia, US
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, election meddling, Robert Mueller
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Ukrainian Russophobes behind La Stampa’s anti-Russian disinformation campaign

The Italian newspaper La Stampa says, on behalf of all Russophobes, that “80% of the equipment” provided was of little or no use. In fact, the Russian Federation, at the request of the Italian government, had sent 15 transport aircraft with medicine, medical equipment and doctors to Italy. This aid helped Lombardy stem the uncontrollable spread of the Coronavirus in the region.

Such behaviour is predatory, especially so when such libel is published at the behest of Russophobes from “across the pond” who pay for such reports. In addition, individuals with anti-Russia views who have already “proven their worth” are being used in the current information war. That [sic] admissions made to Ukrainian internet publication Obozrevatel lend further evidence to the fact that Ukrainian Russophobes in Italy, among others, are behind La Stampa’s disinformation campaign.

Disproof

The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative which frames any criticism of Moscow's foreign-policy decisions as a symptom of Western Russophobia.

On 25 March 2020, the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa reported, citing unnamed high-ranking Italian officials, that the Russian aid was mostly of limited value to Italy’s efforts in fighting the epidemic. Another La Stampa piece later reported the concerns of some military and security experts that Russia’s aid operation in Italy could be used for intelligence purposes by the GRU (Russian military intelligence).

The US might develop pathogen agents provoking dangerous diseases abroad including in the Lugar Lab located in Georgia

It cannot be excluded that laboratories around the world are used by the US to develop pathogen agents provoking dangerous diseases. Moreover, there are reports that the LUGAR centre in Georgia has recently been visited again by Pentagon officials who have offered the Georgian authorities to expand the areas of study.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the coronavirus pandemic and the Tbilisi-based Lugar Lab.

The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), which became operational in August 2013. The Lugar centre is a top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system. In no case this laboratory has been designed or redesigned to build biological weapons, though this is a trope in Russian media.

European Commission and European Parliament wish to censor corona-scepticism

The next step appears to be the criminalisation of “lies” related to the coronavirus and parallel censorship of corona-scepticism in the media, including on social network. The European Commission and the European Parliament are moving in this direction.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, sharing a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about Western governments deliberately exaggerating the coronavirus pandemic in order to advance the interests of “globalist élites” and multinational corporations.

The article also contains the recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that EU efforts to counter coronavirus-related disinformation are attempting to censor dissenting views and/or are motivated by Russophobia.