Disinfo: Russia is dedicated to protecting media freedoms


Russia is categorically against groundless arrests of journalists. The authorities work with press freedom advocates to investigate and curb any such behaviour. The government is quick to respond to journalists’ rights violations.


Contrary to these claims, independent journalists in Russia are subjected to frequent threats, attacks and prosecution under dubious charges, the most recent case being that of Ivan Golunov, a journalist arrested in June 2019 under false drug charges. Violence against journalists in Russia continues to happen with impunity: the database of the Committee to Protect Journalists lists 38 murders of journalists in Russia from 1992 to 2017, out of which 33 with complete impunity3 with partial impunity and only 2 cases were fully prosecuted and tried. 

Reporters without Borders’ Press Freedom Index for 2019 ranks Russia 149th out of 180 countries, while IREX Media Sustainability Index for 2019 notes a decline of the country’s already low score, due to, among other things, “sustained governmental pressure on and erosion of the media sector, violence against journalists, and the normalization of propaganda.”


  • Reported in: Issue 161
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: , , Montenegrin
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Freedom of speech, Media
  • Outlet: IN4S


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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Crimea is now recognised as an integral part of Russia

Five years after the Crimea decided to reunite with the Russian Federation in a referendum, the whole world starts to accept the fact that the region is an indisputable part of Russia and it cannot be otherwise.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal democratic referendum.

No international body has recognised the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014.  Thirteen members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favour of a resolution declaring the referendum invalid. On the 27th of February 2014, when it was announced, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula.  On December 18 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of illegal annexation of Crimea.

Trump’s main goal is to destroy the current regime in Iran

Trump is making every effort to start a big war in the Middle East. The main goal of his mandate is to destroy the current regime in Iran. The reason for Trump’s goal is because he came into power with the help of the Israeli lobby.



Conspiracy theory with no substance or evidence. Previously, pro-Kremlin outlets have published disinfo about president Trump being unable to resume dialogue with Russia because of the "deep state”, and threatening to release thousands of ISIS members in Europe.

Regarding the conspiracy theory about Israely lobby - pro-Kremlin outlets have also previously claimed that the 9/11 was a Jewish-Zionist job and Ukrainian wealthiest people are controlled by the US and Israel.

MH17: JIT investigators try to shield the real culprits

Investigators of the MH17 case colluded with criminals. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is not interested in finding who is, in fact, responsible for the MH17 tragedy. Foreign detectives try to shield the real perpetrators. Therefore, versions that refute the Russian trace are not even considered.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of flight MH17.

The criminal investigation by the JIT has been ongoing since 2014.  On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from there the missile was launched. After firing, the system, with 1 missing missile, went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.