Disinfo: Russiagate has dominated main US media since the 2016 despite lack of evidence to support alleged Russian interference

Summary

Russiagate has dominated the front pages of the main US media since the 2016 elections and continues to be used as a “bogeyman” by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, despite the lack of any evidence to support alleged Russian interference in these elections.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying Moscow's interference in the 2016 US presidential election. In this case, the message appeared in Sputnik in the context of Facebook's announcement to label state-controlled media - such as Sputnik itself. Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election is a well-documented fact. Robert Mueller's investigation concluded that Russia did interfere in the 2016 elections. Mueller’s report maintains that “the investigation did not establishthat members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities”. Nevertheless, it states that Russian interference activities did take place. The Mueller report of March 2019 contains many details about how Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, both by using social media to influence American voters with disinformation and by hacking into the Clinton campaign’s computers. By the time the Mueller report was published, Russian meddling in the 2016 poll had been established by the US intelligence community. The Mueller report itself concluded that Moscow had carried out this effort "in sweeping and systematic fashion" (p. 1). Read here similar cases claiming that charges of Russian meddling in US elections collapsed after release of Mueller report and that Mueller report contains no evidence of Russian meddling in 2016 US election.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections
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Ukraine is preparing for an attack in the Donbas

Ukraine is preparing for attacking manoeuvres in the Donbas, so it is actively increasing its military presence near the line of contact between government-controlled and non-government-controlled areas. OSCE observers noted the presence of self-propelled howitzers, tanks, rocket sites, armoured vehicles, military trucks and ambulances at a train station in the government-controlled part of Donetsk.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. There is no evidence that Ukraine plans to attack the territorial parts of Donbas that are not controlled by Kyiv. Recent OSCE daily reports did not note any increase in Ukrainian military presence near the line of contact. The organisation's Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine did note the presence of self-propelled howitzers at the train station on 4 June, but it did not mention the other military hardware listed by the article. The report also mentioned that there were self-propelled howitzers and tanks in a training area in the non-government-controlled region of Luhansk. President Zelenskyy has been stressing on numerous occasions that his main strategic goal and first and foremost task as Ukraine's president, is to achieve a peaceful settlement of the war in Donbas as soon as possible. On 13 October 2019, he underlined that “ending the war in Donbas” is a priority for the Ukrainian government. To accomplish this task, Ukraine has fulfilled all preparatory steps, such as the withdrawal of troops on three sites, necessary to hold the meeting in the “Normandy format”. Moreover, in September, Ukraine and Russia conducted the prisoner swap and agreed to exchange all prisoners soon. Ukraine had also agreed to sign the so-called Steinmeier formula which was again confirmed by President Zelenskyy on the “Normandy Four” summit.

The protests in the US is a standoff between Trump and the globalist corporations

Most of the protests throughout the US, and in many places in Europe, the protests are being coordinated via Social Media, which is similar to what transpired in Hong Kong for nearly a year. In the digital industry, companies such as EA, Sony, Rockstar are also joining in on the protests, while they’ve generally shied away from such content. [—] Many corporations are extending their support of Black Lives Matter, and this is quite showing for the shifting status quo. The situation is such that typically, it was a standoff of US President Donald Trump and the US national industry, in a standoff against the globalist and the non-mainstream corporations. It appears that the wind is blowing in the other direction, with most siding on the side of the protests, and Trump appearing to sit in an ever-reducing crowd.

Disproof

An unfounded conspiracy theory, in line with a pro-Kremlin narrative on protests never actually being manifestations of popular discontent. The widespread protests against racial injustice and police brutality broke out in the US after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on the 25th of May, 2020. The protests followed several high-profile incidents involving African Americans and the police, invoking debates about racism in the US. The pro-Kremlin media frequently use disinformation narratives about popular protests allegedly incited by the US around the world, including colour revolutions in Eastern Europe, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia and others.

The US Defender 2020 manoeuvre is directed against Russia

Thus, in addition to the US large-scale manoeuvre Defender Europe 2020, which is also directed against Russia by rehearsing the transfer of troops in the direction of the Russian border, the US-led manoeuvre BALTOPS 2020 will also be carried out over the Baltic Sea.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/ NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020", which is not aimed or targeted at Russia. US Major General Andrew Rohling Deputy Commanding General for the US Army in Europe, informs that the US-led exercise "Defender 2020" is an American exercise with 18 NATO partner countries. Rohling emphasises that the aim of the exercise is not to target any country, but rather to test strategic readiness and how to react to a crisis. Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the Atlantic to various training areas in Europe, like Germany and Poland. With US Defender Europe 2020, the 18 participating NATO-countries are therefore practising procedures to ensure and demonstrate the ability to relocate and also to confirm the alliance's commitment to supporting and, in particular, to show the United States' commitment to Europe's security. For more information about the exercise: US Army Europe Website and updates from the Bundeswehr (German Army).