Disinfo: Russian sanctions are a dead-end that EU has driven itself in

Summary

This step [is] another missed chance to get out of the dead-end in which the EU has driven itself in 2014 by linking the future of relations with our country with the situation in Ukraine. EU should abandon the policy of unilateral restrictions that do not comply with the norms and spirit of international law.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about EU sanctions related to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the general situation in Ukraine. Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. A year after the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. Sanctions were first introduced in June 2014 in response to the attempts to deliberately undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and destabilise the country. Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy and individual restrictive measures. For the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here. The sanctions were renewed on 10 September 2020 for a further 6 months until 15 March 2021, as Russia has also failed to respect the 2015 Minsk peace deal that it agreed on. Read similar claims such as Crimea’s reunification with Russia was legal, or that historically Crimea was a Russian land, and that Crimea became part of Russia after the events of 2014 in Ukraine.

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Disinfo: "Arrest" of 65 Russian planes for flights to Crimea is Kyiv's revenge for the Wagnerites

The office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine announced the “arrest” of 65 planes for their flights to Crimea. There is a version spreading on the Internet that these restrictions could be revenge for the Minsk’s surrender of 33 Russian citizens, whom Kyiv wanted to question.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine. There is no evidence to assume any connection between the seizure of Russian planes that flew to Crimea and the refusal to extradite Russian soldiers from Belarus to Ukraine. The "arrest" of the aircraft was due to their illegal visits to annexed Crimea. Since March 2014, Ukraine has closed the airspace over the occupied Crimean peninsula due to the inability to monitor flight safety. This was reported by the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Prosecutor's Office of Crimea. Previously, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies had demanded compensation for flights over the territory of Crimea even before the events with the Russian private military soldiers ("Wagnerites") in Belarus. In 2017, the Ukrainian prosecutor's office of Crimea brought a respective lawsuit against Russia. Read earlier disinformation case about the arrest of Russian private military soldiers in Belarus: The West is involved in the detention of Russian citizens in Minsk.

Disinfo: Navalny's recovery disproves poisoning by Novichok

The German press writes about the supposedly new type of the Novichok. They write that it is a binary substance, that is, consisting of two components. But in order to bring such a substance into a combat state, an explosion is needed. And since there was no explosion in the case of Navalny, it means that there was no “Novichok” either. This can explain the blogger’s high speed of recovery. In any case, this could only be done by the Western special services, which have been working with substances of this type over the past 20 years. This assumption is confirmed by the fact that German military doctors immediately classified the test results. At the same time, Russia has not been working with such substances for 30 years.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Alexei Navalny's poisoning. Clinical findings at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests provided unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny.

Novichok is a highly toxic nerve agent that slows the heart, paralyses the muscles used for breathing and — if the dose is big enough — can lead to death by asphyxiation. A smaller dose may result in seizures, neuromuscular weakness, liver failure and other damage. This has been presented in various other reports here, here and here. The claim about an explosion needed in the case of a binary substance is plainly silly: many glues function the same way - two substances are simply mixed. Navalny's coma was medically induced and did not constitute a symptom of poisoning. Several other confirmed Novichok victims were put in a coma and subsequently regained consciousness. In 1987 Andrey Zheleznyakov, a researcher attached to the Soviet chemical warfare programme, suffered an accidental exposure to a Novichok-type compound. The accident left him permanently disabled but he lived for another six years. In March 2018, Russian ex-spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yuliya fell victim to poisoning in Salisbury but recovered with intensive medical care as did a police officer who had been exposed when he visited their home to investigate. The UK authorities established that the assassination attempt had been carried out by two Russian intelligence operatives using Novichok. The following June, two individuals in Amesbury, England were accidentally exposed to Novichok contained in a fake perfume bottle. One of the victims survived.

Disinfo: Events in Belarus are organised by Poland, Lithuania, UK and various American foundations

All events in Belarus are organised by countries such as Poland, Lithuania, with the support of Great Britain and various American foundations – not Washington, not the White House, but American democrats, supporters of Soros, and so on. The Belarusian “revolution” has no chance of continuation, because “the rabid supporters of the overthrow Lukashenko, namely, Polish, Lithuanian politicians, are no longer supported by many other countries in Europe. Russia promised support to Belarus. Everyone in the West understands this.

Disproof

This is part of an ongoing Russian disinformation campaign on Belarus based on recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, such as accusing other countries of interference and portraying popular protests against electoral fraud in the country as a Western-led colour revolution. It accuses Poland and Lithuania of a plan to intervene in the domestic affairs of Belarus, which is a severe violation of the principles of diplomacy and international relations. Unfounded statements about the US Democratic party's and Soros foundation's involvement in processes in Belarus. The countries of the EU or UK have nothing to do with the mass protests in Belarus. The protests erupted to contest the results of the presidential elections in Belarus on the 9th of August, which are considered fraudulent by a large part of Belarusian society. The European Union has said that the elections were neither free nor fair. Poland and Lithuania support the independence and territorial integrity of Belarus. Poland and Lithuania, as well as the EU, have expressed support to people protesting in Belarus. Read our past analysis discussing various pro-Kremlin media allegations that Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Soros and other foreign actors are behind protests in Belarus. Read other examples of similar messages: Brits, Poles and Americans are fomenting chaos in Belarus; The West supports a bloody post-election Maidan scenario in Belarus; The West wants to prepare Maidan in Belarus; Poland presented a plan of active interference in the domestic affairs of Belarus; Western countries and their domestic puppets aim at crushing Belarusian statehood, and The actions of the protesters in Belarus are controlled by foreign centres.