Disinfo: Russian secret services have never been involved in cyber-attacks


Russian secret services have never been involved in cyber-attacks. These claims are just another example of Russophobia.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying any involvement of the Russian government in hacker attacks and cyber-crime. This narrative considers accusations of Russian cyber-operations against Western targets baseless, absurd, motivated by Russophobia, or meant to distract the attention of Western public opinion from real problems. On October 19 2020 the US Justice Department indictedsix GRU officers working for Unit 74455. According to the Justice Department, the Unit, dubbed in the media as “Sandworm”, is responsible for at least one billion dollars in damages. The indictment further concedes that the group “deployed destructive malware and took other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia” against the governments of Ukraine and Georgia, the Novichok poisoning investigations, the 2017 French elections and 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Russian state actors have been proven to be actively involved in cyber-warfare, including malicious cyberattacks, hacking of foreign states and entities, as well as running disinformation campaigns. The targets have included: Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Ukraine, UK, U.S., Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, Romania, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Davos World Economic Forum, among others. The first-ever sanctions against Russian cyber-attacks were imposed by the EU on the 30th of July 2020. The Council decided to impose restrictive measures against six individuals and three entities, including the Russian military intelligence’s (GRU or GU) Center for Special Technologies, which the EU said is responsible for cyberattacks. These individuals and entities are held responsible for, or involved in, various cyber-attacks, including the attempted cyber-attack against the OPCW and cyber-attacks publicly known as 'WannaCry', 'NotPetya', and 'Operation Cloud Hopper'. On the 22nd of October 2020, the Council of the European Union imposed restrictive measures on two Russian military intelligence (GRU) officers and on one GRU centre (The 85th Main Centre for Special Service) that were responsible for, or took part in, the cyber-attack on the German Federal Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) in April and May 2015. Read similar cases claiming that accusations about Russian-sponsored hacker attacks aim to discredit Russia’s anti-COVID vaccine and that the Dutch government’s accusations against Russia for the 2018 cyber-attacks on the headquarters of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) are groundless.


  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, UK, Russia
  • Keywords: GRU, Cyber, Sanctions, Russophobia
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Disinfo: Erdogan's task - to globally explode the situation in South Caucasus, then NATO will invade the bleeding region

Erdogan has the following task “from the top” – to globally explode the situation in South Caucasus. So that every side, every country, everybody is involved in hostilities. Then a situation will develop in the region in which NATO will decide to invade the bleeding region.


Conspiracy theory about the war in Nagorno- Karabakh and a recurring disinformation narrative portraying NATO as a threat to global peace because it has an aggressive agenda.

The recent escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is a continuation of the decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. There is no proof that NATO is preparing to invade the region of South Caucasus or that NATO has tasked Turkey with escalating the situation. During his visit to Turkey, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that NATO is "deeply concerned by the escalation of hostilities. And I expect Turkey to use its considerable influence to calm tensions. "

Disinfo: Ukraine is being prepared for a full-scale war with Russia

All this hype with a poll of the Ukrainian population by President Zelenskyy was conceived with only one goal, to get support for plans to organise foreign military bases in Ukraine and create a springboard for a full-scale war with Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and the country's attempts to start a war with Russia. According to the Ukrainian President's office, on the day of the local elections, 25 October, Ukrainians will be asked five questions on various issues. This poll, unlike a referendum, will not have direct legal consequences but will give every citizen an opportunity to comment on issues important to society. Also, among the questions, there is no mention of the placement of foreign bases in Ukraine, just like there are no claims about preparing for a war with Russia. Read similar case claims that Ukraine is going to launch a missile strike on Russia.

Disinfo: The Germans supported Russia's withdrawal from consultations about MH17

The Germans supported Russia’s withdrawal from consultations on the tragedy of flight MH17. This position confirms that some of them definitely did not fall for the propaganda bait of the Western elite. The European Union is still afraid to admit that Kyiv is guilty of the MH17 crash. If the then-Maidan authorities “closed the sky” over Donbas, the tragedy would have been avoided.


One of the pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the downing of Flight MH17, denying Russia's responsibility. A few comments under the news article of one media cannot account for the position of the whole of the German people. Russia announced that it would withdraw from consultations with the Netherlands and Australia over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. Russia's Foreign Ministry accused the Netherlands and Australia of not trying to establish what happened in the disaster and instead, making "vicious" attempts to pin the blame on Moscow. Previously, the German government called on Russia to actively contribute to the investigation into the MH-17 aircraft crash in Donbas in 2014. The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (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 Pervomaiskiy in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system, with one missing missile, went back to the Russian Federation. On 24 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. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service will prosecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharachenko for causing the crash of Flight MH17 and murdering all 298 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR atthe firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. The public hearing started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable. On top of that, on 10 July 2020, the Dutch government decided to bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights for its role in the downing of Flight MH17. As stated on the government's website, it "attaches importance to continuing the meetings with Russia on the matter of state responsibility. The purpose of these meetings is to find a solution that does justice to the enormous suffering and damage caused by the downing of Flight MH17."