Disinfo: Sanctions are whitewashed under beautiful terms but they are merely illegal actions


Sanctions are whitewashed as ‘tools, necessary coercive measures’, wrapped in gift paper and sold under beautiful terms such as “defence of human rights”, “fight against authoritarianism”, “correcting the lack of democracy”, when they are merely illegal actions.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about sanctions, framing them as unjustified measures against Russia.

The claim is false. EU sanctions on Russian individuals and entities are neither illegal nor whitewashed under positive terms, but licit restrictions imposed in accordance with international law as a response to Russia’s actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, and to Russia’s use of chemical weapons in an assassination attempt against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, his unlawful imprisonment, and repression against Russian demonstrators (See formal notice).

The EU has introduced sanctions in full accordance with European and international law, restricting the sales of military and dual-use equipment to Russia. The EU has also introduced a system of individual restrictions on certain individuals, compliant with violations of international law.

See other examples in our database, such as claims that the West is using Navalny’s case as a pretext for sanctions; that the West needs a cause to sanction Russia and if there isn’t one, they will invent it; that the West invented Navalny’s poisoning to uphold the myth of an aggressive Russia; or that sanctions are a childish reaction of the EU.

This disinformation message appeared in the same TV programme as the claims that “Human rights are a Trojan horse in the West’s hybrid war” and that “Sanctions are whitewashed under beautiful terms but they are merely illegal actions”, and that “Claims about repression and concentration camps in China are exaggerations aiming to stop its influence”.


  • Reported in: Issue 234
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Spanish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, US, EU
  • Keywords: Sanctions, Human rights, Democracy, International Law
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Disinfo: AstraZeneca kills

AstraZeneca kills: a European country refused it.


Disinformation that advances pro-Kremlin propaganda against the COVID-19 vaccines produced in the USA and Europe. The claim appeared in the title wrongly creating an impression that AstraZeneca Vaccine is designed to cause deaths.

It is true that in Austria a 49-year old woman died as a result of multiple thromboses and a 35-year-old was also hospitalised for a pulmonary embolism after receiving a vaccine from the same batch. However, the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care of Austria said that there is no evidence of a causal relationship with vaccination.

Disinfo: Instead of vaccine Zelensky might have been jabbed with vitamins

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has publicly got vaccinated with the Indian vaccine, but some have claimed that he was injected with vitamins. The vaccination in public has turned into a show. Zelensky got vaccinated in Donbass, and immediately after the injection, shelling from the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the war zone has sharply increased.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denigrating Ukraine and its president Volodymyr Zelensky.

There is no evidence to claim that the Ukrainian president received a dose of vitamins instead of vaccine. President Zelenskyy tweeted on 2 March 2021 that he was inoculated with Indian vaccine Covishield. A batch of 500,000 doses arrived in Ukraine on February 23 2021.

Disinfo: Teenagers in Estonia are infected by Russophobic alarmism

More and more teenagers in Estonia are ready to defend their country. This is showing that Russophobia in Estonia is widespread. Official Tallinn permanently scares citizens by “threat from East”.

The myth about “threat from East” is the idee fix of the Estonian government. The biggest part of society is infected by Russophobic alarmism.


A recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Estonia is Russophobic.

The starting point of the disinformation narrative was data from the Public Opinion and National Defence Survey, which was published by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Estonia. The Survey showed that readiness among young people of upper secondary school age to participate in defence activities has increased to 63 per cent, while a year ago it was only 54 per cent.