Disinfo: Skripal case and MH17 accusations against Russia have no evidence - it is Russophobia

Summary

Britain has blamed Russia for an alleged nerve poison attack on former intelligence officer Sergey Skripal in 2018, without any evidence. The situation with discrimination against Russian media was worrying and resembled the Skripal case, in which nobody had explained anything. This is about Russophobia, the desire to justify one’s own failures and the unfair competition that goes with it. The same applies to the Boeing of Malaysia Airlines. Dutch prosecutors say that an investigation is underway, while reparations have already been demanded from Russia. If Russia asks where the data from Ukrainian radars are, where the airlines’ communications data are, where the American satellite images are, it gets no answers. However, Russia still gets the blame.

Disproof

No evidence provided. Russophobia is often used in pro-Kremlin disinformation as an explanation for the West blaming Russia for anything. This message also contains recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury and about the downing of the flight MH17. In fact, there is no discrimination against Russia or Russophobia. Western media represent a wide range of opinions and do not follow a single editorial policy on any given topic. British police and intelligence investigations have produced sufficient hard evidence to charge two Russian nationals for the attack on the Skripals. More British public documents and statements on the case can be found here. The investigative outlet Bellingcat has later revealed the true identities of the two Russian nationals. Concerning the downing of flight MH17, on 28 September 2016, the Joint Investigation Team 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. See further debunking by Bellingcat. For background, read our analysis: The “Russophobia” Myth: Appealing to the Lowest Feelings.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 172
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Country: UK, Russia
  • Keywords: Sergei Lavrov, Sergei Skripal, West, Anti-Russian, Media, Russophobia, MH17
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Naftogaz of Ukraine blackmails Russia

Instead of meeting Russian Gazprom and starting constructive negotiations, Ukraine’s Naftogaz allegedly continues to blackmail Russia. The parties cannot agree on the details of a new contract for the transit of gas from Russia to the European Union through the Ukrainian gas transportation system due to the destabilising position of Ukraine.

Disproof

The ten-year contract for gas transit from Russia to the European Union through the territory of Ukraine expires on 31 December. The latest round of trilateral negotiations ended in Brussels on 28 October. The European side, represented by the Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, expressed disappointment with the results of the consultations. The European Union and Ukraine have a similar position on the issue of a contract with Russia. At the meeting, EU representatives proposed clear requirements on the procedure for signing a business agreement with the prescribed deadlines. The Ukrainian side is ready to sign a new contract on 17 December. But despite the expiring contract, Gazprom has not yet submitted a single official written proposal to Ukraine to resolve the situation, Naftogaz reported. Moreover, it is the Russian side that appears to be resorting to “gas blackmail”. The Kremlin requires Ukraine to abandon the Stockholm arbitration decision, according to which a Russian company owes Naftogaz almost $ 2.6 billion for neglecting the terms of a previous contract for the transit of resources through the Ukrainian gas transportation system. Ukraine cannot agree to these conditions. Gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine are one of Russia's favourite fields for spreading fakes. Read similar cases in which it is stated that Ukraine plans to disrupt gas transit to the EU and that Kyiv will not sign a new contract. Further debunking by StopFake.

In Ukraine, one can be imprisoned for the emblem of the USSR, but do not touch the Nazis

In Ukraine, double standards apply: the Ukrainian police can imprison a person for carrying the emblem of the USSR, but does not touch people who demonstrate Nazi symbols.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Nazis in Ukraine. In Ukraine in 2015, the law on decommunisation, initiated by the Cabinet of Ministers, entered into force. The document recognises the communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes in Ukraine as criminal and pursuing a policy of state terror. The new law amended the Criminal Code of Ukraine. According to article 436-1, a person propagating Nazi or communist symbols faces up to five years in prison.

The incident in the Kerch strait was a crime of the Ukrainian military

Ukraine will get back its ships detained in Crimea, but only after recognising their provocation in the Kerch Strait. The Russian side considers the incident in the strait as a crime of the Ukrainian military.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Kerch incident. On the 25th of November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members. Russia stated they were in Russian waters. However, according to the bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia, the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov are the internal waters of both Russia and Ukraine. The agreement gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels. Furthermore, both the 2003 bilateral agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for freedom of navigation. For further reporting see Bellingcat, DFRLab and Polygraph.