Disinfo: Tax-cheating Jewish oligarch keeps lying about his dead auditor to make everyone hate Russia

Summary

Tax-cheating Jewish oligarch [Bill Browder] keeps lying about his dead auditor to make everyone hate Russia. For years Browder – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s self-proclaimed “enemy number one” and head of the Hermitage Capital Management fund – has been waging what can only be described as his personal anti-Russia campaign.

Disproof

This case is part of the pro-Kremlin media's ongoing disinformation campaign against Magnitsky sanctions and their chief proponent, Bill Browder. The article uses anti-Semitism to attack Browder and accuses him of Russophobia - a disinformation tactic commonly used by pro-Kremlin outlets to deflect criticism about Moscow's policies by painting Russia as the innocent victim of Western antipathy. As the CEO of Hermitage Capital, once the largest investment firm in Russia, Bill Browder fell afoul of the Russian government in 2005 after exposing the details of a vast $230-million corruption scheme involving several high-ranking Russian officials. While investigating the corruption scheme, Hermitage Capital’s tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was arrested. During his 11-month imprisonment, he was tortured, denied medical care, and ultimately left to die. A Russian investigation concluded that Magnitsky had died of natural causes; the case was then closed and Magnitsky was posthumously convicted of tax evasion. To commemorate Magnitsky, Bill Browder launched a campaign to sanction the individuals involved in his mistreatment and death. This campaign has led the United States and several other countries (the UK, Canada, and the Baltic States) to adopt so-called 'Magnitsky sanctions' that restrict the travel and freeze the assets of individuals who have been involved in human rights abuses and mass corruption. EU foreign affairs ministers have also agreed to launch the preparatory work for a global sanctions regime to address serious human rights violations, which will be the EU equivalent of the so-called Magnitsky Act of the United States, EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell said. The case of Sergei Magnitsky has been widely studied by investigative journalists, subjected to investigative TV programs (giving the floor to all protagonists), and examined by the anti-corruption NGO Transparency International which posthumously bestowed its integrity award to Magnitsky. Moreover, in August 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Russian authorities “had deprived Sergei Magnitskiy of important medical care and had failed to comply with their duty to protect his life.” The judges unanimously concluded that Magnitsky's treatment in detention violated his human rights, the right to live, right to liberty and security, and right to freedom from torture. For more disinformation cases on Magnitsky, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Country: UK, US, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Bill Browder, Sergei Magnitsky, Anti-Russian, Sanctions, Russophobia
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Ecological problems - noose in the hands of the West

The issue of environmental problems has long become a noose in the hands of the West to hinder the development of dangerous competitors. Thus, a very trendy emphasis on ecology is just speculation.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory without any evidence, Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West exploiting the environmental agenda and climate change topic to do harm to Russia, and that global warming is a "hoax" perpetrated by special interest groups like green businesses that stand to benefit from the climate hysteria. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Russia has to carry a heavy burden associated with the implementation of the Paris Agreement, that the West believes that as a result of global warming, only Russia will benefit, that the West's anti-family strategy is part of the war for Big Russia resources and that the climate mafia is exploiting Greta Thunberg to lower living standards.

The West is using environmental issues as a noose against competitors

Environmental issues have long turned into a noose, used by the West to restrain the development of dangerous competitors by convincing them that the intensive economy is very bad. At the international level, the West is trying to impose onerous restrictions on other economies. Or they are trying to tarnish the reputation of certain economic products and to squeeze out a rapidly growing competitor from the market. This global environmental propaganda successfully shapes public opinion in the direction it needs.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about the West allegedly exploiting the environmental agenda and climate change topic for self-serving reasons and using it as an imperialist tool against other countries. Climate change is a scientific fact. Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rain-forests and farming livestock. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. Preventing dangerous consequences of the climate change is the key priority for the EU. For further disinformation cases about climate change, see here.

The US promised the whole world that NATO will not move one inch to the East

30 years ago, US Secretary of State James Baker promised the whole world – if Mikhail Gorbachev agrees to unite Germany, NATO will not move one inch to the East.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West encircling Russia via NATO and NATO enlargement. This promise was never made, as Mikhail Gorbachev, then-president of the Soviet Union has himself confirmed. Central and Eastern European countries began seeking NATO membership in the early 1990s. NATO actively sought to create a cooperative environment that was conducive to enlargement while simultaneously building special relations with Russia. NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by pro-Kremlin media. Rather, it considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the alliance on their own national will. As such, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. NATO's "Open Door Policy" is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949). The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any "European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area". Every sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security and one to which Russia has also subscribed.