Disinfo: NEXTA covering the Belarus protests is a project of the Polish special services

Summary

NEXTA is the most popular and currently promoted Telegram channel. The Polish project seems to be controlled by Polish special services. The telegram channel is used to coordinate the actions of the protesters. They indiscriminately put what can be perceived as the truth, and when they realise that it is a lie, they remove it.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about colour revolutions and protests in Belarus after presidential elections in 2020. NEXTA started as a regular Youtube channel, a musical project of Stepan Putilo, now known as Stepan NEXTA and Stepan Svetlov. He is from Belarus and studied in Poland, and several years before the presidential elections this channel was "about Belarusian realities, information about the life of officials and what they are trying to hide". The main editor of the channel is Roman Protasevych who like Stepan Putilo is living in Poland as well, where he asked for political asylum. The channel mainly uses user-generated content - materials that users from all over Belarus send anonymously. "Telegram is an anonymous platform, a secure transfer of information. NEXTA is thousands of Belarusians who share some information, send it to us and thus tell it to the whole country. They tell stories that should be heard that will never be heard on Belarusian television or in the official Belarusian media," - editor-in-chief Roman Protasevich said about the concept of the project in an interview with Euronews. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the Polish secret service is in any way involved in running the channel. See previous disinformation cases alleging that the EU continues to support a colour revolution in Belarus; the EU provoked a civil war in Ukraine, now it destabilises Belarus; Belarusian opposition wants to turn Belarus into the 51st state of the US.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/08/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Poland, Belarus
  • Keywords: Protest, Puppets, Intelligence services
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Ukraine will open a brainwashing facility for Crimea and Donbas

Ukraine is planning to create a “truth commission” which will have to identify “heroes” and “antiheroes”, and brainwash topics about Crimea and Donbas. The article also quoted Russian anchor Dmitry Kiselyov who said that Crimea will not return to Ukraine, this is an illusion, and that Ukraine is the side that poses a threat to the Crimeans, so they made the choice they made.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that Ukraine allegedly distorts information on Donbas and Crimea. There are no intentions to create a "truth commission" in Ukraine, but only assumptions of how historical justice will be restored after the end of the conflict. In an interview to RBK-Ukraine, head of the Presidential Representative Office in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Anton Korinevich said a de-occupation concept provides the creation of a truth commission - a structure that would impartially collect information about the war, tell about the real state of affairs at the beginning of the conflict, about its heroes and antiheroes. "It should be either a newly created body or, given the problem of spending budgetary funds on the creation of a new institution, these functions can be assigned to an existing state body," says Korinevich. He does not exclude that the Truth Commission may be created, for example, at the Institute of National Remembrance. He also added that the work of the Commission will have to be trusted by all parties of the conflict. 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.

Russian expert again denies West's claim that a BUK missile hit MH-17

Russian expert once again refuted the West’s investigation argument, that a shot from a BUK missile system led to the crash of the MH-17.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the MH17 crash, aiming to undermine the Joint International Investigation and subsequent criminal trial. No evidence given. Pro-Kremlin outlets constantly use Facebook posts of the same Russian "expert" as "evidence", claiming that MH-17 wasn't hit by a BUK. Three years ago, this same Russian 'independent expert', Yuriy Antipov, claimed that MH-17 crashed because of an explosion on board. He claimed that a bomb was planted on the aeroplane in the Netherlands. Also, in 2017, Antipov said that a BUK missile system, shown on videos by the Investigation Team (JIT), was brought there by Ukrainian forces. A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct an impartial criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014. The team comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. The criminal investigation was obliged to meet the standards set for an investigation in the Netherlands and other participating countries. This means that the JIT has agreed upon the rules and how the evidence should be collected in other countries. The cooperation in the JIT has made it possible for Dutch and Australian police officers to work on Ukrainian territory, together with Ukrainian investigating officers. In order to ascertain the cause of the crash, the JIT investigated all human remains, personal belongings and wreckage of the aircraft. In addition, they sought, and heard from, witnesses and experts, analysed radar and satellite images, assessed large amounts of telecom data such as intercepted telephone conversations and analysed big data. Read more about the investigation here. Based on the investigation, the JIT concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation minus one missile. The public hearing started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. For our overview and analysis of disinformation narratives around the downing of MH17, see here. Read a similar case: "MH-17 wasn't hit by a BUK missile".

NATO troops encircle the borders of the Russian Federation

The Pentagon is increasingly and recklessly “holding back” Russia at the Russian borders. In the airspace over the Baltic and Black Seas, American scouts are simply put under the risk of fire. These are frank and irresponsible provocations with a view to transforming a conceptual conflict into an armed one. // It is NATO troops encircling the borders of the Russian Federation and not vice versa. Russia is forced to react – to build up the strike and defensive assets on the ground, at sea, in the air.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia, about the "Russian threat" as a false idea created and spread by NATO. An attempt to justify the increase in heavy weapons due to the allegedly aggressive NATO policies. NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. During the Warsaw summit in July 2016, NATO has made it clear that "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia". The claim that NATO is encircling Russia is one of the myths about NATO. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members. Outside NATO territory, the Alliance only has a military presence in two places: Kosovo and Afghanistan. Both operations are carried out with a United Nations mandate, endorsed by the UN Security Council, of which Russia is a member. In contrast, Russia has military bases or soldiers in three of the EU's Eastern neighbourhood countries, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, without the consent of their governments. See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members or its plans to continue attacking other countries, that the EU is encircling Russia and creating additional conflict zones, while NATO exploits non-existent “Russian threat” to increase its presence close to Russian borders and that the US creates and spreads a false image about an “aggressive” Russia constituting a security “threat”. The disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claims that "There is a plan of the capture of the Kaliningrad by Poland and the US".