Disinfo: The 2020 US presidential election was marked by fraud and media bias

Summary

There’s quite an amusing tweet from eight years ago, in which Donald Trump warns about electoral fraud: “‘It doesn’t matter who you vote for, it matters who is counting the votes.’ Be careful of voter fraud!” This is what Trump wrote a month before the 2012 presidential election.

And what is happening now is certainly astounding. Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani stated there had been machinations during the vote count. Even the OSCE notes the bias in the American TV channels’ coverage of the US election.

Disproof

The story is part of an emerging pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative seeking to delegitimise the conduct and results of the 2020 US presidential election.

The OSCE report referred to in the segment noted that President Trump had issued warnings of large-scale falsification "without presenting any substantial evidence of systematic malfeasance and contradicting election officials at all levels" (p. 3), and that "[i]n contrast to these allegations, national security agencies issued statements attempting to reassure citizens about the integrity of the election process" (p. 11).

Nor does the OSCE charge US broadcast media outlets with "bias." The "Media" section of the report states that "freedom of expression was respected with a wide range of election-related information available, thus enabling voters to make an informed choice" (p. 15). What the OSCE does say in its assessment of US election coverage is that "[t]he cable networks," i.e. the liberal-leaning MSNBC and the conservative-leaning Fox News, both subscription-based channels, "were mostly relying on reporting opinions at the expense of balanced coverage" (ibid.). This appraisal does not extend to public broadcasters (NPR, PBS), national networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), newspapers, or online outlets.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 219
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/11/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US
  • Keywords: US Presidential Election 2020, Mainstream media, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Media, Elections
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During January 13th events in Vilnius, Soviet soldiers did not kill any people

In 2016, Lithuania began the trial over January 13th events in Vilnius. Lithuania assumes that people, who died in the clash at that time, were killed by Soviet soldiers.

Russia argues that during the events in Vilnius, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union and was not an independent state. Respectively, the army carries out official duties according to law. It seeks to ensure public order. Moreover, not one person died due to the actions of Soviet troops.

Disproof

The case contains historical revisionism and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the events of January 13th, 1991.

Lithuania restored independence from the USSR in March 1990. Moscow tried to foil the secession with an economic blockade. When that proved ineffective, Soviet troops still garrisoned in the capital Vilnius attacked its TV broadcast tower and sole TV station, killing 14 civilians. The events of the January 13th, 1991, and crimes committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented. See also BBC reporting from 1991.

US struck by its own technologies of colour revolutions during presidential elections

The presidential elections 2020 in the US have some specific attributes. These are the first elections where the US colour revolution technologies have returned back home. Now the people who exported colour revolutions to the World are suffering from them.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. Kremlin-backed propaganda frequently claims that popular unrest in some countries (Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus) are specific political techniques which the US uses in former Soviet states. This narrative traditionally stresses that colour revolutions are directed against Russia and Russian influence in the post-Soviet area.

This article is portraying the events of the past few days in the US as "the first colour revolution returned back home”. The claim is a manipulative one linked to a strong pro-Trump bias in Russian state media.

New American President will use Poland for destabilisation of the post-Soviet countries

The most important issues for the future of Poland under the rule of the new American President are easy to define. They include the following: increase of the US military presence in Poland in order to prepare for a potential confrontation with Russia; continuation of monopolisation of the Polish gas market by American companies; implementation of business agreements clearly beneficial to Washington (such as the construction of a nuclear power plant in Poland); pushing the Chinese telecommunication companies out of Poland; use of Poland for the destabilisation of the situation in the post-Soviet countries; realisation of next expensive military contracts.

Disproof

This message is a mix of the most popular disinformation narratives about US-Polish relations. It promotes the idea that the USA uses Poland as a “puppet-state” in order to achieve its economic and international goals.

The claim that the US authorities use Poland in order to destabilise the post-Soviet countries is a conspiracy theory. The import of the American LNG to Poland is aimed at de-monopolisation of the Polish energy market, making it less dependent on the Russian gas supplies.