Disinfo: The EU claims that it owns Black Sea

Summary

The European Union claims that it owns Black Sea. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini warned Russia and Ukraine against building up military power in the Black Sea region.

Disproof

According to the original statement, published on the EEAS website, Federica Mogherini correctly stated that the Black Sea is a European sea: "Let me remind us all that the Black Sea is a European sea, and we do not want to witness yet another military build-up in our immediate region. We will continue to push for the respect of international law and conventions, and to support Ukraine in these challenging circumstances. I am sure that I can count on the support of this [European] Parliament in this work we are doing". See also article on our website. Further debunking by the Insider and StopFake.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 124
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/10/2018
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Black Sea, Federica Mogherini, European Union
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Disinfo: US orchestrated unfair vote in Macedonian parliament on name change

The US orchestrated an “unfair vote” in the Macedonian parliament which approved the country’s name change, despite a failed popular referendum. “The eight votes that the parliament lacked for securing the qualifying majority were received via blackmail, threats and bribes given to the opposition lawmakers… Notably, the US Ambassador [to Macedonia] was in the parliament building up to the end of the session, and this is why there is no doubt that he orchestrated the process”.

Disproof

No evidence given of any US secret operation to orchestrate the vote. The United States has openly and publicly welcomed the "decision by Macedonia’s Parliament to initiate the constitutional changes needed to implement the Prespa Agreement with Greece". [Press statement - https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/10/286799.htm] It has stated it “strongly supports the agreement’s full implementation”. https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/09/286334.htm RT also writes that the "Macedonian parliament greenlighted the name change", which is not the case. The voting on Friday was only the first phase of the procedure to make the necessary amendments to the constitution that will lead to the implementation of the agreement on name issue with Greece. Balkan Insight meanwhile reported that the eight MPs from the opposition bloc who voted in favour were in fact targeted immediately after the vote by hate speech and threats on social networks and in some pro-opposition media. They are now assigned police protection, the FYROM interior minister Oliver Spasovski said. He also said that the police have identified a “group” close to the informal movement which campaigned for a boycott of the ‘name’ referendum which he said has been threatening the lives of MPs and their families.

Disinfo: Sevastopol has always been legally part of Russia

Legally Sevastopol has always been part of Russia. It was a city of central subordination, even when Crimea was transferred – illegally – from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. It is illegal because the decision was made by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the RSFSR, Ukraine and then approved by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, while it should have been approved by the republics’ supreme councils and the USSR Supreme Council. But even during this process, which was essentially illegal, everybody just forgot about Sevastopol, and it was not transferred from the USSR to Ukraine. So technically and legally it has always been part of Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Crimea. Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula, which is part of Ukraine. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014. Further debunking about Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) and USSR by The Insider.

Disinfo: Court ruling in Finland: authoritarian regime repressing people for their opinion

Court ruling against “Kremlin trolls” in Finland: authoritarian regime repressing people for their opinion.

Disproof

Ilja Janitskin - the founder of anti-immigration websites MV-lehti and Uber Uutiset - was found guilty of 16 criminal charges related to his websites and handed a prison sentence of one year and 10 months by Helsinki District Court. The criminal charges included

  • Three counts of aggravated defamation

  • Two counts of aggravated incitement against an ethnic group

  • Three counts of copyright infringement

  • Two counts of breach of confidentiality

  • Two counts of illicit gambling charges

  • Four counts of illicit fundraising charges.

The aggravated defamation charges were related to three complainants. They, according to testimony, had received death threats and offensive messages including ones about their appearance as well as threats of sexual violence, prompted by articles posted on Janitskin's sites. Johan Bäckman received a one year suspended sentence for harassing and defaming Yle journalist Jessikka Aro and also inciting others to defame her. Bäckman had taken aim at Aro for writing about Russian internet trolls trying to influence public discourse in Finland. Source: yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/anti-immigrant_agitator_ilja_janitskin_gets_22-month_jail_sentence/10463931,