Disinfo: The Kremlin is not aware of any organised Russian groups in Libya

Summary

The Russian army is not participating in the operation in Libya, and the Kremlin is not aware of the existence of Russian organised groups.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative denying presence of any Russian organised groups in Libya. This disinformation claim was not counterbalanced or critically challenged in the article.

The presence of Russian fighters of the Wagner Group is an established fact and has been confirmed not only by the Government of National Accord based in Tripoli but also by the USthe UKthe United Nations report which was referenced by media, and the independent Russian outlet Meduza. An internal source in Wagner confirmed to Reuters that the group started recruiting Syrian fighters and sending them to Libya along with Russian private military contractors in 2019, a process that accelerated in the spring of 2020. Additionally, in May 26, 2020, the US Command for Africa (AFRICOM) reported the presence of Russian warplanes in Libya, confirmed by satellite images (see here and here).

See similar cases that the presence of Russian mercenaries in Libya is just a rumour and that Russia was never involved in Libya.

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Eastern Partnership – an instrument of energy colonialism

Real priority goals of the Eastern Partnership are:

-expansion of the political and economic influence of the West in the post-Soviet space and the simultaneous narrowing of Russian influence;
-expulsion of Russia from the Caucasus and the final consolidation of the separation of the post-Soviet republics from it;
-reorientation of the post-Soviet republics towards Poland, the EU and NATO and the simultaneous “erosion” and creation of a counterbalance to the CIS and the CSTO;
-integration of the regional energy sector, infrastructure and markets of the post-Soviet republics with the EU and energy transit bypassing Russia (from the southern, Caucasian-Caspian direction).

In exchange for the West’s control over the energy transit sphere and infrastructure, post-Soviet limitrophes are offered a “special status” of relations with the EU and the ability to beg for loans from it.

In fact the five priorities of Eastern Partnership after 2020 are an economical instrument of energy colonialism, turning the post-Soviet space into a resource appendage of the West, pushing Russia into North-East of Eurasia and creating an energy “cordon sanitaire” along the border of Russia.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about Eastern Partnership accusing the EU of separating Russia from its neighbours. Message appeared after EU and Eastern Partnership leaders meeting in June 2020.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Read more about the Eastern Partnership and its priorities here.

The expansion of NATO to the East is military aggression

The essence of the ongoing expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance to the east is a kind of military aggression. Sea Breeze 2020 NATO exercise in the Black Sea is powder keg games. NATO activities in the Black Sea and the Sea Breeze exercises are creating an explosive political-military situation, contributing to the militarisation of the Black Sea states and weakening regional security.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about aggressive NATO and encircled Russia.

NATO enlargement means that NATO's door remains open to any European country in a position to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. 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.

Georgian citizen wanted to get bats from South Ossetia for the Lugar Lab

Georgian citizen who was detained by the South Ossetian border guard has admitted that he wanted to get bats from South Ossetia for the Lugar laboratory. Lugar laboratory is a real threat to the life and health not only for citizens of South Ossetia and the population of Georgia, but it also carries a danger to countries of the entire Caucasus region. A lot has been written about the experiments and developments of this laboratory, including by the well-known Georgian general Igor Giorgadze who revealed this problem in great detail and who cannot be suspected of bias. There are special vehicles of a certain purpose near the borders of South Ossetia that could be involved in collecting biological material from citizens of South Ossetia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Lugar Lab. The claim contains multiple disinformation narratives.

First of all, the director of NCDC denied the allegations that detained Georgian citizen was collecting bats for the Lugar lab. As bats transmit various diseases, collecting bats for research purposes and returning them to their habitat has its security protocol. Earlier, Bulgarian journalist also accused the Lugar lab of conducting experiments on bats. Myth Detector reached out the Lab's researcher, who explained that the diseases transmitted from animals to humans are always studied using this method, e.i collecting animals. Research on bats is conducted worldwide, including in Russia.