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 US, the UK, the 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.

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  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Libya, Russia
  • Keywords: Foreign mercenaries
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Ukrainian nationalists are fighting in Donbas with local residents

Ukrainian nationalists are not fighting the Russian Federation army in Donbas, as Kyiv claims, but with local residents, many of whom are citizens of the Russian Federation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, attempting to portray it as a civil war.

The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but an act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, that has continued since February 2014. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

Galician project in Ukraine raped the whole country

Commenting on the news that Parubiy called on all Ukrainian forces to prevent the Russification of education, the journalist (Yelena Priven) emphasized that since they [authorities] have imposed a rural way of thinking on the country, they feel threatened by the Russian language … The fight against Russian in Ukraine is understandable and logical, and there will be no opposite movement in the foreseeable future. The Galician project in Ukraine, which raped the whole country, was imposed except the Crimea and Donbas. This project is transforming Ukraine into a farm.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukrainian language law and Russophobia. The law "on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language" does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies. Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education, and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement. Similar disinformation cases are here and here.

The United States is stopping Balkan Stream because of the political instability in Bulgaria

The current political instability in Bulgaria is the reason for the sanctions imposed by the US towards all companies involved in the construction of “Balkan Stream”.

Disproof

The sanctions that were declared on 15 July that the US will impose will be directed towards not only Turk Stream (referred by Michael Pompeo as “Balkan Stream”), but also Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. The primary reason for the sanctions by the US is not related to the current political situation in Bulgaria. Rather, the US government views the current energy projects as beneficial only to Russia and the gas pipelines as one of Kremlin's main tools for exploiting and expanding Europe's dependence on Russian energy. Furthermore, as of the release of the article, there are no officially declared Bulgarian companies that are expected to be sanctioned due to the construction of the gas pipeline.