Disinfo: The main activity of the Latvian state is the trade of Russophobia

Summary

Latvian sprat companies struggle because of the Russian counter-sanctions. Even the Latvian state is not able to help them. In fact, the Latvian state’s main activity is the trade of Russophobia.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Russophobia in the Baltic States and, in particular, in Latvia. See similar cases here. Such disinformation narratives are often combined with criticism on the sanctions against Russia which followed the annexation of Crimea and conflict in Eastern Ukraine and attempts to prove that EU countries suffer more from the sanctions imposed by Russia in return, as in this case. Most research support the view that sanctions, imposed on Russia by the US and EU following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, were an effective tool. The Russian economy has been performing worse under sanctions. In 2014, Russian GDP growth was as low as 0.7%. As proved by World Bank data, it decreased by 2,3% in 2015 and had a modest revival afterwards with 0.3%, 1.6% and 2.3% of growth during 2016-2018. In contrast, during the same period, the EU's economy did not experience recession and had an annual GDP growth of between 1.8% and 2.5%. Latvia’s full-year GDP growth in 2019 is forecast to slow to 3.0% according to the European Economic Forecast of Summer 2019 while the Russian economy has forecast growth of 1.2% in 2019, according to the World Bank in its Russia Economic Report. See an earlier disinformation case alleging that the EU's sanctions against Russia were introduced to prevent the development of the Eurasian Economic Union

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 167
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/10/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Latvia
  • Keywords: Economic difficulties, Sanctions, Russophobia, Baltic states
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Wealthy gays from around the world gathered at a fair in Brussels to "buy children"

Gays from the whole world have convened in Brussels to attend a bazaar for “livestock”: for buying children. The customers can select an “item” according to its parameters: size, colour of eyes and hair. If there’s money, a child will be up for sale.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation about the moral decay and degradation of the West, with unfounded claims on children being for sale. Russian and other media are mentioning "Men Having Babies" - an annual American conference for gay men looking for a surrogate mother to have a child. The event was held for the fifth time in Brussels on 21 and 22 September, despite protests against the organisation.

The conference hosted 24 stands from private clinics and services from the United States and Canada and invited people from all over Europe to the event in Belgium.

White Helmets faked the 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack

RT was granted exclusive access to an underground fortress in Khan Sheikhoun, a former terrorist stronghold. According to the Syrian Army, the underground complex doubled as a film set which the White Helmets used to record footage of a fake chemical attack in 2017. Back then, blame for the incident, which has never been definitively settled, was pinned on Damascus, and the White Helmet videos became a pretext for a missile strike on Syria by the US and its allies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives aiming to discredit the White Helmets and claiming that the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack was staged by Western actors in order to justify military action against the Assad regime. The OPCW’s Fact Finding Mission confirmed that people in Khan Shaykhun were exposed to sarin, a chemical weapon, on 4 April 2017. “The OPCW FFM has confirmed the use of sarin, a nerve agent, during the 4 April incident in Khan Shaykhun in Syria,” mentioned its Director-General in a report published on June 30, 2017. The UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for the attack in Khan Shaykhun. On April 10 2018, Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. In June, the OPCW members granted it power to assign blame for chemical attacks. The United Nations Human Rights Council blamed the Syrian government forces for the attack. “Government forces continued to deliberately target civilians, including through the use of chemical weapons against civilians in opposition-held areas. As part of an aerial campaign in northern Hama and southern Idlib, on 4 April the Syrian air force used sarin in Khan Shaykhun, killing over 80 people, most of whom were women and children,” says the report. Read more about chemical attacks in Syria here and here.

Russia didn't hold nuclear war exercise against Sweden

Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of NATO, scared the world with “information” that Russia held an exercise where troops trained for nuclear war with Sweden in 2013.

Disproof

The Russians actually did train attacks against Sweden: two heavy Tu-22M3 bombers with four jet fighter escorts were simulating attacks against Stockholm. The incident caused controversy in Sweden at the time because the Swedish military was caught unprepared and had to rely on Danish airforce jets, operating as part of a NATO’s Baltic air policing mission, to respond and follow the Russian aircraft.