Disinfo: Name of the “Iron Wolf” NATO exercises in Lithuania is a reference to fascism and Adolf Hitler


The “Iron Wolf” was the name of a Lithuanian fascist union, which was established in 1927 under the authoritarian rule of Antanas Smetona. The decision to call the NATO exercises taking place in Lithuania with this name is a provocation – this signal is clearly aimed against Russia. All allusions concerning the “wolf” are a reference to Adolf Hitler, as his headquarters were called Wolfschanze (Wolf’s Lair).


This message is a part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it continuously accuses the Baltic states of their support for the Nazi or Fascist ideology. Any disagreement with the official Kremlin’s view on the history of the Baltic states is automatically labelled by Russia as support for “Nazism”. The Iron Wolf is a mythical character from a medieval legend of the founding of the city of Vilnius. The name of the Iron Wolf holds one of the most important units of the Lithuanian Army - Mechanised Infantry Brigade “Iron Wolf”. A Lithuanian paramilitary organization “Iron Wolf” (“Geležinis Vilkas”) existed in 1927-1934 – it united mainly young army officers. In 1934, the followers of the “Iron Wolf” tried to implement the coup d'état against President Smetona – the coup failed, and the organization was destroyed by the Lithuanian authorities. Thus, this organization stopped to exist very quickly after Hitler came to power in Germany. The claim that “any allusions concerning the “wolf” is a reference to Adolf Hitler as his headquarters were called Wolfschanze (Wolf's Lair)” cannot be taken seriously – it is a common word used all over the world without any alleged references to Hitler. In other words, the name of NATO exercises “Iron Wolf” clearly refers to the well-known legend about the Iron Wolf, a mythical founder of the city of Vilnius (not depending on the grammar form of this name in Lithuanian – “Geležinis Vilkas” or „Geležinio Vilko”). See other cases on the Baltic states – Baltic states are perpetuating the myth of Soviet occupation; Estonian authorities paying tribute to Hitler’s Cross of Liberty; Baltic states benefited from the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.


  • Reported in: Issue 173
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Polish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Lithuania, Baltic states, Russia
  • Keywords: Military exercise, Lithuanian military, Historical revisionism, Anti-Russian, Adolf Hitler, NATO, Nazi/Fascist
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Disinfo: Ukraine is an anti-Russian project of the CIA

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for the first time, directly and openly called modern Ukraine “the American project”. According to Pompeo, the weapons that the United States supplied to Ukraine were intended for the “war with Russia”. Ukraine is an anti-Russian project of the CIA, whereby Ukraine has been assigned the role of weakening, and possibly destructing, Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine, claiming it is under the external control of the US. Conspiracy theory without any evidence. The claims are based on a speech given by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on “The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future,” in Berlin, Germany, on November 8, 2019 in which he answered the following question "How committed is the United States to peace and stability in Ukraine? Without any preconditions?" By the project, he means working on peace and stability in Ukraine as can be seen in the transcript. His exact words were as follows: "Very. Very committed. Yes, yes. It’s a project we have been working on. I remember I was at the Munich Security Conference when I was a member of Congress in Kansas, and I remember pushing the topic, at this time, was whether defensive weapons system would be provided to the Ukrainians. This must have been 2015 or ’16. And I remember, and I remember Germany deciding it was a bad idea and America deciding it was a bad idea, President Obama deciding it wasn’t something he wanted to do. In fact, President Trump has now not once, not twice, but three times come to provide the tools so that the Ukrainian people can protect themselves from Russian aggression in the Donbas. We’re proud of that. We think it makes sense. We think it makes sense for freedom. We think it makes sense for Europe and we think it makes sense for the world and Ukrainian sovereignty. We’re very clear about our position on the invasion of Crimea that happened in the previous administration and how it is we’re going to work to develop a prosperous Ukraine that is less corrupt and capable of moving itself towards the West". Furthermore, Ukraine is a sovereign state. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. The USA recognised Ukraine as an independent state on 25th December 1991. The US's policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous and free Ukraine, more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. See similar disinformation cases here.

Disinfo: Anti-Russian position helped NATO countries temporarily freeze a drift in different directions

A split between western European countries and more recent EU member states occurred right after the EU and NATO expansion. Pro-US eastern European and Baltic states eagerly take part in American projects which heighten tension in relations with Russia, whereas founding EU countries show greater restraint. For a short period of time NATO countries united around anti-Russian position after Ukrainian coup d’etat, but currently, are drifting apart again.


This publication is one of many disinformation cases about the US military presence in Europe. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about aggressive, anti-Russian Western policies and a coup d'etat in Ukraine. It groundlessly alleges that NATO countries are kept together only thanks to consolidation around their anti-Russian positions. There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s violent dispersal of peaceful student protests against his sudden decision to withdraw from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here. Read earlier disinformation cases alleging that the US will easily betray the Baltic states and hand them over to Russia, that the US does not care about the Baltic states and wants Russia to buy them, and that the Pentagon admits that the US will be unable to protect Poland from a Russian invasion.

Disinfo: The United States has not invested in Georgia

In the framework of the US – Georgia strategic partnership, the United States has not implemented any large commercial projects in Georgia, though they could have implemented several of them.


A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the lack of US support and assistance to Georgia. In 2009 the US and Georgia signed a US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, which advances bilateral cooperation on priority areas, such as defence and security; economic, trade, and energy issues; people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Read more about US-Georgia relations. According to the statistical data released by Geostat (1996-2019), the first U.S. investments appeared in 1997 and amounted to USD 96 651.9 thousand. According to the data for 1997, the United States was the largest investor, followed by Australia, the United Kingdom and Austria. In coming years, other counties took the lead by the number of investments. In the second quarter of 2019, the United States came third after Turkey and the Netherlands by the amount of foreign direct investments. See the past disinformation narratives on US investments and assistance here and here. More about the NATO/US military assistance to Georgia can be found here. See examples of US commercial projects in Georgia by Myth Detector.