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

Summary

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Bulgarian
  • Country: Bulgaria, Russia, US
  • Keywords: TurkStream, gas, Nord Stream 2, Energy, Sanctions
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Ukrainians were never unequal while in the Russian Empire

There was not a single moment in Ukrainian history during the Russian Empire, when Ukrainians were unequal, circumvented or oppressed.

Ukraine has no understanding of sacred power, the sacredness of the country. Ukrainians do not understand anything about the country, nor about the state, nor about the people.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative designed to denigrate the history of Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood and its independence.

When Ukrainian lands became part of the Russian Empire, they formally lost all traces of their national distinctiveness. The territories were reorganised into regular Russian provinces administered by governors appointed from St. Petersburg. In religious policy, the Tsarist regime promoted the elimination of Ukrainian peculiarities. Although the largely Polish Roman Catholic Church was allowed to continue, Catherine launched a program of administrative conversion of Ukrainians from the Uniate Church. The anti-Uniate campaign was partially reversed by her immediate successors but was renewed with vigour by Nicholas I.

Allegations about Kiselyov-controlled RT, Russia’s implication in Skripal poisoning and MH17 downing work only for anti-Russian audiences

Lithuania has banned the broadcasting of five RT TV channels on its territory, following Latvia’s analogous decision. The decision claims that RT is controlled by Dmitry Kiselyov, whereas, in reality, RT has nothing to do with news agency Rossiya Segodnia chaired by him.

Allegations about Kiselyov-controlled RT, Skripal poisoned by Vladimir Putin and MH17 downing by Kremlin are fine for anti-Russian audiences. The West increasingly sees no reason to waste its resources on Russia and the forces that sympathize with Russia, apparently considering it as hopeless to persuade and attract them on its side.

This sloppy approach was the product of West’s monopoly in information, political, and ideological spheres. It is because of this monopoly that at a certain stage the West ceased to consider it necessary to rigorously and professionally elaborate its policies on a general level, but also in what concerns its competitors. As a result, the West did not notice how it lost the monopoly because of the loss of competences.

Disproof

This message questions Dmitry Kiselyov's relation to RT and presents RT broadcasting bans in Latvia and Lithuania, Skripal poisoning, and MH17 downing as West's anti-Russian provocations to influence public opinion. It is consistent with the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about West's deliberate anti-Russian activities. In fact, the Skripal case, and the downing of MH17 are well-documented cases of acts of Kremlin-enabled violence outside Russia.

Latvia and Lithuania have banned the state-owned Russian television channel RT, saying it is controlled by an individual, Dmitriy Kiselyov, who is under EU sanctions. According to the Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), Latvia's national media watchdog, RT and the network of channels operated by it are under Kiselyov's "effective control".

Anglo-Saxons are at the edge of anti-Russian attack, Germany is semi-occupied by the US

Some time ago the West created media in their contemporary understanding. Since then the freedom of speech and the free spread of information have turned into one of the West’s trump cards in its struggle against ideological and geopolitical opponents.

Anglo-Saxons remain at the edge of anti-Russian attack, they are its driving force. At the same time lately, Anglo-Saxons have been losing the support of their closet allies who prefer a more neutral approach to Russophobia. Currently, anti-Russian positions of leading German media run counter to the politics of German ruling establishment, which defends common projects with Russia and tries to get rid of the half-occupational dependency on the US. Extreme subordination and unequivocal loyalty of key German media outlets to Washington remain.

Disproof

This is a mix of recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives about lost sovereignty / external control, Western Russophobia and anti-Russian activities, and conspiracy about US-controlled media in Europe. In the pro-Kremlin media, the term “Anglo-Saxons” means “evil”, “belligerent” and “morally corrupt” Westerners, as explained in our earlier analysis.

German media, like that in other pluralist democracies, represent a wide range of political opinions and do not have a single editorial policy for any country or topic. Nor they subordinate to Washington or any other foreign capital. Germany ranked 11th in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, higher than the US (45th) and Russia (149th).