Disinfo: The US has a plan to limit Russia’s economy to the export of raw materials

Summary

The US has a plan to limit Russia’s economy to the export of raw materials.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the article’s claim, which is used in the context of arguing for a closer relationship between Russia and China. The article amplifies claims made here. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western belligerence towards Russia and Western plans to destabilise Russia and/or undermine its economy. Russia’s economy remains heavily reliant on exports of oil and gas, which account for 57% of total exports and about 45% of federal government revenues. A paper published back in 2004 showed how the “Dutch Disease” ( the impact of increased revenues from natural resources – in Russia's case oil and gas – on the real foreign exchange rate resulting in a decline in manufactured goods exports) affected the Russian economy since the start of the transition in the early 1990s. In the last decade, the situation has not improved as clearly shown by recent data. The Russian economy remains dominated by oil, gas and mining. The lack of diversification of the Russian economy is not the result of a US or Western conspiracy but is due to the Russian élite’s failure to undertake necessary economic reforms. Serious economic reform in Russia is hindered by an autocracy that is able to enjoy the benefits of monopoly and does not allow for more control over special-interest groups, including rich and powerful Russian oligarchs. Increased dependency on energy exports has worsened governance in many post-Communist states, according to some scholarly studies published by the World Bank. Read a similar case claiming that the US, in order to prevent close Europe-Russia economic cooperation, has created and spread a false image about an “aggressive” Russia that constitutes a security “threat”.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Oligarchs, gas, economy, Destabilising Russia, Conspiracy theory
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Disinfo: Kyiv hid the primary data of the MH17 crash from the investigation

Kyiv hid the primary data of the MH17 crash from the investigation. Dutch prosecutor said that Ukraine has not provided primary data from radars concerning the Boeing crash in the sky over Donbas in 2014.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the MH17 crash. There is no evidence that Kyiv hid the primary data about the crash of the Malaysian Boeing from the investigation. Dutch prosecutor Thijs Berger did not say that Kyiv was hiding evidence. According to him, the investigation was not able to obtain data because one of the radars was in the territory beyond the control of Kyiv and was turned off, and the second radar under the village of Artemivsk was damaged during the fighting. This was also confirmed by other Russian media. The special team known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was established to conduct the criminal inquiry into the downing of flight MH17. The JIT comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. After years of painstaking investigation, the JIT has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a BUK-TELAR missile of the 9M38 series, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by Russian armed formations. The BUK-TELAR missile was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after being used to shoot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The JIT concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. On the basis of the JIT investigation, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service is prosecuting three Russians and one Ukrainian for shooting down MH17 and murdering all 298 persons on board: Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko. The first session of the court proceedings started on the 9th of March in the Hague. The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the BUK installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable.

Disinfo: The US protests are orchestrated by the deep state since they cannot organize color revolutions in other countries

The American “deep state”, which Trump often talks about, is the world of American intelligence services and law enforcement agencies, and largely works against Trump. They know how to arrange such protests, especially since they are now almost unemployed due to the epidemic, and they cannot move around the world and organise colour revolutions in other countries. Yet they are able to do so, to a large extent, in their country. On the other hand, the security services themselves can control this process and its scope, and of course, crush it.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about how US protests are orchestrated like the colour revolutions. The ongoing civil unrest across the United States erupted after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis. The responsible police officer has been charged with third-degree murder, and he and three other attending officers have been fired. It is a conspiracy theory to claim that the protests are "directed" by the so-called deep state, while implying that the recent protests in the US are orchestrated in the same way as colour revolutions around the world. This narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, especially the former Soviet republics, as Western-funded "colour revolutions" See related examples of disinformation claims alleging that the US organizes colour revolutions around the world, and that it instigates wars and revolutions to flood Europe with refugees. See also similar cases that riots in the US take place according to the colour revolution manuals of US democrats and Obama.

Disinfo: The MH17 case is politically motivated

The results of the investigation of the Almaz-Antey firm are not taken into account by MH17 investigators. The firm showed in 2015 that 9M38M1 rockets cause damage to airplanes on impact that were not present on the Malaysian Boeing that was shot down over Eastern Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The public hearing on the incident started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. Both claims by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey were debunked back in 2015 by Bellingcat. The article fails to mention that the firm is the manufacturer of the Buk air defence system that downed MH17, according to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The JIT has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. For similar cases, see here and here. For our overview and analysis of disinformation narratives around the downing of MH17, click here.