Disinfo: The US interfered in Russia's internal affairs through protest rallies

Summary

United States Ambassador Sullivan was called to Smolensk Square [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia] today. The diplomat was handed a decisive note of protest over interference in the internal affairs of our country. The United States not only announced the time and places of the rallies in our Russian cities, but also invented a procession in Moscow that would move towards the Kremlin.

Disproof

Distorted statement. Regarding the protest rallies, organised by local opposition activists, the US Embassy in Russia published the following message:

"Media sources indicate that on Saturday, January 23, demonstrations are being planned throughout Russia in support of an opposition activist. These demonstrations are likely to be unauthorized. Given the likely substantial police presence and possible dispersal of demonstrators into other areas of the cities, U.S. citizens should avoid these demonstrations and any demonstration-related activities".

This message, dedicated to the safety of US citizens, written in English language, could not contribute to any of the protest rallies. Appeals for people to come out and march were spread by the Russian opposition, including to take the itinerary towards the Kremlin (Manezhnaya square). In another reports, pro-Kremlin media scornfully call the protesters "Tik-Tokers" and "Zoomers" showing their expertise for particular social media accounts sharing appeals to protest. In this context, speaking about the US Embassy, pro-Kremlin media seem to be perfectly aware of what they are doing - using the method of "always blaming the West for the internal problems of Russia".

See other disinformation cases on Russian protests 2021.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Civil Society, Alexei Navalny, Protest, Colour revolutions
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Foreign special services are behind demonstrations in Russia

The actions in Russia were held with the assistance of foreign special services. State Duma’s commission for the protection of state sovereignty has credible data to confirm these statements.

Disproof

An unfounded claim presented without evidence. This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are "colour revolutions" directed and funded by Western intelligence services or other Western actors in order to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change. And the West is always an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups and colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. This narrative has been applied, among others, to the Arab Spring revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia, Venezuela, Georgia, and Belarus.

The 2021 Russian protests began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 3,300 people were arrested in protests spanning nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia.

Russia’s superiority forces western spies to act now

“Navalny’s supporters”, or, to put it simply, the henchmen of the US Democratic Party, will continue to organise protests up to the parliamentary elections in September 2021. After the elections they will declare that the “election was stolen” and summon the mutinists for a decisive attack.

Why is this attack happening in 2021, why did they not prepare it earlier or later? Why did the western special forces decide to go ahead on operation “Navalny” last summer and only now give order on a killing blow on the Russian state? The answer is obvious: in 2020 Russia demonstrated its superiority compared to the united West.

Disproof

A combination of several disinformation tropes, employed by pro-Kremlin outlets: the concept of”Russian superiority”, of “Western aggression” and a recurrent narrative about expressions of popular discontent as results of foreign involvement.

Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

NATO secret services made a blunder in their script for Navalny

Judging by all, it was there [in a German mountain resort] that Navalny was given a text of supposedly “his” investigation into supposedly “Putin’s” palace. In the beginning the text was clearly written in English and translated into Russian in such inept manner, that it makes one laugh out loud. NATO secret services made a blunder here. For example a word “mudroom”, which translated from English simply means “entryway”, Navalny translated as “room for mud”. There are a lot of strange things in the material released.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The disinformation message refers to investigation published by Alexei Navalny into the wealth of Vladimir Putin. The insight's of Navalny's investigation were widely shared by the international media.