Disinfo: The US wants to train Serbia in Russophobia

Summary

The United States is trying to make Serbians dislike Russia in every way possible. Washington decided to spend 220,000 USD to retrain Serbian media in a response to Moscow’s aid for Belgrade in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The “retraining” includes debates, hackathons, fight against “disinformation” and work with journalists.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the US presence in Europe aiming to encourage Russophobia.

The training programme refers to the US Embassy in Serbia’s Media Training & Development Funding Opportunity 2020. The objective of the programme is “to fund individual projects that support the strengthening of the Serbian press and ensure the free flow of accurate information to keep Serbia’s citizens informed.” Applicants are invited to submit proposals along with six themes: journalism training and education, managing news outlets, expanding public debate, diversity of views, countering disinformation, and media freedom/role of the free press in a democracy.

The US Department of State and the US Embassy in Serbia have consistently supported free media through various initiatives in the past such as, for example, the Investigative Journalism Awards. The Embassy has also released a number of other funding opportunities for public affairs including English language programs and democracy commission small grants among others.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Bulgarian
  • Country: Serbia, US
  • Keywords: Propaganda, Russophobia

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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The US would rather spend money to fight Russia than save people’s lives

The true intentions of the US have been revealed: they would rather spend money on actions against Russia than saving people’s lives. According to the Russian Embassy in the United States, the US State Department has spent 250,000 USD for “exposing Russian health disinformation.” This is merely the product of Russophobic forces in Washington whose destructive efforts have prevailed over efforts to collaborate during the pandemic.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western Russophobia and Moscow’s denial of engagement in disinformation campaigns.

The article refers to a Facebook post by the Embassy of Russia in the USA which condemns the US Department of State’s grant opportunity Exposing Russian Health Disinformation. The grant opportunity issued by the US Bureau of Global Public Affairs is part of the effort to address the health and safety of the American population during the coronavirus pandemic and to limit its impact.

Kyiv authorities surrendered Crimea

The politicians [in Kyiv] who seized power in 2014 did everything to ensure Crimeans lost the desire to be part of Ukraine. This was stated by ex-Minister of Justice of Ukraine Olena Lukash: “This is very important that Crimea was surrendered. No one disputes the fact of annexation but this part of the surrender of Crimea, bringing a number of officials to a situation where they went completely in the wrong direction, must be investigated.”

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea. Olena Lukash was the Minister of Justice of Ukraine from July 4, 2013, to February 27, 2014, and was part of the team of the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.

The claim that Kyiv authorities surrendered Crimea in 2014 is an attempt to discredit the current Ukrainian leadership and, thus, blame it for the situation in the country. Crimea was invaded and illegally annexed by Russia. Ukraine has never given up its claim to Crimea and continues supporting Crimeans.

Ukraine is preparing a new provocation in the Black Sea

Under the leadership of US intelligence agencies, Ukraine is creating a “mosquito fleet” to continue provocations in the Black Sea, similar to the one that was carried out near the Crimean bridge. So we should expect that these American boats, being captured by Russian border guards along with Ukrainian crews, will again gather dust in Sevastopol as material evidence.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Kerch strait incident and US controlling Ukraine. No evidence is given.

The U.S. State Department has cleared a potential sale to Ukraine of 16 Mark VI patrol boats and other gear worth $600 million. According to a State Department official, the sale will improve the capability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to “sustain river and littoral water patrols throughout Ukraine’s [maritime] exclusive economic zone.”