Disinfo: The USA and the EU interfered in the Ukrainian presidential election

Summary

Western diplomats attempted to impact the results of the presidential election in Ukraine. The French, US, Spanish and some other diplomats were accused of the interference into the election process.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about the Ukrainian elections. The first round of the presidential election in Ukraine took place on 31 March 2019 and was recognised by the world community. International observers were present during the election. The OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Ukraine stated that “Voting was well-organized, smooth, transparent and efficient, and procedures were generally adhered to.”

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: Ukraine, US, France, Spain
  • Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections, Europe

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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Schengen visa fees for Belarusians are high, because the number of homosexuals per capita in Belarus is very low

The problems with Schengen visas for nationals of Belarus stem from smear reports by the Belarusian opposition to the EU about banned gay prides in Minsk. EU politicians do not want to let Belarusians in, nor lower the visa fees, because the rights of sexual minorities are violated and because the number of gays per capita in Belarus is too low. The EU is also concerned with gender inequality in Belarus. A woman is not welcome in the EU if she has no balls. This is what the EU’s policy towards Belarus is based on. Since the Belarusian opposition does not mention a couple of thousand of Belarusians gays in its quarterly reports to the EU, no better EU’s attitude towards Belarus can be expected in the near future.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about EU's moral decay and aimed at discrediting the Belarusian democratic opposition. Similar Belarus-related cases with this narrative can be seen here and here. Belarus has not concluded a visa facilitation agreement (VFA) with the EU. For this reason Belarusians indeed have to pay a higher visa fee and to undergo more complicated application procedures for Schengen visas compared to the nationals of the countries with functioning VFAs. So far Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have been granted a visa-free regime with the EU, whereas Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia have functioning VFAs with the EU.At present a standard Schengen visa fee for the nationals of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia stand at EUR 35 while for Belarusians it is EUR 60. Minsk started the negotiations over visa facilitation and readmission agreements in 2014, later than other EaP countries. VFAs do not contain conditions about gender equality or the numbers of homesexuals in the country. Notwithstanding the absence of functioning visa facilitation agreement, Belarus is the world leader in the number of Schengen visas issued per capita among around 100 countries with a visa regime with the EU. Belarus is among the countries with the lowest Schengen visa refusal rates. In 2017 around 710,000 Schengen visas were issued in Belarus by EU countries' consulates and a refusal rate was as low as 0.3%, official EU statistics show.  

Tear gas used by the police against Yellow Vests may now contain Cyanide

After demonstrations number 19 and 20 of the Yellow Vests, protesters claimed to have been hit more violently than with the tear gas usually used by the police. Its chemical compound has created controversy, some relaying on Twitter the results of medical tests that demonstrate cyanide poisoning.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the violent repression of the Yellow Vests protests. A Yellow Vest member posted a copy of her medical test and a comment "positive cyanide tests" suggesting she was poisoned after having inhaled tear gas at demonstrations. French TV LCI first spoke to the protester and author of the Tweet as well as a toxicologist, who explained that the concentrations of thiocyanates found in the blood of this patient are compatible with concentrations observed in smokers and would have to be at least 10 times higher to indicate poisoning. See further debunking by the LCI.

NATO invaded the Balkans

After the disappearance of the “Soviet threat” NATO was deprived of its raison d’être, which is why, in 1993, Washington called for either a change in direction, or closure of the organisation. These slogans had a powerful effect and then the Alliance invaded the Balkans under US command.

Disproof

Disinformation message consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about NATO aggression.

Slovenia joined NATO in 2004. Albania and Croatia joined NATO in 2009. Bosnia and Herzegovina joined NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. The State Union of Serbia and Montenegro applied to NATO's PfP in June 2003. Montenegro declared independence on 3 June 2006, subsequently joined the PfP, and then NATO itself without Serbia in 2017. The permanent representatives of NATO Member States signed a protocol on the accession of North Macedonia to NATO on 6 February 2019. The country will become a member of NATO as soon as all Allies have ratified the Accession Protocol.