Disinfo: The West cannot cope with freedom of opinion and imposes censorship

Summary

The West cannot cope with freedom of opinion and imposes censorship.

Unfortunately, this is already a customary censorship for the West. They cannot cope with freedom of opinion. On the other hand, Russia remains the world champion when it comes to freedom of opinion: nowhere else is there such a wide range of opinions and statements. We have no fear.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the West imposes censorship and that Russia protects freedom of speech and the press.

The West does not impose censorship. The European Union as a whole, is committed to respecting the freedom and pluralism of the media as well as the right to freedom of expression - which includes the right to receive and impart information without interference by public authority. This commitment is enshrined in Article 11 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights.

According to Reporters Without Borders, the freest countries in the world in terms of press freedom are predominantly United States, Canada and European countries, including Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, etc. Russia takes 149th place out of 180 countries, as of the 2020 World Press Freedom Index.

Reporters Without Borders writes in its report on Russia's media landscape:

"What with draconian laws, website blocking and Internet cuts, the pressure on independent media has grown steadily since the big anti-government protests in 2011 and 2012. Leading independent news outlets have either been brought under control or throttled out of existence. As TV channels continue to inundate viewers with propaganda, the climate has become very oppressive for those who question the new patriotic and neo-conservative discourse, or just try to maintain quality journalism. (...) Murders and physical attacks against journalists continue to go unpunished – even if campaigns can achieve victories in the face of absurd accusations by the authorities, as in the case of Ivan Golunov, an investigative journalist released in June 2019 after being arrested on a trumped-up drug trafficking charge",

According to Freedom House, all western European and north American countries are "free" with a rating over 90 out of 100 on the index. All EU countries have a score of 70 or higher.

On the contrary, Russia is not the world champion when it comes to freedom of opinion. With the index score 20 out of 100 Russian Global Freedom Status is 'not free'.

See more similar disinfo narratives alleging that Western governments impose censorship and silence dissidents and that journalism is free in Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: EU, Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Censorship, Anti-Russian, Freedom of speech, Media, Dmitry Kiselyov, The West

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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USA admits that they support strikes in Belarus

Stephen Biegun, US Undersecretary of State, has announced that the US supports the strikes and protests in Belarus and asks Russia not to interfere. The US State Department says it is not meddling, not supporting anyone, and at the same time, it says it supports the strikes and protests, and Russia must stay out of it. Shouldn’t Russia, too, learn how to do things this way?

Disproof

This is a deliberate misinterpretation of US Undersecretary of State Stephen Biegun's words, and a a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative related to Belarus.

The US diplomat did not speak about supporting the protesters - he condemned the violence against Belarusians by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. The US Undersecretary of State has called for the immediate release of all political prisoners, as well as illegally detained citizens. The diplomat warned that Russia should not "support such a regime that uses violence against civilians.

NATO tries to impose its will on independent states through murder or war

Georgian Prime Minister Georgy Gakhiria described “Noble Partner 2020” exercises as a “guarantee of peace”. According to him, the exercises are not directed against any countries, they solve global problems and “contribute to maintaining a stable and secure environment in the Black Sea region.” Despite the beautiful words, everyone understands very well what the real motives of NATO are.

NATO tries to impose its will on independent states, moreover, it does so through murder or war. That is why there is a possibility that the alliance will try to advance its “democracy and peace” in Russia through the Caucasus.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia particularly in the Caucasus.

The claim came after the launch of Noble Partner 2020 and appearance of NATO military personnel and technique in Georgia.

Navalny poisoning: A massive disinformation campaign against Russia 

Groundless attacks on Russia continue. A massive disinformation campaign has been launched. This clearly indicates that its initiators’ main task is not taking care of Alexei Navalny’s health and finding out the true reasons for his hospitalisation, but mobilising sanctions sentiments.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, portraying Western governments and institutions as inherently Russophobic and trying to harm Russia.

A prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell il during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalised in Omsk, at the request of his family he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin.