DISINFO: The West creating a “belt of instability” around Russia and interfering in its elections
  • Outlet: bgr.news-front.info (archived)*
  • Date of publication: July 27, 2021
  • Article language(s): Bulgarian
  • Reported in: Issue 254
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia, Europe
Encircling Russia election meddling Sovereignty Colour revolutions Anti-Russian

DISINFO: The West creating a “belt of instability” around Russia and interfering in its elections


The West is creating a belt of instability around Russia, interfering in its parliamentary elections, and supporting extremists in Russia. It is making Russia’s closest and most brotherly nations choose between Russia and the West. The West is militarily and economically absorbing territories around Russia.


A mixture of disinformation narratives centered around the supposed encirclement of Russia by the West and Western interference in the internal affairs of Russia and its neighboring countries. These narratives serve to portray the West as essentially attacking Russia, thereby diverting attention away from and justifying the Kremlin’s aggressive foreign policy.

No evidence is presented for the claims that the West is creating a belt of instability around Russia, meddling in its parliamentary elections, supporting extremists in its territory, or coercing or absorbing neighboring countries. Kremlin and pro-Kremlin media invariably misrepresent political opposition in Russia and nearby countries as supposed “colour revolutions” manufactured by Western interference, despite there being no tangible evidence of these accusations. They also continuously misrepresent the affairs of their neighbours as though they are completely under the control of Western states or organisations, as is the case with Ukraine, whose statehood and sovereignty are constantly contested by pro-Kremlin disinformation.

There is no tangible evidence for any sort of “military and economic absorption” by the West of any of the countries neighbouring Russia. Western states and organisations are fully transparent about the relations they have with Russia’s neighbours, including the indirect aid they provide to Ukraine in support of its self-defence. This is in contrast to Russia, which continues to deny its unlawful involvement in the war in Ukraine and has repeatedly interfered in the internal affairs and elections of numerous nearby states, including Ukraine, Estonia, Czechia, Bulgaria and Poland.

Importantly, Russia’s neighbours are independent countries and free to pursue bilateral and/or multilateral relations under international law with any Western state or organisation they wish. Contrary to the claims in the article, there is no evidence that Western states are coercing Russia’s neighbours or forcing them to choose between the West and Russia.

The claim that the West is interfering in Russia’s parliamentary elections is not supported by any evidence. This is a counter-narrative aimed at discrediting reports and statements according to which Russia meddles in the elections of Western countries. Read a debunk of this narrative in our database.

Read similar cases of disinformation in our database claiming that the US and Europe are creating a belt of Russophobia and instability around Russia, that the West is creating a “fire belt” around Russia through protests in Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, that the US turns post-Soviet states into divided nations to use them as cannon fodder against Russia, that the West may seek to destabilise Russia ahead of Duma elections, and that the US is creating a belt of instability around their geopolitical adversary – Russia.


Related disinfo cases


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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