Disinfo: The West makes unsubstantiated accusations against Russia as a pretext for new sanctions

Summary

The usual trend in relations with the West: the latter accuses our country (Russia) of the most amazing crimes, loudly and with no evidence, thereby finding a pretext for new sanctions and further escalation.

Disproof

This is a recurring narrative by pro-Kremlin media claiming that the sanctions on Russia are groundless and illegal. In reality, the sanctions were imposed on Russia for its aggressive policy and violation of international law. The first round of restrictive measures was imposed in March 2014 in the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. More action was taken in the following months, the reason being its support of the pro-Kremlin separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas.

In addition, restrictions were also imposed on transactions with some Russian businessmen and officials. Among those affected by the Western sanctions are head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, Prosecutor-General Igor Krasnov, director of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov and head of the Federal Prison Service Alexander Kalashnikov. The reason is their roles in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as the repression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment.

See related pro-Kremlin disinformation claims, alleging that new EU sanctions on Russia are a "circus" and a "fake story"; that Europe made up a strange story about Navalny poisoning as a pretext for sanctions; that Russia is being sanctioned for its sole existence, that New US sanctions based on false claim, and that the West needs a cause to sanction Russia, if there isn't one, they will invent it.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: West, Sanctions, Anti-Russian
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ECHR's Navalny ruling is an attempt to meddle in Russian affairs

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)’s demand that Moscow immediately release Alexei Navalny is an attempt to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs and exert pressure on Russian courts.

On 2 February, a Moscow court ruled that Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves-Rocher embezzlement case be converted to a real prison term of two years and six months. The claim that Navalny is a victim of repression has already been refuted by the ECHR itself; the latter found no evidence of political persecution in the Yves-Rocher case.

Disproof

The claim is part of an ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign targeting Russian activist Alexei Navalny.

The story grossly misrepresents the ECHR’s interim ruling concerning Navalny’s arrest. The Court is not seeking a reversal of Navalny’s conviction, but merely imploring Russia to respect the defendant’s rights under the Convention. The ECHR press release summarising the above-mentioned ruling reads:

No evidence Russia waged disinformation campaign targeting Western coronavirus vaccines

By accusing Moscow of spreading disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, US propagandists that spread the original ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy are doing it again, stoking fear and hatred and projecting amid a pandemic.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19 and to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The claim that the West is trying to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine is unfounded.

Experts' reports conclude that Russia has perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

The ECHR refuted that Navalny is being persecuted for his political activity

By defending Alexei Navalny, Josep Borrell doesn’t even respect the resolutions of the Court in Strasbourg. The claims that Navalny is persecuted for his political activity were refuted by the European Court of Human Rights, which didn’t find any political intrigue in the case open against him after the denunciation of the company Yves Rocher.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that sentences handed down by Russian courts against Alexei Navalny and his brother on financial charges were “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable”. In a second rulling in 2019, the ECHR determined that Russia had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by placing Navalny under house arrest and said it was "apparent that he had been treated in that way in order to curtail his public activities." Given these precedents, in February 2021 the ECHR demanded that Russia release Navalny.