Disinfo: The West sows animosity towards Russians among Little Russians; Belarus is next target

Summary

Russia and the Russian World, hence Belarus too, face a global challenge. Russian geopolitical opponents wage hybrid wars targeting all-Russian consciousness among Great Russians and Belarusians and attempting to sow animosity among them. Earlier, Western strategists succeeded with a coup d’etat in Ukraine. They managed to sow animosity in the souls of millions of Ukrainians / Little Russians towards Great Russians and now want to do this to Belarus.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy which is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's intentions to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. It also depicts the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup d’état orchestrated by the West and presents wide-spread anti-Russian sentiments among Ukrainians as aggressive Western actions rather than the result of Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

The narrative denies Russian military involvement in Donbas while there is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. The EU has condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine. The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a spontaneous and endogenous reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden withdrawal from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

The publication uses a derogatory term 'Little Russians' to identify Ukrainians, which derives from imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Ukrainians and undermining Ukraine's sovereignty. Belarusians and Ukrainians are not part of Russian people as alleged, Belarus and Ukraine are well-defined nation-states with a long history, which preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West is targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine are three Russian political nations, and that the West's objective is to encircle Russia entirely thanks to the "Anaconda ring" and "Great Turan" doctrines.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 188
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, Anti-Russian, Russian expansionism, Coup, Russian world
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Turkey might be hiding the truth about coronavirus

Turkey might by hiding information about coronavirus cases in the country. It takes just one case and the tourism business in Turkey will be destroyed.

Disproof

No evidence is given to support the claim.

Based on data of Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the spread of the coronavirus in real-time, there has been no coronavirus cases identified in Turkey, as of the 3rd of March, 2020. Read more about the methodology used by the Johns Hopkins University here. 

RT France is a French press group

RT is French press group. Statements that RT French journalists serve a foreign power are libellous.

Disproof

RT France is part of a Russian TV network based in Moscow and funded by the Russian government. 

RT stands for "Russia Today" and is a news TV channel that is available in different languages on the internet. RT France doesn't have a stand-alone website and uses the subdomain "french" (francais.rt.com). The website in the French language was launched from Moscow in 2015. In December 2017, a television was launched in Paris and local journalists were hired. Despite local staff, the French branch is not independent from Moscow. Some programmes are still produced in Russia. Some editorials recorded in Moscow, until recently, were the same in several languages. The Budget comes from the Russian Federal State. It is neither owned, financed or managed by French public interest, therefore there is no ground to pretend RT is a French press group. Moreover, the chief editor, Margarita Simonyan, defines RT's role as a defence ministry in the war of information.