Disinfo: The West supports the unofficial Russian opposition

Summary

The West gave widespread support to Russia's unofficial opposition and turned a blind eye to its domestic political problems. Unfortunately, many European Union countries do not seem to adhere to their principles under pressure from the United States.

Disproof

This claim includes two recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives.

First, the claim that the West is supporting what it describes as the "unofficial" Russian opposition is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are directed and funded by Western intelligence services or other Western actors in order to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change.

This narrative was a reaction to the 2021 Russian protests which began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after opposition leader Alexei Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August 2020 during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 11,000 people who took part in the protests have been detained.

The EU has condemned mass detentions and police brutality during the protests in Russia. Human rights organisations warn about thousands of protesters detained following the protests in Russian cities.

Second is the claim that the US controls the policies of the European Union. All EU countries are independent states whose policies are not regulated externally by any other country. As for the EU itself, it was created by the voluntary initiative of European nations. Its citizens are directly represented in the European Parliament and Member States are represented in the European Council and the Council of the EU. The United States is not part of these institutions. Despite being an important ally to the EU, the US had no role in the creation of the EU and has no say in its decisions.

Similar disinformation narratives claim that European élites obey Washington, that EU member states are subordinate to the US, while the US has long regarded the EU as a kind of protectorate, and that the neo-liberal forces behind Navalny will intensify their attempts to destroy Russia, or that the West is sending Navalny back to Russia to prevent him from becoming irrelevant.

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  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, EU
  • Keywords: Sovereignty, Democracy, US presence in Europe
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US regards Ukraine as tool of containment against Russia

On the grand chessboard, the United States regards Ukraine as a tool of containment against Russia. This is what US President Joe Biden has virtually said. The Paris-Berlin-Moscow-Beijing axis is being created, and the US position in Europe is questioned. The US will be at least striving to return European countries to the situation before 2014 when there was a consensus about imposing sanctions on Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurrent disinformation narrative by the pro-Kremlin media in Ukraine.

Both the European Union and the United States support Ukraine in its war against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern region of Donbas. The US also provides Ukraine with military equipment. All under transparent schemes.

Moldovan doctors await Sputnik V, refusing to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca

Moldovan doctors are waiting for Sputnik V, refusing the Romanian AstraZeneca. Specialists in the field do not trust the Romanian AstraZeneca and are waiting for the Russian Sputnik V to arrive in the republic.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about vaccination, presenting the vaccines approved by WHO as not so efficient as Russian Sputnik V. See here a similar case claiming that Moldovan doctors refuse to be vaccinated, in general, against COVID-19.

The claim comes as two groups of doctors from the Gagauz autonomy of the Republic of Moldova asked the Ministry of Health not to send them AstraZeneca vaccines, donated by Romania, as there are no people willing to be vaccinated. The text quotes the head of the hospital in Ceadir-Lunga with the statement: “Our team agrees to be vaccinated. But they want either Pfizer or Sputnik V.”

Russia already destroyed its chemical stockpile, the US didn’t

The United States assumed the role of a warrior to "prohibit the production" of chemical weapons, despite the fact that Russia had fulfilled its obligations several years ago to get rid of chemical weapons, and the United States, which took upon itself obligations, did not fulfil them, and these chemical weapons are still in its possession and have not been destroyed.

Disproof

A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Russia shut down all its chemical weapons programmes while trying to make it seem as if the US is not committed to destroying its own stockpile.

In September 2017, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) did in fact confirm the full destruction of the 39,967 tonnes of chemical weapons possessed by Russia, but Novichoks were never declared to the OPCW and were not included in the Chemical Weapons Convention until 2019. Russia is a member of OPCW.