Disinfo: The West turns Ukraine into a staging ground for an attack on Russia

Summary

Already at least two countries that are members of NATO have declared their readiness to deploy their military bases on the territory of Ukraine. The main task is to get as close to Russia as possible.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and encircled Russia.

There is no evidence that Ukraine will be used by any NATO country as a ground against Russia.

So far, no country has expressed its willingness to deploy a military base in Ukraine. Speculations over this started after joint Ukraine-UK military exercises this year. At the moment, Ukraine and the UK are planning to cooperate in the development of the Ukrainian sea fleet. The UK also expressed its willingness to help in the modernisation of Ukrainian naval infrastructure. Also, the US Armed Forces provide assistance in improving naval infrastructure in Mykolaiv oblast.

In general, deploying foreign bases on Ukrainian territory is prohibited by the Consitution of Ukraine. However, they may be deployed on a basis of a bilateral treaty.

NATO, its member countries, and Ukraine conduct regular military exercises and implement a range of non-military projects aimed at increasing operability of the armed forces and effectiveness of the civilian authorities. All military exercises on the territory of Ukraine are regulated by a law.

See similar disinformation cases like claims that Ukraine is under obvious external control, that Ukraine is stirring up revolutions in Belarus and Russia under the control of Rand corporation, that NATO troops' presence in Ukraine is illegal, that Ukraine has lost its economic and military independence, or that Ukraine is being prepared for a  full-scale war with Russia.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, UK, Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, NATO, Ukrainian statehood

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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Russian secret services have never been involved in cyber-attacks

Russian secret services have never been involved in cyber-attacks. These claims are just another example of Russophobia.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying any involvement of the Russian government in hacker attacks and cyber-crime. This narrative considers accusations of Russian cyber-operations against Western targets baseless, absurd, motivated by Russophobia, or meant to distract the attention of Western public opinion from real problems.

On October 19 2020 the US Justice Department indicted six GRU officers working for Unit 74455. According to the Justice Department, the Unit, dubbed in the media as “Sandworm”, is responsible for at least one billion dollars in damages. The indictment further concedes that the group “deployed destructive malware and took other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia” against the governments of Ukraine and Georgia, the Novichok poisoning investigations, the 2017 French elections and 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Following US orders, Germany disguised Navalny’s low blood sugar as action of a “nerve agent”

In cahoots with France, Germany disguised the low blood sugar levels of Alexei Navalny as the action of a “nerve agent”, dragging the whole EU in their crusade. The sanctions against Russia are masterminded by the US, which can only lead to conclude that Brussels closely follows every order from Washington. In this way, Germany has some kind of Stockholm syndrome towards the US, because every blow that Washington launches against the Nord Stream 2 is a direct hit to the economy and energy security of Germany.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The claim that Navalny suffered “low blood sugar levels” is false, since the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against the Russian dissident has been established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. This is merged with a recurrent disinformation narrative portraying the EU as a puppet of the US.

The campaign is following the same playbook as the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that it is the US, and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria.

The Guardian exposes how US Democrats exploited irregularities in mail-in voting

Millions of mail-in ballots didn’t reach US citizens, which gave the Democrats some space for their machinations, according to statistics by The Guardian. Mail-in voting, started by the Democratic Party, is already plagued with problems, since around 60 percent of citizens in 9 competitive states didn’t receive their ballots. The problem is not unexpected. The community of experts warned repeatedly that the US electoral system is not ready for such a drastic transition to mail-in voting. In this context, even the OSCE challenges the legitimacy of the election.

Disproof

This is a complete distortion of an article published in The Guardian in cooperation with ProPublica, tracking mail-in ballots in US swing states. Though the original article gives some data about the difficulties experienced by some citizens, such as figures of vote rejection, it never states that “mail-in voting is already plagued with problems”. The figure that 60 percent of citizens in 9 states didn’t receive their ballots is completely fabricated. Also, the claims that mail-in voting was started by the Democratic Party is false: a rudimentary version of the system was already in place as early as the American Civil War. There is no evidence backing the affirmation that this system gave the Democrats some space for machination. The claim that the OSCE challenges the legitimacy of the US 2020 election is blatantly false.

Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introducing a distorted message as if it was part of the original article, in this case to promote a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation against the US Democratic Party and its presidential candidate Joe Biden, part of what US authorities, including FBI director Christopher Wray and the Department of Homeland Security, consider a wider campaign of interference in the 2020 election.