Disinfo: There is no evidence of Russian intelligence activity in Ireland

Summary

According to the Times, teams of Russian (GRU) agents have been dispatched to Ireland to map undersea fiber-optic cables, with a view to “cutting communications in time of conflict.” A damning indictment that sounds suspiciously like a spy flick.

From the 1980s Hollywood premise you would almost believe the Russian agents would hoist a red flag atop one of these cables and dance the Troika along the Irish shore, but apparently they didn’t, leaving the Times without evidence of this supposed Russian meddling.

Disproof

This case is an example of Hahaganda, a common tactic in pro-Kremlin disinformation aimed at discrediting an opponent's claims through sarcasm and ridicule.

The article in the Times is based on an assessment of the Irish security services of an operation that took place in 2019, in which Russia intended to use technology to monitor data exchanges on the underseas cables to give Moscow an insight into internet communications. The agents in question were also monitored mapping Dublin Port, resulting in security increases at a number of landing sites around the Irish coastline.

The Irish Defence Forces and Garda Headquarters, the national police service, suspect the GRU of using Ireland as an operations base for its officers to gather intelligence on targets in Britain and in the EU, and that it is also spying on tech companies based in Dublin.

For similar cases seeking to discredit evidence of GRU activities and operations, including in the Skripal case, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Ireland, Russia
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, GRU, Internet, Intelligence services
  • Outlet: RT
see more

There is an information war on Russia to counter the influence of its media outlets

Western elites have been trying for years to find a way to counter the growing influence of the Russian media. Mainstream media are quickly losing the trust of the people, who are starting to find an alternative, and the establishment fears this to be Russian outlets, so they accuse them of producing fake news and being unreliable. But the weapon was turned against their creators when their media was labelled themselves as producers of fake news.

Disproof

There is no information war against Russian media. Foreign Agent" registration in the US and fines in some Western countries against RT and Sputnik are a consequence of their disregard for facts and journalistic ethics and their character as a tool for political interference abroad, given that their purpose is not to inform the public but to produce narratives serving the Kremlin’s purposes.

In a resolution on November 23th 2016, the European Parliament identified these outlets as instruments of the Kremlin’s anti-EU campaign. Their involvement in events like the US elections in 2016, UK elections in 2017 and the so-called 'Macronleaks' in France in 2017 is well documented.

Syrian army does not shell civilians in Idlib

The Syrian army in Idlib is targeting the terrorist sites with the aim of neutralising their terrorist activities, and is not bombing the civilian population.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation trying to absolve the Syrian army of any responsibility for possible war crimes.

The UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet described the attacks in northeastern Syria aimed at retaking key areas in Idlib and Aleppo as both "indiscriminate" and "inhumane".

New data on the MH17 crash demonstrates that Russia was right

New revelations about the MH17 crash in Ukraine in 2014 just go to prove that the Russian side was right. It once again demonstrates that there are still a lot of questions and these questions call into serious doubt the biased position [on what caused the crash].

Disproof

This case adds a new spin to the Kremlin's disinformation campaign to discredit the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) inquiry into the downing of the flight MH17.

The disinformation message refers to newly-released documents from 2016, possibly pertaining to the JIT investigation, that allegedly contradict its findings. According to Russian investigative journalism site the Insider, the documents in question list the coordinates of the points where the Ukrainian and Russian Buk-M1 systems known to intelligence had been located and conclude that none of them could have brought down the Malaysian airliner. However it is not an exhaustive list of BUK missiles that could have been located in the area of the disaster. See further reporting by the Insider.