Disinfo: There was an unprecedented level of foreign interference in the election to the Moscow City Duma

Summary

No one pays attention to who works with whom. Deutsche Welle, BBC, Navalny, Venediktov and so on, all worked in unison. And this is perceived as normal. That is, there was an unprecedented level of foreign interference in Moscow City Duma elections.

Disproof

Unfounded conspiracy theory on foreign influence in Russian politics, and the US and/or other actors standing behind any expressions of popular discontent. Similar cases can be found here and here. Andrei Kolesnikov, a political analyst at the Carnegie thinktank Moscow Centre, told Euronews that "External interference is mythologem. This is typical of the current government and typical of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, who believes that no one can take to the streets of their own free will: (for him) Maidan was organised by the US and so are these protests." At the same time, before the elections Russian police suppressed pro-democracy demonstrations across Moscow, detaining around 1,000 people. Meanwhile, a Levada Centre poll published on 6 August showed that a relative majority of Muscovites supported the protests (37% in favour, versus 27% against). A nationwide poll released by the Levada Center on 3 September showed that a majority of Russians (58%) don’t believe the government propaganda line about Moscow protests being fomented by the West.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, Elections
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Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe breaks ties with Constantinople

Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe breaks ties with Constantinople. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Constantinople [has] de facto turned into a tool of supporters of the New World Order. The destructive position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in such regions as Ukraine and the Balkans are a visible example of this.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. The concept of the New World Order, Shadow Rulers, Deep State and a Global Elite, ruling from behind the curtains is a frequent narrative, used by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets. This narrative is also consistent with a narrative about "The West" challenging traditional values through attacking believes. Similar cases, where traditional values in Europe are attacked through sowing religious conflict can be found here, here and here. The supporters of the idea of subordinating the Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe to Moscow failed to achieve the necessary 2/3 majority. The claim that the "Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe breaks ties with Constantinople" is, therefore, not true.

The US is campaigning against Russia, backing the so-called opposition

The US leadership is carrying out active diplomatic, economic (including sanction pressure) and propaganda campaigns against Russia. The US-NATO military build-up is ongoing along Russian borders in Eastern and Northern Europe. The US and its allies are openly backing the so-called ‘non-system opposition’ in Russia (the part of the opposition that openly aims to overthrow the government by non-constitutional means and destroy the Russian statehood). This ‘opposition’ includes various radicals and destructive forces that employ methods and tools that have been already demonstrated in Ukraine in 2013-14.

Disproof

A conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. The article is in line with a narrative that protests, in this case in Russia, are always financed by outside forces. The protests in Moscow started in July after the election committee banned opposition candidates from running for the elections to the city council - the Moscow City Duma, disqualifying their ballots because of what officials claimed were irregularities in the 5,000 signatures each had to gather to run. The protesters also demanded the right to fair elections and the right to free assembly - all along the lines of the Russian constitution. See here for EUvsDisinfo analysis of disinformation surrounding protests in Moscow. Similar disinformation cases can be found here.

Liberals advocate cannibalism

Western liberal thought now includes advocacy of cannibalism. Speaking at a recent culinary conference in Sweden — the widely recognized beacon of liberalism — Stockholm-based academic Magnus Söderlund stated that “the conservative taboo against cannibalism may change over time, if people simply try feeding on human flesh.” The liberal professor said that cannibalism could be a means of fighting climate change, given that human flesh is much more environmentally friendly than beef.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative demonizing Western values and painting Europe as a continent of degrading values. The author makes a series of remarkable logical leaps by misquoting one person and presenting the doctored quote as proof of the imminent collapse of Western culture. Söderlund did not advocate cannibalism out of his supposed liberal or environmentalist convictions. In fact, he did not advocate it at all. Although the story of the pro-cannibalism Swedish professor has been reported in Swedish, UK, and US tabloids since at least 5 September, only one website provided enough context to show that Söderlund's remarks were a cautionary tale about the consequences of climate change rather than an invitation to man-eating: "While talking about the Gastro Summit focused on 'food on the future' on Swedish TV, the behavioral scientist and marketing strategist Magnus Söderlund from the Stockholm School of Economics proposed that in order to truly take on the effects of climate change, we must 'awake the idea' that eating human flesh should be discussed as an option in the future." See here for a detailed debunk.