Disinfo: Ukraine may use the war in Nagorno-Karabakh as a prerequisite for new hostilities in Donbas

Summary

The resumption of hostilities in the NKR [Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] significantly increases the threat of the activation of Ukrainian armed formations in Donbas on the demarcation line. Kyiv is being pushed to this suicidal attack by its American masters, who are trying to encircle Russia in a ring of instability and bloody conflicts: in Belarus, Transcaucasia, and Donbas. In the context of what is happening, it can be expected that Central Asia is next.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no proof presented to support any of the claims, mixing several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the recent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the war in Ukraine, and Russia being encircled by an aggressive West. There is no link between the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the war in Ukraine. The recent escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is a continuation of the decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, while the war in Eastern Ukraine is a well-documented act of ongoing aggression by Russian armed forces, since February 2014. In Donbas, a truce was established in July 2020. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated multiple times that the achievement of a full, comprehensive, and long-lasting ceasefire is one of the key priorities of the Ukrainian government. There is no evidence that foreign powers had anything to do with the September 2020 military escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, that the escalation is meant to destabilise Russia or that they are trying to encircle Russia in a ring of instability and bloody conflicts. See other recent disinformation cases on the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region: that the escalation between Armenia and Azerbajan is directed against Russia, that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict favours US interests, and someone wants to divert Russia from Belarus and Syria, or that the US has planned the turmoil in Belarus and the rise of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh a year ago.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 214
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Azerbaijan, Armenia, US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Encircling Russia, Nagorno-Karabakh, War in Ukraine
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West uses Goebbels' methods to put pressure on Syria

The West is using Goebbels’ methods to put pressure on Syria. On April 7, 2018, a pseudo-humanitarian organisation called the White Helmets, who are associated with British intelligence, announced a chemical attack in the city of Douma. Western media immediately accused the Syrian army of using chemical weapons against civilians. The very next day, Jaysh al-Islam fighters fled from Douma and the Syrian and Russian military entered the city, who did not find any traces of a chemical attack. Subsequently, it became known that the video recordings of the consequences of the “chemical attack” provided to the Western media by “the White Helmets” were staged.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the chemical weapons attack inDouma, Syria. In March 2019, theOPCW confirmed in itsfinal report that chlorine was used in the attack on Douma, April 7, 2018. According to the Berlin Non-Profit Organisation Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), chemical weapons were used more than 300 times in Syria. Background: The White Helmets movement originated in Syria in 2012, when the first detachments of volunteer rescuers appeared in the territories outside of the control of Bashar al-Assad's troops. In 2014, volunteer teams merged into a national organisation, the Syrian Civil Defence, which is the official name of the White Helmets. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes. Activists have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad government and allied forces. Russia is supporting Assad, therefore the White Helmets have become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign. The White Helmets are a staple topic of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on the Syrian civil war, having already been accused of numerous other provocations and war crimes includingorgan trafficking;aiding terrorist organisations;staging and/orperpetrating chemical attacks, sometimes with the help ofWestern intelligence agencies.

For 25 years, Sweden has lied about "Estonia" being sunk by a Russian submarine

Over 800 people died when an Estonian ferry sunk in 1994. Traditionally, Russia has been blamed for the incident, as a Russian submarine allegedly would have caused it. New facts, presented recently, show that Sweden for all these years have lied to the face of the Estonian authorities. This was written in the Swedish daily Expressen.

Disproof

A unfounded claim. The daily Expressen comments on a recent documentary, suggesting a hole is found in the hull of the ship. A theory of a Russian submarine, causing the disaster is not found in the article and has never been seriously considered in Sweden. The official investigation concluded that the ship sunk as a result of technical malfunction of the bow visor in heavy weather. The final report can be found here. The governments of Sweden, Finland and Estonia have agreed to study the claims from the documentary and decide whether a new investigation should be conducted.

The CIA cooperates with Navalny

The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) works together with Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Instructors are working and it is clear what kind of instructions Navalny receives. The opposition politician is working for their interests. Navalny’s cooperation with Western secret services is evident: for instance, Russian authorities have not received the medical records and biological samples of Navalny from German counterparts. The Navalny poisoning is being used to stir up tensions in Russia to block Moscow from protecting Belarusian sovereignty, but those who “wanted to gain Belarus” failed.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the West's involvement in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and tensions in Belarus. There are no grounds for connecting any Western secret service to Navalny's poisoning. The activist fell ill on a 20 August flight from Siberia to Moscow. Initially hospitalized in Omsk, he was transferred to the Charité hospital in Berlin at the request of his family. Clinical findings at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests revealed the presence of a Novichok-type nerve agent in Navalny's blood. The entire article is based on the statements of Russian ruling party politicians and officials, such as the Kremlin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, Duma chairman Vyacheslav Volodin and Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky. The statements of Russian politicians were shared uncritically, without any evidence backing up the claims. Moreover, the article did not disclose that the German Justice Ministry approved a request from Moscow for legal assistance in the investigation of the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny on 11 September, including giving information on Navalny's health to Russia, "subject to his consent." No evidence was presented either on how the case of Navalny is connected to tensions in Belarus.