Disinfo: Ukraine threatens Russia with war

Summary

Ukraine threatens Russia with war. Kyiv threatens Russia with its Neptune missile system and may strike Sevastopol.

Disproof

The Ukrainian authorities did not threaten Russia with war. Russian media distorted the statement of the commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Oleksiy Neizhpapa, that the Ukrainian military is strengthening its defensive positions in sea cities. The Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine does not exclude the possibility that Russian troops will try to break out of the occupied Crimea and into another Ukrainian region, neighbouring Kherson. That is why Ukraine continues to strengthen its position in the area of ​​the occupied peninsula - both from the sea and on land. "Now we are improving reinforcements at sea. The President and the Minister of Defence gave the Navy carte blanche: a project is being developed to build new fleet-based locations - we can’t only be in the small harbour in Odessa and in the small harbour in Ochakov ... Decisions are being made, land plots are being transferred on the shores of the Black and Azov Seas to create decent bases ... Now my task is to ensure the main strike we can make is not just from the shore, but also on the sea. We must make sure that the enemy is on his shore, knowing that we are strong," said the commander of the Ukrainian Navy. Read similar case claims that Ukraine is going to launch a missile strike on Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Black Sea, Missile defence system, Crimea, War in Ukraine
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A historical fact: Crimea is Russian

Crimea has become an integral part of Russia.

The international community will sooner or later be forced to recognise Crimea as part of Russia because it is a historical fact and a reality that must be taken into consideration.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimea has never belonged to Ukraine.

The transfer of Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine was first officially agreed on 25 January 1954 at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee. The members of the Presidium, voting for the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, took into account objective reasons: “the commonality of the economy, territorial proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR.”

Newsweek explains how the US coup in Iran will end

Newsweek explains how the US coup in Iran will end. Despite the fact that many representatives of the US elites keep a hostile attitude towards Iran, now is the worst moment for attacks and attempts to establish “democracy” in the Islamic Republic. US publication Newsweek writes about this. As some media pointed, before becoming “the world’s policeman” again, the US should “clean its own house”. Therefore, even if the Iranian government is a “mediocre theocracy”, it is not the role of the Department of State to speak about it. “The transition towards a policy of regime change in Iran will be, at best, reckless, and at worst, a serious blow to US global superiority”, the outlet writes.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of the original article, written by The American Conservative reporter, Curt Mills, for Newsweek, who argues that regime change in Iran should not be an American policy but doesn’t mention any “US coup in Iran”, much less any argumentation on how it will end. Besides, the magazine published this article in tandem with another one written by Georgetown University professor Scott Modell, titled “The US should adopt a regime change strategy for Iran”, which argues the opposite. Both appeared in a section titled “Debate of the week” under the headline “Should regime change in Iran be official US policy?”. By wholly ignoring one part of the debate and adding content to the other falsely claiming that there is an ongoing US coup in Iran, the article sticks to a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying the US as an imperialist evil power constantly working to overthrow rival governments. This strategy aims to deflect attention from the Kremlin’s own crimes and authoritarian behaviour by pointing fingers at others and accusing them of the same transgressions, typically resorting to gross misrepresentations or outright lies to make the point, as in this case. See other examples of this disinformation narrative in our database, such as claims that the US is encircling Russia with biological labs for a future attack, that it is preparing people to protest all over the world, or that it is ready to launch wars against China and Russia, to invade Venezuela, Mexico, Ukraine, Kaliningrad, Belarus and Iran, and to carry out a false flag operation in Alaska to blame Russia.

There is no sexual discrimination in Russia

Russia has never had, nor has, nor will it have anything restrictions of rights based on sexual orientation, race, or religious beliefs. Let the person grow up first, become an adult, then let him decide his own destiny. Nothing should be imposed; that is what we are against.

Disproof

The persecution of sexual minorities in Russia is a critical, ongoing issue which includes violence, employment discrimination and social stigma. According to the NGO ILGA-Europe, Russia is the fourth-worst European country for LGBT persons to live in. The true extent of anti-LGBT discrimination in Russia is difficult to assess, given that the state does not compile statistics on violence against sexual minorities. Nor does the legal system confer any specific protections on LGBT persons; Article 63 of the Criminal Code counts "political, ideological, racial, national or religious hatred" among factors aggravating punishment for violent offences, but this provision does not extend to sexual and gender minorities. Independent studies show that LGBT hate crimes doubled between 2013 and 2017, with researchers attributing the increase to the 2013 federal law banning "gay propaganda." The most recent report by Russia's SOVA Center, a non-governmental hate crime watchdog, noted another spike in anti-LGBT violence in 2018-19. The situation is especially dire in Chechnya, where homophobic violence is not only tacitly permitted, but routinely perpetrated by regional law enforcement.