Disinfo: Ukrainian army targets OSCE equipment

Summary

Armed forces of Ukraine are at war against the OSCE. The Ukrainian military in the Donbas began hunting for unmanned aerial vehicles belonging to the international observation mission. The Ukrainian military shelled unmanned aerial vehicles and OSCE surveillance cameras.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that Ukraine is sabotaging peace in Donbas.

In the June reports of the OSCE monitoring mission in Donbas, there is not a single mention of the Ukrainian military “destroying” any equipment of the OSCE observers.

On 30 June, one of two video cameras located at the Oktyabrska mine was blown up. Video surveillance systems are located on territory, not under Ukrainian government control. “Based on surveillance materials from both cameras, it was recorded that at 19:08 on 30 June in the immediate vicinity of the cameras, ammunition from weapons of an unknown type fell. At the time of the hit, one camera was directed to the north, and the other camera was directed to the northeast,” the OSCE report says. The document does not contain any evidence that the Ukrainian military destroyed the mission camera.

Moreover, the representatives of the “LDNR” militants are actively hindering the work of the special monitoring mission. The June reports of international observers indicate that the freedom of movement of the SMM in the temporarily occupied territory is still limited. According to the OSCE, members of Russian-controlled groups continue to ban mission access across the demarcation line.

Read similar case that OSCE observers are freely admitted to the “LDNR”.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 204
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: DNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas, OSCE

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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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.

Under US influence, Europe continues burning bridges with Russia even amidst the pandemic

In circumstances where every opportunity for recovery and economic impulse should be seized, the European Council adopted a decision that makes clear that the door for any full relation with Russia is closed. Sanctions imposed on Russia were extended for another year, due to what the statement of this body calls “the illegal annexation” of the peninsula of Crimea. There are no sign suggesting that returning to normalcy with Russia is present in the agenda of the EU authorities. It is possible to clearly see the US footprint in this situation, as Washington tried to maximise the benefits of the coronavirus pandemic to advance its geopolitical stance. In this context, this measure contributing to put the EU and Russia in different sides is no coincidence.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, accusing the EU of being a US puppet and serving Washington’s interests instead of its own and portraying Russia as an innocent victim of these geopolitical calculations.

Actually, the European Union is a sovereign entity which follows its own foreign policy. In this case, EU sanctions on Russia were imposed in response to the annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. Despite Russian claims on the contrary, Crimea’s annexation is illegal under international law and a violation of several Russian-signed agreements safeguarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the 1991 Belavezha Accords that established the Commonwealth of Independent States, the 1975 Helsinki Accords, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and the 1997 Treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. The decision to extend the EU sanctions was due to the lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, not to US influence.

The Elites have set up a system of cyber-manipulation to monitor citizens’ communication and prevent the universal awakening of mass political consciousness

Elites have created social networks to destroy bonds of solidarity among citizens, fake news to disorient them and plunge them into existential doubt. The elites have also set up a system of cyber-manipulation to monitor citizens’ communication through their metadata and prevent the universal awakening of mass political consciousness.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the article’s claims.

The article repeats a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that seeks to discredit liberal democracies  claiming that the latter are, in reality, totalitarian systems ruled by “globalist elites” and “shadow governments” that use cyber-tools to exercise pervasive control of society, and use traditional media and social media to deceive and manipulate the masses in Western countries. This message  is related to another disinformation narrative claiming that the West uses social media to spread disinformation aimed at destroying Russia.