Disinfo: Ukrainian boats illegally crossed the Russian maritime border

Summary

In late November, Ukraine’s Berdyansk and Nikopol gunboats and the Yany Kapu tugboat illegally crossed the Russian maritime border as they sailed toward the Kerch Strait, the entrance to the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian vessels were seized by Russia after failing to respond to legal demands to leave the area. Moscow described the incident as a clear provocation in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and promised to suppress any attempts to challenge its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Disproof

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after opening fire at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. See recurring disinformation examples about the Azov Sea.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 130
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/12/2018
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Kerch
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Map shows: EU on fire

Tweet: “Past month has been really rough on the EU, as protests, both violent and non-violent, have consumed some of the largest countries in the bloc.” [The map shows UK, France, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Greece.]

Disproof

An exaggeration and a sensationalist narrative, along typical pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, seeking to exacerbate and exaggerate tensions. Demonstrations, when not violent, are part of the democracy. Pro-Kremlin media often uses maps as a way to mislead and distort. Norway is not an EU country.

EU and US are pressuring Austria to conduct doping investigation into Russian biathletes

There is an internal struggle between the Brussels bureaucracy, which is an obedient vassal of Washington, and countries like Austria and Slovakia, which want to protect their national interests, have never given in to Russophobia and wish to normalise relations with Russia. These countries are under colossal pressure and if there is no spy scandal then the West will come up with a doping scandal. […] They want to put Austria to its place, take away its status of intermediary with Russia, not least because Austria is positive about the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. The participants of the discussion are using insinuations and leading questions such as "I have no information that someone is behind it, but we always have to ask the question, who benefits?" to develop a narrative that Austria is under pressure to damage its relations with Russia, via the doping investigation. Austrian authorities are investigating doping and corruption related offences involving the International Biathlon Union. Alleging that official doping investigations are Western geopolitical tools and provocations against Russia are among recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives.

European Parliament is elected and paid to represent the interests of the USA

European Parliament does not need to know the interests of the European countries that it represents. It must know that there is USA and everything the USA asks is right, democratic, and beneficial. This is what they are receiving their salary for and this is why they are elected.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given.

The Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are accountable and work in accordance with democratic standards.