US Congress members, Macron accuse Sputnik and RT of election interference with no evidence

Summary

Several politicians, such as US Congress members and French President Emmanuel Macron, have accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in the elections in the USA and France. However, no evidence has been presented.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative claiming that there is no proof of Russian interference in the elections in Western countries and the US - see examples here and here.

There is evidence linking Russian state actors with interfering in electoral processes.

Interference in the French elections included personal attacks and mocking of the then presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron. Apart from biased reporting in the pro-Kremlin media, there was a made up story about Macron's offshore accounts (the so-called MacronGate) and an actual hack-and-leak operation. According to the Insider and Mediapart, the hacking was purported by the same GRU unit responsible for the hacking of the Democrats' servers in the US. For more information, see EUvsDisinfo analysis “Tackling disinformation à la Française".

The fact of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election was underlined by the US intelligence community in January 2017. These findings were confirmed by the US Special Counsel investigation which found that "[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systematic fashion" (p. 1). See additional debunking of the "no interference" narrative here.

Read more about election meddling in France and elsewhere here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: United States, France
  • Keywords: election meddling, Russia Today (RT), Emmanuel Macron, Sputnik
  • Outlet: The Front Line @ News Front German (1:28-1:56) Sputnik Germany
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Maria Butina’s case is fabricated

Maria Butina was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for spying, there is something wrong here. If one is a spy, then the punishment must be well over 1.5 years in prison. If one is not a spy, why are they convicted?

Her jokes with a long-time friend living in Russia were portrayed as an attempt to infiltrate into an American organization.

The justice system in America does not exist. Racism flourishes. If Butina was of another nationality, no one would have even looked at her. But she was Russian.

Disproof

Maria Butina plead guilty and was convicted for working as a non registered lobby agent of a foreign government, not for espionage. Staying in the US with a student visa, she tried to install "back channels" between the Kremlin and conservative political circles in the US, before and after the presidential election in 2016 , in order to improve Russia-US relations.

The FBI special agent's affidavit to the criminal complaint against Butina was based on the searches of two premises, surveillance, and examination of documents, including electronic items. In the course of surveillance, FBI agents witnessed Butina's meeting with a Russian intelligence officer who worked undercover as a diplomat while her phone contained contacts of several Russian intelligence agents.

To join NATO Georgia will have to legalize gay relationship

Jens Stoltenberg noted that NATO is not only a military but a spiritual union. He directly told Georgia that if it doesn’t legalize gay relationships, NATO won’t let it in.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the moral degradation of the West and dictate of Western values. See a recent case: Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan won't join EU and NATO unless they hold LGBT pride.

Jens Stoltenberg did not issue a statement demanding Georgia to legalize gay relationships.

Ukraine received its territory from Russia under various circumstances

The Ukrainians received their (current) territory from Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at the revision of Ukrainian history – Ukraine is presented as a historical part of Russia, country without its own history and no tradition of state institutions. See other cases on the alleged territorial claims against Ukraine here and here.

The history of the Ukrainian statehood dates back to the times of the Kievan Rus’ (9-13th centuries), which was the first East Slavic state (which gave birth to numerous Slavic principalities on the territory of present-day Russia). Throughout 13-18th centuries, major parts of the Ukrainian lands were part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Ukrainians have a rich history of independent Cossack states (Zaporozhian Sich), which existed in the 16-18th centuries. The Russian Empire established its control over the largest part of Ukraine only at the end of the 18th century – it means that throughout the major part of its history, the territory of Ukraine did not have any connection to present-day Russia.