Disinfo: The US imposed sanctions on Russia because it is afraid of its military might

Summary

One expert explained the real reason of US sanctions against Russia. Washington is trying to press Moscow through them because it is afraid of an armed conflict with Russia. The US can smash others in every area, except in the military field. They won’t enter in a war, they are scared.

Disproof

This is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to portray international sanctions as anti-Russian. There is a reason for every US and EU round of sanctions on Russia. The US imposed them for the first time in March 2014 as a response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine. After that, it established fresh rounds due to Russia’s election interference, malicious cyber activities, human rights abuses, use of a chemical weapon, weapons proliferation, illicit trade with North Korea and support to Syria and Venezuela. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. See related examples of disinformation messages claiming that US sanctions contribute to coronavirus pandemic; that the EU is suffering from sanctions against Russia; that sanctions against Russia are ineffective.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Military, Russian superiority, Anti-Russian, Sanctions
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US sees Ukraine as air corridor for nuclear strike in Crimea

The US military views Ukraine as an air corridor for a nuclear strike on Crimea. In the event of a conflict between Washington and Moscow, Ukraine will automatically become one of the priority goals.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the statehood of Ukraine and US presence in Europe. The story came after US and Ukrainian jets "teamed up" for flights in Ukrainian airspace. According to Air Force Command of Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukrainian pilots have picked up the baton from Polish pilots. This event itself is planned to achieve interoperability between NATO countries and key Allied partners. See more examples of disinformation messages alleging that Ukraine is a colony of IMF and George Soros, Ukraine is run by pro-EU oligarchic Nazis, supported by the US, US embassy controls decisions taken in Ukraine.

COVID-19 came from a laboratory

[…] the Corona-virus came from a laboratory. But at this point, you have to drive on sight. It’s only a conspiracy theory if it’s spread by conspiracy theorists and their media. But if mainstream media reported about the fact that the virus was made in a lab, then it would be no longer conspiracy.

Disproof

A recurring conspiracy theory that echoes pro-Kremlin disinformation about the artificial creation of COVID-19. There is no evidence that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was created in laboratories. COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that COVID-19 originally came from bats. One of the previous coronaviruses that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, spread from bats to civet cats to humans. A group of 27 prominent public health scientists have condemned rumours and conspiracy theories about the origin of the coronavirus outbreak: "We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin." The authors of The Lancet statement note that scientists from several countries who have studied SARS-CoV-2, “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife," just like many other viruses that have recently emerged in humans. "Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus," the statement says.

US military biological laboratories encircle Russia

US military biological laboratories encircle Russia. US military biological activities can be observed all over the world, and also on Russian borders. Moscow has long been concerned about the biological security in neighbouring countries. In Kazakhstan, Armenia and Tajikistan, the Americans created a network of biological laboratories. The Russian authorities have many questions particularly about the Lugar Centre in Georgia. (…) Journalists and bloggers wrote seriously that the Americans had deliberately allowed the virus to spread. This was allegedly to test the efficiency of biological weapons under development in the lab (in Kazakhstan). (…) Experts agree that the post-Soviet states, with their willingness to accept foreign assistance, may lose control of the epidemiological situation. This could have serious consequences. In times of pandemics such as at present, laboratories of this kind are increasingly coming into focus because they provide worrying suspicions.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the development of biological weapons by the United States. The conspiracy about US biolabs in countries bordering Russia aiming to encircle Moscow and spread infectious diseases is a part of a years-long disinformation campaign led by the Kremlin. There is no evidence to claim that the US is developing biological weapons. There is also no evidence to support the claim that partnering biolabs under the agreement have become epicentres for the spread of infectious diseases or have been used to attack populations. Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the Richard Lugar Centre for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Georgia, is a facility of the National Centre for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC). The Lugar centre is a top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system. In no case has this laboratory designed, redesigned or built biological weapons. Read more about the Lugar lab on Myth Detector. See related disinformation cases alleging that China and Russia are worried about in-transparent US biological laboratories on Russia’s borders and that the Pentagon creates biological laboratories around the world to develop “combat” viruses.