Disinfo: The US is supporting the Russian anti-state opposition

Summary

The US Embassy in Moscow in the previous days did everything possible to support, both informationally and politically, the expected events of Saturday’s uncoordinated protests. Their actions were a motivation, a call, an instruction, as well as, an incitement.

Basically, there is nothing new in what is happening. Similar activities from the US and other Western states in relation to Russian domestic political events could be observed over the past decades.

The Russian anti-state opposition, supported from across the ocean [from the US], found itself in the most difficult situation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative built around the concept of ubiquitous Russophobia and anti-Russian provocations by Western countries to encircle and destabilise Russia.

While the narrative alleges that the US moved to interfere in Russian domestic affairs and therefore violated Russia's sovereignty, the aforementioned statement, which was published by the US Embassy in Moscow and the US State Department, specifically advised US citizens residing in Russia to stay away from the demonstrations.

It is common practice in diplomacy for Embassies to inform foreign nationals in a country about potentially risky political events by issuing so-called Demonstration Alerts.

The disinformation narrative builds on previous claims alleging that it was not the Russian but Western secret services that are associated with Navalny's poisoning. On December 14, a joint investigative report of CNN, Bellingcat, The Insider Russia and Der Spiegel revealed that the Kremlin-controlled Federal Security Services was behind the poisoning.

See examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation about Alexei Navalny here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, Georgian
  • Country: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Encircling Russia, Alexei Navalny
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Foreign special services are behind demonstrations in Russia

The actions in Russia were held with the assistance of foreign special services. State Duma’s commission for the protection of state sovereignty has credible data to confirm these statements.

Disproof

An unfounded claim presented without evidence. This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that protests, disorders and civil uprisings are never manifestations of popular discontent but are "colour revolutions" directed and funded by Western intelligence services or other Western actors in order to destabilise targeted foreign states and bring about regime change. And the West is always an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups and colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. This narrative has been applied, among others, to the Arab Spring revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia, Venezuela, Georgia, and Belarus.

The 2021 Russian protests began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 3,300 people were arrested in protests spanning nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia.

Russia’s superiority forces western spies to act now

“Navalny’s supporters”, or, to put it simply, the henchmen of the US Democratic Party, will continue to organise protests up to the parliamentary elections in September 2021. After the elections they will declare that the “election was stolen” and summon the mutinists for a decisive attack.

Why is this attack happening in 2021, why did they not prepare it earlier or later? Why did the western special forces decide to go ahead on operation “Navalny” last summer and only now give order on a killing blow on the Russian state? The answer is obvious: in 2020 Russia demonstrated its superiority compared to the united West.

Disproof

A combination of several disinformation tropes, employed by pro-Kremlin outlets: the concept of”Russian superiority”, of “Western aggression” and a recurrent narrative about expressions of popular discontent as results of foreign involvement.

Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

NATO secret services made a blunder in their script for Navalny

Judging by all, it was there [in a German mountain resort] that Navalny was given a text of supposedly “his” investigation into supposedly “Putin’s” palace. In the beginning the text was clearly written in English and translated into Russian in such inept manner, that it makes one laugh out loud. NATO secret services made a blunder here. For example a word “mudroom”, which translated from English simply means “entryway”, Navalny translated as “room for mud”. There are a lot of strange things in the material released.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The disinformation message refers to investigation published by Alexei Navalny into the wealth of Vladimir Putin. The insight's of Navalny's investigation were widely shared by the international media.