Disinfo: US sanctions against Ramzan Kadyrov are part of Washington’s Russophobic strategy

Summary

Sanctions imposed by the US Department of State against Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov are part of the anti-Russian course of Washington. They seem like an attempt to justify funding of the US foreign policy agency that pays for a whole mass of specialists who dig up Russophobic information.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing any attempt to call out the actions of Russian leaders - in this case, Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov - as unjustified and Russophobic.

The designation against Kadyrov is due to his involvement in numerous gross violations of human rights dating back more than a decade, including torture, extrajudicial killings and other abuses against LGBTI persons, human rights defenders, members of the independent media and other citizens who ran afoul of Mr. Kadyrov. Persecution of dissidents and activists and LGBTI people by Kadyrov’s regime have been well documented by human rights organisations, think tanks, media and documentary filmmakers.

See other examples of this disinformation narrative, such as claims about a supposed anti-Russian bias of international institutions - be it the OPCW, the World Anti-Doping Agency or the United Nations - which always falsely accuse Russia; the alleged Russophobia of the EU; the affirmation that it is NATO and not the Kremlin who is involved in the Donbas conflict; or denials that Russia had any role in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal or the downing of MH17, that it interfered in other countries’ elections or that it waged a disinformation campaign on COVID-19.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia, US
  • Keywords: Human rights, Chechnya, Russophobia, Sanctions

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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Russia has never interfered in electoral processes in any country

Russia has never interfered in electoral processes in any country in the world.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying Russian meddling in different elections in the world.

Electoral interference by Russia has been extensively documented in numerous countries around the world. The independent research, media investigations and parliamentary inquiries point out to evidence linking Russian state actors with interference in various electoral processes, including the 2016 US presidental elections, Brexit vote, in the 2017 French Presidential elections, in the 2017 German Parliamentary elections etc.

Armenia has become a springboard for Anti-Russian forces in the Caucasus

Armenian Authorities have flooded the country with anti-Russian NGOs that are teaching young people on Armenian territory how to overthrow the government in Russia. Armenia has become a springboard for anti-Russian forces in the Caucasus.

You have purged from the country Russian businessmen of Armenian origin. You don’t want to have anything Russian. Because that is the internal affairs of Armenia. Your media and social networks constantly pour dirt on Russia and Putin and everyone, who supports Putin – especially Russian Armenians. You are dividing the Armenian people – already on the verge of extinction – between enemies; Russian Armenians and “Real” – those, who support who is in power for the moment. Because it is the internal affairs of Armenia.

And now, when the war is at your borders; when the very existence of your regime is threatened and Armenians all over the world see the spectres of Janissaries with curved knives coming alive – now you remember that Russia has the duty to save you again. Is that not the internal affair of Armenia?

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative accusing Armenian Authorities of being Russophobic and Anti-Russian.

The claim about anti-Russian NGOs that are teaching young people "how to overthrow the government in Russia" is another recurring pro-Kremlin narrative presenting all activities of NGOs, media or civil society activists as measures to overthrow the power in post-Soviet states. Also, a conspiracy, according to which the US prepare in secrecy people of the former Soviet Republics to work for foreign forces. Russian propaganda refers to the events organised by the Prague civil society center in different countries. CampCamp is all about helping civil initiatives strengthen their bond with their local communities through the use of new technologies and creative solutions. For further debunk read here.

Anti-Russian report is needed to distract the British from their own problems

The anti-Russian report is needed to distract the British from their own problems. One of the goals of the publication in the UK of a report on “Russian interference” in political processes in Europe is to divert attention from their own problems. Judging by the statements made at the parliamentary and government levels, it was obvious that the British had no proof. Nevertheless, the main message of the report was that “Russian interference is unacceptable.” If there are any problems in British society, it means that it is not the government, not the parliament, not the civil society, not the judicial system, but the Russians who are to blame. This primitive and crude rhetoric still works to some extent.

Disproof

This disinformation message is a classic example of the Russia did not do/you have no evidence approach to the report published by the Intelligence and Security Committee of the British Parliament. The document shows for example that there is Russian cyber intrusion into the UK's critical national infrastructure; and that Russian actors orchestrated phishing attempts against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory during the investigation into the Salisbury attacks.

The report also says: "Russia may spread disinformation or seek to influence political events for a wide range of purposes, but all in support of its underlying foreign policy objectives:
• direct support of a pro-Russian narrative in relation to particular events (whilst some of the outright falsehoods which are put forward may not be widely believed, they may still succeed in casting doubt on the true account of events (...);
• direct support of Russia’s preferred outcome in relation to an overseas election or political issue; and
• general poisoning of the political narrative in the West by fomenting political extremism and ‘wedge issues’, and by the ‘astroturfing’ of Western public opinion; and general discrediting of the West."