Disinfo: USA wants to divide Russian society before the constitutional referendum

Summary

The USA wants to divide Russian society before the constitutional referendum. A senior Russian security official pointed out that hostile Western actors would try to provoke “nationalist and separatist feelings” in the run-up to the national vote on the adoption of the new constitution on 1 July. The West is taking steps to “increase the informational pressure” with the aim of undermining Russia’s “spiritual, cultural, historical and moral values”. In his opinion, these alleged psychological operations are trying to reduce “feelings of national identity” in order to “divide Russian society”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the US presence in Europe, portraying the US as meddling in Russia's internal affairs. Russia is trying to pass a constitutional reform with voting on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation from June 25 to July 1. The narrative of meddling in Russia is consistent with previous disinformation narratives that saw US-interference in the 2018 Presidential elections or deals with the alleged destabilization of Russia. See: the US is now trying to set up the colour revolutions matrix ahead of Russia’s 2018 Presidential elections and The organisers of “colour revolutions” in the CIS aim to destabilise the situation in Russia. Additionally, the recurrent narrative of "fundamental Russian values" (orthodox religion, traditional family etc.), is often presented as values opposing the "decadent" West, it does not reflect Russia's own reality and may serve as the justification of the failure of democratic processes in Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 203
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Russian superiority, Encircling Russia
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NATO military exercise BALTOPS is anti-Russian

BALTOPS exercise is held annually by NATO. Previously, Russia took part in exercises. Everything changed after the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. Moscow stopped participating in manoeuvres. And the very nature of the exercises became emphasized as anti-Russian. No one doubts that they are directed against Russia. NATO is increasingly justifying the holding of costly exercises by the need to combat the alleged “Russian threat.” Although Moscow has stated many times that it is not going to attack the West.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the military exercise "Baltops 2020". NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. NATO exercises are not directed against Russia – or any other country. BALTOPS is the largest exercise series in the Baltic Sea. Participating troops come from Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, and the United States. “BALTOPS provides the opportunity for NATO and partner nations to operate together, sharing best practices to improve real-world operations," said U.S. Vice Admiral Lisa Franchetti, commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO and commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently, transparently and publicly over the past 29 years: "NATO set out to build a good relationship with Russia. We worked together on issues ranging from counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism to submarine rescue and civil emergency planning. However, in March 2014, in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia." As reaffirmed by NATO leaders at the Brussels Summit in July 2018, "NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia." See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, its attempts to block Moscow in its sphere of influence, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members or its plans to continue attacking other countries.

Ukraine spends half of its budget to pay debts

Ukraine gives almost half of the budget to its western creditors. In 2020, the expenditure on servicing and repaying debts on external borrowings in Ukraine reached 45%.

Disproof

Disinformation that has no evidence and does not contain factual information. In November 2019, the Ukrainian government introduced the main parameters of the updated budget for 2020. According to the documents, the state budget revenues of Ukraine for 2020 are provided in the amount of UAH 1.093 trillion, and budget expenditures - 1.18 trillion UAH. 141.5 billion UAH are provided for servicing the state debt of Ukraine to foreign creditors. This is slightly more than 10% of the total amount of expenditure planned in the budget. There is no indication that Ukraine is "giving 45% of its budget to Western creditors." Read a similar case claiming that Poroshenko`s government created huge debts to the IMF.

The organisers of "colour revolutions" in the CIS aim to destabilise the situation in Russia

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries receive nothing from the West, except an increase in dependence on the West. Ukraine and Georgia now have a destabilised political system, the growth of corruption and organised crime, and a deep crisis in the economy, instead of independence and prosperity. The main goal of the organisers of the “colour revolutions” in the CIS republics, is the destabilisation of Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the aggressive West, Ukraine as a non-sovereign country and the so-called "colour revolutions". The disinformation message also advances pro-Kremlin narratives about the 2008 Russo-Georgian War and Kyiv's 2013-14 Euromaidan protests were backed and/or carried out by the West in order to provoke/weaken/destabilise Russia. The US and the EU did not initiate nor finance the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. For more cases about the Euromaidan protests, see here. Ukraine and Georgia are sovereign and independent states with democratically-elected presidents and parliaments. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world. The EU and the US work closely with Ukraine. Russian officials and state media routinely predict oddly specific Western "provocations" against Russia which never come to fruition. In 2019 alone, pro-Kremlin outlets said that NATO would kill its own officers to provoke a new conflict in Ukraine; that the UK would use its chemical labs to kill Russians; that the US was planning an anti-Russian operation in the Black Sea; that Canada was also planning an anti-Russian operation in the Black Sea; that NATO would intervene in Crimea to rig the Ukrainian presidential election.