Disinfo: Washington's frequent accusations about the Russian interference in the US political processes are all unfounded

Summary

Washington's frequent accusations about the Russian interference in US political processes are all unfounded. There is no evidence that Russia intervened in US political processes.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to depict Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and in other political processes in Western countries as factually unfounded.

It is not true, as the article claims, that there is no evidence of Moscow's interference in US presidential elections.

Regarding the 2016 US election, Russian interference was reported by US intelligence in 2017 and confirmed in 2019 at the end of a Special Counsel Investigation. The counsel in charge of the investigation, Robert Mueller, concluded in his report that

Russian interference in the 2016 election was “sweeping and systemic.” Major attack avenues included a social media “information warfare” campaign that “favored” candidate Trump and the hacking of Clinton campaign-related databases and release of stolen materials through Russian-created entities and Wikileaks. Russia also targeted databases in many states related to administering elections gaining access to information for millions of registered voters.

And also that: “the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts

Regarding the 2020 US presidential election, on 10 March 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (NIC) released the declassified Intelligence Community assessment of foreign threats to the 2020 U.S. federal elections: the report indicates that “Russian state and proxy actors who all serve the Kremlin’s interests worked to affect U.S. public perceptions”. It refers mainly to disinformation operations aimed at “denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating socipolitical divisions in the US”.

Previously, between September and October 2019, Facebook and Instagram removed 75,000 posts linked to accounts that “appear to be linked to the Russian troll agency, the Internet Research Agency (IRA)”, which, according to the analysis of experts and Facebook moderation, “tried to sow division by targeting both the left and right with posts to foment outrage, fear, and hostility. Much of their activity seemed designed to discourage certain people from voting”.

Many media outlets reported on Kremlin efforts to influence the 2020 US presidential elections, including TimeNPR and The Washington Post.

See here for an overview of Russia's methods of electoral interference.

For case studies on Russia's electoral interference see here.

Read similar cases claiming that Russiagate is a Deep State-backed conspiracy theory, and that Mueller report gives no evidence of Russian meddling in US elections

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, Russophobia, Robert Mueller, US Presidential Election 2020
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Western countries lie about Ghouta

The UN final report on what is known as the Ghouta massacre on August 21, 2013 does not reveal its perpetrator.

In addition, a MIT study from February 2014 explains that the attack was launched from a so-called rebel area.

This is not to say that Bashar El Assad did not perpetrate any chemical attack. This is to emphasise that once again, Western governments have lied to their people to bring down their enemies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives attempting to cast doubt on who is responsible for the 2013 chemical attacks in Syria and questioning the integrity of Western governments by accusing them of lying systematically to the public to bring down countries that resist them.

The Ghouta attack was investigated by a UN Mission set up by the UN Secretary General, and its findings were contained in a report published in September 2013. The OPCW and the WHO played an important but auxiliary role throughout the process (ibid., p. 4).

Bellingcat reports do not contain evidence

The Bellingcat news agency has been registered in Higgins' name, and the latest "revealing" anti-Russian news is spread from this agency. However, these reports do not contain any evidence.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation attempting to discredit Bellingcat which has long been a thorn in the side of the Kremlin and recently presented proof that Alexei Navalny was poisoned by FSB agents. Alexei Navalny duped one of the FSB agents, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, into admitting his role in the poisoning and Bellingcat had already named him in its investigation as one of the FSB agents involved.

Ironically, no evidence is given to support the claims about a lack of evidence in Bellingcat’s reports. Bellingcat is an well-known independent group of researchers, investigators and citizen journalists which probes different subjects using open source and social media investigations. The team has won a lot of awards and prizes, for example, the European Press Prize for Investigation in 2019 and the London Press Club award for Digital Journalism in 2019 to name just a few.

Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum

Crimea returned to be a Russian federal province, after a referendum held on March 16, 2014, in Crimea and Sevastopol, and both regions have become within the Russian Federation, as of March 18, 2014.

Crimea was one of the Russian provinces up until the beginning of the fifties of the twentieth century when the authorities of the Union of Soviet Republics decided to transfer their subordination to the Republic of Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum and painting the idea that Crimea has never belonged to Ukraine.

For historical reference, Crimea was annexed by Catherine II (the Great), then containing Ukraine in 1783, already in violation of a treaty that guaranteed the independence of the Tatar khanate.