Disinfo: Wealthy gays from around the world gathered at a fair in Brussels to "buy children"

Summary

Gays from the whole world have convened in Brussels to attend a bazaar for “livestock”: for buying children. The customers can select an “item” according to its parameters: size, colour of eyes and hair. If there’s money, a child will be up for sale.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation about the moral decay and degradation of the West, with unfounded claims on children being for sale. Russian and other media are mentioning "Men Having Babies" - an annual American conference for gay men looking for a surrogate mother to have a child. The event was held for the fifth time in Brussels on 21 and 22 September, despite protests against the organisation.

The conference hosted 24 stands from private clinics and services from the United States and Canada and invited people from all over Europe to the event in Belgium.

Belgium’s surrogacy laws have not been updated, meaning commercial surrogacy sits in a legal grey zone. Even though all political parties in Belgium are against it, as long as there is no official law explicitly forbidding it, international conferences like Men Having Babies can be legally held on Belgian soil.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/10/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian, French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Belgium, US
  • Keywords: children, Brussels, European Union, European values, LGBT, Europe
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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about missile defence systems. The US did not lie to Russia, therefore Russia was not deceived. The Aegis missile defence system (Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defence System) was not, and is not, in violation of the INF Treaty. The US State Department issued a detailed rebuttal of Russian allegations of US noncompliance with the INF Treaty in 2018. According to the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (2016): the Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System is part of the European Phased Adapted Approach, designed to protect European NATO allies, and U.S. deployed forces in the region, against current and emerging ballistic threats from the Middle East. U.S. Naval Forces ruled out the possibility of targeting the Russian Federation with the "Aegis Ashore" system. The Romanian Defence Minister Teodor Melescanu also reiterated on 7 February 2019 that "Aegis Ashore" is a strictly defensive system. The missile defence stations, also known as "Aegis Ashore", are technically based on the Mk41 launchers (in accordance with the INF Treaty) used on ships, which can also launch cruise missiles. According to the US government they are modified that they can only launch defence missiles and not offensive ground-to-ground missiles, concludes the Research Services of the German Bundestag in 2018 (P.2, in German).

The war in Donbas began after Ukraine banned the Russian language

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. The international community, including the European Union recognizes and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. The law on regional languages was repealed by the parliament of Ukraine on February 23, 2014. However the decree was not signed. The law officially expired only on February 28, 2018, when the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the law unconstitutional. For similar disinformation cases about Donbas, see here. For more disinformation cases about the status of the Russian language in Ukraine see here.

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Disproof

This case is consistent with recurring disinformation narratives about Ukrainian statehood and human rights violations in Ukraine primarily targeting those living in the east. The claim that biometric passports were introduced as a punitive measure against residents in eastern Ukraine is unsupported by any evidence. As stated by the State Migration Service of Ukraine, biometric documents are well protected from forgery and exclude the possibility of their use by any person other than the owner. The main idea behind the implementation is to significantly increase the security of society against crime and international terrorism. The rules for issuing biometric documents (passport for travelling abroad and an ID passport) are the same for all citizens of Ukraine and are approved by resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on March 25, 2015 №302 (for the ID passport) and May 7, 2014 №152 (for the passport for traveling abroad). According to the Law of Ukraine, from July 14, 2016 No. 1474-VIII "On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Documents Confirming Citizenship of Ukraine, Identifying Persons or Their Special Status", aimed at Visa Liberalisation with the European Union, the issuance of passports in the form of cards was introduced to all citizens from October 1, 2016. On 20 April 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal to allow visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Ukrainian citizens. As of June 2017 Ukrainians with biometric passports have been able to travel visa-free to the Schengen areas.