Disinfo: Western-sponsored unauthorised protesters acted in a monstrous way against anyone who opposed them

Summary

The shy, unauthorised movements of some protesters in various Russian cities did not produce political gains for the West, but rather began to backfire on them after the protesters’ monstrous behaviour attacking anyone who opposes their movements in the street, in addition to the apparent effort to drag the Russian security forces into a direct confrontation by provoking and attacking them in contrived ways.

[…]

The Western countries’ bets were dropped again in Moscow and failed to save their spoiled Russian son [Navalny], even in the presence of his family of Western ambassadors and diplomats at the court, while Russia succeeded again, with its calm and wise policy, to thwart the Western plan and revealed the masks of diplomats, their choices and their true attitudes towards Russia, its people and its president.

Disproof

A pro-Kremlin account of the recent anti-government protests in Russia combining multiple disinformation narratives attempting to belittle and defame the protesters.

First, the article's claim that the protests are "shy" is part of a pro-Kremlin media attempts to downplay the country-wide protests in Russia in support of Alexei Navalny after his arrest by Russian authorities.

The Russian civil rights’ NGO OVD-info has documented over 1,800 detainees in Moscow alone during the demonstration on 31 January 2021. Around 4,000 people have been detained country-wide. This number equals the numbers detained during the demonstrations on 23 January 2021.

Police authorities in most major cities limited the access to city centres, making it virtually impossible to reach meeting points. Despite heavy police presence, several thousands gathered to express support to Alexei Navalny, currently in custody in Moscow.

A second attempt is made to try and de-legitimise the protests by claiming they are illegal or unauthorised and that protesters were violent and acting "monstrously". Article 31 of Russia’s constitution grants Russian citizens the right to gather and express their views publicly:

"citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, meetings and demonstrations, marches and pickets".

The EU has condemned the mass detentions and police brutality during the protests in Russia.

The article also suggests that this 'movement' were supported and sponsored by the West. 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, and that this has now extended to Russia itself.

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 231
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: West, Alexei Navalny, Protest, Conspiracy theory
see more

Russians bring truth to PACE: Navalny was rescued and not poisoned, Georgia attacked South Ossetia

We really convince people every month more and more that in Russia, it turns out, what is written in the Western European mass media is not happening. We prove that Navalny was saved and not poisoned. We show that on August 8, 2008, it was Saakashvili’s regime that invaded Tskhinvali and that the Russian peacekeepers also suffered, but Russia did not invade. We prove that there must be the truth here in PACE.

Disproof

The statements are not true. On January 25, 2021 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) published a provisional Resolution 2357 (2021), containing the following paragraph 9.11:

"Russian Federation: a number of outstanding concerns, including, inter alia, lack of pluralism, independence of the judiciary, restrictive environment for activities of political extra-parliamentary opposition, civil society, human rights activists and journalists, restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, association and religion as well as a number of problematic laws including the Foreign Agents Law, the Law on Undesirable Organisations or anti-extremist legislation, ratification of amendments to the Constitution that introduce major restrictions on application of international law and implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights; the lack of progress with regard to implementing the demands of the international community with regard to Eastern Ukraine, Crimea, the occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia and the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova;"

See also the previous PACE resolution on the consequences of the war between Georgia in Russia. Thus, the Assembly considers that:

"from the point of view of international law, the notion of “protecting citizens abroad” is not acceptable and is concerned by the political implications of such a policy by the Russian authorities for other member states", addressing Russian official claim of protecting its own citizens in South Ossetia. While emphasizing that "the initiation of shelling of Tskhinvali without warning by the Georgian military, on 7 August 2008, marked a new level of escalation", PACE stated that "earlier calls to discuss a change in the format of the peacekeeping and conflict resolution process were rejected by South Ossetia and Russia" and addressed the disproportionate Russia's response fire.

As for Alexey Navalny, the PACE's debates (without adopting a resolution yet) took place on January 27, 2021. As is clear from the transcript, the Russian delegation failed to convince other PACE's members that Navalny was not poisoned with the nerve agent and that his prosecution in Russia is not political.

Alexei Navalny was arrested following his return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with Novichok-type chemical nerve agent. The European Union has condemned the arrest of Alexei Navalny and has demanded his immediate release.

Foreign diplomats meddle in Russia's sovereign affairs

Meddling in sovereign affairs. Foreign diplomats gather at Russian court to support Western puppet Navalny.

According to local sources, diplomatic staff of at least 18 foreign states, including those from the United States, the UK, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden, are present.

Disproof

Court hearings are, as a rule, open to the public. Diplomats have the right, just as any other member of the public, to attend a court hearing. International diplomats are present to observe whether the Russian judiciary fulfils its functions according to Russian law and Russia's international obligations on human rights.

The unfounded and recurrent claim on Navalny being a "Western Puppet" is presented without any evidence. Similar cases here and here.

Navalny's poisoning was a set up against Russia

Moscow has reasons to believe that the alleged poisoning of Alexei Navalny was a set up. Germany has not presented any credible evidence that Russia poisoned Navalny with Novichok despite Moscow’s repeated calls.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Navalny poisoning and also a pro-Kremlin approach portraying every measure taken against Russia's actions as Russophobia.

Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane had to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said he was in a coma and they were trying to save his life. From Omsk, he had been transferred to Berlin and has received treatment at Berlin's Charité Hospital. The German federal government said that toxicological tests provided “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group” in the blood samples of Navalny.