Disinfo: Western criticism of Russia is due to Russophobia

Summary

Political leaders, press and public opinion are one with Russophobia, looking for excuses to keep tensions because there is no trust. Years ago it was Crimea, now it is the Navalny case. Then there were sanctions and international pressure, so let’s see what will come now. Accusations of human rights violations and police violence merge with the press campaign against Russia under any pretext. If you don’t know who to blame, put a Russian in your life and a solution will be found.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia as a mean to deflect any criticism on Russia’s illicit actions.

Contrary to the claim, criticism of Russia’s illegal invasion of Crimea and the handling of the Navalny case is not due to alleged Russophobia nor a press campaign aiming to blame Russia under any pretext, but a legitimate rejection of Russia’s violation of international legislation and the rule of law.

See other examples of these disinformation narratives about Russia as a faultless victim of the West, such as allegations about the 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; denials that Russia had any role in the poisoning of Sergey Skripal or the downing of MH17; or claims that neither the US Intelligence Committee report nor the Mueller report found any evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, that there is no proof that Russia tried to influence the Brexit referendum, that “absurd” accusations against Russia are an attempt to demonise it, that for the West Russia is an enemy that must be surrounded with military bases.

This disinformation message appeared in the same TV programme as the claims that “Borrell couldn’t criticise Russia because Europe needs Sputnik V” and that “Western criticism of the Navalny case is interference; Russia doesn’t mess with other countries’ affairs”.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 232
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/02/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, US, Russia
  • Keywords: Josep Borrell, Crimea, Russophobia
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There is no repression in Russia

The Kremlin denies that there is repression in Russia, only police measures against those who break the law in unauthorised protests. During pro-Navalny demonstrations, arrests were made after the policemen were attacked by some violent elements.

Disproof

The claim is false. Although some participants in the pro-Navalny protests in Moscow in January 2021 were violent, there is evidence that the police acted with excessive force against largely peaceful demonstrators. The massive number of arrests (around 5,000 on the first week of protests in 85 cities) shows that not only those who acted violently were arrested. Also, there was a preemptive crackdown on activists and students ahead of the first demonstration.

These actions have been defined by Amnesty International as an attempt to silence criticism, and according to this organisation’s country profile, those attempting to exercise the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly faced reprisals, ranging from harassment to police ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest, heavy fines and in some cases criminal prosecution and imprisonment. A similar assessment is found in the Russian chapter of the Human Rights Watch World Report 2021.

Navalny doesn't reveal his sources unlike of Assange and Snowden

Unlike Assange and Snowden, Alexey Navanly doesn’t reveal the sources of his documents.

Disproof

Disinformation campaign to discredit Alexey Navalny claiming that he does make serious investigations or provides questionable pieces of evidence.

The FBK organisation (Foundation for Combating Corruption) is a Russian non-profit organisation based in Moscow established in 2011 by activist and politician Alexei Navalny. Its main goal is to investigate and to expose corruption cases among high-ranking Russian government officials.

NATO and the EU want to contain and destabilise Russia through Navalny and the “opposition”

The statements of NATO and EU countries about the situation regarding Alexei Navalny is a coordinated information campaign that represents a global attempt to contain Russia and interfere in its internal affairs.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny , aiming to frame criticism of his arrest and the crackdown on protests as foreign interference.

Contrary to the claim, this criticism is not “a global attempt to contain Russia” but a legitimate concern about human rights and the rule of law in this country. The European Union condemned the arrest of Alexei Navalny and demanded his immediate release. In 2019 the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the charges against Alexei Navalny are politically motivated and arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable. As a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights, Russia undertook to secure a number of fundamental rights and freedoms to everyone within its jurisdiction.