In 1909, a group of British colonialists took the initiative to create a group, called the Society of the Round Table. Since then, the group has managed to take over decision making in the United States, turning the US into a dumb giant, executing the orders of the British rulers. This, according to pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets. For the rest of us, the stories about The Round Table end with King Arthur.

Generally, in the view of pro-Kremlin disinformation operatives, everything is ruled by someone else. Ukraine is under external control;  Poland is kept on a short leash by the US; Romania is marred by street protests, sponsored by George Soros and the West is engineering the anti-Russian protests in Georgia. Nothing in the world ever happens, unless someone in the shadows makes it happen. Strings are carefully attached to the Western leaders, strings pulled skilfully by Puppet Masters.

The Obsolete Liberalism

Recently, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, granted Financial Times an interview in the Moscow Kremlin. Mr. Putin followed the Kremlin talking points on most of the usual topics, but at one point, Mr. Putin expressed a surprisingly blunt view on the liberal democracy:

Liberal democracy is based on the idea of citizens’ active participation in the governance of the society. The society is subject to the choice of the citizens, as expressed in elections, through the freedom of expression, through free media.  Putin’s statement on the end of liberalism, echoes an article, published in February 2019 by a Kremlin aide, Vladislav Surkov. Mr. Surkov describes the advantage of Putin as an enlightened ruler, before democracy – or “the battle of bastards” as Mr. Surkov has it:

[Putin’s] ability to hear and understand the people, see it right to its depths and act accordingly – this is the unique and most important characteristic of the State of Putin. This corresponds with the people and is in line with its ambitions and is not subject to any of history’s counter currents. This is efficient and lasting.

We see how pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets are busy describing any expression of popular discontent as staged protests, results of the scheming of the shadow rulers. Sometimes NATO is the culprit, at other occasions, George Soros is to blame. Of course it can also be the West in general, that ignites protests, or Global Influence Groups. The Society of the Round Table is just a fresh addition to the selection of Puppet Masters, featured in pro-Kremlin media.

Old Lies

Conspiracies are all about disempowering the citizens. “There’s no point in voting; there’s no point in protesting, the Deep State, the Corporations, George Soros, the Lobbyists control it all”. Well, better to have it the Surkov way, with a benevolent ruler, only working for the good of his people.

But the disinformation operatives do not really dare to rely entirely on complicated and intriguing conspiracy theories. Common, straight-forward lying is still employed. Using screen shots from five year old videos is one way to spice up the news in the absence of facts. Or pretending an interview from 2014 with a US intelligence official is about current events in Georgia. Distorted statements by officials, persistent repeating old, refuted, lies… The entire disinformation toolbox is put at work.

The European Council President, Donald Tusk, commented on Mr. Putin’s views on the liberal democracy:

It is obvious that the Kremlin is genuinely afraid of the concept of democracy, transparency, pluralism, rule of law and human rights. When you are afraid, fairy tales, like the stories about The Round Table, is comforting.

G7 is only a facade for the Global Rulers and the Western leaders are merely marionettes of the shadow rulers
Additional details: G7 is not an international organisation. It has no charter or any kind of fundamental principles. It is not even a elite club. G7 is a mouthpiece of the Trilateral Commission. G7 convenes annually, some times after the Trilateral Commission's annual convention.The Trilateral Commission is an attempt to unite Anglo-Saxons, Europeans and the Japanese. The decisions, taken in the Trilateral Commission behind the veils, are made public by the G7. This demonstrates the Western leaders' role as marionettes; they are merely dancing according to the music of the conceptual centres in the shadows.

 

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.iarex.ru/articles/67533.html
Disinforming outlet(s): IA REX
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. The concept of Shadow Rulers, Deep State and a Global Elite, ruling from behind the curtains is a frequent narrative, used by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets.

Keywords: G7, New World Order, Conspiracy
Countries: US, Japan, EU
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Reconnecting Donbas with Ukraine is unrealistic
Additional details: The people of Donbas has drawn a line against the regime in Kyiv. You cannot work with a country whose army shelled you. The people of Donbas has shown the will to live in the Russian world.

The war has made a comeback to Ukraine unlikely, no offence to the new President Zelenskyy.

The Russian army has never occupied Donbas. As Russia grants citizenship to the inhabitants of the region, it will now be populated by Russian citizens. What appears to be a provocation of the Kremlin for Western capitals will perhaps become a factor of pacification of the region.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik France time 27:06 - 28:07, 29:49 - 30:07
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Disproof note:

Distributing Russian citizenship to the inhabitants of Donbas is a violation of the international law and such citizenship won't be recognised by the international community, as it was prior the case with the inhabitants of Georgia to whom Russia started "passportisation", or Crimea.

The EU condemns "passportisation" and estimates it as a step which aims to destabilise Ukraine further, as it was stated by the Spokesperson of the EU External Action:  "The signature by President Putin of a decree entitling, inter alia, people who permanently reside in certain areas of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions to apply for Russian citizenship in a simplified manner, is another attack on Ukraine's sovereignty by Russia. The timing of such a decision immediately after Ukraine’s Presidential election, which demonstrated Ukraine's strong attachment to democracy and the rule of law, shows Russia’s intention to further destabilise Ukraine and to exacerbate the conflict. We expect Russia to refrain from actions that are against the Minsk agreements and impede the full reintegration of the non-Government controlled areas into Ukraine". Reed full statement here.

The United States condemned the decision by President Putin to provide expedited Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine. "Russia, through this highly provocative action, is intensifying its assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Putin’s decision creates a serious obstacle to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the reintegration of the Donbas region. The Minsk agreements, signed by Russia, call for the full restoration of Ukrainian government control over eastern Ukraine", one can read in the US government's statement.

The impossibility to reconnect the Russia-controlled regions to Ukraine because of anti-Ukrainian views of its population is speculation. By 2016, 1 870 000 people moved as refugees from Donetsk and Luhansk occupied regions, as well as from Crimea to the rest of Ukraine and about 800 000 to 1 million moved to Russia.

The residents of Donbas enroll in Ukrainian universities without exams and lacking Ukrainian documents, that are impossible to obtain in "Donetsk/ Luhansk people's republics". A measure introduced in order to avoid the necessity of multiple crossing of the front line, considered dangerous for the remaining residents of Donbas. In 2016-2018, thousands have been enrolled in Ukrainian universities.

Despite difficulties, occupied Donbas' residents also receive pensions from the Ukrainian side.

See previous debunks on "civil war in Ukraine".

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Current US administration causes the emergence of new hot spots all over the world
Additional details: The current administration of the United States has adventurous foreign policy – there is an increasing number of hot spots in the world: Venezuela, [North] Korea, Syria; now we have an unstable situation around Iran and establishment of US military facilities in Eastern Europe, close to Russian borders. This situation does not lead to peaceful coexistence – on the contrary, at some point in time, it may get out of control and we will switch from politics to military actions.

 
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
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Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the hostile character of the US foreign policy (examples here and here) and its continuous attempts to destabilise the situation in countries refusing to accept the US leadership (examples here and here). All the above-mentioned hot spots have its origins mostly in the actions of authoritarian regimes of these countries.

Keywords: New Cold War, War preparation
Countries: US
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Ukraine is a buffer state for NATO without membership prospects
Additional details: At present, NATO does not want to accept Ukraine and, probably, will never accept it. For the West, Ukraine is nothing more than a buffer zone, which separates Europe from its geopolitical rival – Russia – and its role is to put pressure on it.
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Link to the disinformation: rusvesna.su/news/1562096163
Disinforming outlet(s): Russkaya Vesna
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and its cooperation with NATO.

Ukraine is a strategic partner for NATO in many areas. Since the 1990s, relations between NATO and Ukraine have developed into one of NATO’s most influential partnerships.

Relations were strengthened with the signing of the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). The Declaration of 2009 to Complement the NATO-Ukraine Charter mandated the NUC, through Ukraine’s Annual National Programme, to underpin Ukraine’s efforts to take forward reforms aimed at implementing Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

NATO's door remains open to any European country in a position to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Currently, four partner countries have declared their aspirations to NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia and Ukraine, according to NATO’s statement.

In February 2019, the Parliament of Ukraine amended the Constitution and cemented Ukraine's course to the EU and NATO.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: The West, Ukraine
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Georgia is busy with marijuana and gay pride
Additional details: The syndrome of destruction that hit Europe is visible in Georgia. Instead of building planes, as before, this great Christian nation is busy with marijuana and gay pride.
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Disinforming outlet(s): News Front (2:50-13:05, 14:05-14:30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about threatened values, which is used to undermine progressive Western attitudes about a variety of normative issues, including the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBT groups, among others.

Georgia is facing a massive disinformation attack after recent protests. The story is also consistent with narratives accusing the Western countries of meddling and attempting to forcibly impose their liberal values on countries with a strong Christian tradition. For similar cases, see here, here, and here.

Keywords: Western values, Christianity, LGBT
Countries: Europe, Georgia
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Zelenskyy has neither army nor police, he is surrounded by corrupted predators
Additional details: Zelenskyy's story is a tragedy of a good smart person who found himself in an awful situation. He has neither army nor police, and is surrounded by predatory officials. Zelenskyy's anti-corruption legislative initiatives have turned 99% of officials against him.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Gorizont Sobytiy @ Sputnik Belarus time 29:10 - 29:55
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Disproof note:

No evidence given. This message is a conspiracy consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukrainian statehood.

President Zelenskyy is the Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Army. There have been no statements made by President Zelenskyy or his representatives concerning alleged insubordination of certain military units or law-enforcement agencies to Zelenskyy's legal decisions.

See previous cases questioning Zelenskyy's authority over the Ukrainian Army here and here and alleging that Zelenskyy continues a monstrous experiment to turn Ukrainians into the enemies of Russians.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
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Zelenskyy should acknowledge that Russia does not wage a war against Ukraine
Additional details: The primary actions of Zelenskyy should be arranging a real ceasefire in Donbas and acknowledging that Russia does not wage a war against Ukraine, rather a civil war is going on between the Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking population.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Gorizont Sobytiy @ Sputnik Belarus time 30:14 - 30:38
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message contains a classic pro-Kremlin narrative about the war in Ukraine. It denies Russia's implication in the Donbas conflict and puts forward a false claim that a civil war between the Russian-speaking and Ukrainian-speaking population is going on. It disregards the extensive irrefutable factual evidence confirming an ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas that can be found here and here.

At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in the strongest terms and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia complies with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border. The European Union stated in July of 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

See an earlier disinformation case alleging that the rumours about the Russian military presence in Donbas come from a linguistic misunderstanding.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Europe has long lost its civilisation, abandoning Christian roots and its culture
Additional details: There are so many abominations in Europe. There are even urinals in the streets. Liberals travel to Europe and gather these abominations. Then, they think if they behave in the same ugly manner, they will be called civilised. Europe has long lost its civilisation, abandoning Christian roots, abandoning its culture, exchanging it for the culture of migrants.
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Disinforming outlet(s): News Front time 13:25-13:55
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives portraying Europe as immoral, abandoning Christianity and a threat to traditional values, as well as narratives about migrants and Islamisation. The narrative of 'threatened values' is one of the most common narratives used by pro-Kremlin outlets.

Despite the dropping levels of religious practice in Europe, the majority of western Europeans still identify themselves as Christians, a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Centre shows. According to the same survey, 31% of western Europeans who identify themselves as Christians attend religious services at least monthly.

Find more examples of similar disinformation cases here.

Keywords: culture, European values, Christianity, Europe
Countries: Europe, The West
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General Staff of National Army prepares Moldova to join NATO
Additional details: The General Staff is openly preparing the national army for the prospective entry into the Western military bloc and the Alliance’s peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the African continent.
 
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Disinforming outlet(s): Vedomosti.md, Fondsk.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narratives about EU/ NATO enlargement and the West's strategy of encircling Russia, where each military exercise of Moldovan soldiers is presented as a part of a secret plan to join NATO. A similar case can be found here.

According to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Moldova, the military exercises "Agile Hunter 2019" and "Sea Breeze 2019", to which the reference is made, aim to train soldiers and officers for peacekeeping operations.

On top of that, Moldova has never declared its intention to join NATO. It is a constitutionally neutral state, and NATO fully respects Moldova’s constitutional neutrality, as stated on its official web site. Relations with NATO started in 1992, when Moldova joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, aiming to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic standards and institutions.

Concerning a possible enlargement, at the moment, NATO counts 29 states and currently, four partner countries have declared their aspirations for NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Republic of North Macedonia and Ukraine.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, NATO
Countries: Moldova
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Russian evidence about Ukraine's implication in MH17 downing is ignored
Additional details: Ukraine may be implicated in MH17 downing. The Joint Investigative Team (JIT) ignores Russian radar data and proof that the missile that fired the Malaysian Boeing 777 belonged to Ukraine.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Flight MH17 denying Russia's responsibility. One of many examples of competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will prosecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the MH17 crash and murdering the 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason, they can also be held jointly accountable for downing of flight MH17. The conclusion is corroborated by Bellingcat research.

Keywords: Conspiracy, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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Soros's sponsors in Romania have influenced public policy and street protests
Additional details: George Soros's money has so far been predominantly for militants in Eastern Europe and developing countries, Romania being one of the countries where sponsorships of Soros have influenced public policy and even street protests.
 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Romania
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy story is in line with the US presence in Europe narrative and Soros conspiracy, portraying George Soros as being behind street protests and spreading chaos in post-Soviet countries and in Eastern Europe.

A similar case can be found here.

Keywords: George Soros
Countries: Romania, Eastern Europe
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Russia and China inflict a destructive blow to the dollar
Additional details: Russia and China inflicted a destructive blow to the dollar by signing an intergovernmental agreement on payment exchanges in national currencies. Further measures, such as payment mechanisms outside the SWIFT system and standardised exchange rates, will follow in the frame of a “de-dollarisation” process initiated in 2018.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The affirmation that the agreement between Russia and China inflicted a “destructive blow” to the dollar is part of a narrative related to the power of the dollar in international affairs, which is a critical matter for Russia due to the burden of sanctions.

This is also coincidental with comments by President Vladimir Putin on the need to rethink the role of the dollar in global trade. Russia is trying to reduce its share of dollars as currency reserves, trading them for euros, yuan, yen and gold. However, the US dollar share of global currency reserves is still above 61 per cent, while the euro is over 20 per cent. In comparison, the Chinese yuan, while rising, does not reach 2 per cent, and the Russian rouble is not considered as a reserve currency due to its volatility.

Three quarters of Russia’s international trade is performed in dollars. Almost 90 per cent of Russia-China trade is currently paid in dollars. Previous initiatives by China and Russia to integrate local currencies in their respective payment systems have failed. So, calling this agreement a “destructive blow to the dollar” is a distortion of facts.

Other examples of disinformation about the Russian economy can be seen here, here and here.

Keywords: economy, Economic difficulties
Countries: China, Russia
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The US is deploying launch systems that are prohibited by the INF Treaty
Additional details: In military sites in Romania and Poland, the US is deploying launch systems that are capable of launching cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk, which is prohibited by the INF Treaty.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its noncompliance with the Treaty in several areas.

The US government has issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US non-compliance with the INF Treaty. As has been explained in detail by the US government, the MK-41 launcher used at the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defence system deployed in Romania [to be deployed also in Poland] is only capable of launching defensive interceptor missiles. The Aegis Ashore system lacks the software, fire control hardware, support equipment, and other infrastructure needed to launch offensive ballistic or cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk. The Aegis Ashore system has never been tested for, nor is it capable of, launching a Tomahawk cruise missile, and therefore complies with the INF Treaty.

In December 2017, NATO affirmed that the US was in full compliance with the INF Treaty and that Russia possessed a new missile system [subsequently identified as the 9M729 cruise missile] that aroused “serious concerns”.

Keywords: INF Treaty, NATO
Countries: US, Poland, Romania
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Accusations against Russia aim to “demonise” it
Additional details: Russia, unlike Washington and its allies, has not interfered and is not going to interfere in the internal affairs of either the EU or other countries of the world.

The accusations of the US and the EU against Russia are absurd and unsubstantiated. Despite suspicions about the "Russian interference" in the US presidential election, the Americans could not find concrete evidence. The sanctions against Moscow imposed because of these accusations still remain in force.

The main purpose of these accusations is to “demonise” Russia in the eyes of Europeans.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Attempts of election meddling by Russia are already well documented. Investigations were conducted by the authorities of various countries, for example, Parliament's committee (UK). Numerous investigations have provided convincing evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum and in elections across Europe and in the US. Thus, in the US, 126 million people were reached on social media by Russia-linked users, 29 million of them have seen the content "directly". See more information here, here and here.

Russian meddling in the 2016 election was established by US intelligence agencies before the publication of the Mueller report. Robert Mueller’s investigation decisively concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Specifically, Mueller's report declared that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election", where the first one is the Internet Research Agency's disinformation campaign and social media operations to disrupt the election, and the second one is the Russian government's hacking operations against the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organisations. The findings of the Mueller investigation have led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter further election meddling attempts. For a similar case see here. Other cases about Russia's interference can be consulted here.

Ahead of the European elections 2019, Microsoft registered cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organisations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, and public policy, that are often in contact with government officials. Microsoft continues to investigate the source of these attacks but is confident that many of them originated from a group called Strontium, also known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – which is believed to be associated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. Read more here. Furthermore, the report on the implementation of the Action Plan Against Disinformation made clear that "the evidence collected revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences”.

An overview of Russia's methods of electoral interference is here, and case studies are available here and here.

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller, Sanctions
Countries: US, Europe, Russia, EU
More
The West engineered the anti-Russian protests in Georgia
Additional details: The Russophobic protests in Georgia, which erupted in the wake of a Russian lawmaker's visit to Tbilisi, are a result of geopolitical engineering performed by Western politicians.

By orchestrating the riots, the West is trying to rip apart the ties and common history between Russians and Georgians.
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Disinforming outlet(s): RT (rt.com)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative alleging the undue influence of Western governments in the post-Soviet space; painting all manifestations of popular discontent in the region as manufactured elsewhere, and painting entire nations as pathologically Russophobic.

The article states that the Tbilisi protests were "engineered" by Western politicians in advance, only to admit in the following paragraph that the riots were spontaneously caused by the controversial appearance in Georgian parliament of a Russian State Duma deputy. Only the latter claim is supported by evidence.

The lawmaker in question has publicly supported the enduring Russian army presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two provinces which make up a fifth of Georgian territory and are recognised as occupied under Georgian law. Russian military presence is illegal and violates international law. No mention is made of the Russo-Georgian war or its possible effect on Russia-Georgia relations, although the report is quick to bemoan the alleged Western attempts to drive a wedge between the two countries and rewrite their "common history."

Keywords: Protest, Encircling Russia, Destabilising Russia, Russo-Georgian War, Russophobia, The West
Countries: Russia, The West, Georgia
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Washington and Brussels pushed Ukraine towards civil war
Additional details: In the winter of 2013-2014, the Maidan Revolution in Kyiv ousted former President Viktor Yanukovich who had refused to ratify an association agreement with the European Union, getting closer to Vladimir Putin's Russia. A diplomatic disaster for Europe: Washington and Brussels proposing such an agreement actually forced Ukraine to choose a side, pushing the country to a civil war, while it had been a buffer between the West and Russia until then.

The conflict turned into a disaster for the Ukrainian army. But how was this possible? How could a region of 3 million people and its army of 10-15,000 insurgents stand up to a country of 40 million and its 150,000 soldiers? Do not forget that the people of Donbas defend their home, their land, their history, their heritage.

One must understand one thing Russia absolutely did not want this war in Donbas. One thing is certain, it was not the Russians who provoked this war.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9jROljju40
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik France time 02:02 - 02:29, 16:40 - 17:18, 25:20 -25:26
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the civil war in Ukraine.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court recognised that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation".  The international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".  At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded Russia to stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded Russia to comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, Donbas, Euromaidan
Countries: US, Russia, The West, Ukraine, EU
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Ukraine denies all peaceful means of Donbas conflict solution
Additional details: [...] The Ukrainian authorities do not wish to talk with or to listen to anyone. They deny all peaceful means of Donbas conflict solution without being able to solve the issue by military means.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message contains common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives concerning the war in Ukraine. It disregards a multitude of factual evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas. Consult the evidence database and publications with further evidence here and here.

It is untrue that the Ukrainian authorities purposefully block any attempts to resolve the Donbas conflict. During Zelenskyy's recent visits to Germany and France, the sides have discussed the need to restart peace efforts, including the so-called Normandy format, which brings together Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France. On 27 June Zelenskyy called on Putin to release Ukrainian seamen from detention in Russia. In late April Ukrainian president also called for an exchange of prisoners in "all-to-all" format.

See an earlier disinformation case alleging that the rumours about Russian military presence in Donbas come from linguistic misunderstanding.

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
UK embassy may finance a campaign against a former Belarusian Minister of Interior
Additional details: The recent resignation of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus, Ihar Shunevich, became a real celebration for the Belarusian opposition. Shunevich was an opponent of gays, lesbians, and transvestites, and an advocate of family values. He irritated Belarusian patriots and became a personal opponent for Belarusian human rights defender [Valiancin Stefanovich] who was advocating for gay traditions of those countries where such traditions have turned into madness.

He also negatively reacted to waiving LGBT flag by UK embassy on 17 May and must have found himself blacklisted by the UK ambassador to Belarus Fiona Gibb.

Despite Shunevich's resignation, Belarusian opposition may continue the hunt against him and attempts to prosecute Shunevich. The UK embassy, and personally Fiona Gibb, may finance a harassment campaign by the Belarusian opposition. Hence Shunevich must be given immunity from prosecution as this will guarantee the integrity of our family values.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Berestje-News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the morally corrupt West and its aggressive actions towards Belarus and Belarusian society. It is aimed to discredit Belarusian democratic opposition by equating protection of LGBT rights by human rights defenders with the alleged promotion of anti-family values. There is no proof that Belarusian opposition staged a harassment campaign against Ihar Shunevich and no indicators whatsoever that he can really be prosecuted for his statements.

After the Belarusian Interior Ministry slammed the UK embassy in Minsk for flying a rainbow flag on the International Day Against Homophobia in 2018, UK Ambassador Fiona Gibb posted a video stating, "This embassy is once again flying the rainbow flag as we did in 2015, 2017 and 2018. We do so not to promote LGBT, but to promote equal rights for this community. LGBT people are not asking for special rights, but simply to enjoy the same respect, dignity and rights as others. As human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people, my government is committed to non-discrimination on any grounds, including sexual orientation and gender identity."

 

Keywords: European values, Conspiracy, LGBT
Countries: UK, The West, Belarus
More
Russia is not involved in the arms race and does not violate the INF
Additional details: Russia does not violate the INF Treaty and does not create dangerous weapons capable of carrying nuclear charges. The United States is the one violating international agreements on arms control while accusing Russia of everything in order to freely deploy missiles in Europe. NATO’s position on the INF Treaty is ridiculous since Russia will comply with the treaty, but the Alliance will not.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Estonia time 00.19-00.52, RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its non-compliance in several areas, and that Russia is fully compliant with the treaty.

The US government issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US non-compliance with the INF Treaty (see previous cases on the subject). In July 2014, President Obama officially accused Russia of testing an intermediate-range land-launched missile in violation of the treaty. Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on December 4th 2018. NATO allies share the US government’s assessment that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.

In February, the United States suspended its participation in the INF Treaty, stressing that nearly 6 years of diplomacy and more than 30 meetings have failed to convince Russia to return to compliance with the INF Treaty. On July 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law on the suspension of the INF Treaty. On July 5, the Russia-NATO Council was held, following which Secretary-General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said that NATO and the Kremlin have fundamental differences in this matter.

More disinformation cases on the INF treaty can be found here, here, here and here.

Keywords: INF Treaty, New Cold War, Nuclear issues, NATO
Countries: United States, Russia, EU
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The EU no longer has confidence in the US and NATO
Additional details: The United States intends to invent myths about Russia's aggression in order to increase its influence over the EU countries, but such actions do not lead to success. The EU has long been thinking about the expediency of the existence of NATO and no longer has confidence in the North Atlantic Alliance.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The constant propaganda narrative that Russia is a peaceful country and NATO is committed to war.

The European Union and NATO are strategic partners who are constantly working to improve their cooperation. In recent years, the programme of mutual support between the EU and the Alliance has  expanded significantly.

In 2016, the heads of both organisations signed a Joint Declaration in Warsaw, which aims to give a new direction and meaning to the EU-NATO partnership. The Declaration identifies concrete steps and provides an action plan for the cooperation of the two organisations. Joint efforts are aimed not only at strengthening defence and security, but also at solving some political issues. Areas of cooperation include countering hybrid threats, strengthening the defence power of the EU and NATO, countering terrorism, ensuring military mobility, women's rights issues, fighting for peace and ensuring common security.

22 of the 28 EU member states are allies within NATO, and most of the remaining EU member states have entered into partnership agreements with NATO. 

Moreover, the report of the Atlantic Council "The United States and Central Europe: Tasks for the Second Century Together," discusses possible threats to the security and stability of the United States and the countries of the European Union. According to the document, in recent years, support for the Alliance in EU countries is actually increasing: in countries such as Poland, the level of support for NATO exceeds 90%, and in the more sceptical Bulgaria and Slovakia, more than half of the population is confident in the support of the Alliance.

Keywords: European army, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: Central Europe, EU
More
OSCE experts could not prove Russia's involvement in Donbas
Additional details: The West accuses Russia of direct participation in the armed conflict in the Donbas, although the Russian Armed Forces had never participated in military operations in the neighbouring country. Even experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE), who have been in Donbas for years, were not able to prove that.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Arabic
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Denying the presence of Russian forces in Donbas is a standard pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative. Moreover, saying that the OSCE did not find evidence of Russian participation in Donbas goes against some statements of the former First Deputy Chief Monitor to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Alexander Hug. It is not the first time that such claims are made

In an interview, delivered in autumn 2018, Hug mentions that the Mission has been recording the instances of Russia's involvement into the war in Donbas. "We have been seeing at least in six instances convoys leaving and entering Ukraine, which we have been documenting, which have been driving towards the unsecure border with the Russian Federation in the middle of the night, on dirt roads, and have been seen at the unsecure border at areas where there is no official border crossing," Hug said. 

"The Special Monitoring Mission has also seen tracks that are in close proximity of the unsecure border with the Russian Federation. We have also described in multiple times […] specific types of weapons that we have seen in the areas not controlled by the government, and we have seen and spoken to prisoners taken by the Ukrainian Armed Forces who claimed to have been members of a Russian unit fighting on rotation in Ukraine. All of these facts have been made available and I have been referring to them, including in that interview. These facts speak for themselves," Hug concluded.

See here for more information about Russian forces in Ukraine.

Keywords: DNR, Eastern Ukraine, Alexander Hug, LNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas, OSCE
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Ukraine is not able to repair and modernise its aircraft without Russia, it is a safety risk
Additional details: Ukraine has serious problems with the repair and modernisation of the Soviet MiG-29 fighters because of the sanctions imposed against Russia. The Lviv Aircraft Repair Plant reported that it lost the opportunity to acquire Russian spare parts for the fighter-planes, which is why it did not fulfil the contract for updating the aircraft. Experts note that the attempts of Ukrainian specialists to independently modernise the MiG-29 can make the operation of the machine unsafe.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given for a safety risk.

There are no such words about anti-Russian sanctions in the statement RT.com referred to.

The Lviv State Aviation Repair Plant was accused of failing to fulfil the contract to repair two aircraft in time. In the press release it was mentioned that the plant is going to file an appeal to the court decision, as the company was forced to adhere to the norms of the law, that is: “to modernise the aircraft in the absence of spare parts, since the result of the above decision of the National Security and Defence Council created restrictions in purchasing them”. But there is no mention that the contract was not fulfil at the time due to the lack of details from Russia.

The website of the Lviv State Aviation Repair Plant, which is engaged in repair and modernisation of aircraft, including the MiG-29, notes that “we are separately proud of the promptly implemented import substitution program. It is about manufacturing parts that were previously supplied from manufacturers in the Russian Federation”.

Also in April 2019, the plant noted that the technological capabilities for the restoration of military aviation were expanded.

Because of the refusal to use Russian spare parts, Ukrainian plants have to find other channels to get these details. Because of this, repair and modernisation may take longer time than usual.

At the same time, Ukrainian sanctions in the defence sphere have had consequences for Russia, since the Russian military-industrial complex depends on Ukrainian enterprises in the rocket-space, aviation and shipbuilding industries.  Many parts for the Russian technology were manufactured in Ukrainian factories. A Radio Liberty investigation names a number of components that Russia has lost because of sanctions.

Read similar disinformation cases portraying the Ukrainian industry as failing and Ukraine as economically dependent on Russia.

Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
La République en Marche (LREM) and Nathalie Loiseau disrespect women's rights
Additional details: Madame Loiseau asked "why do Islamic head scarfs bother people more than the veil of Mother Teresa?" LREM head of the list Nathalie Loiseau compares the Islamic veil, a political item and the submission of women to the veil of the nuns such as Mother Teresa!
LREM will do nothing to fight against Islamism, nor to preserve our civilisation and women's freedom. Nathalie Loiseau's comments show LREM's stance on women's rights in general.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News Fr
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Part of a series of manipulative messages targeting Nathalie Loiseau by Russian sources in France. This article extrapolates and distorts the message of Nathalie Loiseau. No evidence given that LREM or Natalie Loiseau disrespect the rights of women.

Nathalie Loiseau wrote in her book entitled "Choose everything" published in 2014, "Why does our society so ardently rely on and especially against the veil of the Muslims? Do we have so many lessons to give, we who covered the head of women in the churches not so long time ago? [...] Why does the Islamic headscarf bother us more than the veil of Mother Teresa or Sister Emmanuelle?"

The whole book is about women's rights, against discrimination, the difficulties that Loiseau faced herself as a woman in politics and about different living conditions of women in different countries, women whom she had met in person previously.

When asked to comment on her previous remarks on the Islamic head scarf, Natalie Loiseau explained to BFM TV that she thinks, for example, about Latifa Ibn Ziaten who lost her son killed by a terrorist racist attack and fights for tolerance. "This woman wears a scarf. Do I have a reason to tell her to stop putting it on?" Loiseau also added: "From the moment a woman is not subjected to oppression, is not in submission, I respect her choice. On the other hand, when a woman is not free to do what she wants, to dress as she wants, to go out, to go to school, to work, to do what she wants to do, she will always find me at her side".

 

Keywords: Nathalie Loiseau, Islamisation, Muslim/Islam
Countries: Europe, France
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Ukraine is waiting for an ecological disaster because of the water blockade of the Crimea
Additional details: The Ukrainian blockade of the North-Crimean Canal harms residents. The Radensk village in the Kherson district and the Mayachka village in the Oleshkovsky district are drowning.

The Kherson authorities and Kyiv officials are to blame for everything. The worst is still to come: the first ecological disaster is the salting of the fertile land, the second is dehydration, the third is an ecological disaster when there is surplus water in the villages, and they get buried.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/news/20190614/1023897671.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and Crimea.

Flooded houses in the Kherson region have nothing to do with the blockade of the North-Crimean Canal. At the beginning of June, there was heavy rainfall in the region, which led to the flooding of many households, including the villages mentioned.

In its daily report of 7th June 2019, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine noted that "on 6 June, as a result of intense precipitation, 150 dormitories in the village of Novaya Mayachka of the Oleshkovsky district were flooded. At the moment, the Kherson regional council asked the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to provide money in the state budget for the construction of a new drainage system in the village of Novaya Mayachka, which was damaged by flooding.

The consequences of the water blockade of the Crimea refer to occupied Crimea, and not to mainland Ukraine.

More disinformation cases on this issue can be found here.

Further debunking by StopFake.

Keywords: Ukraine, Kherson, Crimea
Countries: Ukraine
More
The US keeps Poland on a short anti-Russian leash
Additional details: The United States intentionally keeps Poland on a short anti-Russian “leash” as the Poland-Russia conflict makes this country lonely on the international arena. The relations between Poland and Russia will continue to be tense as it is beneficial for the United States to keep Poland in conflict with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the United States shape foreign policy of the European countries and push them to conflict with Russia – see examples here for Poland, here for the EU and here for Germany.

The statement that the United States controls the Polish elites and political decision-making process is a conspiracy theory. Poland is a sovereign state, which forms its own foreign and domestic policies. As a member of NATO and the EU, Poland is able to impact the formation of common foreign policies of these organisations.

Keywords: Russophobia, Conspiracy
Countries: US, Poland, Russia
More
New head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, refuses to fight separatism in the EU
Additional details: In his new position as High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Spain's interim Foreign Minister Josep Borrell refuses to fight separatism in the EU. In an interview with the Spanish public national radio (RNE), he affirmed that his job “won’t be” to confront pro-independence positions.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a distortion of Josep Borrell’s statement. In the radio interview he was clearly talking about separatism in Catalonia. In the Sputnik article, it is ambiguously presented as a statement about separatist movement in general, inside the European Union. Mr Borrell also said that confronting pro-independence Catalan movement was not part of his new job, because “it is an internal problem of a member country”. Borrell’s exact words [in Spanish] were: “This is not a role for the High Representative of the European Union in Foreign Affairs,” adding that in such a position, Catalonia “will be a marginal question” for his duties. Affirming that he “refuses” to address this question is a gross manipulation of the truth.

See here and here for other examples of disinformation narratives about the European Union and separatism.

Keywords: Catalonia
Countries: Spain
More
The US is waging a ''colour revolution'' against Russia
Additional details: The "collective West" has instigated a hybrid war against Russia, containing three major elements: the first element is the economic warfare; the second - sustaining local and regional conflicts. The third, and most important element is information-psychological war - activities aimed at influencing the psychology of the adversary.

The United States are carefully and methodologically preparing a social outburst, a "colour revolution" and a coup d'etat in Russia in 2021--2022, around the time of the next parliamentary elections in Russia.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): IA Rex
News Front German
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. This is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia. The message implies that any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states are US-funded "colour revolutions".

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Russophobia, Information war, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, The West
More
US Intelligence claims Putin is getting ready to invade Georgia
Additional details: US intelligence services stated that Putin is getting ready for military intervention in Georgia. According to Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Putin is deploying the most modern military technique in South Ossetia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: alia.ge/news/32150
Disinforming outlet(s): Alia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Mike Rogers's interview is 5-years old. In 2014, he talked about the deployment of Russian military technique in South Ossetia to Fox News in the context of Ukraine and regional security. This interview was published by several Georgian outlets then went viral on Facebook amid the ongoing anti-occupation protests in Georgia, thus attempting to sow the threat of war in public.

This is an example of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting civil uprisings in other states as externally-funded "colour revolutions" or geopolitical engineering, used for example in reference to Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Venezuela. It is also consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its imperialistic global role. 

 

Keywords: Russo-Georgian War
Countries: Russia, Georgia
More
2014 Ukrainian coup led to civil war, Crimea referendum
Additional details: Following the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kyiv, a civil war broke out in east Ukraine and the residents of Crimea held a referendum to rejoin Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This concise claim combines no fewer than three key narratives of Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine: that the 2014 Euromaidan revolution was a Western-backed coup; that Crimea "rejoined" Russia in a democratic "referendum"; and that the bloody conflict in east Ukraine is a civil war. By implication, the claim also paints Ukraine as a helpless non-entity caught between the meddling of Western governments and the incompetence of its own leaders.

The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here. See some more recent debunks of this claim here and here.

Crimea did not "rejoin" Russia, as it remains a part of sovereign Ukrainian territory according to an overwhelming majority of UN member states. The so-called "referendum" was held at gunpoint and featured no recognised election observers, but did see the involvement of far-right Kremlin loyalists invited to "monitor" the sham procedure. The ludicrous official result of 97% in favour of annexation was contested by the Kremlin's own Human Rights Council. See the full debunk here.

The statement presents the 2014 events in Crimea and the Donbas as a spontaneous response by swathes of Ukrainian society to the "coup" in Kyiv, which in turn escalated into a civil conflict. But Russian and Russia-sponsored actors had been busy fomenting separatist sentiments in east Ukraine since at least 2005. The active phase of the Donbas war was triggered with the 12 April 2014 assault on the city of Slovyans'k, led by Russian intelligence officer Igor Girkin. By September that year, Russia had sent up to 15,000 regular troops into the region.

Aleksandr Boroday, Russian citizen and former "prime minister" of the "people's republic" of Donets'k, said that the "scenarios in Crimea and east Ukraine were prepared by the same team." The statement is all the more illuminating in the context of Putin's later admission that preparations for the Crimea landgrab had been under way since late February.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Manipulated elections/referendum, Ukrainian disintegration, International Law, War in Ukraine, Coup, Donbas, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The Council of Europe is a completely meaningless and absolutely anti-Russian organisation
Additional details: As soon as the Russian delegation was re-admitted to PACE, anti-Russian resolutions went one after another. Then, all these ECHR decisions against Russia! And Russia has to pay many thousands of Euros to the victims. The Council of Europe is completely meaningless and absolutely an anti-Russian organisation. Participation in PACE is not effective.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Council of Europe, undermining role of this institution. The Council of Europe is an international organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. The Council of Europe is not "anti" any country. PACE resolutions aim at resolving existing problems and cannot be considered as steps against the country concerned.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is one of the Council of Europe’s institutions which safeguards human rights in Europe. Russia has the biggest number of cases pending in the Court. If Russia was to leave the organisation, Russian citizens would be deprived of the chance to defend their rights at the ECHR.

 

 

Keywords: ECHR, Council of Europe
Countries: Russia
More
NATO sponsoring colour revolutions in post-Soviet states
Additional details: NATO is preparing colour revolutions in a number of post-Soviet countries, which will result in coups d'état and installation of Western-friendly regimes in those states.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative invariably casting popular uprisings in the post-Soviet states and elsewhere as regime-change devices, including those in Georgia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Armenia; and portraying Russia as a non-interfering global actor encircled by Russophobes.

Accordingly, the agents of regime change behind mass protests around the world include, but are not limited to, the US, NATO, the CIA, the EU, the West in general, "certain forces," and George Soros. No evidence is ever given to support these claims; in fact, the lack of proof is the very foundation of "Big Conspiracy" narratives, which authoritarian governments make abundant use of.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, Puppets, Russophobia, NATO, Conspiracy
Countries: Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus
More
The US and allies supported the coup d’état in Ukraine
Additional details: The US and several of their allies supported the coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Euromaidan was a coup d’état, organised by the US and other Western states.

The protest movement known as Euromaidan, which lasted from the end of November 2013 until the end of February 2014, was a spontaneous uprising of the Ukrainian people, not a coup d’état.

People protested against the government of former President Yanukovych who, in a U-turn decision, decided not to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union that he had promised for years.

For more disinformation cases about Euromaidan see here.

Keywords: Coup, Euromaidan
Countries: US, Ukraine
More
George Soros destabilises states in order to provoke civil wars like Euromaidan in Ukraine
Additional details: George Soros destabilises states in order to provoke civil wars like Euromaidan in Ukraine
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Conspiracy theory. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation claiming  George Soros aims to destabilise countries and topple regimes in post-communist  Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. See here for similar cases.

In reality Soros’ Open Society Foundations [OSF] - which are inspired by Karl Popper’s concept of the “open society” - aim to promote civil society, the rule of law, human rights and liberal democracy  around the world by funding civil society groups.

The International Renaissance Foundation, a Ukrainian NGO founded by Soros,  played an important role supporting civil society during the Euromaidan protests. The foundation ensured that legal aid was made available throughout the crisis to civic activists, protesters, and journalists; supplied victims of violence with medical care; enabled civil society solidarity and organization; supported channels like Hromadske TV in independent, live reporting about events on the Maidan; and documented cases of torture, beatings, and police and courts abuse.

 

Keywords: Coup, Conspiracy, George Soros
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine will not survive as a country in the current state of civil war
Additional details: Japan disputes Russian sovereignty over the Kuril Islands but has been endlessly delaying this issue for a century or so. Ukraine cannot follow Japan's strategy. It will just not survive this long, especially in the current state of civil war which it does not want to put an end to.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about failing Ukraine and the war in Ukraine. It disregards the extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas. Prior debunks of this narrative can be found here and here.

The war in Ukraine was supported by Russian Federation armed forces, it is not a civil war as some want to portray it. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded Russia to stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded Russia to comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “[t]he information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.  This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.”

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Japan, Russia, Ukraine
More
Russia’s 9M729 missile does not violate the INF Treaty
Additional details: Russia’s 9M729 missile does not violate the INF Treaty. This missile was not developed nor tested with a range superior to that established by the INF Treaty. The US has never produced any proof that the missile violated the INF Treaty.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that Russia’s 9M729 missile does not violate the INF Treaty, that the US is fully responsible for the demise of the Treaty, and that Russia is interested in dialogue about the Treaty but the US is not.

The INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty, signed in 1987, prohibits the US and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometers.

In July 2014 the then-US President Obama  officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty. In March 2017, a senior US military official accused Russia of deploying the new missile, which posed a threat to NATO and to facilities within the NATO area of responsibility.

The US  has gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of  the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometers. The US has provided Moscow with substantial information about the 9M729’s violations, including geographic coordinates and dates for the tests, but Russia continues to deny any wrongdoing.

The US has spent almost six years in dialogues with Russia to try to resolve Russia’s non-compliance, raising the issue in numerous meetings, including at the highest levels as well as in meetings of technical experts. However, Russia consistently refused to address US and NATO concerns.

See here for more background information.

 

.

 

Keywords: INF Treaty, Nuclear issues, Missile defence system
Countries: US, Russia
More
Belarus is under 'colour revolution' pressure from the West and global influence groups
Additional details: The irresponsible policies of Western governments and oligarchs have resulted in a planetary crisis. Only the preservation of Belarusian traditions and values can overcome this. Many global political and economic processes are managed by trans-border 'influence groups' who only care about their own benefits and disregard any national interests.
For instance, the Ukrainians made one-sided concessions to the EU and the US without getting a say in the issues of mutual interest. Even the EU’s visa free regime for Ukrainians is just a fig leaf to cover the geopolitical intentions of Western governments and oligarchs. Belarus-related policies of Western politicians are also often dictated by global influence groups. This is why Belarusians have to be ideologically and technologically prepared to withstand this pressure and to disrupt their scenarios, be they orange, velvet, or brown.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vmeste s Rossiyey, Grodnodaily, Pravfond.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message contains common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Shadow Government narratives, the Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood countries, including Belarus, and about Ukraine's lost sovereignty.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that global neo-colonialists stage colour revolutions and conquer indigenous national elites, the West attempted to stage at least 6 colour revolutions in Belarus, and that the EU may cancel the visa-free regime due to the measles epidemic in Ukraine.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: The West, Ukraine, Belarus
More
British Round Table Movement has infiltrated America
Additional details: While there has been a long-standing narrative promoted for over 70 years that the British Empire disappeared after World War II having been replaced by the “American Empire”, it is the furthest thing from the truth. Henry Kissinger’s takeover of the State Department ushered in a new era of British occupation of American foreign policy, whereby the republic increasingly became the “Dumb Giant” acting as “American Brawn for the British brains” using Churchill’s words.

The policy of Anglo-Saxon imperialism had been promoted subversively by British-run think tanks known as the Round Table Movement and Fabian Society, and the seeds had already been laid for the anti-Russian cold war by those British-run American fascists.

While a nihilistic generation of youth were tuning in on LSD, and an old guard of patriots surrounding Wallace and Kennedy had fallen to the “red scare” witch hunt, geopolitical theory was fed like a sweet poison down the throat of a sleeping nation, replacing a policy of peace and “win-win cooperation” with an imperial clone masquerading as a republic.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Oriental Review
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. A pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative linking Britain and Russophobia. This message is consistent with a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that the “deep state” and “shadow government” control the work of democratic institutions in the United States. Here are some other examples of this narrative: “Deep state” fighting with Trump (here and here); “Deep state” shaping the US foreign policy (here).

No reputable political scientists and researchers confirm the existence of a “deep state” in the United States.

Keywords: Deep state, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, UK
More
EU countries' economies are on the brink of default, with over 20% unemployment rates
Additional details: Some EU countries teeter on the brink of default and the levels of unemployment in some EU member states exceed 20%. At the same time Belarus, a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, is famous for its extremely low level of unemployment, clean and accurate towns and villages, the absence of oligarchs, lawlessness, arbitrariness of officials, and free from many other shortcomings of transit economies.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vmeste s Rossiyey, Grodnodaily, Pravfond.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message contains ungrounded statements concerning the economic performance of the EU member states. It is consistent with a common pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU's imminent collapse.

In May 2019, EU-28 unemployment stood at 6.3 %, the lowest level since the start of the EU monthly unemployment series in January 2000. The highest unemployment rates among EU countries in May 2019 were registered in Greece (18,1%) and Spain (13,6%). In the rest of the EU member states it was less than 10%, the lowest in the Czech Republic, Germany, and the Netherlands with 2,2%, 3,1% and 3,3%, respectively, according to Eurostat statistics. The authors is deliberately mixing up youth unemployment figures with overall rates.

The registered unemployment rate in Belarus on 1 June 2019 was as low as 0,3%, as reported by the Belarusian Telegraph Agency. However, Belarus' official unemployment rate is a result of calculations rather than economic achievements. According to Belarusian legislation, the unemployed are the working age residents who are registered with the state employment agency. As the unemployment benefits in Belarus are very meagre, the unemployed are supposed to carry out public works as directed by the employment agency and as enterprises normally do not notify state agencies about better-paid vacancies, most of the unemployed choose not to undergo the registration procedure and therefore are not accounted in official statistics. Occasional surveys conducted in accordance with the International Labour Organisation’s methodology suggest that real unemployment rates in Belarus exceed 5%.

The claim that economies of a number of EU countries face default is ungrounded. At present, no EU country has a credit rating low enough to justify that claim. In fact, the ranking shows that Belarus' credit rating is lower than any of the EU's member states and is much lower than the EU's. The EU as a whole enjoys a very high credit rating. It is rated AAA/Aaa/AAA/AAA (outlook stable) by Fitch, Moody’s, DBRS and Scope and AA (outlook stable) by Standard & Poor’s.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the current socio-economic situation of Poland is worse than in the communist times and that the EU countries face 'total unemployment'.

Keywords: fake statistics, Economic difficulties
Countries: EU, Belarus
More
Ukrainian soldiers in civilian clothes were seen laying mines near the dividing line in Donbas
Additional details: Ukrainian soldiers in civilian clothes were seen laying mines near the dividing line in Donbas. The fact was also observed by OSCE.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tvalsazrisi.ge
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No proof is given. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) regularly releases reports on ceasefire violations. The official website of OSCE SMM does not confirm any information about Ukrainian soldiers laying mines in Donbas.

The article also provides a screenshot from a video which in fact, is a screenshot from a video uploaded in 2015. The video was created by the Turkish company Haci Productions for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as a thank you for the video created by the Ukrainians for the Turkish Air Force.

The Kremlin has long been spreading this type of disinformation. See similar disinformation case here. Unconfirmed information about Ukrainian soldiers seen laying mines was also spread in 2018. More information can be found here.

Keywords: Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
There was a coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014
Additional details: In April 2014 Ukrainian authorities began military operation against self-proclaimed DPR and LPR which declared independence after Ukraine's coup d’état of February 2014.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests and the war in Ukraine. It was Russia that provoked the war, for further debunking see here.

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s violent dispersal of peaceful student protests against Yanukovych's sudden decision to withdraw from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here.

After former President Yanukovych was voted out of office by the parliament, Ukraine held constitutional early presidential elections. The Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions issued by the IEOM on 26 May 2014 concluded that the election “was characterized by high voter turnout and the clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms in the vast majority of the country. This was despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions and the increasing attempts to derail the process by armed groups in these parts of the country.”  See the Final Report of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission for the 25 May 2014 early presidential election in Ukraine.

 

Keywords: Civil war, Donbas, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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The US promoted von der Leyen to weaken the EU
Additional details: There’s no use arguing that a person with Ursula von der Leyen's track record cannot possibly succeed in the highest post in the EU, therefore it’s evident that some force has been strongly “promoting” her to this post. It is not difficult to identify this “mysterious force”, since nor Europe, nor its ordinary citizens can gain anything from poor leadership. It’s noteworthy that in the aftermath of yet another catastrophe associated with poor leadership – Brexit, Washington has lost its last means of directly influencing European politics through London. It’s clear that the US has no interest in observing a strong union of states across the pond.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Europe is occupied by the US and has limited sovereignty, the EU is directed by Washington, Germany is the executor of US hegemony over Europe; The USA is controlling Europe through occupied Germany.

See here and here for more information about how the EU citizens and institutions elect their leaders.

Keywords: Ursula von der Leyen, EU elections 2019, Conspiracy
Countries: US, EU, Germany
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The Republic of Moldova exports most of the products to the Russian Federation
Additional details: 80-90% of Moldovan exports go to the Russian Federation.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Ren TV, Theworldnews.net, Rbc.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This pro-Kremlin narrative aims to show Moldova as a country dependent on Russia. This type of narrative is used in reference to other countries, too - see a similar example here.

According to the National State Office of the Republic of Moldova, in 2018 Moldova exported goods worth US $ 2.7 billion.

See below the top 10 countries where Moldova exported most goods in December 2018:

  1. Romania - 792 306,86 thousand US dollars;
  2. Italy - 309,657.64 thousand US dollars;
  3. Germany - 219,902.82 thousand US dollars;
  4. The Russian Federation - 218,622.36 thousand US dollars;
  5. Turkey - 106 276,63 thousand US dollars;
  6. Poland - 98,100,68 thousand US dollars;
  7. Belarus - 87,234.60 thousand US dollars;
  8. Ukraine - 80 301.72 thousand US dollars;
  9. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - USD 78 816.81 thousand US dollars;
  10. Switzerland - 61,183.87 thousand US dollars.

Therefore, according to official data, in 2018, the Russian Federation reached the fourth place in the top of the countries after the destination of Moldovan exports, after Romania, Italy and Germany.

Keywords: Trade
Countries: Moldova, Russia
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Ukraine is under external control
Additional details: During the last five years, Ukraine has been under external control.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AanWmIraR-k
Disinforming outlet(s): Nash TV Channel time 26:13-26:17
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.  Recurring Kremlin narrative about Ukraine, which they claim is under external control from the US or EU.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government.  Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU.

You can find several disinformation cases on Ukraine being under foreign control here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Sovereignty, The West
Countries: Ukraine
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The US backed the coup in Ukraine in 2014
Additional details: The US backed the coup in Ukraine in 2014.

Russia has not interfered in the internal affairs of the EU countries or other countries in the world and does not want to interfere. This is the most important difference from the USA and its allies, who, for example, backed the coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine's statehood which claims that protests were organised by foreign forces.

It was not the United States, but Russia that triggered the military conflict in Ukraine.

As for Ukraine, there was no coup d’état in 2014. The spontaneous onset of massive Euromaidan protests was a reaction of the Ukrainian population to the sudden departure of President Yanukovych from the Association Agreement with the European Union and to the brutal dispersal of student protest actions on 30 November 2013. A similar case is available here.

 

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, Coup, Euromaidan, The West, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: US, Ukraine
More
The Mueller report did not prove Russian interference in the US elections
Additional details: The Mueller report did not prove Russian interference in the US elections.

The accusations against Russia of interfering in the US election campaign are the pinnacle of absurdity. It is well known how this turned out - with nothing, with a flop. The conclusions of the Commission of the US special investigator Robert Mueller also confirmed that there had been no conspiracy. They did not succeed in gathering facts, because there were simply none.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Robert Mueller's investigation and report determined that there were "two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election".  It led to US senators' proposals to extend sanctions on Russia to deter it from further election meddling.

The Mueller report explicitly identifies "numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign" (p. 9).

Find more disinformation cases on this issue here.

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller, Anti-Russian, Elections
Countries: US, Russia
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Russia has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country
Additional details: Russia has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country. Neither the EU countries, nor any other country in the world and do not want to interfere. This is our most important difference to the USA and its allies, who, for example, supported the overthrow in Ukraine in February 2014.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative attempting to portray Russia as peaceful and reusing well-known disinformation stories about Euromaidan and the war in Ukraine.

Since 1991 Russia was involved in several international conflicts, including intervention in neighbouring states, such as Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.

Many international organisations condemned Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the OSCE statements here and here and European Parliament's declaration.

It was also Russia that interfered in Ukraine. In 2014 Russia annexed a part of Ukrainian territory - the Crimean peninsula. The so-called referendum on the peninsula was organised in a matter of weeks by a self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea see here. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262, adopted on 27 March 2014 and supported by 100 states, clearly says that Russia's actions in Crimea as well as the referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea violate international law.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted military presence of Russia in Ukraine in 2015.

Moreover, numerous investigations have provided convincing evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum and in elections across Europe and in the US - see more information here, here and here.

Keywords: election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, The West
Countries: US, Russia, Ukraine
More
In Ukraine, the nationalists continue to violate the rights of the Russian-speaking population
Additional details: Ukraine continues to violate the rights of the Russian-speaking population: nationalist ideas continue to dominate the country's state policy, and the new President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cannot solve the problem with aggressive radicals and repeal the nationalist law, which forces Ukrainian citizens to speak only Ukrainian.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is another example of Russian disinformation about the law on the state language in Ukraine. Russia insists that the so-called "language law" violates the country's constitution and the rights of the Russian-speaking population.

This is a constant narrative of Russian propaganda that the rights of Russians are violated in Ukraine, and the country's leadership is radically nationalist.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
Anti-Russian protests in Georgia provoked by the George Soros' Open Society Foundation
Additional details: The foundation of the well-known philanthropist George Soros Open Society is to blame for the anti-Russian protests in Georgia.  On 20 June, the organisation openly called on Georgians to protest.  After that, provocations against Russia began in Tbilisi.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is another conspiracy theory followed by the Russian media. Western non-governmental organisations are often targeted by pro-Kremlin disinformation. Propaganda often accuses George Soros of organising anti-Russian protests because of his support for democracy and human rights in dozens of countries around the world.

Protests in Georgia began on the night of 21 June; discontent in Georgia was provoked by the visit of a Russian delegation to Tbilisi to participate in the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy. Following this, indignant civilian activists who accused Russia of occupying Georgian territories gathered outside the Georgian parliament. The Soros Open Society Foundation has nothing to do with the protests in Tbilisi.

Keywords: Protest, Provocation, George Soros
Countries: Georgia
More
The United States is preparing Ukraine for a new provocation against Russia
Additional details: The United States is making preparations for Ukraine to launch a new provocation against Russia in the Black and Azov Seas. The international military exercises "Sea Breeze 2019" need Ukraine in order to work out a plan to seize the Russian Crimea. Washington and Kyiv also intend to exacerbate the situation and present Russia in an unfavourable light.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

During the years of aggression against Ukraine, Russian propaganda has already developed a list of narratives that are used in an information war.  Any joint military exercises immediately receive the status of "provocation" from Russian media.  The Ukrainian-American training "Sea Breeze" also did not avoid this fate, although it's not the first time they are held in Ukraine. This year the exercises started on 1 July and are taking place in three regions of Ukraine: Mykolayiv, Kherson and Odesa.

The military exercises of Ukraine, the United States and some NATO countries involved 28 ships and 27 aircraft.  The main components of the manoeuvres are sea, land and aerial training.  They are not aimed at "developing military provocations" against Russia or "working on an offensive" for annexed Crimea, but rather to enhance the defensive capability of Ukraine and to exchange experience with other countries.  This year, one of the main accents of the manoeuvres is to protect the state border of Ukraine.

Keywords: Azov sea, Black Sea, Military exercise, NATO
Countries: United States, Ukraine
More
The US is a dictatorship
Additional details: The American Government is not responsive to what the public wants; it is responsive only to what the politically involved super-rich — the people who mainly fund politics — want. And those billionaires also control, or even own, all of the major ’news’ media, and so their propaganda filters-out such realities as that the country is a dictatorship, no democracy at all.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front English
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. Claiming the media and government is under total control by shadowy rulers is a common trope in pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Keywords: Media, Conspiracy
Countries: United States
More
Washington uses religious sects for destructive purposes
Additional details: In recent years, the United States has become particularly active in expanding the activities of its religious sects to other states, thus undermining the religious foundation of other societies. Moreover, those sects have played a major role in the intensification of protest activities in a number of coup d’etat attempts across the globe over the years. One can find a number of curious revelations about the role that religious sects played in assisting the CIA across the EU and the US.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in EU neighbourhood. This narrative is also consistent with a narrative about "The West" challenging traditional values. Similar cases, where US is accused of attacking traditional values in Europe through "sects" can be found here, here and here.

Keywords: Religion, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: US
More
Free higher education has disappeared in Ukraine
Additional details: Free higher education has disappeared in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/R4shnOoYhUM
Disinforming outlet(s): Polnyi Kontakt @ Vesti FM time 06:03
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. A similar case claiming that Ukraine is to ban school education can be found here.

The human right to higher education is provided for by Article 53 of the Constitution of Ukraine. All Ukrainian citizens are guaranteed competitive merit-based access to a tuition-free education in State-owned institutions, irrespective of their gender, race, social status, political ideology or affiliation, religion, etc.

The official interpretation of Article 53 was provided in the Constitutional Court Decision of 04.03.2014. The constitutional petition concerned the clarification of the provisions on the availability and tuition-free quality of pre-school, full secondary, vocational, higher education in state and communal educational institutions.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, education
Countries: Ukraine
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