The moment when the disinformation campaign around the Azov Sea started was not when Russia seized three Ukrainian vessels and their crews after opening fire at them on November 25.

In fact the campaign had been launched much earlier.

More than a year ago, Russian media started publishing claims of “Ukraine deepening the seabed for a NATO fleet at the Azov Sea”. In fact no evidence to any such “NATO fleet” can be found.

During the last summer and autumn the disinformation campaign intensified. We heard that Ukraine had suddenly “infected the Azov Sea with cholera” (the World Health Organisation reported that they have no data of any cholera cases there). In September the messaging was already preparing the ground for later disinformation, forecasting “West-inspired provocations on the Azov Sea shore” and that the US has been “planning for clashes between Ukrainian and Russian naval forces in the Black Sea since 1990s”. The “evidence” is based on a video game a former Russian soldier claims to have seen 15 years ago.

All these disinformation messages have the same objective: to show that Ukraine is the aggressor and that it takes orders for its “provocations” from the West. Always a convenient message for Russia’s disinformation; when we look at the illegal annexation of Crimea, or consecutive false claims that the Azov Sea is a Russian “inland sea” – or Russia’s celebration of the use of military force against Ukraine.

During the last week there was also a shift in the focus: to Ukrainians themselves. The aim seems to be to spread mistrust in the Ukrainian government and Western partners with lines like “The West hoped to paint the Azov Sea with the blood of Ukrainian citizens” and how “children in Mariupol are forced to dig trenches for soldiers”.

The English-language conspiracy sphere invented one more theory to justify Russia’s actions. The impeccable logic goes that Russian special forces actually managed to stop a provocation that might have led to World War III – as UK and Ukraine secret services were apparently transporting a portable nuclear device to explode the Crimea bridge. No efforts were made by the authors to even try and offer some proof.

Chaos in Europe!

In parallel to the operation around the Azov Sea, there is also a love for chaos on the air – at least in the newsroom of Russia Today. The riots in France have received so much attention from them that the keyword “France” brings up more than 20 stories about the Yellow vest protest in France from the last five days alone. So if RT presents itself as a global media outlet, wouldn’t it make sense to apply the same level of scrutiny to the protests that happened in Russia in September? In reality, the keyword “pension” brings up this article about protest against pension changes. It’s illuminating to compare this coverage to the BBC’s version to draw some conclusions about the strategy behind it.

Russian TV concluded that the protests in France are similar to “US-sponsored colour revolutions” and, like the Maidan,  dictated by the Americans in response to President Macron’s plans to create a European army.

Sounds far-fetched? It seems that years of disinformation about the  Maidan have created an information space where relying on conspiracies has become a norm.

US was responsible for clashes in Georgia that left 20 people dead
Additional details: When recollecting April 9, we should know who its real inventor is; it was the United States who was fighting for dissolution of the Soviet Union and what happened then aimed at inciting confrontation between the nations… That coup did not happen as we think, with the help of the Soviet Union and Russia, but actually the United States and the West contributed to it. It is difficult to convince people of it, because there are no facts… What was being done on behalf of Russia and what was so painful for us was actually coming from the West.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: Disinformation message to be found in the Myth Detector debunk:
mythdetector.ge/en/myth/obieqtivi-tv-blames-us-april-9-tragedy?fbclid=IwAR212lx2BhkuxY58IhTcwGbvwoRIvYDSwN8qy7muTr3gtmzsCCYgDCG_uFM
Disinforming outlet(s): Obieqtivi TV
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

There is no evidence for the claim, as admitted by the TV host himself.

On April 9, 1989, troops of Soviet interior ministry were sent to disperse a demonstration for Georgian independence and against separatism in Abkhazia in front of the Georgian government building in Tbilisi. The order came from the First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, Jumber Pastiashvili. The troops advanced, backed up by armoured personnel carriers, and attacked the demonstrators with clubs and sharpened spades. Potent crowd-control gases were also used. The clashes left 20 people dead and over 4000 required some medical help. Read more on BBC.

The Obieqtivi TV host is trying to remove the Soviet Union’s responsibility for the  tragedy and instead to lay the blame on the United States through counteraccusations, thus diminishing the significance of the tragedy itself.

Further debunking by Mythdetector.

Keywords: Protest, Historical revisionism
Countries: US, Georgia
More
Ukrainian sailors were sent to be killed, so that Kyiv could get more money from its Western sponsors
Additional details: Ukrainian sailors were sent to be killed [in the Azov Sea], so that Kyiv can get more money from its Western sponsors.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Tolstoy. Voskresenye @ Pervyi Kanal, time 9:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea.

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, The West
Countries: The West, Ukraine
More
In 2014 Crimea decided to join Russia
Additional details: In 2014 Crimea decided to join Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Rossiya 24
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Widely recurring disinformation narrative.

Crimean referendum was organised by a self-proclaimed Crimean leadership installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings.

Russia violated international law as well as key principles of the European security framework in illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.

UNGA Resolution 68/262, which condemned Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine, was supported by 100 United Nations member states. Only 10 states opposed it.

Further story by Polygraph.

 

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Ukraine
More
There is a civil war in Ukraine
Additional details: There is a civil war in Ukraine in the south-east in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Rossiya 24
Reported by: East Startcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about war in Ukraine.

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. For further debunking see here.

The International Criminal Court believes that “there exists a sensible or reasonable justification for a belief that a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the Court ‘has been or is being committed’” within the Crimean and Donbas territories of Ukraine.

Read further in Polygraph.

 

Keywords: Donetsk, Civil war, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukrainian vessels entered Russian territorial waters, that belonged to Russia even before Crimea joined it
Additional details: Ukrainian vessels entered Russian territorial waters, the waters that were Russian even before Crimea has joined the Russian Federation.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Rossiya 24
Reported by: East Startcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea.

A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. Debunking by Polygraph.

Crimea is part of Ukraine. Russia violated international law as well as key principles of the European security framework in illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity. 

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Crimea
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine's provocation in the Kerch Strait derailed the planned Putin-Trump meeting
Additional details: Ukraine's provocation in the Kerch Strait derailed the planned Putin-Trump meeting.

 

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SKZBgCaImU
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli @ Rossiya 1, time 13:58
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea.

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Provocation, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
The riots in France over fuel prices: another version of US-sponsored colour revolutions
Additional details: The riots in France over fuel prices look like another version of US-sponsored colour revolutions.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SKZBgCaImU
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli @ Rossiya 1, time 1:03:15
Reported by: East Stratcom network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on "colour revolutions".

Keywords: yellow vests, US presence in Europe, Colour revolutions
Countries: US, France
More
Ukrainian Government to ban school education
Additional details: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine wants to replace secondary education with homeschooling and pedagogical patronage. The teachers are fleeing into Russia, Belarus and EU.


Such initiatives prove a collapse of the general educational system in Ukraine, since the state does not have enough funds to support a large number of schools.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Rambler
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

In fact, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine intends to add alternative forms of education. At the moment, the Ukrainian law “On General Secondary Education” mentions only two forms of education: general and external studies. According to the proposed modifications, it would include also homeschooling and pedagogical patronage. These modifications are not meant to replace the school education, but to help children who have special educational needs. The Ukrainian Government has increased school funding over the past years. Read more about Ukraine's budget for education here.

Further debunking by Stop Fake.

Keywords: education, Economic difficulties
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU, Belarus
More
Ukrainians will be deprived of syringes and bandages
Additional details: The Ukrainian authorities will deprive their citizens of medical supplies, such as syringes and bandages. The Ukrainian pharmacies will no longer be allowed to sell such materials. The population will be left without pharmacies.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Replyua.net
Ukraina.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In fact, the Ukrainian law on Medicines will be updated with few changes which will reinforce control and quality of the provided services. It is not mentioned that Ukrainian pharmacies will not longer be able to sell medical supplies.

Further debunking by Stop Fake.

Keywords: health, Economic difficulties
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukrainian ships seized in the Kerch Strait were gifted by the USA
Additional details: Two Ukrainian ships seized by Russia in the Kerch Strait were gifted to Ukraine by the US.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/ZvnnzQw5M-I?t=1826
Disinforming outlet(s): Россия 24 youtube
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea.

The seized boats have been identified as Gyurza-M-class artillery boats, which are manufactured by the Kyiv-based Kuznya na Rybalskomu ship building and armament firm.

The US has provided Ukraine with two Island-class patrol boats, as a form of military aid.

Further debunking by Polygraph.

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
Bundestag delegation to visit Crimea
Additional details: A delegation from the German Parliament will visit Crimea next year.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/politics/20181127/1533605787.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about "official delegations" allegedly visiting Crimea.

The German politician mentioned by RIA Novosti as a source is not a member of Bundestag, but the chairman of the Left faction in the Quakenbruck council, in Germany.

The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law. Germany's position regarding Crimea is very clear "Ukraine’s territorial integrity is not negotiable", as stated by the Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Further debunking by The Insider.

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Ukraine, Germany
More
EU countries adopting sanctions in order to keep the unity
Additional details: In the context of Brexit and rise of right-wing parties, EU countries are adopting sanctions in order to keep the unity. Europe needs an external enemy and uses Russia for this role.

Europe does not care about the Kerch confrontation, it needs to promote Berlin's and Paris' agenda for EU integration.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Novye Izvestia
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about sanctions and Russophobia.

Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

On 25 November 2018 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the Bellingcat, DFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: EU disintegration, EU, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
Intolerant Netherlander will be deprived of parental rights
Additional details: If previously the Kingdom of the Netherlands used to punish for public expression of homophobia, according to the law adopted this summer, public statements, well-grounded doubts about intolerance towards LGBT community will become the reason for imposing fines and what is most important, deprivation of parental rights. Police have already reported that eight children were “taken away” from families on the very first day of enactment of the law. After three months of raising in special camps, children will be adopted by other families. Dutch Ombudsman for Children, Aster Maria Jacobs said that the State is doing its utmost to help new generation avoid “a nightmare of intolerance.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and World (Geworld.ge)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The information spread by Geworld.ge is not true. The story was fabricated by a satirical online edition and then spread like genuine information in Russian sources. In addition, the photo attached to the article has actually been taken in Poland rather than in the Netherlands.

Further debunking by Mythdetector.

Keywords: Stealing children
Countries: The Netherlands
More
West allowed Kyiv to seize Russian warships
Additional details: The West allowed Kyiv to seize Russian warships.

Ukraine used its boats for political provocation, as part of a special operation for cancelling the elections.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: svpressa.ru/war21/article/217784/
Disinforming outlet(s): Svobodnaya Pressa
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Read more on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine's elections and Azov Sea.

The Ukrainian Parliament adopted a resolution scheduling the presidential elections for 31 March 2019.

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, EU, Provocation, Elections, The West
Countries: Russia, The West, Ukraine
More
The West wanted to paint the Azov Sea with Ukrainian blood
Additional details: The West hoped to paint the Azov Sea with the blood of Ukrainian citizens. The independence of Ukraine has been sold long time ago to Washington.

US pushed Ukraine to organize the Kerch provocation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukrainian statehood and Azov Sea.

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, The West, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
West doesn't know where the Azov Sea is, it demonizes Russia
Additional details: The conflict took place in the Black Sea.

The US and their western allies do not know where the Azov Sea is. They continue to demonize Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/news/20181129/1021921330.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The Kerch Strait connects the Black Sea and the Azov Sea. The Ukrainian vessels were en route to the Azov Sea.

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Azov Sea and the West as Russophobic.

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections. NATO is also "closely monitoring developments" in the region.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Anti-Russian, The West
Countries: Russia, The West, Ukraine, US
More
Europe destroyed Ukraine
Additional details: The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was the prequel of the Ukrainian crisis and the Eastern Partnership summit launched the political crisis in Ukraine. 

The Latvian presidency of the EU Council perceived Ukraine as a prize in the "geopolitical game" between the West and Russia.

The EU is in a deep chronic crisis.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti News Portal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukrainian disintegration and EU.

The European Union supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all its citizens. The EU is unwavering in its support for the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty and sees the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a sustainable, political solution to the conflict in the east of the country.

Ukraine's economy has continued the recovery started in 2016, following the recession of 2014-2015. GDP grew by 2.5% in 2017 and is projected to grow by 3.5% in 2018. Ukraine has made significant progress in consolidating public finances, notably by reducing the fiscal deficit from 4.5% GDP in 2014 to 1.4% in 2017. Inflation has decreased substantially since 2015, down to 13.7% in 2017 and 8.9% by July 2018.  According to the World Bank's Doing Business survey, Ukraine ranks 76th in 2018, which is an improvement from 80th in 2017, and 142nd in 2010, the EU’s Association Implementation Report says. The report notes the slower pace of reforms in the areas of the judiciary and anti-corruption measures.

Keywords: EU, Abandoned Ukraine, Ukrainian disintegration, Ukraine
Countries: Latvia, Ukraine, EU
More
Ukraine and UK conspired to destroy the Crimean bridge using a NATO portable nuclear device
Additional details: Russia seized Ukrainian vessels in the Sea of Azov because they were carrying a SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) device that belongs to NATO. This portable nuclear device was transported by Ukrainian and British special forces to the Kerch Strait with intent to use it on the Crimea bridge, which NATO hates. The device was tracked by Russia and that is why it stopped the Ukrainian ships. Ukraine regularly provokes Russia with no effect, but this time Russian FSB and special forces reacted to stop the provocation that might have led to WW3. There might be a direct NATO intervention to cover it up. The UK has been psychologically preparing their people for a war with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLO2ge5hac4
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory with no evidence provided. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Azov Sea.

It originated as a user comment in a news blog and spread to several other websites as well as English language Youtube blogs.The fact that the story has not been reported by the media is used as the evidence that the conspiracy indeed exists.

The conspiracy theory combines several recurring pro-Kremlin narratives: that NATO is scared of the Crimean bridge and that the West is trying to provoke nuclear war and the World War 3. It is also consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign surrounding the Azov Sea incident, in order to distract attention from Russia's actions.

The SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition) device was created by the US military in 1964 and withdrawn in 1989. it has never been used in real-life situation. As Foreign Policy notes: "today, visitors to the U.S. government's National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, N.M., can get their picture taken in front of a SADM parachute container. The Special Atomic Demolition Munition has gone from being a deadly serious, if eccentric, weapon to an item of Cold War kitsch."

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Kerch, Nuclear issues, NATO
Countries: UK, Russia, Ukraine
More
The West is using OSCE to fuel terrorism in Tajikistan
Additional details: Europe and US are creating and financing subversive opposition structures in Tajikistan. They use OSCE to fuel terrorism there.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ritm Evrazii
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the EU and OSCE.

EU-Tajikistan relations today are conducted within the framework of the EU Central Asia Strategy 2014-2020. Their cooperation under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA)  includes the facilitation of economic transition for Tajikistan, and the promotion of inclusive, sustainable human and economic development. The EU is assisting the government of Tajikistan with its structural reform process and enhancing the capacity of civil society in the country. Read more about the cooperation between EU and Tajikistan here.

Find more about OSCE's activity in Tajikistan here.

Keywords: Central Asia, EU, Terrorism, OSCE
Countries: Tajikistan, EU
More
Children in Mariupol forced to dig trenches
Additional details: Children in Mariupol have been forced to dig trenches for soldiers.

//

A pastor maniac is forcing children to dig trenches in Mariupol.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Life.ru
Rossyia 1
Argumenty i Fakty
Ren TV
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In fact, Gennadiy Mokhnenko, chaplain and founder of the Charity Fund "Pilgrim" organized an activity outdoor to support the Ukrainian military at the front lines along the Azov Sea. According to Mokhnenko, they cleaned up several trenches, dugouts, pulled out weeds on "a territory that was safe for children". "The children took this decision themselves in order to support the military", emphasised Mokhnenko.

Gennadiy Mokhnenko is not facing any criminal charges

Further debunking (with video) by Stop Fake.

This is a recurring narrative about Ukraine.

Keywords: children, education, Ukraine, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
Poroshenko and the US planned the Kerch strait confrontation
Additional details: The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the US planned the Kerch strait confrontation. The US probably approved Poroshenko's plan in order to use the incident against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): "Vremya Pokazhet" @ Pervyi Kanal, timing @ 06:25
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Azov Sea. and Nord Stream 2.

There is no connection between the Kerch strait clash and Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Nord Stream 2, US, Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
Mogherini asked Ukraine to organize a provocation
Additional details: Ukraine planned a provocation in the Kerch Strait, they hoped that their vessels would be sunk by Russians.

"You remember when before (the incident, the High Representative of the EU Federica) Mogherini told them (to Ukrainians): "Do something in order to justify our offensive" in the region. Now the West, who ordered this provocation, is using this opportunity to react on something".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): "Vremya Pokazhet" on Channel One TV, timing @ 33:16
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

EU's High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini did not ask such a thing. It is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea.

For background:

For background:

On November 25 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

However a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects  Russia to stop the inspections.

For further reporting see the BellingcatDFRLab and Polygraph.

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Provocation, Federica Mogherini
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
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French Maidan - a lesson for all those who refuse to obey American diktat
Additional details: The riots are well-organised and very aggressive: this is a French Maidan. (36:40) //

There is a link between Macron's plan to create a European army with the Paris riots: "This is a lesson for all those who refuse to obey American diktat." (49:00)
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal, time 36:40, 49:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Maidan and US presence in Europe.

Keywords: yellow vests, European army, US presence in Europe, Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine, France
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British military advisers are forcing Ukraine to stage a chemical attack in order to blame it on Russia
Additional details: Military experts from British special operations forces arrived to Ukraine to assist the Ukrainian forces sabotage mineral fertiliser factory. Their aim is to stage a chemical contamination, provoke evacuation of local residents, draw attention of international community to the situation in Donbass and blame it on Russian separatists. Intelligence of Donetsk national Republic observed 10 people from the Ukrainian special forces near the factory carrying boxes with a chemical hazard sign and wearing chemical protection equipment.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minutes, Rossiya 1
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

A combination of recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about staged chemical attacks, Western military support for Ukraine, and UK conspiracies to blame Russia, as in Skripal case.

For similar case from 2016 see here.

Further debunk by Medium.

Keywords: Chemical weapons/attack, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: UK, Ukraine
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