Last week, the pro-Kremlin media claimed that Russophobia is Lithuania’s main export, but in reality, it’s mineral fuels and machinery. But this case offers a great opportunity to ask, what’s the main “export” of the pro-Kremlin media?

Based on the more than 70 cases of pro-Kremlin disinformation collected this past week, Russophobia is supposedly found in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the US deep state, German media, Georgia, the Baltic States, Theresa May, and the UK.

But why? And what’s the common denominator across these cases? Well, “always blame the victim” seems to be an apt explanation, considering that everyone who seeks to hold Russia accountable for its various forms of aggression and subversion is branded as Russophobic by the pro-Kremlin media.

Georgia is bad

As a result of the ongoing protests, the second rather prominent keyword this week is Georgia. Here the pro-Kremlin disinformation machine uses the externally-funded “colour revolutions” narrative, in which the “funder” is of course the West, the US, or ex-President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili. As a result, the protests in Georgia are described as a Russophobic provocation and the protesters are labelled as rioting ultra-nationalists and Russophobes.

But that’s mild compared to the story about two Russian tourists who were allegedly so badly beaten in a supermarket that it was impossible to identify their gender. In reality, both the Georgian Interior Ministry and the store owners denied reports about any Russian citizens being physically assaulted.

Belarus’s gay opposition

According to the pro-Kremlin media, the West has diligently created all the infrastructure necessary for regime change in Belarus while the Belarusian opposition does its best to sabotage the 2nd European Games. But that’s not all, as Great Britain financially supports LGBT groups and this is why the entire Belarusian opposition has suddenly turned into an LGBT community.

While these narratives can be regarded as recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Belarusian opposition and the morally corrupt West, the case about opposition leader Andrei Sannikau working both for the CIA and RAND is a new one.  He is unfoundedly blamed for staging a coup in Belarus with US military assistance and receiving orders to ignite a war in Belarus.

It’s someone else

As the MH17 investigation is once again in the headlines, the pro-Kremlin media claims that there are no satisfactory investigation results, that the investigation is politically motivated, and that the ‘Old’ EU member states are delaying the investigation because Russian responsibility cannot be established.

In addition to ignoring the Joint Investigation Team’s announcement that Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system that came from the Russian Federation, the pro-Kremlin media is also on the offensive.

The United States is falsely accused of occupying Germany, wide-scale power cuts in three South American countries, and even sponsoring Hong Kong’s opposition.

Those are not real countries, are they?

While the question of Lithuania’s main export has been already covered, the alleged problem of subsidizing the Baltic economies remains in sight of the pro-Kremlin media. It claims that the three countries survive mainly at the expense of the EU budget. In reality, the EU contributes €1.575 billion or 3.90 % to Lithuania’s gross national income (GNI), €0.648 billion or 2.87% to Estonia’s GNI and €0.737 billion or 2.76 % to Latvia’s GNI.

And this brings us to a case of biblical proportions. According to the pro-Kremlin media, Lithuania claims that rebuilding the entire railway network to European standards would require around 900-950 annual Lithuanian budgets, meaning they would finish by the end of this millennium. In reality, Lithuania is investing in its railroads and is also a part of the Rail Baltica project that aims to link Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with the European gauge railway, and the Baltic route should be completed by 2025.

The missing piece

Well, it’s not really a piece, but more like a country. It’s called Ukraine and the fact that there’s a frontline and soldiers are still getting killed is totally missing from the narrative that claims Russia was suspended from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) because of “a Russophobic minority”.

After the PACE reinstated Russia’s voting rights, a new narrative about Ukraine surfaced, claiming the EU has decided that Ukraine does not deserve much attention and becomes a stumbling block in EU-Russia relations.

In this context it is important to note that the European Union and the Council of Europe are two separate entities and mixing them up either deliberately or by accident is manipulation based on the “abandoned Ukraine” narrative. Furthermore, EU continues its policy of non-recognition of Crimea and Sevastopol,  as well as its sanctions against Russia. And the Council of Europe itself has condemned the annexation of Crimea.

The New York Times sends stories to the US government for approval
Additional details: The New York Times sends its pieces to US government for approval.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting Western media outlets as subservient to their respective national governments and militaries.

This claim that the New York Times sends articles to the US government for approval is misleading. The newspaper's "admission" that government officials were approached regarding the details of an ongoing story proves only that its reporters rely on sourcing - a standard and founding practice of investigative journalism.

Moreover, the same officials are not able to modify or retract the details of any story they had been consulted on, given that the New York Times banned quote approval in 2012.

Keywords: fake news, Mainstream media, Propaganda, The New York Times
Countries: US, United States
More
9/11 was a Jewish-Zionist job
Additional details: We cannot stop the cycle of unrelenting imperialism until we speak with certainty why the wheels are spinning in the first place. 9/11 was a Jewish-Zionist job. 17 years on, it’s beyond overdue that everyone says it. 9/11 is Jewry’s crime.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fort Russ News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

An unfounded, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. Anti-Semitism is occasionally present in pro-Kremlin disinformation efforts. More on the topic here and here.

Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Israel
More
Russia is not occupying Donbas
Additional details: The West's claim that Russia is occupying Donbas is complete nonsense and a lie.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Panorama @ RT Arabic Time 9:50 to 10:10
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Denying the presence of Russian forces in Donbas is a standard pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative. 

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilize, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow. Overwhelming evidence confirms that Russia participates in the conflict with Ukraine sending mercenaries to Donbas.  

In an interview, delivered in autumn 2018, former First Deputy Chief Monitor to the Organization for Security and Co-operation's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Alexander 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 war in Eastern Ukraine was provoked by Russia. There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. 

For similar debunks, see here.

Keywords: DNR, Eastern Ukraine, LNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Baltic countries dream about becoming an American base
Additional details: Baltic countries dream about becoming an American base. Firstly, because the Americans will pay them something. Then, their hysteria about terrible Russia, which will destroy them, will weaken a little bit. And lastly, they are hoping the US will help them to take a more serious place in Europe.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Several recurring disinformation narratives undermining the statehood of the Baltic countries, exaggerating the US presence in Europe, Russophobia and the West's strategy of encircling Russia.

The Baltic States as well as Romania, Poland and Bulgaria are NATO allies and cooperate with the US in ensuring transatlantic security. The statement of the Bucharest Nine ahead of the NATO summit in 2018 can be read here.

Baltic states are independent states. Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have been EU members since 1 May 2004 and NATO members since 29 March 2004. As for any of the EU Member States, Baltic countries have rights and obligations. There are no serious and non-serious places in the EU.

Keywords: US presence in Europe, Europe, Baltic states
Countries: Europe, Latvia, Baltic states, Estonia, Lithuania, US
More
US-funded laboratories for the testing biological weapons are emerging in Russia’s neighborhood
Additional details: Russian authorities are concerned about the US biological-military activity near Russia’s borders. There are over 200 secret research laboratories in the world mostly funded by the US Department of Defence, focusing on doubtful investigations, the Richard Lugar Centre in Georgia is one of the most notorious. Russia has more than on one occasion drawn attention to Pentagon's activities, which deploys its laboratories in the vicinity of Russian borders.

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

Conspiracy theory with no evidence given. Based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the biological weapons and Lugar lab.

Read more about Lugar lab on Myth Detector.

See similar disinformation cases: US prepares biological weapons against Russia, US is constructing secret biological labs, Pentagon is working out a biological war strategy in the Baltics.

Keywords: Lugar, Biological weapons
Countries: US, Georgia
More
MH17: Evidence is fabricated
Additional details: Presenting evidence 5 years after the MH17 crash indirectly indicates the fabricated nature of the evidence.

The evidence gathered by the JIT does not stand up to criticism, and is unacceptable as the basis for such loud accusations.

Accusations based on telephone calls and dialogue in social networks is extremely doubtful.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia [01:10 - 01:22]
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility. The individual mentioned by Tsargrad.tv is NOT among the four, charged as responsible for shooting down the MH17, killing 289 persons.

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 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 persecute Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 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 flight MH17.

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia
More
The protests in Hong Kong are US sponsored
Additional details: Hong Kong’s opposition has already long been exposed as US-sponsored. The protests in Hong Kong are organized to delay the inevitable end to the West’s “primacy” over Asia and in particular its attempts to dominate China.  In the process, these protests will continue to expose Washington’s methods of fueling political subversion and the Western media’s role in deceitfully promoting and defending it – compromising similar operations being carried out elsewhere across Asia-Pacific and around the world. US Colour Revolution Masquerades as “Popular Opposition”.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions", also present in the case of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Venezuela. Consistent with multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role. 

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, China
More
US behind South America power failure
Additional details: US cyber attacks are the reason behind wide-scale power cuts in three South American countries as training for hitting Russia's energy infrastructure.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Arabic quoting Vzglyad
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This claim is supported by no evidence. Whereas a massive power outage has indeed taken place in several Latin American countries, the reason behind it is yet to be established. The Argentinian president Mauricio Macri promised in a tweet published on June 16 that the case will be thoroughly investigated.

The Guardian reported that Argentina’s energy secretariat blamed the blackout on a failure in the transmission of electricity from the Yacyretá hydroelectric dam on the Paraná River. He also added that the reason for the breakdown was not immediately clear.

The Argentinian energy secretary, Gustavo Lopetegui, said that it could take up to two weeks to understand exactly why this had happened and who might be to blame. This is reminiscent of other unsubstantiated claims that the Venezuela blackouts that took place last March were the making of the United States and the West. For the Venezuela blackouts claims, see here.

Keywords: Cyber, Conspiracy
Countries: United States
More
The task of manipulating the media has always been a top priority for the CIA
Additional details: The task of manipulating the media has always been a top priority for the CIA. A program for Internship for journalists from Central Asia has been launched. Those hand-picked by Uncle Sam will now receive training in the United States next month. The US State Department has already sent appropriate invitations to various media personalities from across the Central Asia, while all of the US embassies across the region are tasked with making sure that everything would go smooth. Unsurprisingly, the funding of this “internship” program is going to be provided by the US Central Command.

Uncle Sam will try to learn just how loyal those media personalities will be to the United States before instructing them further. That is the true price that the world is paying for the American-style democracy, that is the death of truthful journalism.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): New Eastern Outlook
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative casting civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions", also present in the case of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Venezuela. Consistent with multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role. 

It can be noted that the Dmitry Kiselyov, General Manager of the Russian State Information Bureau Rossia Segodnya, partook in a similar project in 2012

Keywords: Media, Conspiracy
Countries: Turkmenistan, Kirgizstan, United States, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan
More
Belarusian state film studio is shooting Russophobic films
Additional details: Belarusfilm (the Belarusian state film studio) is shooting Russophobic films where the following thought is clearly articulated and transmitted: Belarusians are not Russians at all, this nation deserves a nationally oriented state and their language is great!
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): EA Daily
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on alleged Russophobia in Belarus also questioning the latter's sovereignty. See a recent case on Belarusian sovereignty here.

The disinformation message appeared in the context of a recently released trailer for the film Kupala, about one of the greatest Belarusian writers of the 20th century Yanka Kupala.

 

Keywords: culture, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, Belarus
More
NATO demanded Russia to come out of Crimea and return back NATO bases
Additional details: On May 20, on behalf of the North Atlantic Alliance, territorial claims were presented to Russia  by the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach. NATO has demanded that Russia "come out of Crimea". And, moreover, that it "return back NATO bases" in Crimea.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: livenews.am/press/2019/14459/22/12/17/
Disinforming outlet(s): livenews.am
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying  NATO as aggressor.

The 181st Military Committee in Chiefs of Defence Session was held in Brussels on May 22. The opening remarks by Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee is here. He said the following: "And just to be clear this Alliance does not, and will not, accept Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and we continue to call on Russia to withdraw from Crimea, and cease its support to militants in eastern Ukraine. We also call on Russia to release the Ukrainian sailors and ships seized in November last year near the Sea of Azov".

 

Keywords: Military, NATO, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Protests in Georgia are a Russophobic provocation
Additional details: Protests in Georgia are nothing but Russophobic provocation. They are premeditate, aimed at complicating Georgia’s relations with Russia, which is interested in developing economic, cultural and tourist ties.

It is an attempt of a coup d'etat by radical extremist forces, which are coordinated from abroad and may be associated with ex-President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about provocations, Russophobia,"colour revolutions" , and the former President of Georgia Mikhaeil Saakashvili.

The protests in Georgia were triggered by the image of a deputy of the Russian Duma, Sergei Gavrilov, addressing Georgian lawmakers from the speaker’s chair on the parliament floor. Gavrilov is a member of the Russian Communist party, and has publicly recognized the Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, occupied by Russia, as separate states. The protests continue as the Georgians protest police violence and demand the resignation of the minister of interior.

The EU has urged Russia to cease occupying the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and fully respect the territorial integrity of Georgia.

 

Keywords: Russo-Georgian War, Russophobia
Countries: Georgia
More
Crimea was not annexed
Additional details: It was not an 'annexation' of Crimea.

It is apparently a duty for every politician to include the phrase 'annexation of the Crimea contrary to international law' in his speech.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia.  In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014.

Following the covert invasion by “little green men,” the referendum in  Crimea was conducted  hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula.

The oft-cited figure of 97% participation in the referendum has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum, of which some 50-60% favoured secession.

A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The European Union does not recognise Crimea's annexation and continues to condemn it as a violation of international law. EU sanctions continue to be in place against Russia as a consequence for the annexation. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

For more cases on Crimea, see here and here. Also read further debunking by StopFake.

 

Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
NATO Parliamentary Assembly was created for confrontation with Russia
Additional details: NATO Parliamentary Assembly is a pro American organization created for confrontation with Russia. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly will, by all possible means, not only show a negative attitude towards Russia, but also escalate the confrontation to justify its existence.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO attempting to encircle and weaken Russia.

The disinformation message appeared after the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly stated that the organization does not intend to return the status of an observer to the delegation of Russia.

NATO Parliamentary Assembly was created in 1955 to provide a specialised forum for members of parliament from across the Atlantic Alliance to discuss and influence decisions on Alliance security. Through its work and activities, the Assembly facilitates parliamentary awareness and understanding of the key issues affecting the security of the Euro-Atlantic area, and supports national parliamentary oversight over defence and security.

For more than two decades, NATO has worked to build a partnership with Russia, developing dialogue and practical cooperation in areas of common interest. Relations started after the end of the Cold War, when Russia joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1991). The NATO Parliamentary Assembly initiated first contacts with Parliamentarians from the former Soviet Union even before the end of the Cold War, and the Supreme Soviet was granted the newly created status of associate member in 1990.

NATO-Russian cooperation has been suspended since 2014 in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Keywords: NATO
Countries: Russia
More
German media are Russophobic
Additional details: German media are Russophobic.

A frequent guest at top-level German-Russian events highlighted the difference between the rather Russophobic media in Germany and generally positive public opinion about Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia.

German media, like that in other pluralist democracies, represent a wide range of political opinions and do not have a single editorial policy for any country or topic.

German public opinion vis-a-vis Russia is also more complicated than this claim suggests. An opinion poll by the German Bertelsmann Stiftung disproves a popular claim in pro-Kremlin narratives, namely that negative attitudes towards Russia – what pro-Kremlin media and officials label “Russophobia” – are the reason behind negative assessments of the Russian government’s policies. A growing number of Germans, now 64%, think that Russia’s government is not an internationally credible partner. At the same time, however, the German view of the Russian nation and the Russians themselves remains unaffected by the dissatisfaction with the Russian government.

Earlier, the spokesman of the Federal Government Steffen Seibert had spoken of a state campaign against Russian foreign media in Germany and commented on so called 'Russophobia' in Germany. "Anyone who makes such absurd allegations in the world has little knowledge of Germany and little idea of freedom of the press," said government spokesman Seibert.

More cases about alleged Western 'Russophobia' see here, here and here.

 

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Media, Russophobia, The West
Countries: Russia, Germany
More
Ukrainian troops leave their positions on the demarcation line due to poor provision and living conditions
Additional details: Ukrainian military began to leave positions at the demarcation line with the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, due to poor provision and living conditions. The Ukrainian generals are trying to reason with the officers, but they still don't want to fight in Donbas.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Moskovskyi Komsomolets
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The withdrawal of troops from the line of demarcation in the Luhansk region is not related to reasons mentioned by the representative of "LPR".  The Ukrainian army is implementing the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group on the disengagement of forces and military hardware in the Donbas, which was signed in 2016.

According to the OSCE, the situation is calm and stable.

Yashar Halit Chevik, head of the OSCE SMM in Ukraine, welcomed the willingness of the parties, expressed at the recent meeting of the Tripartite Contact Group, to begin the disengagement of forces and equipment at the agreed site in the Stanitsa Luhanskaya area.

You can find more disinformation cases about Ukrainian army here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Military, LPR, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
Russia is not a part of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine
Additional details: Russia is not a contracting party but, like Germany and France, a guarantor power for the self-proclaimed popular republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Together with Ukraine, they are the ones who have to implement the Minsk agreements, not Russia. If Russia is accused of occupying the Donbas conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine, then this is complete nonsense and lies.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and the war in Ukraine.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern 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.

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

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, Hybrid war, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Minsk agreements
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Double standards in the MH17 and the Khashoggi probe: where are the sanctions against the Saudi regime?
Additional details: The JIT report is flawed from anti-Russia prejudice and unsubstantiated “evidence”. It is based on hearsay and innuendo. This is a travesty of legal standards and criminal investigation. None of the Dutch-led probe has conformed to the slightest standards of criminal investigation and due process.

Yet the JIT’s unsubstantiated allegations against Russia and its collection of reports have lent political impetus for the US and its European allies to impose economic sanctions against Russia which have cost the country billions of dollars in disrupted trade.

By contrast, the UN report this week confirms serious allegations against the Saudi rulers for their role in the barbaric murder of a journalist. Jamal Khashoggi was kidnapped inside a consular premises, drugged, murdered and his remains dismembered, never to be found. As the UN special rapporteur asked this week: where are the Western sanctions against the Saudi regime?
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Strategic Culture Foundation
Reported by:
Disproof note:

An attempt to apply "whataboutism" on the MH17 case, suggesting "double standards" on the two entirely unrelated cases.

The Joint Investigation Team has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

On 24 May 2018, the JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originated from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research. An animation of this comparative research is available here.

The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia said that they are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17.

More cases on MH17 flight here.

Keywords: MH17
Countries: The West, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia
More
Washington is behind seeming Western unity concerning so-called Russian aggression in Ukraine
Additional details: The Ukrainian position towards Russia and its alleged involvement in the war in Donbas is only genuinely shared by the Baltic states and Poland, possibly by the UK and Sweden too. The so called 'Western solidarity' against so-called 'Russian aggression' results not from Western countries' love of Ukraine but rather from the will of Washington. Most Western countries just follow the considerations of Euroatlantic unity.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is conspiracy that seeks to distract from Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine and follows classical pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the EU's undermined sovereignty by the US and abandoned Ukraine.

Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and US support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence. By contrast, there is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

The Western countries' policy towards Russia takes into account Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its support for armed formations in Donbas, which violate international law. On 27 June 2019, the Council of the EU prolonged economic sanctions against Russia due to its territorial violations of Ukraine, which are in place since March 2014 and were adopted unanimously by all 28 EU member states. More on EU’s restrictive measures against Russia is available here.

Keywords: Abandoned Ukraine, Donald Trump, Conspiracy
Countries: Poland, UK, Russia, The West, Ukraine, Baltic states, US, Sweden
More
Ukrainians suffer from fascism, a political turn is not in sight
Additional details: Ukrainians suffer from fascism. A political turn that could stop fascism (in Ukraine) is not in sight.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/MV6f3rE7zoU?t=1400
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch time 23:23-23:47
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This disinformation message is consistent with the pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine and Nazis.

The far-right ‘Right Sector’ gained only 1.8% of the votes, far short of the threshold needed to enter Parliament. Ukrainians clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism.

See earlier cases alleging that Nazis seized power in Ukraine and that Ukraine needs denazification.

 

Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, War in Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
The United States has full control over sovereign Poland
Additional details:

Through the deployment of additional US troops, Poland is ready for aggression, a direction the US will steer it in. New drones are not defensive weapons, they are offensive weapons. Poland is on the warpath and does not want good neighborly relations with Russia. The United States almost has full control over sovereign Poland.

Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia time 1:55-3:02
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US presence in Europe, encircled Russia and alleged belligerence and lack of sovereignty of Poland (see a similar cases: Poland provokes Russia and violates treaties by hosting US military and Poland is the Trojan horse of the US).

The disinformation message - like many others - appeared after the meeting between President of Poland Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump and the signing of an agreement which will increase the number of US rotational military forces of Poland. The United States and Poland are NATO allies. Poland is a sovereign state, which determines its security and defence policy.

 

 

Keywords: Encircling Russia, US presence in Europe, NATO
Countries: Poland, Russia, US
More
The US uses the territory of Ukraine to bury its nuclear waste
Additional details: The USA uses the territory of Ukraine to bury its nuclear waste. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed an agreement with Washington for the disposal of nuclear waste in the Sumy region.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Polnyi Kontakt (Vesti FM), 13 June 2019, video from 15:24
Zvezda
RIA Novosti
Regnim
Pravda.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There is no evidence for this claim, which is part of the recurring disinformation about Ukraine, describing it as a testing ground for different things, e.g as a nuclear dump site for the West. This story is also part of the ongoing disinformation campaign against Petro Poroshenko.

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine responded as follows to this disinformation circulating in the Russian media:

"The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine within the framework of its competence, reports about false distribution in the Russian media of information on import of radioactive waste of the American production to the territory of Ukraine and their burial in the Sumy region."

"Please note that, in accordance with the requirements of Article 53 of the Law of Ukraine" on the Use of Nuclear Energy and Radiation Safety," transportation to the territory of Ukraine of radioactive waste from the territories of other states is prohibited, except for the resulting services that were provided to Ukraine by another state and which are subject to action a contract agreement between them on the return of such waste to Ukraine," added the Inspectorate.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, Nuclear issues, US presence in Europe, Petro Poroshenko, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, Ukraine, US
More
President Trump cannot resume dialogue with Russia because of the "deep state”
Additional details: President Trump appears to be under the influence of a certain hidden system of power, which the Americans call the “deep state” or “shadow government” (they are responsible for all key political decisions in the United States). There have been repeated cases when Trump had to withdraw his initiatives under the influence of these forces – for example, the conservative elites controlling the “deep state” stand against the statements of Trump to resume the dialogue with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message presents a classical conspiracy theory 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, Donald Trump, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, US
More
Western ruling elites impose the legalisation of same-sex marriages and hormone therapy of children
Additional details: The western ruling elites impose on their societies such norms as the legalisation of same-sex marriages and hormone therapy of children in pre-puberty age without parental consent.

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

This message exploits the elites vs. the people narrative implying that in the Western countries legislation on same-sex marriages is introduced despite a wide opposition from the population. In reality, national legislatures elected in free and fair elections represent the views of the public. In those countries where same-sex marriages find little public support (e.g., Lithuania, Poland) respective legislation has not been adopted. See the opinion polls for same-sex marriage by country here. It also taps into the morally corrupt West narrative.

In most of EU Member States (20), access to transgender hormone therapy is provided for children under the same conditions applied to access any other medical treatment, such as access to reproductive or sexual health services. In this context, the age requirement for access to medical treatment without the consent of a public authority and/or parents is 18 years in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, France, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, 16 years in Poland and Spain; 15 years in Denmark and Slovenia; 14 years in Latvia. In the United Kingdom the age requirement ranges from 16 in Scotland to 17 in England and 18 in Wales. In seven Member States, Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden, access depends on the maturity of the child.

 

 

 

Keywords: children, Western values, Democracy, Conspiracy
Countries: Europe, Russia, EU, US
More
The US prepares Moldova for a hybrid war with Russia
Additional details: The US is preparing Moldova for a hybrid war with Russia. The US is working on a coup project in Tiraspol, Transnistria.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vedomosti.md, Newsmd.md, Syfeed.com, Newspmr.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring disinformation suggesting that the US is using Moldova against Russia. Read other cases referencing the West's alleged interference in Moldova's internal affairs here, here, and here.

The USA supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and, on that basis, supports the 5+2 negotiation format to find a comprehensive settlement that will provide a special status for the separatist region of Transnistria within a unitary and sovereign Moldova.

Since 1992, Russia has been closely linked to the appearance of numerous separatist entities: in South Ossetia and Abkhazia (Georgia), Transnistria (Moldova), Donbas (Ukraine) - as well as to the illegal annexation of Crimea (Ukraine). Further debunking on the frozen conflicts.

The EU participates as an observer in the 5+2 negotiation process on the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. It continues to support a comprehensive, peaceful settlement based on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova with a special status for Transnistria. Together with the OSCE Chairmanship in Office, the EU supports an output-oriented approach to the 5+2 with a view to achieving a tangible impact in the lives of the citizens from both banks of the Nistru River.

Further reading about Transnistria narratives here.

Keywords: Transnistria, Hybrid war
Countries: Moldova, US
More
The EU confirms there was no foreign disinformation campaign in the European elections
Additional details: The European Union confirmed in the Progress Report on the Action Plan against Disinformation that no foreign disinformation campaign to influence the European elections was detected.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This claim is a distortion of the actual report, taking the following sentence out of context: "Available evidence has not allowed us to identify a distinct cross-border disinformation campaign from external sources specifically targeting the European elections”. The next sentence provides further clarification: "However, the evidence collected revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences”. It also says that the number of disinformation cases attributed to Russian sources and documented by the East Strategic Communication Task Force since January 2019 doubled as compared to the same period a year ago: 998 versus 434.

Asked if the report doesn’t contradict itself, Security Commissioner Julian King said that disinformation aimed at dividing Europeans was "increasingly locally focused", which the report explains as follows: "Instead of conducting large-scale operations on digital platforms, these actors, in particular linked to Russian sources, now appeared to be opting for smaller-scale, localised operations that are harder to detect and expose."

This claim follows a recurring disinformation narrative aiming to portray Russia as innocent and falsely accused of interference in other countries’ affairs. See other examples here, here and here.

Keywords: EU elections 2019, European Commission, election meddling, Manipulated elections/referendum, Elections, Europe
Countries: EU
More
Ukraine does not want to negotiate the end of the war in Donbas
Additional details: Zelenskyy is not ready for direct negotiations with Donbas. The withdrawal of weapons was disrupted because of Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/opinion/20190618/1023939559.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

In his inauguration speech, President Zelenskyy mentioned that he is ready to conduct negotiations to stop the war in Donbas. During his recent press conference with the President of France, President Zelenskyy mentioned that Ukraine adheres to diplomatic measures as the only way to resolve the war in Donbas.

In a recent interview for BILD magazine, Zelenskyy clearly stated that the war can be resolved only by diplomatic means. “We will do everything to implement a ceasefire and stop the killing and suffering of our people in the nearest future. We have to give diplomats the chance to talk again while the guns stay silent. This is what I count on. And hope this will be heard in Moscow."

OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine records numerous examples of Minsk agreements violation by the representatives of the so-called DNR and LNR. On June 23, it recorded 30 Grad multiple rocket launchers located in the Russian-occupied districts of the Luhansk region. On May 4, the militants deployed 14 multiple rocket launchers in violation of the withdrawal lines.

Moreover, on June 26, Ukraine started the withdrawal of heavy weapons from Stanytsia Luhanska in accordance with the agreement reached at a recent meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group. U.S. Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker welcomed the move and called on Russia to take reciprocal further steps. However, on June 27, the press center of the Joint Forces Operation informed that the militants continue the use of heavy weapons near Stanytsia Luhanska.

Keywords: Ukraine, DNR, Eastern Ukraine, LNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Minsk agreements
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance is anti-Russian
Additional details: The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance has a clear mission – to stigmatise the Soviet's past and to justify the Ukrainian nationalists. It has to develop a state ideology directed against Russia and the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ukraina.ru/exclusive/20190625/1024012754.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about anti-Russian sentiments in Ukraine and in the West.

The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance is not directed against Russia or the Soviet past. It was established on 31 May 2006, as a special governmental institution for the restoration and preservation of the national memory of the Ukrainian people. The Institute directs the decommunisation process in Ukraine and provides access to state archives concerning repression during the Soviet past in accordance with the law “On access to the archives of repressive bodies of the communist totalitarian regime from 1917-1991”.

The Institute has three main functions: first, to restore, preserve, and promote the national memory of the Ukrainian people; second, to prevent the use of symbols of totalitarian regimes; third, to promote patriotism, national consciousness, and active position among Ukrainian citizens.

Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian
Countries: Ukraine
More
Some countries in the EU vote like sheep
Additional details: Some countries like Croatia, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Hungary speak out against sanctions. However, they go to these European Union meetings and vote for the sanctions like sheep.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/oiL7f2MaZGk
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1, time 36:06 - 36:19
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This message is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the undemocratic EU.

The EU's broad priorities are set by the European Council, which brings together national and EU-level leaders. Directly elected MEPs represent European citizens in the European Parliament. The interests of the EU as a whole are promoted by the European Commission, whose members are appointed by national governments. Governments defend their own country's national interests in the Council of the European Union. Read more about the EU decision making process here. In addition, operating on the basis of mutual agreement and cooperation, the EU respects the will of its members to opt-out from certain policies.

The EU is based on the equal rights of all its members. Article 5 of the Treaty on the European Union ensures the principle of subsidiarity, which guarantees that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen and that constant checks are made to verify that action at EU level is justified in light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level. It is the principle whereby the EU does not take action (except in the areas that fall within its exclusive competence) unless it is more effective than action taken at the national, regional or local level.

Keywords: European Council, Democracy, Sanctions, Europe
Countries: Hungary, Greece, Croatia, Czech Republic, EU
More
MH 17: The investigators did not present any evidence
Additional details:


The JIT, which has been investigating the shooting down of Flight MH17 over Ukraine for five years, has named the culprits, but left many questions unanswered.

The JIT investigators have still not presented any evidence. Who allowed the flights over the battlefield? Was that Russia? No. Where were the fighters? And where is the proof that it was the militia who fired [the Buk-missile]?


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

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Flight MH17 to undermine the growing evidence that Russia was responsible for the downing of MH17. The JIT has in fact provided multiple items of evidence proving Russia's:

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 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 persecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering all 298 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges that the four individuals 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 flight MH17.

The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Conspiracy, MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
Russians are not able to defend the Russian language in Belarus and Ukraine
Additional details: Many people resent that Russians are not able to defend the Russian language on Belarusian and Ukrainian territories in such a way so that everyone speaks Russian there.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): EA Daily
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. A recurring narrative on the suppression of the Russian language in the former Soviet republics which are independent states at the present time.

The Russian language has the official status in Belarus. In practice, the majority of official correspondence, state media and education in Belarus operate in Russian. See a previous story on this topic here.

In the case of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada has passed, on April 25, the law "on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law establishes mandatory use of the Ukrainian language in most areas of public and communal life, including the mass media, education, science, etc. However, the law does not forbid the use of Russian or other languages in private communication and religious ceremonies. Moreover, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law also allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and in law enforcement. See a recent story on this subject here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russian language, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
More
Russian people in the Baltic States are forced to speak the local languages
Additional details: It is not normal when in the Baltic States a large number of Russian people are called a minority and are forced to speak exclusively the local languages.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): EA Daily
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about discrimination of Russian language speakers in the Baltic States and Russophobia there. See most recent stories on the alleged suppression of Russian language in Lithuania and Latvia.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russian language, Russophobia, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania
More
Joe Biden is behind the protests in Georgia
Additional details: Joe Biden, the US presidential candidate, is behind the latest protests in Georgia, in which he has financial interests. Biden's commercial interests are linked to the deep-sea port project in Anaklia which will be accomplished only in one case - if Mikheil Saakashvili returns to Georgia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No proof is given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that public protests (also known as colour revolutions) in various countries are organised/ financed by the US, and bringing into the mix two other narratives relevant for Georgia.

This is not the first time Biden is linked to Georgia. Previously Russian TV spread disinformation as if Joe Biden is behind the human organ trading organised by Mikheil Saakashvili and his wife.

The Anaklia deep sea port has been a target of Kremlin propaganda for a long time. Over the past months, Russian and pro-Russian actors have been continuously raising the issue of construction of deep sea ports in Georgia. These actors exploit 3 main narratives against the port:

  • The Anaklia port is unacceptable for Russia and it will not allow their construction;
  • The Anaklia port is actually designed for U.S. and NATO military bases;
  • From economic point of view, Georgia does not need deep sea ports; they only have military-political importance.

See disinformation narratives on the Anaklia deep sea port here and here.

Background of the protests:

The protests in Georgia started spontaneously in the morning on June 20th, when a Russian MP from the Communist Party, Sergei Gavrilov, addressed delegates from the Georgian Parliament Speaker's seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).

The opposition boycotted the presence of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi, later developing into the protests in front of the Parliament. As a response, Vladimir Putin has temporarily banned Georgian airlines from flying to Russia and called on Russian citizens in Georgia to leave the country.

 

Keywords: Protest, Joe Biden, Mikheil Saakashvili
Countries: Russia, Georgia
More
Nathalie Loiseau's defence resembles justifications of the terrorists' host
Additional details: "I did not know it," said Nathalie Loiseau, explaining her participation in student elections alongside right-wing activists 35 years ago. These words are similar to those of Jawad Bendaoud, host of the terrorists of November 13, 2015.

In an interview on the day of the neutralization of Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his last accomplices, Jawad Bendaoud said he was not "aware that they were terrorists".  The former EU affairs minister and the current LREM leader in the European elections said she agreed to be on the list "out of friendship" and did not know there were "people from the far right ".
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News Fr
Reported by:
Disproof note:

In 1984, 35 years ago, when she was student in fourth year at Sciences Po (French Institute of Political Science), Nathalie Loiseau (then Ducoulombier) took part in students' election to the Governing Board the Institute of Political Studies, being at the sixth position on the list of the Union of students of the right (UED). During their campaign, the UED promised to "strongly oppose all proposals which, under the guise of 'democratisation', aim to establish demagogy and Marxist terrorism" at Sciences Po. She was never elected. Being asked in 2019, Nathalie Loiseau first could not recall the episode and later explained that she accepted the participation to please a friend without a chance of being elected and is not responsible for what became other candidates afterwards.

Nothing allows to affirm the contrary so far. Long time French far rights researcher Jean-Yves Camus does not recall Ducoulombier as ever an activist of UED.  While far right parties' researchers argue what kind of rightwing movement the student's union UED was in 1984 - from clearly far right in 1978 to more moderate after 1981 (François Mitterand's election), nothing allows to compare the participation in these activities and explanations about them to ignorance of hosting terrorists.

In other not coherent Sputnik's narrative Nathalie Loiseau was described as a politician of a party which does nothing to fight against Islamisation of France, extrapolating her previous writing on tolerance towards the Islamic veil.

 

 

 

Keywords: EU elections 2019, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: EU, France
More
US authorities' only proof of Russian hacking is a draft report from a private company
Additional details: It is clear that the government relied on assumptions made by a source external to the US intelligence services. According to the source the Russian state had been involved in hacking and stealing data from various servers and that data was sent to Wikileaks.

A private cyber security company recruited by the Democratic National Committee writes a draft report and removes some elements because it is worried that the FBI might discover something. And this is the main proof of Moscow's role in this hacking? Of course, sceptics could ask why a private cyber security company conducted the investigation. Why wasn't it the FBI? Faith can lift mountains, transform beliefs, policies, countries. No need for a prophet or a miracle. All you need is a private company.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/iGmpqqnAygs?t=70
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France time 1:12-3:30
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There is extensive research documenting Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections - see under US Elections 2016 here.

Government investigators independently verified that Russian operatives hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and did not rely on the findings of a private cyber firm, said the US prosecutor in a court filing.

The prosecutors were rebutting a claim made in a prior court filing by Stone — a long-time Trump adviser who is fighting charges of making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering — that the government relied only on “an inconclusive and unsubstantiated report” written by cyber research firm CrowdStrike and did not “collect any evidence of the DNC breach directly.”

While the prosecutors noted that the investigators gathered evidence of the Russians’ involvement independently, which led to the indictment of 12 Russian military officials (in connection with the DNC hack). In the detailed indictment, one can read: "Lukashev used the account to mask a link contained in the spear phishing email, which directed the recipient to a GRU-created website (...) On or about March 21, 2016, Lukashev, Ermakov, and their co-conspirators stole the contents of the chairman’s email account, which consisted of over 50,000 emails" and other details.

See also the article in the New York Times, detailing how the FBI discovered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) server 7 months before the Democrats hired CrowdStrike to investigate.

See more disinformation cases on Mueller's report, also known as Russia probe, or Russian meddling in the 2016 US and elsewhere elections.

Keywords: GRU, election meddling, Robert Mueller, Wikileaks
Countries: Russia, US
More
Ukraine's foreign relations since 2014 are built around the myth of Russian aggression in Donbas
Additional details: Ukraine's whole diplomatic strategy since 2014 has been built around the mythology of war with Russia. The Ukrainian idea is to increase external pressure on Russia to bring it to the negotiating table and to abandon talks about bringing special status to Ukraine's eastern regions.

The real goal behind Zelenskyy's recent visits to Germany and France was not to present a new plan of peaceful resolution of the Donbas conflict, because such a plan does not exist. The visits were intended to find out if Western partners are still ready to assist Ukraine in the international legalisation of the Donbas conflict as 'Russian aggression.'
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This claim is a conspiracy consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the war in Ukraine - claiming that Russia is not responsible for it - and ungrounded anti-Russian actions by Western countries. It disregards the extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas. Prior debunks of this narrative can be found here and here.

Concerning Zelenskyy's visits to Germany and France, the sides have agreed on the need to restart peace efforts, including the so-called Normandy format, which brings together Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France. Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Angela Merkel were in agreement "that until progress has been made, sanctions on Russia cannot be lifted," stressed the German Chancellor.

Western countries' policy towards Russia is a consequence of Russia's annexation of Crimea and Russia-backed armed formations in Donbas, which violate international law. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia in response to its territorial violations against Ukraine. More on EU’s restrictive measures against Russia is available here.

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

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Eastern Ukraine, Anti-Russian, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, The West, Ukraine, Germany, France
More
The EU's sovereignty in military and political spheres is undermined by the US
Additional details: The EU lacks sovereignty and independence [from the US] both in the military and political fields.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Gorizont Sobytiy @ Sputnik Belarus time 13:26 – 13:41
Reported by:
Keywords: US presence in Europe
Countries: EU, US
More
Russia was first suspended from PACE because of Russophobic reasons
Additional details: The suspension of Russia's rights at the Parliamentarian Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was caused by "a Russophobic minority" in the institution.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Russia's rights were first suspended for one year by PACE in 2014, following the illegal annexation of Crimea. The resolution adopted by 145 votes in favour, 21 against and 22 abstentions. The suspension was extended in 2015 for three months given "the role and participation of the Russian Federation in the conflict in eastern Ukraine".

Indeed, Russia's actions aggravated the situation: by the time the suspension was to be reviewed in April 2015, the Russian delegation had broken off all contacts, boycotting PACE for the next four years. In 2017, it stopped paying its membership contributions which amounted to 7 percent of the institution's whole budget. In 2018, it declared it would abandon the institution if the decision was not reverted.

Keywords: Council of Europe
Countries: Russia
More
Georgian Russophobia is part of the US-waged hybrid war against Russia
Additional details: Georgia is a Russophobic state. The Russophobia of Georgians is one of the components of the US-waged hybrid and information war against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Ossetia time: 02:06-02:33
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia and the US. 

The current protests in Georgia were a spontaneous public reaction calling for the resignation of key national officials after Russian State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov sat in the Georgian parliamentary speaker's seat while addressing a council of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox Christian countries - the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). Gavrilov is known for his support to Russia's aggression in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.

Russia continues its military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia  in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement, mediated by the European Union.

See similar cases about the West promoting Russophobia in Georgia here and here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Hybrid war, Russo-Georgian War, Russophobia
Countries: US, Russia, Georgia
More
European Union is in the process of disintegration
Additional details: The new leadership of Moldovan diplomacy is as myopic as the previous one. The new Foreign Minister wants to integrate us into what is in the process of disintegration - the European Union.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik.md
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is in line with the pro-Kremlin narrative on the disintegration of the EU. The report advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative painting the EU as a disunited and disintegrating bloc, overseen by a central bureaucracy bringing harm to the sovereignty of member states.

At the core of the EU are the 28 Member States that belong to the Union, and their citizens. The unique feature of the EU is that, although the Member States all remain sovereign and independent states, they have decided to pool some of their sovereignty in areas where it makes sense to work together.

 

 

Keywords: EU disintegration
Countries: Moldova, EU
More
A weakened global liberal elite stages Russophobic events throughout the world
Additional details: The 2019 G20 summit served to confirm that a new global model - where the EU will find itself an outsider - is coming to replace the liberal globalised model. On the eve of the summit, Vladimir Putin rightly stated in his interview to the Financial Times that the liberal idea has become obsolete. A series of Russophobic events in Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine etc. preceding the G20 summit were organised by the global (quasi)liberal ruling class.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia. The message implies that the mighty but weakening global liberal elites stage protests and other anti-Russian events in various countries because of a fundamental dislike of Russia or Russians. This claim casts any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions".

In response to Vladimir Putin's comments about liberalism becoming obsolete, EU President Donald Tusk stated: "I have to say that I strongly disagree with the main argument that liberalism is obsolete. We are here as Europeans also to firmly and univocally defend and promote liberal democracy. Whoever claims that liberal democracy is obsolete, also claims that freedoms are obsolete, that the rule of law is obsolete and that human rights are obsolete. For us in Europe, these are and will remain essential and vibrant values. What I find really obsolete are: authoritarianism, personality cults, the rule of oligarchs. Even if sometimes they may seem effective."

Read more about the concept of big conspiracy, which is often used by pro-Kremlin media to forward an idea of powerful rulers behind the scenes.

Keywords: Euro-scepticism, G20, Anti-Russian, Secret elites / global elites, Russophobia, Vladimir Putin, Conspiracy, Europe
Countries: Latvia, Russia, The West, Ukraine, Georgia
More
After Brexit, the UK will lead a Russophobic camp in Europe
Additional details: After Brexit, the UK will be looking for a new role, and that role will be the leader of a Russophobic camp in Europe.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (53:42 - 54:02)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative linking Britain and Russophobia.

This claim was made after British Prime Minister Theresa May confronted Russian President Putin about the Skripal poisoning at the G20 meeting in Osaka.

Background:

British police and investigations from the intelligence services have produced hard forensic evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent. The OPCW rejected Russia’s claims about a second Salisbury nerve agent.

The identities of the two Russian nationals were later revealed by Bellingcat and the Insider investigative outlets. No other forensic evidence was presented accusing other individuals.

Read more about the pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Salisbury poisoning: Conspiracy mania marks one-year anniversary of the Skripal poisoning.

 

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Theresa May, Brexit, Anti-Russian, Russophobia
Countries: UK, Russia
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There was a Maidan coup d’état in Ukraine
Additional details: The behaviour of Ukrainian elites on the international stage after the Maidan coup d’état can be described in relation to Russia with a short formula - "Us versus them".
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by several segments 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.

Keywords: Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Coup, Euromaidan, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The EU has decided that Ukraine does not deserve much attention
Additional details: The European Union, having seen enough of this ugly nonsense, has decided that Ukraine, which has become a stumbling-block in EU-Russia relations, does not deserve that much attention. The question of Crimea has been put in brackets.

We cannot claim that sanctions will be lifted, most likely not, however they will no longer have this sick attitude to the question of Crimea or sailors that Ukraine considers prisoners of war.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8QMJOEaYl8
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (25:19 - 25:52)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about abandoned Ukraine. It also plays on common disinformation narratives about the annexation of Crimea and the Kerch Strait incident.

The disinformation message appeared after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to reinstate Russia's voting rights. However, the European Union and the Council of Europe are two separate entities. The European Union continues to support the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and maintains a strict non-recognition policy with regard to the illegal annexation of Crimea. The Council of Europe has also condemned the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Furthermore, in response to Russia's aggression in the Kerch Strait, during which Russia arrested Ukrainian sailors, the European Council added 8 Russian officials to the sanctions list for "undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine".

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Diplomacy with Russia, Abandoned Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Sanctions, Crimea
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
Great Britain is the main locomotive of Russophobia in the world
Additional details: The deep state in the US and Theresa May are the only ones who believe that Russia and Putin are toxic.

Great Britain is the main locomotive of the Russophobic trend in the world. Great Britain cannot recognize Russia, because Russia has challenged the British empire and won.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcnvoxofooE&t=106s
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (14:13 - 14:39)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative linking Britain and Russophobia.

This claim was made after British Prime Minister Theresa May confronted Russian President Putin about the Skripal poisoning at the G20 meeting in Osaka.

Background:

British police and investigations from the intelligence services have produced hard forensic evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent. The OPCW rejected Russia’s claims about a second Salisbury nerve agent.

The identities of the two Russian nationals were later revealed by Bellingcat and the Insider investigative outlets. No other forensic evidence was presented accusing other individuals.

Read more about the pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Salisbury poisoning: Conspiracy mania marks one-year anniversary of the Skripal poisoning.

Keywords: Theresa May, Anti-Russian, Deep state, Russophobia
Countries: US, United States, UK, Russia
More
Estonian was taken for Russian, strangled and sprayed with water in the Parliament of Georgia
Additional details: Georgian radicals and opposition, who disrupted the session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in Tbilisi, strangled and poured water on the representative of Estonia, mistaking him for Russian.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): riafan.ru
regnum.ru
nation-news.ru
kompravda.eu
prinmedia.ru
eg.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The disinformation message appeared in the context of the protests in Georgia.

During a meeting of the members of Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, Russian State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov sat in the Georgian parliament speaker's seat. When the Georgians began to demand that the representatives of Russia should leave there was confusion about the nationality of Estonian delegates. According to the Estonian parliamentarian who was present at the event, the conflict died out after he explained they were from Estonia. According to the Estonian parliamentarian there was no physical contact or spilling of water, only verbal skirmish.

Keywords: Russo-Georgian War
Countries: Estonia
More
The protests in Georgia were US rehearsal for a colour revolution in Belarus
Additional details: Colour revolution techniques increasingly manifest in the continued protests in Tbilisi. It is a strange coincidence that Mike Carpenter, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, tweeted about the possible negative consequences of the open door policy of the current Georgian government in relations with Russia just a couple days before the scandal in the Georgian parliament took place. Carpenter is one of the Kyiv Maidan curators who was later in charge of Ukraine's external governance.

Washington curators of the 'sanitary zone' along Russian borders are unhappy about the normalisation of Georgian-Russian relations. They need the heaviest possible anti-Russian policies from post-Soviet countries. Any sovereign decision of Georgia disliked by the US, be it non-alignment with Western sanctions over Russia or abolition of visas for Russian tourists, risk provoking a colour revolution. Professional regime changers work on making the Belarusian government pro-Western in order to achieve a revolution in Belarus too.

Last year, Carpenter visited Belarus allegedly in the framework of restoring relations with the West. Over 20 years, the West has created all infrastructure necessary for a regime change in Belarus. Dozens of media outlets, NGOs, political parties, etc. function on American and European money. All of them can mobilise their audiences and employees to take part in mass riots at any moment.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RuBaltic.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The disinformation message is based on several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives. It casts any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states as US-funded "colour revolutions", be they in GeorgiaUkraine, or Belarus. It is also consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role, Ukraine being under external control and lacking sovereignty, and the West's activities to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations and West's strategy of encircling Russia.

The current protests in Georgia were a spontaneous public reaction calling for the resignation of key national officials after Russian State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov sat in the Georgian parliamentary speaker's seat while addressing a council of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox Christian countries - the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). Gavrilov is known for his support to Russia's aggression in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.

Russia continues its military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia  in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement, mediated by the European Union.

Michael Carpenter was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense with responsibility for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, the Balkans, and Conventional Arms Control. He is a target of pro-Kremlin disinformation because he is an outspoken critic of Russia's aggressive foreign policy. He is currently Senior Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. In November 2018, Carpenter traveled to Minsk with a delegation from the Jamestown Foundation, where he serves on the board of directors. The trip was a fact-finding visit to meet with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and other civilian and military officials. According to a press release, "the goal of the visit was to assess the growing importance of Belarus in its critical location between Russia and NATO member countries as well as between Russia and Ukraine. The delegation also took stock of the ongoing rapprochement between Belarus and the United States in the changing European security environment."

There is no evidence to support the claim that the US is pursuing regime change or a colour revolution in Belarus. The Jamestown press release further stated: "President Lukashenka emphasized his country’s ability to guarantee its security and self-defense with its own forces. While maintaining close economic and military ties of alliance with Russia, as the President reaffirmed, Belarus neither needs nor intends to host a Russian military base in the country. Belarus would regard any increase in military deployments in this part of Europe as a matter of serious concern. President Lukashenka underscored the value of Belarus’s state sovereignty and internal stability as a basis for the country’s economic and social development. He also outlined Belarus’s multi-vector foreign policy of non-zero-sum cooperation with Russia, the European Union, the United States, and China."

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the protests in Georgia are a Russophobic absurd theatre, that the West finances the Belarusian opposition and NGOs to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, and that the US is using Poland, Ukraine and other countries as a sanitary cordon against Russia. For cases about the West attempting to organise unrest or a colour revolution in Belarus, see here, here and here.

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, Destabilising Russia, US presence in Europe, Sovereignty, Colour revolutions, Russophobia, Euromaidan, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, The West, Belarus, US, Georgia
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Investigation of MH17 is politically motivated and its sole purpose is to tarnish Russia
Additional details: Russia repeatedly proposed the inclusion of Russian specialists in the MH17 investigation, submitted various data and materials, including the results of the investigation conducted by “Almaz-Antey”. However, all Russian initiatives were ignored, while Ukraine was treated with indulgence. The whole investigation into the case of the Malaysian Boeing is politically motivated. The investigation has the sole purpose of tarnishing Russia. 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Abkhazia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The claims by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey were debunked already in 2015 by Bellingcat. The evidence conducted by the Russian military company Almaz-Antey is only a small sample of misleading claims and conspiracy theories  advanced by Moscow since 2015, many of which have contradicted one another. See previous debunking of these claims herehere, and here.

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 24 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 persecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of MH17 and murdering all 298 people on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four individuals 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 Flight MH17.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
More
Amid the protests Georgians physically attacked two Russian tourists
Additional details: Two Russian tourists were so badly beaten and bloodied in Hypermarket Carrefour that it was impossible to identify their gender. Witnesses were happy about the fact. This is the "free new generation" protesting in the streets.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): progressnews.ge
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This claim is false and consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives portraying the public protests against Gavrilov's visit to Georgia as Russophobic.

Myth Detector reached out to the Georgian Interior Ministry and the Carrefour. Neither the Interior Ministry nor Carrefour have confirmed the reports about Russian citizens being physically assaulted at the supermarket. 

The protests in Georgia began spontaneously on the morning of June 20th, when a Russian MP from the Communist Party, Sergei Gavrilov, addressed delegates from the Georgian Parliament Speaker's seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).

The opposition boycotted the presence of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi, which then grew to the protests in front of the Parliament. As a response, Russia has temporarily banned Georgian airlines from flying to Russia and called on Russian citizens in Georgia to leave the country.

Keywords: Protest, Anti-Russian, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, Georgia
More
MH17 investigation brought no results, Malaysia was sidelined
Additional details: Different parties have accused each other of downing flight MH17 and still today, 5 years later, there are no satisfactory investigation results. Even Malaysia was dismissed from the undeniably political investigation, which seems to be concentrated on trying to pin it on Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9jROljju40
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News FR @ 06:06 - 06:25
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of the MH17.

The Malaysia's Prosecutor's office cooperated in the investigation conducted by the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT). Speaking at the press-conference of the JIT on June 19, 2019 the deputy Prosecutor general of Malaysia Mohamad Hanafiah bin Zakaria reiterated Malaysia's commitment to the JIT in seeking justice for the victims, and stated that the JIT findings were based on extensive investigation and legal research. [See at 57:30 - 58:14] 

The criminal investigation by the 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 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 persecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board. The public hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2020 in the Netherlands.

 

Keywords: MH17
Countries: Malaysia
More
Crimea reconnected with Russia in referendum to avoid NATO troops there
Additional details: On 18 March 2014, the referendum in Crimea sealed the peninsula's connection to Russia, after the latter sent its troops. In fact, Moscow could not conceive that this peninsula, strategic and historically Russian, was going to become Western, or that NATO would set up troops there.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News FR
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal democratic referendum.

No international body recognizes the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, see here.

A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The NATO expansion is also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative. NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by the Kremlin leadership and Russian state media, but instead considers the applications of candidate countries that want to join the defensive alliance of their own national will.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, War in Ukraine, NATO, Referendum, Crimea, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, The West, Ukraine
More
'Old' EU member states introduced sanctions on Russia after the provocation of the downing of MH17 by Ukraine
Additional details: 'Old' EU member states have quite developed economic ties with Russia. They followed the 'new' EU member states and supported the introduction of sanctions on Russia only after the famous provocation of 17 July 2014 when Flight MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft gunners. At present, the 'old' EU member states delay the investigation into the downing of MH17 because it has become clear that Russian responsibility cannot be established.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a disinformation claim about the downing of Flight MH17, for which Russia is responsible, and misrepresents the history and causes of the EU’s sanctions on Russia.

The first round of EU sanctions against Russia was introduced on 17 March 2014, before MH17 was shot down. The first bans and asset freezes against persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity followed Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.

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 298 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges that the four individuals 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: economy, Diplomacy with Russia, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy, Sanctions, MH17
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
The Baltic countries live mainly at the expense of the EU budget
Additional details: The Baltic economy is subsidized. The countries live mainly at the expense of the EU budget.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation undermining the statehood and questioning the economic efficiency of the Baltic countries.

Lithuania and Latvia were among Europe's 10 fastest growing economies in 2016, according to the World Economic Forum.

The Baltic countries have been a showcase of successful transformation after regaining independence following 50 years of Soviet occupation. This includes free market economies, well-functioning democratic institutions and legal systems. See further information here and here. In 1995, in Latvia, GDP per capita was 2.327 USD compared to 13.664 USD in 2015. In 1995, EE GDP per capita was 3.036 USD compared to 17.295 USD in 2015 as can be seen here.

More about the Baltic countries' economy can be read here.

The total EU contribution in Lithuania was €1.575 billion, which is 3.90 % of Lithuanian gross national income (GNI), in Estonia - €0.648 2.87% of Estonian GNI and in Latvia €0.737 billion, 2.76 % of Latvian gross national income. At the same time the Baltic countries, as all member states, contribute to the EU budget. The Lithuanian contribution to the EU budget was €0.274 billion, 0.68 % of its GNI: The Estonian contribution was €0.154 billion or 0.68 % of its GNI. For Latvia it was €0.184 billion, 0.69 % of GNI.

Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. More information about pre-allocations assigned to Member States in certain policy areas can be consulted here.

 

 

 

Keywords: economy, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, EU
More
The Porton Down Laboratory denied that the poison used against Sergey Skripal was produced in Russia
Additional details: The Porton Down Laboratory denied UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s allegations that the poison used against Sergey Skripal and his daughter was produced in Russia. 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Skripal poisoning.

Earlier, pro-Kremlin media claimed that Porton Down might have manufactured Novichok, or that Porton Down laboratory was responsible for the Amesbury poisoning.

British police and investigations from the intelligence services have produced hard forensic evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent.

See more related cases here.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Theresa May
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Lithuania's counteractions to the Belarusian NPP are an attempt to disrupt Belarus-Russia cooperation
Additional details: The closer the launch of the Astravets NPP in Belarus, the more often alleged safety issues of the NPP are reported. In reality, not a single Lithuanian argument against the Astravets NPP has found its confirmation. Lithuania has been running a deliberate information and political campaign against the Belarusian NPP because it is a flagship project for Belarus and Russia. Lithuania is unhappy about Belarus-Russia cooperation in the nuclear field. Hence, the Lithuanian political elite's attempts to block a common Belarus-Russia project that has become a symbol of the Union State between Belarus and Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Grani Formata @ Sputnik Belarus time 00:05 - 01:53
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about West's attempts to discredit and disrupt Belarus-Russia relations.

Lithuania opposes the construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) as the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection and nuclear safety, and is built on the site that was not duly justified over the alternative ones.

On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the Astravets nuclear power plant case. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations.

On 20 April 2017, the Lithuanian parliament passed a bill imposing a ban on import of electricity from Belarus' nuclear power plant in Astravets. This position is based on security concerns. In her State of the Nation Address on June 11th, 2019, President Dalia Grybauskaitė, called to continue efforts for the complete shutdown of the Astravets NPP, stating: "Espoo Convention countries have concluded that the [Astravets nuclear power plant] stands on an unsafe site. This is not about the safety of the plant – this is about its unsafe site. It means that no power station can operate there, and efforts to close the Astravets nuclear power plant must continue."

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Lithuania fights against Belarusian NPP on the orders of Sweden and Finland, Dalia Grybauskaitė's opposition to the NPP is an attempt to hide Lithuania's own failures in nuclear power, that "Chernobyl" series aimed to discredit the Belarusian power plant and Belarus-Russia relations, that West-financed environmental NGOs in Belarus stage a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia.

Keywords: Nuclear issues
Countries: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus
More
Whole of Belarusian opposition has become an LGBT community to get financial assistance from the UK
Additional details: No one has ever seen a single begging gay or lesbian in Minsk, because Great Britain financially supports all LGBT members. This is why the whole Belarusian opposition suddenly turned into the LGBT community.

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

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the morally corrupt West and its aggressive actions towards Belarusian society and aimed to discredit Belarusian democratic opposition.

The UK, among the other EU Member States is engaging with the whole of civil society in Belarus.

The UK embassy in Minsk showed support for the Belarusian LGBT community by flying a rainbow flag  for International Day Against Homophobia.

In Belarus, the systematic restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and association leads to discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community, according to the May 2019 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus. Belarusian legislation does not have any laws specifically protecting sexual minorities from discrimination. The report reads: "Article 64.9 of the Criminal Code foresees aggravating circumstances for crimes motivated by “hatred or hostility towards any social group”. However, the term “social group” is very vague and prosecutions taking into account the article in regard to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community are reported as rare.”

See earlier disinformation cases about the LGBT community in Belarus, alleging that Schengen visa fees for Belarusians are high, because the number of homosexuals per capita in Belarus is very low, the UK embassy in Belarus promotes genocidal and self-destructive policies by flying a rainbow flag on the International Day Against Homophobia, that the West is destabilising Belarus with the help of Nazis and LGBTpromotes the concept of feminine men, and attacks the institution of family in Slavic countries.

Keywords: Western values, LGBT
Countries: Belarus
More
US and NATO plan "Drive to the East" against Russia
Additional details: A larger presence of US and NATO military forces in Poland aims at "Drang nach Osten" ("Drive to the East") against Russia. Belarus is likely to become a transit area for aggression against Russia. A pretext for escalation in the region can be anything, a made-up 'Russian aggression in Ukraine" or a blatant provocation with the use of the American unmanned aerial vehicle MQ-9 Reaper as in the Gulf of Oman. However, the West's collective hunt against Russia and its allies is doomed to fail because Russia will do everything to defend allied countries and itself.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO encircling Russia.

The disinformation message involves a major element of Nazi ideology -  Drang nach Osten -  to draw parallels between Nazi Germany and the US / West / NATO.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the EU continues the aggressive policies of Nazi Germany and the US and EU countries are Russophobic, fascist and Nazi regimes.

Keywords: Military, Encircling Russia, NATO, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, The West, Belarus, US
More
The US is occupying Germany and Bavaria wants to break away
Additional details: One of the taboo topics in Europe is the United States' occupation of Germany. Ask any local Bavarian and they will tell you that there is no peace treaty with the United States, that the US is indeed the occupant, that the people are helpless, and that Bavaria should quit Germany, but not the European Union.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: radiovesti.ru/brand/62139/episode/2179831
Disinforming outlet(s): Evrozona @ Vesti FM (04:00 - 04:42)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about US presence in Europe, according to which the US is portrayed as an imperialistic or occupying power that threatens the national sovereignty of European countries.

This claim reflects the views of the German Bavarian Party, which advocates the region's breakaway from Germany. The party did not make it to the Bavarian Parliament in 2019 elections, indicating that the vast majority of Bavarians do not share these views.

Keywords: Imperialism/colonialism, Occupation, US presence in Europe
Countries: US, Germany
More
Powerful Ukrainian radicals are transmission belts for NATO's aggression against Russia
Additional details: The dismantling of USSR Marshal Zhukov bust in Kharkiv is a test for president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Those behind the toppling of the monument want to find out how Zelenskyy will react to this provocation. If Zelensky does not react, it will mean the continuation of post-Maidan Ukraine's policies in cultural, ideological and other fields which are being managed by radical nationalists. They serve as transmission belts for NATO provocations and its aggressive and isolating policies towards Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Grani Formata @ Sputnik Belarus time 02:36 – 03:44
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Ukraine under external control and NATO's aggressive intentions towards Russia. It also contains unfounded claims about staged events by specific groups aimed at testing Zelenskyy.

On 2 June 2019 protesters in Kharkiv toppled the bust of USSR Marshal Zhukov. Consequently, the police opened criminal proceedings under Part 2 of Article 296 (hooliganism) and Part 2 of Article 345 (threat or violence against an employee of a law enforcement agency) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Zelenskyy's press-secretaty criticised the events in Kharkiv and named them "an example of inadequate humanitarian policies of the last years." Zelenskyy also called on Kharkiv local authorities to organise a public discussion on the matter and urged police and prosecutors to give a legal assessment of the events.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, one of the founding members of the United Nations. Neither NATO, nor the EU countries control Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by all NATO member states, but were violated by Russia in 2014. In 2014, NATO suspended all practical cooperation with Russia, in response to its aggressive actions in Ukraine. As reaffirmed at the Warsaw Summit, "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia." See NATO's official response to the claim that is preparing an attack on Russia.

See earlier disinformation cases about Ukraine-NATO relations here and about Ukraine's external control herehere and here.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Anti-Russian, NATO, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
More
Georgia is an example of the consequences of Western geopolitical engineering
Additional details: Western curators are ready to turn a blind eye to rioting by ultra-nationalists and Russophobes in Georgia; breaking off all ties of Georgian people with our country [Russia] and rewriting our common history.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia

RT Deutsch (1:25-1:28)

Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (43:10 - 43:32)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, based on a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives casting civil uprisings as externally-funded "colour revolutions" or geopolitically engineered, also seen in cases about Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Venezuela.

The disinformation message is also consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role and imperialistic ambitions, as well as Russophobia, and  Western attempts to sever relations between Russia and Georgia.

The current protests in Georgia were a spontaneous public reaction calling for the resignation of key national officials after Russian State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov sat in the Georgian parliamentary speaker's seat while addressing a council of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox Christian countries - the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). Gavrilov is known for his support to Russia's aggression in Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.

Russia continues its military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia  in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement, mediated by the European Union.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russo-Georgian War, Russophobia, The West
Countries: Russia, The West, Georgia
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Protests in Georgia are a coup d'état
Additional details: Whilst understanding the sensitivities of the Georgians, the current occasion, which was based on a "protocol error" from the host (Georgian) side, as they later admitted, seems rather null and void for such riots.

We think this action was planned, because dozens of cameras were set up at lightning speed. People who came to the meeting demonstrated with pre-prepared posters with dirty, offensive, anti-Russian content. It was obvious that it was not the orthodox forum, to which Georgia itself applied for participation, that was the cause of the riots, but an attempted coup d'état and occupation of Parliament.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given to support the claim that the protests were pre-planned and intended as an attempted coup d'état.

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. 

The case refers to the current protests in Georgia, which were a spontaneous public reaction calling for the resignation of key national officials after Russian State Duma Deputy Sergei Gavrilov sat in the Georgian parliamentary speaker's seat while addressing a council of lawmakers from predominantly Orthodox Christian countries - the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO). Sergey Gavrilov voted in favor of recognition of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, which is a particularly hot-button issue for Georgians. Currently, Russia occupies 20% of Georgia's territory, more than 10 years after the Russo-Georgian War, and continues to breach its international obligations by consolidating its control in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

See similar cases about the West promoting Russophobia in Georgia here and here.

 

Keywords: Protest, Anti-Russian, Russo-Georgian War, Colour revolutions, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, Georgia
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Georgian snipers were involved in Euromaidan protests in Kyiv
Additional details: Ukrainian and Georgian political elites are interconnected in many ways, […]  not to mention such examples as the Georgian snipers at Euromaidan.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmh-Z29tjJ0
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukrainskoe Dosie @ Ukraina.ru time 1:02-1:58
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation that the snipers at the Euromaidan were directed by the Maidan leaders, and that they were Georgian.

No evidence is given to prove that “Georgian snipers” were responsible for shooting during the 2014 Euromaidan in Kyiv. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has spread different versions of the identity of the snipers.

For further debunking about recurring disinformation on the Georgian snipers, see StopFakeMyth DetectorThe Insider and Polygraph.

The spontaneous 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. Read more here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine, Georgia
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Ukraine is an anti-Russian state under Western control
Additional details: Ukraine is best at selling anti-Russian, Russophobic sentiments and mobilising anti-Russian feelings. By exercising this role, it is forgiven many sins [by the West] in its internal policy, economics and corruption. The only reason for this is that it must work against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmh-Z29tjJ0
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukrainskoe Dosie @ Ukraina.ru time 22:55-23:15
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West's strategy of encircling Russia and anti-Russian sentiments in the West.

Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government, and without any anti-Russian policy. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU. The EU and the US work closely with Ukraine. Their relations are directed at improving their cooperation in all fields and are not orientated against Russia.

Furthermore, relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. US policy is centered on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures.

Keywords: Ukraine, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, Russophobia
Countries: United States, Russia, The West, Ukraine, EU
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Russophobia is the main export of Lithuania
Additional details: The Baltic States are demonizing Russia, blaming it for occupation, demanding reparations, and brainwashing young generations that there is an enemy in their neighborhood. They are trying to erase from memory every mention of Russia and the Soviet Union. They are bothered by monuments for the soldier-liberators who saved the Baltics from fascism.

Today they also want to erase the great sports achievements and all memory of the USSR around the world.

The main topic of debates in the Lithuanian parliament is a sports jersey. They are calling upon all of the world to prohibit Soviet symbols. Russophobia is the main export of Lithuania.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestia Glavnoe @ 5 Kannal (0:00 - 02:37)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia in the Baltic States.

The disinformation message appeared after several members of the Lithuanian Parliament asked a sports-apparel company to stop the sales of Soviet-themed clothing. Last year the company pulled Soviet-themed shirts from its online store after facing international criticism.

The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania and other Baltic States in 1940-1941 and 1944-1990.

Lithuania's main exports are mineral fuels as well as machinery, including computers.

Keywords: USSR, Russophobia, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: USSR, Russia, Baltic states, Lithuania
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Ukraine failed as a political nation
Additional details: The Ukrainian political nation in its present composition has absolutely failed and is ineffective. The question is only whether the intelligent part of Europe now really understands this and will make appropriate conclusions.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (11:18 - 11:30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about failing and abandoned Ukraine.

This claim appeared after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to reinstate Russia's voting rights. One of the reasons for the affirmative vote was to enable Russian citizens to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. However, the vote also drew international criticism, including from Russian civil society.

The European Union continues to support the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the reform process within the country.

Keywords: Council of Europe, Abandoned Ukraine, Ukrainian disintegration, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
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Despite the change of power in Moldova, the military continues to prepare for war with Russia
Additional details:







Sending two Moldovan military contingents, on June 28 2019, to participate in exercises in the US and Ukraine is aimed at preparing soldiers and officers for a possible attack on Transnistria, which means preparing for an anti-Russian confrontation. The anti-Russian character of these manoeuvers is concealed neither by the organisers of the exercises nor the participants.








Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vedomosti.md, 1news.md
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring narrative on the belligerent West, encircled Russia and the West controlling Moldova.

See similar cases where planned military exercises are portrayed as aggression  towards Russia.

A Ministry of Defense press release announces that Moldova National Army sent on June 28 a number of 49 military from the 22nd Peacekeeping Battalion and five state major officers to Ukraine, for participate in "Sea Breeze 2019", a multinational peacekeeping exercise organized in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace. Moldova has been attending this exercise since 2007.

An other contingent has been sent in the same day to California, USA, to participate in the "Agile Hunter 2019", an exercise aiming to increase the level of inter-operability between the sub-units of the two armies, to strengthen defense capabilities and to prepare Moldovan troops for peacekeeping operations.

”The participation of Moldovan soldiers in US training is provided in the Foreign Ministry's Defense and National Army's External Action Plan for 2019. Note that "Agile Hunter", conducted through the Partnership Program with the National Guard of North Carolina, is being held for the fourth consecutive year. The first two editions took place in the Republic of Moldova, and last year it was held in Fort Bliss, Texas, August 10-28”, notes the Ministry of Defense press release.

Read a similar case about Moldova here.

Keywords: Transnistria, Encircling Russia, The West
Countries: Moldova, Russia
More
Europe supported Ukraine as an anti-Russian project and for this Ukrainians paid a colossal price
Additional details: Europe supported Ukraine as an anti-Russian project and for this the Ukrainian nation paid a colossal price. The price was Crimea, civil war in Donbas, tens of thousands of dead, a destroyed economy. And today the price is also the dismantlement of Poroshenko's regime.

Ukraine as a political nation has a very bleak outlook, and even the Europeans - those who are paying the money - are now thinking whether it was worth it.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokhazhet @ Pervyi Kanal (50:43 - 51:54)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a disinformation message that combines several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about abandoned and failing Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood, the annexation of Crimea, and the war in eastern Ukraine.

In fact, the Ukrainian economy has been growing.

Overwhelming evidence confirms that Russia is sending mercenaries to Donbas. It is not a civil war. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation", and continues to condemn clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces.

This disinformation message appeared after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted to reinstate Russia's voting rights. The European Union and the Council of Europe are two separate entities. The European Union continues to support the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and maintains a strict non-recognition policy with regard to the illegal annexation of Crimea, as well as sanctions against Russia. The Council of Europe has also condemned the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The European Union continues to support independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the reform process within the country.

Keywords: Council of Europe, Abandoned Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Crimea, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Europe, Ukraine, EU
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The Belarusian opposition is trying to sabotage the 2nd European Games
Additional details: The Belarusian opposition does its best to sabotage the 2nd European Games, and is already organizing provocations. Its representatives are implicated in the illegal sale of tickets and have even turned to the Russian activist group Pussy Riot who came to support them. The Belarusian opposition will bring a bunch of people, armed to the teeth, in order to humiliate Belarus in the eyes of foreigners.

Another strategy to spoil the 2nd European Games is to deflect public attention towards the EuroGames 2019 for gays and lesbians in Madrid. This event is one of the most important for the Belarusian opposition, just as May 17th when the UK embassy flies LGBT flags. The Belarusian opposition began selling tickets for the EuroGames and promises to issue citizens with visas for it free of charge, with the aim of taking Belarusians away from the country's main event.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Berestje-News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Belarusian opposition.

A number of Belarusian media outlets including the largest internet portal TUT.BY mentioned the difference between the European Games, the EuroGames, and the European Championships. The EuroGames is an European multi sport event governed by the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation. The 2019 EuroGames will be taking place in Rome, Italy. The Belarusian opposition has not promoted the 2019 EuroGames through the sale of tickets or by other means, nor has it promised free visas as alleged.

The UK embassy in Minsk showed support for the Belarusian LGBT community by flying a rainbow flag  for International Day Against Homophobia.

Keywords: Provocation
Countries: Belarus
More
Pro-Western Belarusian opposition prefers commemorating WWII events with swastikas and LGBT symbols
Additional details: The Belarusian opposition views past historical events in a light favourable to both the West and fascism. The ancestors of opposition activists were fascist collaborators during WWII and exterminated civilians. Hence, they have a fierce hatred at the genetic level.

The Belarusian opposition would be much happier if at the anniversary of Nazi Germany's attack on the USSR (June 22nd) people would take to the streets wearing swastikas and shouting "Long live Belarus!" and "Glory to Ukraine!". The opposition would also prefer seeing garrison soldiers wearing LGBT badges. Only in this case would the opposition acknowledge the significance of commemorating WWII history.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Podneprovie-Info
Reported by:
Disproof note:

These are ungrounded claims intended to discredit the West and the Belarusian opposition via baseless accusations of Nazi and LGBT sympathies. This story is consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West's continuous attempts to undermine Belarusian society through a subservient Belarusian opposition and Western-funded NGOs.

Read our past analysis "Pro-Kremlin News Front Praising Hitler" to learn more on how the terms “Fascism” and “Nazism” in the current pro-Kremlin political terminology are used to undermine those who are critical of Russian policies or the Kremlin. Accusations of fascism are a telltale indicator of disinformation.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West financed environmental NGOs in Belarus to stage a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia, that Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that the West finances Belarusian opposition and NGOs to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations, and that it promotes propaganda of feminine men in Belarus.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, WWII, Russophobia, Conspiracy, LGBT, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: The West, Belarus
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It will take a millennium for Lithuania to rebuild its railways
Additional details: Lithuania considers its railway a tool of Russian and Belarusian soft power and a Soviet legacy. It voices the need to rebuild the railway network according to European standards. This will require around 900-950 annual Lithuanian' budgets, meaning that Lithuania will be ready to undertake this task by the end of this millennium.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Lithuania is a part of the Rail Baltica project which aims to link Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with a new European gauge fast conventional railway.

It is is one of the priority projects of the European Union: Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), for greater connectivity in the EU, improved movement of passengers and freight, which will also contribute to the deepening of the EU Single market. The project envisages a continuous rail link from Tallinn (Estonia) to Warsaw (Poland), going via Riga (Latvia) and Kaunas (Lithuania). The Baltic route should be completed by 2025; the link to Warsaw-2030.

The disinformation message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia in the Baltic States and their socio-economic degradation in  the EU. (See for example: Lithuania is a typical dying young democracy).

Keywords: Baltic states
Countries: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus
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Belarusian opposition preparing a coup with US military assistance
Additional details: Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikau works for the CIA and RAND to destabilise Belarus with a "European Belarus" civic campaign. During his recent visit to the RAND Corporation, Sannikau spoke about the need to stage a coup in Belarus with US military assistance. The US actors ordered Sannikau to ignite a war in Belarus similar to the war in Donbas. The US sees Belarus as a springboard for military actions against Russia and is ready to pay well for it.

Andrei Sannikau made a promise to the US to organise this springboard on the condition that the US military would support a coup in Belarus. Sannikau is getting ready for the 2020 presidential campaign under the secret name "It is time to change peaceful times".
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Podneprovie-Info
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a collection of conspiracies and ungrounded claims aimed to discredit the US and the West, Andrei Sannikau, and the democratic Belarusian opposition. This disinformation message is a modification of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

Andrei Sannikau is a Belarusian politician and activist. He was a candidate at the 2010 presidential election in Belarus and had the second highest percentage of the popular votes after incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka. On 14 May 2011, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on charges of organising mass disturbances. He was released and pardoned by Lukashenka on 14 April 2012. Amnesty International labelled him a prisoner of conscience and called for his immediate release.

Sannikau indeed recently took part in a seminar organised by the RAND Corporation and spoke about it in an interview. However, the allegations of his statements contained in the disinformation message are groundless and provide no proof whatsoever.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the Belarusian opposition, civic activists and independent journalists make kill lists for Western security bodies, that Russia saved Belarus from Western bombing like in Yugoslavia, that Poland plans to take over Minsk after extensive subversive activities in Belarus, and that the West's only interest in Belarus is to make it anti-Russian.

Keywords: Military, Anti-Russian, Russophobia, Donbas, Conspiracy
Countries: Belarus, US
More
Ukrainian sailors arrested by Russia because three Ukrainian Navy vessels violated the Russian-Ukrainian border
Additional details: Twenty-four Ukrainian sailors were arrested by Russia in November 2018 because three Ukrainian Navy vessels violated the Russian-Ukrainian border when seeking to transit the Kerch Strait.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the November 2018 Kerch incident. Russia has seized Ukrainian vessels and their crews and fired shots at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. The EU has urged Russia to release the captured crew.

The Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, as addressed by the 2003 bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia are defined as internal waters of both Russia and Ukraine. The agreement gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels. Furthermore, both the 2003 bilateral agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for the freedom of navigation. Please see a similar case here.

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Black Sea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
NATO uses false “Russian threat” as pretext to expand its presence near Russian borders
Additional details: NATO is aware that Moscow has no intention of attacking anyone, but is exploiting a non-existent “Russian threat” in order to increase NATO’s presence close to Russia’s borders.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the “Russian threat” is a false idea created and spread by NATO and the US to encircle and weaken Russia.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine is the source of NATO's concerns about the challenge Russia poses to the post-Cold War security order in Europe.

For similar cases, see here and here.

Keywords: security threat, Eastern Ukraine, EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, Hybrid war, Russophobia, NATO
Countries: Poland, Russia, Baltic states, Lithuania
More
West supports Belarusian environmental NGOs in a struggle against Russia and Russian Orthodox Church
Additional details: In Belarus, there is a large network of Western and Western-financed NGOs which conduct subversive activities against Belarusian-Russian relations, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian language and Soviet legacy. In fact, the struggle against the Russian Orthodox Church is hiding behind US-financed solutions to environmental issues. Currently, a think-tank, a number of NGOs and around 30 online media attempt to discredit the church in Belarus and promote the idea of an independent Belarusian Church.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Fond Strategicheckoy Kultury, Teleskop, Vmeste s Rossiyey
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy consistent with a number of Belarus-related pro-Kremlin narratives about the West's continuous attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations including through the financing of the Belarusian opposition and NGOs, and that the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is favoured by the West in order to organise a full-scale split from the Russian Orthodox Church.

There is no proof that Belarusian environmental NGOs conceal some darker purpose or that Belarusian online media and NGOs campaign for the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Orthodox Church, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, The West, Belarus, US
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