Was könnte Völkermord und Nazis mit der Fußballweltmeisterschaft 2018 gemein haben? Nichts, wäre die offensichtlichste Antwort. Doch der kremlfreundlichen Desinformationskampagne dienen diese drei Themen als Inspirationsquelle.

Diese Woche drehte sich alles darum, eine Nebelwand rund um eine der wichtigsten Frontlinie aufzubauen: Der Ukraine. Wie bereits in der Vergangenheit zu erkennen war, ist der Anstieg von Gewalt im Donbas — wie auch zuletzt —von einer intensivierten Desinformationskampagne in kremlfreundlichen Medien begleitet.

1. Die Fußballweltmeisterschaft. Die Desinformationskampagne stellte die Ukraine als den Hauptaggressor gegenüber Russland und dem Donbas dar; es wurde behauptet, die Ukraine werde „während der Weltmeisterschaft eine großangelegte Offensive im Donbas“ starten, um ein „humanitäres Desaster und ein Bevölkerungsabwanderung“ auszulösen. Das Ziel sei „Russland als Konfliktpartei und Aggressor zu brandmarken“. Die Botschaft wurde mit einer weiteren, bereits wiederholten Aussage ergänzt: Russland habe mit dem Krieg in der Ostukraine nichts zu tun—obwohl es klare Belege für eine Beteiligung Russlands gibt.

Gleichzeitig war die Desinformationskampagne eifrig mit der Erstellung falscher Berichte über die Fehler auf ukrainischer Seite beschäftigt. So wurde etwa die Desinformation verbreitet, Angehörige von NATO-Streitkräften seien getötet worden, da die Armeeführung der ukrainischen Streitkräfte sie absichtlich in ein Minenfeld geleitet habe. Die Meldung wurde schnell von Journalisten widerlegt.

2. Völkermord. Die nächste Stufe bei der Verbreitung von Desinformationen bestand darin, Russlands Aggressionen zu rechtfertigen. Wenn die Ukraine beginne einen „Völkermord im Donbas“ zu begehen, werde Russland „nicht im Hintergrund bleiben“. Die Verbindung des Wortes „Völkermord“ mit der Ukraine und der Versuch, dieses Narrativ vom Rand der Berichterstattung in die Mitte zu drängen, ist seit Jahren Teil der kremlfreundlichen Desinformation über die Ukraine.

Dieses Narrativ wurde auch auf höchster politischer Ebene wiederholt, als Russlands Präsident Wladimir Putin vorhersagte, ein Massaker wie in Srebrenica könne auch in der Ukraine stattfinden und „Russland das nicht erlauben wird.“ Doch es gibt und gab nie einen Beleg für einen drohenden Völkermord in der Ukraine. Menschrechtsorganisationen, die 2014 in die Ukraine gereist sind, fanden keinen Anhaltspunkt dafür, dass russischsprachige Personen gefährdet seien könnten.

3. Nazis. Der ständige Fluss der Verleumdungen, wonach die Ukraine ein faschistischer Staat sei, lief im Hintergrund weiter. Es wurde behauptet, ukrainische Behörden „rutschen weiter in die faschistische Dunkelheit ab“ sowie, dass die offizielle Ideologie in der Ukraine lautete, dass das Land „unter Hitler geblüht hätte“. Als „Beleg“ für die Bosheit des ukrainischen Volkes wurde sogar behauptet, die Ukraine hätte Häuser aus den Überresten von Nazis erschossener sowjetischer Kriegsgefangenen gebaut. Hier sehen Sie die Fakten.

Eine der Techniken, die in der St. Petersburger Trollfabrik genutzt werden, ist die Bestimmung von Schlüsselworten, die das jeweilge Thema in den Suchmaschinen weiter nach oben bringt. Und die Anweisungen des Kremls an die größten Medienhäuser werden dafür sorgen, dass die richtigen Themen vom richtigen Blickwinkel aus betrachtet werden.

Es ist interessant die systematische Wiederholung der Wörter „Ukraine“ und „Völkermord“ sowie „Ukraine“ und „Nazis“ miteinander zu vergleichen, wie aus unserer Datenbank zu den Desinformationsfällen ersichtlich.

Übersetzungen aus dem Englischen: Astrid Schwaderer

Wide use of force by the Ukrainian army aimed at rocking the boat ahead of the World Cup and the warming in relations between Russia and Germany
Additional details: Wide use of force by the Ukrainian army aimed at rocking the boat ahead of the World Cup and the warming in relations between Russia and Germany.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @Rossiya 1, 33:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukrainian aggression against Russia and on World Cup. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date= https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=world+cup&disinfo_issue=&date=

More on the fighting in Eastern Ukraine: https://www.rferl.org/a/29241384.html

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated 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. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

For further debunking see https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-osce-the-pentagon-nato-headquarters-and-the-council-of-europe-do-not-recognize-the-facts-of-russias-aggression-against-ukraine-primarily-the-intrusion-of-russian-tanks-and-paratroopers-into-do/

Keywords: World Cup, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Germany
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Crimea bridge is the material embodiment of 'Crimea is Russia's'
Additional details: Crimea bridge is the material embodiment of 'Crimea is Russia's'.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Itogi Nedeli @NTV, 11:10
Reported by: East Stratcom Task Force
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Crimea. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=crimea&disinfo_issue=&date=

Crimea is part of Ukraine. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014. https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/41530/international-law-crimea-ukraine_en

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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OSCE Walk Out on Donbas Talks Because of Ukrainian Threats
Additional details: The OSCE coordinator left the Trilateral Contact Group peace talks on Ukrainian Donbas held in Minsk because of Ukrainian threats and insults.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/2416211.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The press statement issued by the OSCE after the May 16 talks makes absolutely no mention of any walkout by any OSCE personnel. The statement reasserts the OSCE’s commitment to continued talks aimed at easing the hardships of civilians living close to the demarcation line and in the occupied territories.

Furthermore, responding to StopFake’s inquiry about Nikonorova’s claims, Ukraine’s representative at the Minsk talks, and former Ukrainian ambassador to the US Oleksander Motsyk dismissed Nikonorova’s claims as completely false. “The OSCE moderator left the talks when they were finished, this claim is a complete fake” Motsyk, who was present at the negotiations, said.

Keywords: Donetsk, OSCE, Minsk agreements
Countries: Ukraine
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Kurt Volker Acknowledges Ukraine Unable to Reintegrate Crimea and Donbas
Additional details: Volker admits Kyiv unable to reintegrate Crimea and Donbas, advising Ukraine to come to terms with the loss of Donbas and Crimea,.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Moskovskyi Komsomolets
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Misrepresented statement. The full quote was; “There’s no way the Ukrainians could take the territory back that’s already been taken by the Russians, the Russians are just too powerful. But the cost to Russia of further advancement is already increased and will continue to increase. And if that’s the case then you have to ask yourself if you’re sitting in Moscow, what are we getting out of this? We’re getting Russian casualties, soldiers being killed fighting in Ukraine, for what? That’s why I hope they will see there is no benefit for them but the price will continue to grow. So why not exchange this for something positive, such as lifting sanctions? This will be something positive on the Russian agenda with the rest of the international community.” Further debunking by Stopfake.

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
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NATO Service Members Killed in Eastern Ukraine
Additional details: When NATO service members, escorted by Ukrainian militants, were visiting today the combat contact line in the vicinity of Avdiivka, the (Ukrainian Armed Forces) command purposefully led the guests into their minefield, where a car with the foreigners was blown up by a landmine. As a result, three NATO servicemen from Canada were killed and two from the U.S. were injured.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): The press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Federal officials have flatly denied online rumours circulated by Russian social media accounts that three Canadian soldiers working in Ukraine were killed by a landmine. https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/feds-deny-russian-rumours-that-3-canadian-soldiers-were-killed-in-ukraine-1.3936488

Immediately prior to the Russian media reports, a journalist from Canada’s CTV National News tweeted that the Canadian armed forces denied the report on the alleged incident issued the previous evening by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. "The Ministry of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces state that no Canadian person was injured or killed," the CTV journalist wrote.

Further debunking by Polygraph.info.

Keywords: Military, War in Ukraine, Donbas, NATO
Countries: Canada, Ukraine, US
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OPCW Got its Chemical Weapons Samples from Jihadists
Additional details: In fact, the entire OPCW account is based on witness testimonies and material evidence provided by selected NGOs as well as medical records offered by the same questionable sources, including Belgium-based Same Justice/Chemical Violations Documentation Center of Syria (CVDCS), the notorious Syrian Civil Defense (SCD) – better known as White Helmets – and the US-based Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), as confirmed by a former UK ambassador.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. OPCW has previously been targeted with disinformation from Russian sources. The White Helmets have long been the target of a smear campaign promoted by the Russian and Syrian governments, as well as by conspiracy theorists in the West who typically use Russian sources like RT and Sputnik.

Furthermore, the quoted former UK ambassador has been the director of a pro-Assad lobbying group since April 2017. That group, the British Syrian Society, was founded by Fawas Akhras, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s father-in-law. Further debunking by Polygraph.info.

Keywords: OPCW, Russia Today (RT), White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Syria
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New bridge to Crimea: Crimea is no longer an island
Additional details: New bridge to Crimea: Crimea is no longer an island. [Screen text]
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli s Dmitriyem Kiselyovym @Rossiya 1, 00:20
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Crimea as part of Russia. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=crimea&disinfo_issue=&date=

Crimea is a peninsula, part of Ukraine and connected to the mainland by the Isthmus of Perekop.

 

Keywords: Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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EU membership has led to economic collapse in Bulgaria and Romania
Additional details: After joining the European Union, Bulgaria's and Romania's expectations for a better economic situation were not met, as enterprises and factories were shut down and the rates of unemployment reached an alarming level. The same will happen in Georgia, especially in the spheres of wine-making and viticulture.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and the World
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007; as a result, their GDP, export, average annual wages, as well as a share of products created in their economies by industrial sector increased. In addition, European countries account for 84% and 78% of Romanian and Bulgarian exports, respectively. No indication that it would be bad for Georgia to cooperate or join the EU. Further debunking and the above mentioned statistics at Myth Detector.

Keywords: EU, Trade, Economic difficulties
Countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia
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The Ukrainian authorities are sliding even deeper into fascist darkness
Additional details: The Ukrainian authorities are sliding even deeper into fascist darkness.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2FywQjKFFw
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnoye Vremya @Channel One, 32:40
Reported by: East Stratcom Task Force
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine governed by Nazis. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=ukraine+&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77101&date=

As witnessed by the democratic Early Parliament elections held on 26 October 2014, Ukraine is governed by a democratically elected Parliament. The far-right ‘Right Sector’ [often depicted as "fascists" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets] gained only 1.8% of the votes, far short of the threshold needed to enter parliament. Ukraine's electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that http://bit.ly/2dFFEdi

Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
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Swedish City Allows Muslim Prayer Calls, Rejects Church Clock Ringing
Additional details:


The Swedish town of Växjö has sparked a lot of controversy by granting the local Muslim Foundation permission to run prayer calls at a maximum volume of 110 decibels. By contrast, a local church had to confine itself to a small and "quiet" clock inside the building to be used for a similar purpose.




Saint Michael Church, which belongs to the local Catholic community, previously asked for permission to ring clocks, but, unlike the local Muslim Foundation, received a resonant "no."

Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Actually, the Catholic Assembly in the city of Växjö has never sent in an application to call its members to worship and hence it has not been rejected.Neither Växjö municipality nor the local police authorities could find any traces of the alleged request. The fake claim to the contrary has had enormous spread on social media, both in Sweden and abroad. The original publication in the small Swedish local newspaper was corrected, but that did not happen in most international publications.

Furthermore, the Catholic parish’s request to use their church bells was supposedly denied ”10-15 years ago” – thereby eliminating any connection to the mosque’s application being approved today.

Smålandsposten’s editor-in-chief, Magnus Karlsson, regretted the initial article. ”I am disappointed that we published the article without enough evidence. But initially we didn’t have reason to distrust the information we received from the priest. We have followed up the article. But, as P4 realised, there is no formal decision" he said.

https://www.dn.se/nyheter/politik/catholic-parish-was-not-denied-using-church-bells/

Keywords: Muslim/Islam
Countries: Sweden
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Provocation: Nobody knows whether Skripal and his daughter were in hospital in the first place, Novichok can be found in many other countries
Additional details: Salisbury attack was a provocation. Nobody knows whether Skripal and his daughter were in hospital in the first place. Because, according to specialists, if they had been poisoned with such a dangerous substance, as the British claim they have been, then they wouldn't have survived. It has been revealed that the Novichok nerve agent, allegedly used in the attack on the Skripals, can be found in many other countries.

 

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2FywQjKFFw
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnoye Vremya @Channel One, 1:07:45
Reported by: East Stratcom Task Force
Disproof note:

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on the Skripal poisoning https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=sergei+skripal&disinfo_issue=&date=

According to police statement issued on behalf of Yulia Skripal, she states: "I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 9th April 2018." http://news.met.police.uk/news/statement-issued-on-behalf-of-yulia-skripal-302508

According to the UK, "either this was a direct act by the Russian State against UK, or the Russian government lost control of this potentially catastrophically damaging nerve agent and allowed it to get into the hands of others." https://www.gov.uk/government/news/novichok-nerve-agent-use-in-salisbury-uk-government-response

The European Council agreed with the United Kingdom government's assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/22/european-council-conclusions-on-the-salisbury-attack/

According to media reports, a German intelligence agent was able to get a sample of Novichok from Russia shortly after the end of the Cold War. Insights gained from the sample are reportedly still important today. http://www.dw.com/en/skripal-poisoning-germany-got-novichok-chemical-sample-from-russia-in-1990s/a-43818626 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia-chemicalweapons-german/wests-knowledge-of-novichok-came-from-sample-secured-in-1990s-report-idUSKCN1IH2HC

For background:

For background:

On Sunday 4 March Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia.

For the UK response see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/novichok-nerve-agent-use-in-salisbury-uk-government-response

The OPCW have confirmed the UK findings in the case. "The results of the analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and severely injured three people." https://www.opcw.org/news/article/opcw-issues-report-on-technical-assistance-requested-by-the-united-kingdom/

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK
More
Official ideology in Ukraine today: Everything Soviet was terrible and Ukraine would have flourished under Hitler
Additional details: Official ideology in Ukraine today: Everything Soviet was terrible and Ukraine would have flourished under Hitler.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/_feo3MdhJVY
Disinforming outlet(s): Post Scriptum @TV Centre, 51:20
Reported by: East Stratcom Task Force
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation of Ukraine and Nazis https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=ukraine&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77101&date=

As witnessed by the democratic Early Parliament elections held on 26 October 2014, Ukraine is governed by a democratically elected Parliament. The far-right ‘Right Sector’ [often depicted as "fascists" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets] gained only 1.8% of the votes, far short of the threshold needed to enter parliament. Ukraine's electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not separatism or extremism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that http://bit.ly/2dFFEdi

Keywords: USSR, Adolf Hitler, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
Russia will not stay on the sidelines if Ukraine starts carrying out a genocide against its own, Ukrainian, population in Donbas
Additional details: Russia will not stay on the sidelines if Ukraine starts carrying out a genocide against its own, Ukrainian, population in Donbas.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Channel One, 40:35
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukrainian aggression. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

No evidence given for a threat of genocide in Ukraine. The word genocide is frequently used in pro-Kremlin disinformation https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=genocide&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_language%5B%5D=rus&date= but it seldom corresponds to the actual definition of a genocide http://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/genocide.html

More on the fighting in Eastern Ukraine: https://www.rferl.org/a/29241384.html

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated 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. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

For further debunking see https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-osce-the-pentagon-nato-headquarters-and-the-council-of-europe-do-not-recognize-the-facts-of-russias-aggression-against-ukraine-primarily-the-intrusion-of-russian-tanks-and-paratroopers-into-do/

Keywords: Genocide, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The West will always consider Russia to be medieval
Additional details: The West will always consider Russia to be medieval as the West has different interests and the West will never let Russia be alongside it and gain the moral right to conversation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @Rossiya 1, 37:30
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Western policies towards Russia. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77319&date=

Foreign ministers of the EU have unanimously reconfirmed the relevance of the five guiding principles agreed in March 2016 for the EU's policy towards Russia. They provide a flexible framework for EU relations with Russia, allowing firmness on EU values and  selective engagement where there is a clear EU interest. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/fac/2018/04/16/ The EU is Russia's main trading and investment partner, while Russia as the EU's fourth is also its largest oil, gas, uranium and coal exporter.
https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/russia/720/russian-federation-and-european-union-eu_en

  • There is in fact a clear record of strong cooperation between the EU and Russia, dating back to 1994, when the two sides negotiated a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Russia was identified as a strategic partner for the EU, and was the only country with which the EU held summits not once, but twice a year. A new EU-Russia agreement was being negotiated up until 2014, at which point talks were unfortunately suspended due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Negotiations were also in train on visa facilitation. There was also cooperation between the EU and Russia on a number of foreign policy issues, some of which continues to this day. The EU and its Member States have maintained a clear policy of reaching out to Russian society and youth, mainly through the Erasmus+ student exchange programme and other people to people contacts.
  • NATO has consistently worked hard to build a cooperative relationship with Russia since the early 1990s, through the Partnership for Peace and creation of a NATO-Russia Council, and specific cooperation in the Western Balkans on and issues like counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism. In fact, as NATO points out, no other NATO partner has been offered a comparable relationship, nor a similarly comprehensive institutional framework: http://bit.ly/2e0TZnG.
  • In 1997, Russia was invited to join the G7 group of major advanced economies in the world, thus forming the G8. (At the time, Russia ranked 14th to 17th in the list of countries according to GDP: http://bit.ly/2dWb51l; http://bit.ly/2ejhOpw; http://bit.ly/2dqu4jQ). In 2006, President Putin hosted the G8 summit in Saint Petersburg. Russia's membership of the G8 was suspended in 2014 because of its illegal annexation of Crimea.
  • Russia joined the Council of Europe, the continent's leading human rights organisation, in 1996.

For more on EU-Russia relations see https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/35939/european-union-and-russian-federation_en

Keywords: Destabilising Russia, The West
Countries: Russia, The West
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Ukraine has built houses with the remains of Soviet prisoners of war
Additional details: In the Volyn region of Ukraine, near Kovel, sand mixed with the remains of Nazi-shot Soviet prisoners of war was used for construction and finishing works.

Throughout 2017, this mixture was used for the construction of residential buildings, as well as, according to the chairman of the Volyn regional organization of veterans of Ukraine Alexander Bulavin, for plastering in the high school.

Activists called police to the construction sites, law enforcers recorded the presence of bones, but they did not act on it. Repeated appeals to the authorities did not lead to anything.

Those who tried to open the eyes of the public to this business, began to be harassed by the local media.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/world/20180518/1520809532.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Ukraina.ru is a pro-Kremlin site, affiliated with Russia Today, that regularly spread disinformation. According to sources not affiliated with Ukraina.ru, it is not difficult to restore the course of events. In the vicinity of Kovel, local entrepreneurs have long been illegally working on sand for construction. In April 2017, during the digging of a quarry, a mass grave was discovered. The work was immediately stopped. Specialists established that more than twenty thousand shot POWs and Jews from the Kovel ghetto were buried there. The remains were reburied. A criminal case was opened against the entrepreneurs who illegally mined sand.

Further debunking by the Insider

Keywords: Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
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Sensational investigation of German journalists radically changes the Skripal case
Additional details: A new sensational turn in the case of the Skripals. German journalists managed to find out: the formula of the poisonous substance Novichok could be found around the world almost 20 years ago.

London from the very beginning insisted that in the poisoning of the former colonel of the GRU and his daughter, Moscow was to blame, and the poison could only have been manufactured in Russia. If the data of the reporters from Germany are correct, then London's position is dealt a crushing blow.

"The German Federal Intelligence Service cooperated in the 1990s with a Russian scientist who was used as an informant. The scientist offered to transport to the West a sample of the chemical combat weapon of the new class "Novichok", which he subsequently did, "noted journalist Georg Mascolo.

Further, as German journalists found out, the German authorities did not want to create the feeling that they were interested in chemical weapons, so the sample was sent for analysis to a laboratory in Sweden. From there they later received the formula of the poisonous substance. A whole working group was created, which included representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States, France, the Netherlands and Canada.

Thus, information about the substance became known to at least seven countries. In some, the poison was synthesized to create protective equipment. And the list of states, apparently, is not final. It is exactly known that they worked with a similar poisonous substance in the Czech Republic, President of the country Milos Zeman announced this in early May.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Pervyi Kanal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The German investigation does not suggest that the poison used in Salisbury was made in any other country than Russia.

The Russian MFA Spokesperson Zacharova previously stated that Novichok could have come from Great Britain, Slovakia, Czech Republic or Sweden. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden forcefully rejected her statements, and so did the competent authority on the topic in Sweden (the Swedish Defence Research Agency). https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ryssland-giftet-som-anvandes-mot-skripal-kan-ha-kommit-fran-sverige Later on, the Russian ambassador to Sweden stated that it was "a guess" without any facts supporting it https://www.svt.se/nyheter/utrikes/ambassadoren-backar-efter-giftutspel

Also the Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky on Saturday denied Moscow's accusation that the nerve toxin used against a former Russian double agent and his daughter in southern England came from the Czech Republic. https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1GT0ML?__twitter_impression=true

The nerve agent has been identified as Novichok (which means newcomer in Russian). It is known to be more powerful than VX and was developed in Russia in the 1970s and 1980s https://www.voanews.com/a/british-prime-minister-russia-poisoning-spy/4294683.html It's so unusual, that very few scientists outside of Russia have any real experience in dealing with it and no country outside of Russia is known to have developed the substance https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/13/europe/what-is-novichok-nerve-agent-intl/index.html

In its statement, the European Union expressed shock at the offensive use of any military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, for the first time on European soil in over 70 years. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/03/19/statement-by-the-foreign-affairs-council-on-the-salisbury-attack/

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: Canada, Czech Republic, UK, Russia, US, Germany, The Netherlands
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Balkan states desperate for EU funds, will receive nothing
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Balkan states are desperate for the money guaranteed by joining the EU. The EU has promised to give membership to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro by 2025, but there will be no extra EU funds available for the countries in the meantime. 










Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): NTV, Itogi nedeli (49:00)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

The European Union is and will remain the most reliable partner of the entire Western Balkans. “The integration with the Western Balkans is a top priority for the EU and I don’t see any other future for the Western Balkans than the EU”, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said most recently, following the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia. “There is no alternative, there is no plan B. The Western Balkans are an integral part of Europe and they belong to our community”.

The Summit reconfirmed the EU's determination to strengthen its engagement at all levels to support the region’s political, economic and social transformation, including through increased assistance based on tangible progress in the rule of law as well as in socio-economic reforms.

To support the implementation of the Sofia Declaration and drawing on the Commission's Western Balkans Strategy and its six flagship initiatives, the European Commission announced a new package of measures to boost connectivity within the region and with the EU. The EU will provide grants for additional 11 high-priority transport projects (road, rail, ports) worth €190 million. This investment can leverage up to €1 billion in loans from international financing institutions. This includes funding for the first two sections of the ‘Peace Highway' (Nis-Pristina-Durres) and the ‘Blue Highway' along the Adriatic coast. In order to develop the new Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans, the EU has earmarked €30 million for investments in broadband rollouts across the region. Moreover, the EU will support the region's energy transition through promoting renewable energy sources, including a sustainable use of hydropower. The Commission will increase its support for youth and education, in particular by doubling the funding for Erasmus+ for the region.

Separately, the Commission proposed for the next Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027 an increase of funds for the Western Balkans in support of reforms in view of the EU membership. This would amount to 1.84 billion Euro which is 1.2 times superior to the previous budget period.

Already now the EU is the biggest investor, the biggest donor and the biggest trading partner for the Western Balkans. Trade with the EU represents 72.8% of the total trade flows of the region. More than 60% of Serbia's trade is with the EU, and more than 60% of foreign direct investment in Serbia comes from the EU. EU companies are the biggest investors in the Western Balkans; they invested over €10 billion in the past five years.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, EU, Trade, Economic difficulties
Countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia
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Serbian farmers get no funding from EU
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EU funding programme in Serbia, with reference to the 18m euros charged for medical equipment for a Belgrade hospital, is cynical. By contrast, Serbian farmers are shown who derive no benefit from EU funding and ply their trade with no more than a "tractor, spade, and bucket".










Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): NTV, Itogi nedeli (51:00)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

With almost three billion Euro in grants provided over the past 15 years in all fields, ranging from rule of law, public administration reform, social development, environment and agriculture, the European Union is the biggest donor in Serbia. Since 2000, the EU has implemented projects regarding Serbia’s transport infrastructure, health care, air and water quality, solid waste treatment, justice and public administration reform to deliver better services to citizens. In recent years, support is increasingly oriented towards preparations for EU membership.

To support Serbian farmers, businesses and rural communities, EUR 175 million for IPARD (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in Rural Development) has been allocated for 2014-2020. It is estimated that these grants may lead to a total investment in agriculture of approximately EUR 400 million. The first public call for IPARD funds was launched in December 2017, and supports investments in the physical assets and procurement of new machinery and equipment, the incentive rate being between 60% and 80%. The amount of incentives the Serbian farmer can generate in the production of fruits, vegetables and other crops can range from EUR 5,000 to EUR 700,000, while milk and meat producers can get between EUR 5,000 and EUR 1,000,000.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, Trade
Countries: Serbia
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Patriarch Kirill and the Pope issued a joint statement on the situation in Syria
Additional details: Patriarch Kirill and the Pope presented a joint statement on the escalation of the situation in Syria.

"The ongoing hostilities in the Middle East, which have caused great suffering in recent years, which have claimed the lives of many thousands of people and forced millions to flee, now threaten to escalate into a global conflict," he read the text of the statement.

In their opinion, "the world approached a dangerous line - to a real failure in international relations and cooperation, which was carried out for the benefit of the entire human family."

"In the face of this terrible threat, we appeal to all world leaders to realize their responsibility to their people, to humanity in general and to God," the statement stresses.

The Patriarch and the pontiff also appealed to the member states of the United Nations to recall their duty to the family of nations, to overcome differences and work together for the sake of world peace.

"Together we urge political leaders not to allow further escalation of tension, to avoid confrontation and to take the path of dialogue," spiritual leaders concluded.

In addition, the statement was supported by the heads of the Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem Orthodox churches, as well as several other patriarchs of the Eastern churches.

On April 14, the United States, Great Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles in Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called the West's attacks on Syria an act of aggression.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Actually, Pope Francis did not sign the declaration. A source close to the Vatican confirmed to The Daily Beast the broad strokes of this story, saying, “This was a unilateral statement released by Russia, not a joint statement with the Vatican and you can be 100 percent sure of that by the fact that the Vatican did not release it. Normally if the Vatican releases a joint statement, they publish it on the press office website, the official bulletin and Osservatore Romano and this was never released that way, and that says a lot.” Further reporting by the Daily Beast.

Keywords: Catholic church, Syrian War
Countries: The Vatican, Russia, Syria
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Ukraine to launch a large-scale offensive in Donbas during the World Cup
Additional details: Ukraine to launch a large-scale offensive in Donbas during the World Cup to provoke a humanitarian disaster and an exodus of the population. The goal is to create a situation that by autumn will allow Ukraine to push through the idea of bringing in an international contingent by branding Russia a party to the conflict and an aggressor.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Channel One, 22:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. No evidence of any war preparations.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukrainian aggression against Russia and on World Cup. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date= https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=world+cup&disinfo_issue=&date=

More on the fighting in Eastern Ukraine: https://www.rferl.org/a/29241384.html

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated 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. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

For further debunking see https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-osce-the-pentagon-nato-headquarters-and-the-council-of-europe-do-not-recognize-the-facts-of-russias-aggression-against-ukraine-primarily-the-intrusion-of-russian-tanks-and-paratroopers-into-do/

 

Keywords: World Cup, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Western special services and Ukraine are getting ready for a major offensive in Donbas
Additional details: Western special services and Ukraine are getting ready for a major offensive in Donbas.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Channel One, 32:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. No evidence of any war preparations aiming at Russia.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukrainian and Western aggression. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

More on the fighting in Eastern Ukraine: https://www.rferl.org/a/29241384.html

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated 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. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

For further debunking see https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-osce-the-pentagon-nato-headquarters-and-the-council-of-europe-do-not-recognize-the-facts-of-russias-aggression-against-ukraine-primarily-the-intrusion-of-russian-tanks-and-paratroopers-into-do/ and https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-nazis-have-seized-power-in-ukraine/

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Donbas, Secret services
Countries: The West, Ukraine
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Russia is not a party to the conflict in Donbas
Additional details: Russia is not a party to the conflict in Donbas. Russia is not involved in the fighting.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Channel One, 38:45
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on war in Ukraine. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77110&date=

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated 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. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

For further debunking see https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/the-osce-the-pentagon-nato-headquarters-and-the-council-of-europe-do-not-recognize-the-facts-of-russias-aggression-against-ukraine-primarily-the-intrusion-of-russian-tanks-and-paratroopers-into-do/

Keywords: War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Kurt Volker and Poroshenko discuss intensification of War
Additional details: Kurt Volker met with Poroshenko on May 16. Volker stated that Russia will never stop attacking Ukraine and the only way of defense is to make this proccess very expensive to Russians who would then replace the Russian regime. According to Volker, this process can be sped up.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Link to the disinformation: balrad.ru/2018/05/17/donbassz-378/
Disinforming outlet(s): Bal-rad
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring Russian disinformation about the US trying to intensify the conflict in Eastern Ukraine as well as aiming to have a regime change in Russia.

No evidence supporting these declaration of Volker. According to other sources the parties discussed the issues of reforms, the release of hostages and the peacekeeping mission in the Donbas and the implementation of the Minsk agreement: https://www.unian.info/politics/2362322-poroshenko-volker-meet-to-discuss-joint-strategy-to-restore-ukraines-sovereignty.html

Keywords: War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
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