First, some big news.

On Monday the US Justice Department indicted six GRU officers working for Unit 74455. According to the Justice Department, the Unit, dubbed in the media as “Sandworm”, is responsible for at least one billion dollars in damages. The indictment further concedes that the group “deployed destructive malware and took other disruptive actions, for the strategic benefit of Russia” against the governments of Ukraine and Georgia, the Novichok poisoning investigations, the 2017 French elections and 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Six wanted Russian officers displayed left and FBI Special Agent Michael Christman, Assistant Attorney General John Demers, and FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, October 19, 2020. Image: AFP.

Vaccines: nothing but a monkey business

As COVID-19 cases skyrocket across Europe, so does disinformation on the pandemic. Take, for example, a story claiming that Ukraine will buy a Russian vaccine and that the purchase will be made via European Union Member States. In reality, experts fear the approval of the Russian vaccine was premature. According to the Lancet, one of the world’s best-known medical journals, at that time the vaccine had not even started phase 3 trials. Another difficulty with this claim is the fact that none of the Member States had announced their intention to buy it.

The story is part of a broader narrative asserting that Russia fights the pandemic more effectively than Western democracies, boosting the credibility of a Russian vaccine and undermining that of other (Western) vaccines.

How do you erode the credibility of Western vaccines?

An old trick is to administer a lie packed in a larger truth.

Successful campaigns often “shield a forgery under the armour of a larger truth, explains disinfo scholar Thomas Rid. His acclaimed book, Active Measures, showcases a spectacular example of World War II, the forged Tanaka Memorial. This document (allegedly from 1927) was instrumental in convincing many states that Japan elaborated a military strategy to achieve world domination. It was not authentic though.

Why was this false narrative so effective? Because it was rooted in Japan’s actual assertive foreign policy of that time.

How do you apply this larger-truth method to Western vaccines?

To undermine the credibility of these vaccines, the pro-Kremlin media took part of the truth (the Oxford vaccine is developed using chimpanzee viral vector) to rebrand it as “the monkey vaccine”. This enables the pro-Kremlin media to suggest that the British vaccine will turn people into monkeys and also tap into criticism of animal rights supporters and anti-vaxxers.

However, a point of no small irony: the principles behind the Sputnik V vaccine are, in most respects, the same as Oxford’s. Monkey see, monkey do?

The monkey narrative tries to erode the credibility of the Western vaccines. Despite all this ambitious monkey business, one should remember a good old Jamaican proverb: the higher a monkey climbs, the more exposed he is.

Old wine, new bottles

This week we also saw some old disinfo wine poured from new bottles. A few examples.

We again witnessed some recurring Kremlin narratives on Navalny. For instance, poisoning the Russian opposition leader was intended to help the West attack Russia. Or, the Kremlin could not be behind the attack on Navalny, because an assassination order from the Kremlin is not probable, because he is just a insignificant blogger.

On MH17, once more we saw the assertion that the Joint Investigation Team is ignoring proof provided by Russia. Allegedly, the criminal prosecutors ignore Russian raw radar data. In reality, the “raw data” consisted of a video combining primary and secondary information. This narrative has been recurring since 2016. Another MH17-narrative claims “the Germans” supported Russia’s withdrawal from the MH17 consultations. Through which research method did they determine this German support? Quite simple. Through three comments below an article of Die Welt.

On Belarus, again, we noticed narratives claiming the protests could not have happened without foreign (Western) influence. This is part of a recurring campaign, accusing Western countries of interference and portraying the protests against electoral fraud as a Western-led colour revolution.


related disinfo cases

Date
Title
Outlets
Country
20.10.2020
  • vz.ru
Sweden, US
19.10.2020
  • News Front - Russian
Ukraine, Russia
19.10.2020
  • GosNovosti
Malaysia, Australia, The Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine, Russia
19.10.2020
  • ren.tv
Belarus, Ukraine
19.10.2020
  • dnr-pravda.ru
Ukraine, Russia
19.10.2020
  • kp.ru
Russia
18.10.2020
  • nahnews.org,
  • Baltnews Latvia,
  • argumenti.ru,
  • golfstriminform.ru,
  • versia.ru
EU, US, Ukraine
17.10.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
France, Germany, Russia
17.10.2020
  • addiyar.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • Alalam TV,
  • alarabi.press,
  • alaraby-media.net,
  • albaosala.net,
  • albawaba.com,
  • albidda.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • alvefaghonline.ir,
  • alvefaghonline.ir,
  • alwafd,
  • m.alwafd.news,
  • m.alwafd.news,
  • alyemennews.com,
  • arab-now.com,
  • arabi21.co,
  • arabi21.com,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • arabipress,
  • Arabnews 24,
  • arabstoday.net,
  • assawsana.com,
  • Cedar News,
  • Dam Press,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • egypt-today.com,
  • elbashayer,
  • elkanananews.com,
  • elmarada.org,
  • Head Topics,
  • Head Topics,
  • innlebanon.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • jabalchannel.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • londontodays.com,
  • manber.ch,
  • masralyoum.net,
  • media4y.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • omantoday.net,
  • pressnewsnow.com,
  • radio-onefm.com,
  • rasd.news,
  • rtarab.com,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • Sahafaty,
  • Sahafaty,
  • shamra,
  • sns.sy,
  • sst-news.com,
  • Theworldnews.net,
  • Theworldnews.net,
  • wakalaagency.com,
  • watira.com
Ukraine, Russia
17.10.2020
  • RT Germany (old)
Ukraine, Russia
17.10.2020
  • RT Germany (old)
Ukraine, Russia
17.10.2020
  • RT Germany (old)
Malaysia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia
17.10.2020
  • akhbarak.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • almawrid.news,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • kitabat.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • Sahafaty
US, Russia
17.10.2020
  • RT Arabic ,
  • hashtagelyoum.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • hasad-alyom.com,
  • New Hub,
  • newsformy.com,
  • Sahafaty,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • mayadeeniraqya.com,
  • Head Topics,
  • eshraag.com
UK, Poland, Baltic states, Russia
16.10.2020
  • antimaydan.info,
  • RIAFAN - Russian
France, Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Russia
16.10.2020
  • Sputnik English
Malaysia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia
16.10.2020
  • Sputnik Georgia - Russian
EU, Russia
15.10.2020
  • Ritm Evrazii
Kazakhstan, US
15.10.2020
  • Tsargrad TV,
  • Ria Novosti,
  • News Front - Russian
EU, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, US, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia
15.10.2020
  • Ritm Evrazii
Belarus
15.10.2020
  • 6060news.com,
  • 6060news.com,
  • abrag.akwadon.com,
  • abrag.akwadon.com,
  • addiyar.com,
  • ahfad.info,
  • ainousseraonline.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • akhbarelyom,
  • akher.news,
  • Alalam TV,
  • albaosala.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • albousla.ps,
  • news.sahafahn.net,
  • alkhabaralgded.com,
  • alkhabaralgded.com,
  • alkhabaralgded.com,
  • alkhabaralgded.com,
  • almarsad.co,
  • almayadeen,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • alnahdanews.com,
  • alnahdanews.com,
  • alsharqtoday.com,
  • alyemennews.com,
  • arabesqe,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • Arabnews 24,
  • asharq-alarabi.com,
  • awjaz.com,
  • bahrainhub.net,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • ea-news.net,
  • elarabielyoum,
  • elarabielyoum,
  • eljazairia.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • eshraag.com,
  • essahra.net,
  • essahra.net,
  • essahra.net,
  • Head Topics,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • jpnews-sy.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • lebanonfiles.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • masralyoum.net,
  • nabdapp.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • opinyatimes.com,
  • pakistanpoint.com,
  • pediaweek.com,
  • qmedia.one,
  • qmedia.one,
  • rtarab.com,
  • rtarab.com,
  • Sahafah 24,
  • samanews.ps,
  • shababeks.com,
  • shamra,
  • skay.press,
  • skay.press,
  • tayyar.org,
  • The Nation Press Arab,
  • Theworldnews.net,
  • urdupoint.com,
  • urdupoint.com,
  • urdupoint.com,
  • urdupoint.com,
  • urdupoint.com,
  • urdupoint.com,
  • urdupoint.com,
  • vetogate.com,
  • wakalaagency.com,
  • wakalaagency.com,
  • wakalaagency.com,
  • wakalaagency.com,
  • wakalaagency.com,
  • yaf3press.net,
  • yaf3press.net,
  • yaf3press.net,
  • yaf3press.net
Germany, Russia
15.10.2020
  • 24fm.ps,
  • addiyar.com,
  • akhbar1.com,
  • akhbarelyom,
  • al-belad.net,
  • Al-Binaa,
  • algornaal.com,
  • alhilalalyoum.com,
  • almashhadonline.com,
  • almasryalyoum.com,
  • alyaqoutalsouri.com,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • arabicradio.net,
  • Arabnews 24,
  • asabnews.com,
  • beirutnewscenter.com,
  • damas-times.com,
  • Dam Press,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • eshraag.com,
  • Gulf 365,
  • hashtagelyoum.com,
  • Head Topics,
  • hura.news,
  • innfrad.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • jpnews-sy.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • libya24.tv,
  • libyanews.co,
  • libyanewsapp.com,
  • libyanewsapp.com,
  • marayainternational.com,
  • masralyoum.net,
  • menafn.com,
  • midline-news.net,
  • mulhak.com,
  • mulhak.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • nafeza2world.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • news.akhbarten.com,
  • masralalamia.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • ortas.online,
  • propaganda-eg,
  • raialyoum.com,
  • realitynews.news,
  • rosaelyoussef.com,
  • sahat-altahreer.com,
  • sama-tv.net,
  • sana.sy,
  • shaam.org,
  • shamra,
  • shorouknews.com,
  • sns.sy,
  • sourialyoum.com,
  • Syria friends,
  • syriahomenews.com,
  • syrianownews.com,
  • thawra,
  • ugaritpost.com,
  • vedeng.co,
  • youm7.com
Syria, Russia
15.10.2020
  • RT France - YouTube,
  • RT France - Facebook
EU, Russia
15.10.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
EU, Poland, US, Ukraine
15.10.2020
  • Sputnik Germany
EU, US, Belarus
15.10.2020
  • mejdurecie.md
Moldova, US
15.10.2020
  • RIAFAN - Russian
EU, Libya, Russia
14.10.2020
  • ren.tv,
  • lenta.ru,
  • life.ru
Ukraine, Russia
14.10.2020
  • ytro.ru
Ukraine
14.10.2020
  • politnavigator.net
Ukraine, Russia
14.10.2020
  • abrag.akwadon.com,
  • akhbar1.com,
  • akhbaralyawm.com,
  • alamalmal.net,
  • alkawthartv.com,
  • almarsad.co,
  • almasryalyoum.com,
  • alsabahalyemeni.net,
  • ansarollah.com,
  • farsnews.ir,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • arabicmedia.shafaqna.com,
  • arabicradio.net,
  • beirutnewscenter.com,
  • burathanews.com,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dowwar.com,
  • elgornal.net,
  • eshraag.com,
  • Head Topics,
  • ida2at.org,
  • iq.shafaqna.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • libyanews.co,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • New Hub,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • pressbee.net,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • sada-ar.com,
  • sahafah-24.net,
  • shaamtimes,
  • shamra,
  • snd.ps,
  • syria.shafaqna.com,
  • yemenvibe.com,
  • yjc.ir,
  • ypagency.net,
  • Sputnik Arabic
Syria
14.10.2020
  • abrag.akwadon.com,
  • akhbar1.com,
  • akhbaralyawm.com,
  • alamalmal.net,
  • alkawthartv.com,
  • almarsad.co,
  • almasryalyoum.com,
  • alsabahalyemeni.net,
  • ansarollah.com,
  • farsnews.ir,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • arabicmedia.shafaqna.com,
  • arabicradio.net,
  • beirutnewscenter.com,
  • burathanews.com,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • dowwar.com,
  • elgornal.net,
  • eshraag.com,
  • Head Topics,
  • ida2at.org,
  • iq.shafaqna.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • libyanews.co,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • New Hub,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • pressbee.net,
  • saadaonline.net,
  • sada-ar.com,
  • sahafah-24.net,
  • shaamtimes,
  • shamra,
  • snd.ps,
  • syria.shafaqna.com,
  • yemenvibe.com,
  • yjc.ir,
  • ypagency.net,
  • Sputnik Arabic
Syria
14.10.2020
  • Vesti FM - YouTube
Turkey, Ukraine, Russia
14.10.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Ukraine, Russia
14.10.2020
  • News Front - Spanish
Germany, US, Belarus, Russia
14.10.2020
  • Rossia 24 - YouTube
Azerbaijan, Armenia, UK, Turkey, US, Russia
14.10.2020
  • Sputnik South-Ossetia
EU, Bulgaria, US
13.10.2020
  • RT France - YouTube,
  • RT France,
  • Facebook resource,
  • RT France - Twitter
Baltic states, Russia
13.10.2020
  • Vesti FM - YouTube
EU, US, Lithuania, Estonia, Baltic states, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia
13.10.2020
  • News Front - Russian
Ukraine, Russia
13.10.2020
  • RT Germany (old)
Germany, Russia
13.10.2020
  • Sputnik Germany
Germany, Russia
13.10.2020
  • Vesti FM - YouTube
EU, Germany, Russia
13.10.2020
  • Ria Novosti,
  • gazeta.ru
EU, Ukraine, Russia
12.10.2020
  • Ritm Evrazii
Poland, Germany
12.10.2020
  • 6060news.com,
  • ainousseraonline.com,
  • alaan.org,
  • albidda.net,
  • albousla.ps,
  • alkhabaralgded.com,
  • alkhabaralgded.com,
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • cartitleloanla.com,
  • dmcnews.org,
  • emeknes.com,
  • essahra.net,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • ortas.online,
  • sana.sy,
  • sanasyria.org,
  • skay.press,
  • news.sahafahn.net,
  • thawra,
  • yaf3press.net
UK, Germany, Russia
12.10.2020
  • pl.rubaltic.ru
EU, Poland, US, Russia
12.10.2020
  • Sputnik Italia
Ukraine
12.10.2020
  • News Front - Spanish
Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Russia
12.10.2020
  • News Front - Spanish
Kyrgyzstan
10.10.2020
  • akhbarak.net,
  • albidda.net,
  • algerie9.com,
  • alkhabaralgded.com,
  • allhayat.net,
  • almatareed.org,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • arabicmedia.shafaqna.com,
  • arabipress,
  • Arabnews 24,
  • awajelpress.com,
  • dowwar.com,
  • emeknes.com,
  • eshraag.com,
  • essahra.net,
  • iq.shafaqna.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • keynews.ps,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • mawazin.net,
  • New Hub,
  • newpal.ps,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • news-sinaa.com,
  • news.albraq-news.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • noumedia24.com,
  • qmedia.one,
  • ruarab.top,
  • sahafah24,
  • skay.press,
  • syria.shafaqna.com,
  • news.sahafahn.net,
  • yaf3press.net
Russia
09.10.2020
  • News Front - Hungarian
Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Russia
09.10.2020
  • Moldavskie Vedomosti
Moldova, US
06.10.2020
  • News Front - Russian
Ukraine
06.10.2020
  • Rossia 24 - YouTube
Kyrgyzstan
05.10.2020
  • Sputnik Spain
Russia
01.10.2020
  • Geopolitica.ru - Spanish, Castilian
Azerbaijan, Armenia, UK, Turkey, France, Russia
24.09.2020
  • Ritm Evrazii
Czech Republic, Russia
22.09.2020
  • Geopolitica.ru - Italian,
  • Geopolitica.ru - English,
  • Geopolitica.ru - Polish
US
21.09.2020
  • Geopolitica.ru - Italian,
  • Geopolitica.ru - Spanish, Castilian,
  • Geopolitica.ru - French,
  • Geopolitica.ru - English
US
21.09.2020
  • Geopolitica.ru - Italian,
  • Geopolitica.ru - English,
  • Geopolitica.ru - Spanish, Castilian,
  • Geopolitica.ru - French
US