This week is the 80th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – a non-aggression agreement between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Labelled as the honeymoon for two dictators, it divided Europe into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence, leading to World War II and all its tragic consequences.

The day of the signing of the pact – the 23rd of August – is observed as a day of remembrance for victims of Stalinism and Nazism in ten EU countries, the US, Canada, and Georgia. But 80 years on, the pro-Kremlin media is still adamant that the USSR was reluctant to sign the pact  and  had no other choice; that the pact did not trigger World War II, the USSR cannot be blamed for it, that Poland wanted to attack the USSR and that all of it was Hitler’s idea anyway.

Instead of reflecting on a complex and difficult history and Russia’s role in it, the pro-Kremlin media continues to attack those who do not blindly follow the myth of Soviet heroism.

When earlier this summer Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania summoned representatives from their Russian embassies to protest the display of fireworks celebrating the Red Army’s capture of the Baltic States’ capitals, the pro-Kremlin media fired up the disinformation machine to accuse the Baltic States of perpetuating the “myth of Soviet occupation” and refusing to celebrate victory over Fascism. And even after the fireworks faded away, the pro-Kremlin media kept hammering the notion of ungrateful and belligerent Baltic States: most recently, by blaming Latvia for psychiatric Russophobia, historical revisionism, and attempts to disrupt Russia’s relations with Belarus.

Liberated from Freedom 

The victory over Nazism undoubtedly plays an important role in European history. But casting the advance of the Red Army into Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe as “liberation” may be the most egregious disinformation case to date.

The myth of Soviet occupation as liberation, perpetuated by the pro-Kremlin media, aims to erase from memory the mass repressions and suffering of millions, including Russians, at the hands of the Soviet regime.

It enables pro-Kremlin disinformation to portray those who do not glorify the Soviet Union and refuse to see themselves as subjects of Moscow’s “sphere of influence” as Russophobes and fascists with a distorted historical memory. And when these narratives fall short, the pro-Kremlin media tries to paint an even gloomier picture of life outside Moscow’s reach: for example, by portraying the Baltic States as desolate lands about to be turned into military bases or shelter for African and Asian migrants.

But what is the pro-Kremlin media to do when it cannot fall back on reliable disinformation narratives of fascism and Russophobia?

Unable to label the thousands of Russians protesting in the streets of Moscow as either fascists or Russophobes, the disinformers resort to “the West is behind it” conspiracies. This week, the pro-Kremlin media claimed that George Soros and the West finance and instruct the Russian opposition to stir up the demonstrations – with the help of the European Court of Human Rights, no less. At the same time, Britain and the US were blamed for orchestrating the protests in Hong Kong.

This should not be surprising. In the Orwellian disinformation world, where a totalitarian regime is hailed as liberator, there is no capacity to recognize that individuals can fight for their liberties. But fight they will.

USSR was forced and reluctant to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Additional details: The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 was the lesser-evil option for the Soviet Union, allowing it to obtain at least some sort of guarantees [of security] for the foreseeable future.

Today, the pact is being harshly demonised, primarily by those countries which signed the 1938 Munich Agreement, thereby sacrificing real peace to a "politics of appeasement."
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Disinforming outlet(s): Baltnews.ee
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The story advances what is perhaps the oldest and grandest legitimising narrative in pro-Kremlin discourse, namely the unimpeachability of Soviet decision-making in the run-up to and during the Second World War.

Historical records contradict the claim that the Soviet Union was somehow reluctant to conclude any agreements with the Third Reich, and that it was only forced to do so in the face of the West's moral capitulation at Munich. If anything, Joseph Stalin appeared quite enthusiastic throughout the Nazi-Soviet negotiations which culminated in the signing of Molotov-Ribbentrop. The following month, the Pact was supplemented by the Nazi-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty.

Likewise, the article never bothers to mention the Secret Supplementary Protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which effectively carved up Europe into Nazi and Soviet "spheres of influence." Within one year, the USSR invaded Poland (September 1939, jointly with Nazi Germany), Finland (November 1939), the Baltic States (June 1940), and Romania (June 1940).

The Pact is not being "demonised" but rather regarded -- alongside the Western policy of appeasement -- as one of the direct causes of the of the Second World War. Although widely criticized since, the 1938 Munich agreement confined the recognition of Nazi territorial claims to Sudetenland; Ribbentrop-Molotov entitled Hitler to half of Europe.

Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, Historical revisionism, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, USSR, Germany
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Poland is not an independent country, so it cannot manage its own foreign policy
Additional details: Currently, Poland is not an independent country as it entirely depends on the United States in a political and military way, and on Germany in an economic way. It means that Poland is not able to implement an independent foreign policy.

 
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
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A common pro-Kremlin narrative on “lost sovereignty”. In the case of Poland, this country is often presented as a “puppet-state” of the United States (see here and here).
The statement that the United States controls the Polish elites and political decision-making process is a conspiracy theory. Poland is a sovereign state, which shapes its own foreign and domestic policies. Moreover, it is a member of NATO and the EU and therefore contributes to the formation of the common external policies of these organisations. See another example of disinformation about Polish-American relations here.

Keywords: Sovereignty, NATO
Countries: US, Poland, Germany
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US attempted regime change in Ukraine
Additional details: The US attempts to change regimes in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya have not worked. The US simply does not know how to do it.
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Link to the disinformation: ar.rt.com/m7f1
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Arabic
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Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine's statehood which claims that protests were organised by foreign forces. 

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

The spontaneous onset of massive Euromaidan protests was a reaction of the Ukrainian population to the sudden departure of President Yanukovych from the Association Agreement with the European Union and to the brutal dispersal of student protest actions on 30 November 2013. A similar case is available here. 

The EU condemns the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

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: Euromaidan, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: US, Ukraine
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Chemical weapon in Russia has long since been destroyed
Additional details: Russia is blamed for poisoning the Skripals with a chemical weapon that has long since been destroyed in Russia, unlike in the US.
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Link to the disinformation: www.1tv.ru/news/issue/2019-08-03/21:00#1
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya news program @ Channel 1 time 19:10-19:30
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This is a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Russia shut down all its chemical weapons programmes decades ago and that it had nothing to do with the poisoning and attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergey Skripal in Salisbury.

The first claim about chemical weapons has been refuted by the UK government’s investigation into the Salisbury attack. The UK government's assessment of the attack is fully supported by leading Western states. This investigation found that Sergey and Yuliya Skripal were poisoned using a specific Novichok nerve agent. This was confirmed by an independent analysis by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Novichok nerve agents were developed by the Soviet Union in the 1980s under a programme codenamed FOLIANT. According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, over the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In September 2018, the UK, the US, France, Germany and Canada issued a joint statement, saying they had “full confidence” in the UK’s assessment that the Salisbury attack used Novichok nerve agents, and that it has been carried out by Russia’s GRU agency and “almost certainly approved at a senior government level”.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack
Countries: US, Russia
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Poroshenko and Saakashvili came to power thanks to the external support
Additional details: Presidents who come to power thanks to the “orange revolutions” are doomed. Saakashvili left Georgia and cannot enter the country, and the other day Poroshenko left Ukraine. The former and the latter came to power thanks to the external [foreign] support and caused irreparable harm to their countries.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
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A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the “colour revolutions” and the foreign support of the protests in Georgia (recent cases here and here and an older one here) and Ukraine (the recent case here).

Both presidents of Georgia and Ukraine were elected in democratic elections in the aftermath of the anti-governmental protests.

Keywords: Colour revolutions, Mikheil Saakashvili, Petro Poroshenko
Countries: Ukraine, Georgia
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NATO is doing everything to destroy the Orthodox Church
Additional details: Under pressure from NATO, the President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović has changed his attitude towards the church. NATO is doing everything to destroy Orthodoxy and the Orthodox Church.

 
            
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Srbija
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Conspiracy theory consisting of unfounded claims about NATO.

As stated in a debunk of similar claims by Polygraph, it is important to note that several NATO member states – Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Montenegro -- have predominantly Christian Orthodox populations. North Macedonia will soon be joining the alliance, and Ukraine and Georgia, which have Orthodox Christian populations, have also applied for NATO membership.

 

Keywords: Orthodox Church, NATO
Countries: Montenegro
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Georgia lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia because of Saakashvili’s activities
Additional details: As a result of Saakashvili’s activities, Georgia lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
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A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative blaming Georgia and its political leadership for the Russo-Georgian war of 2008 which resulted in the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia.

Georgia is a sovereign country attacked by Russia in 2008. Many international organizations condemned the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the CSCE statement here and the European Parliament's declaration.

More information about the conflict can be found on Myth Detector.

Keywords: Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Mikheil Saakashvili
Countries: Russia, Georgia
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The US has unilaterally withdrawn from the INF treaty
Additional details: The US has unilaterally withdrawn from the INF treaty forcing Russia to reciprocate.
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Link to the disinformation: ar.rt.com/m7f1
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Arabic
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Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF treaty.

Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates it. In July 2014 the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometres.

In March 2017, a senior US military official accused Russia of deploying the new missile, which posed a threat to NATO and facilities within the NATO area of responsibility.

Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by the NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on December 4th, 2018. In a joint statement released after the meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 December 2018, NATO Foreign Ministers stated that “Allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security”.

The US  has gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometres and has spent almost six years in dialogues with Russia in an effort to persuade Russia to return to compliance with the treaty.

Keywords: INF Treaty
Countries: United States, Russia
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Ukraine lost its sovereignty
Additional details: Ukraine, which used to be a prosperous and self-sufficient country, lost its sovereignty and became involved in internal conflicts which violated the basic rights of citizens defended in all democratic countries.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
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A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative blaming Ukraine and its political leadership for the conflicts in Donbas, the Crimea annexation and other internal problems and questioning Ukrainian sovereignty.

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

In terms of the Donbas conflict, 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 stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia 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.

As for the violation of human rights, most cases in Ukraine are registered in the conflicted territories. See Human Rights Watch report of 2019.

Keywords: Human rights, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
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Russian is now only allowed in private communication and religious ceremonies in Ukraine
Additional details: In line with the new Language Law, Russian is only allowed in private communication and for the religious ceremonies. In practice, Ukrainians are divided into Ukrainian-speakers and “outlaws”. And the latter ones are limited in their ability to study, receive health care and use other social goods.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
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A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative criticising the new Law on the Language in Ukraine. See the recent cases here and here.

On April 25, 2019, the Verkhovna Rada passed 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.

Indeed, Russian is allowed in private communications and religious ceremonies. But in addition to that, Russian and other languages can be present in book publishing, the press, including radio and television, education and the service sector. The law allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and law enforcement.

In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force.

Keywords: Russian language, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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US trying to change regime in Belarus
Additional details: Regime change in Belarus with the US help is a bad idea […] Regime change in Belarus is not a good idea unless it comes from Belarusians themselves. US attempts to change regimes in Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya have not worked. The United States simply does not know how to do it. 
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Link to the disinformation: ar.rt.com/m7f1
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Arabic
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Claim provided with no evidence, and is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that accuses the US of attempting to change the regime in Belarus. It is also consistent with pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US and its global role, the West's activities to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations and the West's plot to encircle Russia. 

For similar narratives about US’s attempts at regime change in Belarus, see herehere.

Keywords: Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, US presence in Europe, Euromaidan, Conspiracy
Countries: US, Russia, Belarus
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The responsibility for terminating the INF Treaty lies entirely with the American side
Additional details: The unilateral, on a far-fetched pretext, US withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the destruction of one of the fundamental documents in the field of arms control have seriously complicated the situation in the world and created fundamental risks for everyone. The responsibility for what happened lies entirely with the American side.
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Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
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Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF treaty.

Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the agreement. In July 2014, the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5500 kilometres.

In a joint statement released after the meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 December 2018, NATO Foreign Ministers stated that “Allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security."

US and NATO have repeatedly engaged with Russia to preserve the INF treaty. For background on pro-Kremlin myths on the INF Treaty see here.

Keywords: INF Treaty, Missile defence system
Countries: US, Russia
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Membership in NATO shapes Polish historical policy
Additional details: Poland occupies an important position in NATO as the Polish Army is one of the largest in this organisation – that is why Warsaw is forced to promote a specific type of historical policy (presentation of Poland as a defender from the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and modern “hybrid” Russia).
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
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This message distorts the nature of NATO membership – this organisation is a political and military union; it does not “force” its members to promote certain messages in their historical policies. See other disinformation narratives about NATO here.

The Polish historians pay careful attention to the study of conflicts with the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union not because of “an important position of Poland in NATO”, but because of the high historical meaning of these wars for Poland. In total, there were about 18 major Polish-Russian wars and military conflicts between the XV and XX centuries.

See other examples of disinformation on the Russia-Poland relations here and here.

Keywords: NATO
Countries: Poland, Russia
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Poland is an “extension” of the United States in Europe
Additional details: The visit of President Trump to Poland will not change anything in the American attitude towards this country – Poland is still an “extension” of the US policy in Europe.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
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Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, aiming to undermine the sovereignty of Poland. See similar examples of this disinformation narrative here, here and here.

The statement that the United States controls the European and Polish elites is a conspiracy theory. Poland is a sovereign state, which shapes its own foreign and domestic policies - moreover, as a member of NATO and the EU, Poland is able to impact the formation of common foreign policies of these unions. See other examples of the disinformation about Polish-American relations here.

Keywords: US presence in Europe
Countries: US, Poland
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Three Seas Initiative is a geopolitical concept designed to promote American interests
Additional details: The American gas industry perceives Poland as the agent of influence, which should promote the American LNG among the members of the Three Seas Initiative. This geopolitical concept was designed to promote the American interests in Europe (undermining cooperation between Russia and Europe).
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
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Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, alleging that the United States fully controls the foreign policy of the EU member states, including Poland (these countries are often presented as the American “vassals”). See similar cases here, here and here.

The Three Seas Initiative is a forum of 12 countries from Central and Eastern Europe launched in 2015. The main goal of this Initiative is to promote better connectivity among the Member States, with a particular focus on infrastructure and energy. The main projects discussed at the forums of the Three Seas Initiative are the Via Carpathia, Baltic-Adriatic Corridor, Via Baltica, Rail Baltica, LNG infrastructure in Poland and Croatia.

Keywords: US presence in Europe
Countries: US, Poland
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Americans were working on forbidden rockets before leaving the INF Treaty
Additional details: Americans never stopped working on forbidden rockets even if they were part of the INF Treaty. They [Americans] were working on new rockets and the time to test them has come now. In order to save the face, they created this entire circus and left the [INF] Treaty.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
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No evidence given. A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative blaming the USA for the violation of the INF Treaty. See a similar case here.

In fact, Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates it. In July 2014 the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US and Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5500 kilometres.

The US has gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometres and has spent almost six years in dialogues with Russia to try to resolve Russia’s non-compliance. However, Russia consistently refused to address US and NATO concerns.

Keywords: INF Treaty
Countries: US, Russia
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Poland re-writes the history of the Warsaw Uprising accusing the USSR for its failure
Additional details: Recently, Poland has been making attempts to re-write the history of the Warsaw Uprising, accusing the Soviet Union for its failure. According to Russian historians, the message that “Stalin refused to help the inhabitants of Warsaw during the Uprising” was initially spread by German propaganda.

 

 
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
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A common Soviet and Russian disinformation narrative aimed to prove that Soviet troops could not support the Warsaw Uprising due to numerous objective reasons (such as the lack of necessary forces, overstretched supply lines, lack of communication with the Polish Home Army and the Polish Government in London, etc.). This message should be perceived as a part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism.

According to Norman Davies, there is a consensus among the majority of Polish and Western historians that it was a political decision of Stalin not to support the Uprising in order to let German troops destroy the forces of the Home Army (which tried to re-establish the independent Polish state). During the Uprising, Soviet Troops were situated in very close proximity to Warsaw, but they did not receive orders to assist. Moreover, the Soviet authorities hampered the flights of the British Royal Air Force supporting the Uprising (by not allowing Allied planes to land on the Soviet-controlled territory).
See other examples of Russian historical revisionism concerning Poland here and here.

Keywords: USSR, Historical revisionism
Countries: Poland, USSR, Russia
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Russian language is entirely forbidden in Ukraine
Additional details: The Russian language was cancelled entirely in Ukraine: education in Russian was cancelled, the media in Russian was cancelled.
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Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiREdd-osDM&t=11m05s
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1 time 11:05-11:15
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Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and discrimination against Russian speakers.

On April 25, the Verkhovna Rada passed 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 allows the use of other languages in the healthcare system and law enforcement.

In addition to this, the law stipulates that in accordance with the European Charter for Regional Languages and Languages of National Minorities, the government should develop a law safeguarding language-rights of the minorities within six months of the language law entering into force.

For discrimination of the Ukrainian language, including in favour of Russian, only administrative penalties are foreseen by law. For violating language policy in the humanitarian sphere - education, science, culture, sports - there is a fine of 200-300 times the non-taxable minimum wage (now it has risen from 3400 to 5100 hryvnias). The entry into force is delayed for three years.

Similar disinformation case can be found here. For background on the Ukrainian language laws, see here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, Russian language
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Europe will overthrow Erdogan like they overthrew Yanukovych
Additional details: There are indications that Europe is already considering overthrowing Erdogan, the same way Yanukovych was overthrown in Ukraine, especially since the current conditions of Turkey are, in many ways, similar to those of Ukraine five years ago. 
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Link to the disinformation: ar.rt.com/m88c
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Arabic
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A recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy narrative claiming that Euromaidan was a coup d’état, organised by the EU and the West.

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

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

For more disinformation cases about Euromaidan see here. 

Keywords: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Euromaidan, Conspiracy, Viktor Yanukovych
Countries: Europe, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine
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Belarusians and Russians are one people
Additional details: Belarusians and Russians are one people living in different states. And one sees the proof for that practically every day.
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Link to the disinformation: regnum.ru/news/economy/2668497.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Regnum
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A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative denying the Belarusian statehood and nation. See more cases here.

This is an Imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology which is aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarus. Although Belarusian and Russian people share parts of their history, Belarus is an independent nation-state with a long history. Belarus preserved a different language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for a long period on its territory.

Other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets' attempts to question the legitimacy of the Belarusian nation can be found here and here.

Keywords: Russian expansionism, Russian world
Countries: Russia, Belarus
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Zelenskyy was elected by Ukrainian oligarchs
Additional details: Zelenskyy was elected by Ukrainian oligarchs, or the so-called Ukrainian bourgeoisie, which fears Russian bourgeoisie and can never be on good terms with them.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Channel 1 TV [13:53-14:06]
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Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about the Ukrainian Presidential election.

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe declared that the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine was competitive and held with respect for fundamental freedoms. Election day was assessed positively, and despite a few procedural problems, there was a marked improvement in the conduct of the vote count and tabulation compared to the first round.

Following the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine, the same position was announced by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. "A decisive day for Ukraine. Free elections and peaceful change of power = strong Ukrainian democracy. Congratulations to Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The EU is determined to continue its support", wrote Tusk on Twitter.

 

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
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Ukraine is the project of the West
Additional details: Russia has restored its sovereignty since the 1990's, but Ukraine has none. It's a project of the West; the creation of a long-term source of tension between the West and Russia.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Channel 1 (17:30-17:50)
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Recurring Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraineits hyper-dependence on the West, and Ukraine as an anti-Russian project.

In 1991, Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union. The Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine was adopted on July 16 1990, Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. 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.

Relations between Ukraine and the EU are based on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, which recognises and reaffirms independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. Due to all the legal instruments, like the Association Agreement, Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA)Visa liberalisation dialogue and visa-free regimeEastern Partnership Programme etc. Ukraine stays under the EU's strong supervision and monitoring.

Keywords: Ukraine, Sovereignty, The West
Countries: International, Ukraine
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Schengen visa refusals violate Crimeans' human rights
Additional details: The refusal by a number of EU member states to issue Schengen visas to Crimeans whose passports were issued after 2014 is a violation of human rights. This practice aims to punish the residents of Crimea for their will to self-determination, expressed during the 2014 referendum in which 97 percent of the peninsula's inhabitants voted to reject the coup in Kyiv and rejoin Russia.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
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Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Disinformation message appeared after a statement of the head of the European Union’s mission in Moscow, Marcus Ederer.  On July 22, he stressed that the European Union did not recognise and will not recognise the Russian annexation of Crimea, therefore Russian passports issued in Crimea by the Russian authorities after the annexation will not be recognized and accepted when applying for a Schengen visa. Ederer advised residents of the peninsula to visit European countries using their Ukrainian documents.

With the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea, Russia forcibly imposed the citizenship of the occupying country on two million Crimeans. Crimeans remain citizens of Ukraine, who can obtain a biometric passport and freely take advantage of the visa-free regime with the European Union by visiting a wide list of states without obtaining any additional visas.

The claim that the so-called Crimean referendum was an expression of Crimeans' self-determination is not true. The so-called referendum was organised by a self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings.On March 27, 2014 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on states, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any change in the status of Crimea or the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol, and to refrain from actions or dealings that might be interpreted as such. In March 2019 on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

You can read more on the topic here, here and here.

 

Keywords: Schengen, Human rights, Manipulated elections/referendum, Coup, Russophobia, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
More
NATO’s “Sea Breeze 2019” was a total failure thanks to Russia
Additional details: The “Sea Breeze 2019'' military drill failed because Russia was the winning party. Russia forced Ukraine and NATO to retreat to the Black Sea, as exercises had to be changed after Russia announced the start of their own training exercise near the Crimea. Therefore, Russia expelled the Ukrainian and NATO forces.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: sptnkne.ws/8Txk
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Arabic
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a misrepresentation of events designed to portray Russia as the superior might over NATO and part of a recurring disinformation campaign undermining NATO exercises. Exercise Sea Breeze, now in its 19th iteration, took place in the Black Sea between 1st-12th July 2019 with participation and support coming from 17 other countries to include: Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Whilst it is true that the military drills were rescheduled after the sudden closure of certain areas of the Black Sea by the Russian military as noted by Rear-Admiral Alexei Neizhpapa, Head of the exercise for Ukraine, this did not affect the execution of tasks. At no time were the exercises concluded as a complete failure. At the closing ceremony, U.S. Navy Capt. Matthew Lehman, commodore, Task Force 65 and U.S. exercise director for SB19, said that he was "proud of the work and training during the exercise, but countries must remain focused because work continues and that "I am encouraged by reports that the at-sea portion of the exercise has gone well thus far, and I am confident this will continue with the next at-sea period next week".

Keywords: Black Sea, Military exercise, NATO
Countries: Russia
More
Due to the alleged aggression in Crimea, Russia was not invited to the anniversary of the beginning of World War II
Additional details: Poland did not invite Russia to the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. On the other hand, Germany, the aggressor from 1939, was invited to the event. Polish Deputy Prime Minister explained the alleged aggression in the south-east of Ukraine as the reason for not inviting Russia.

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

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine where is claimed that Russia is not part of the armed conflict in Ukraine. It disregards the extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas. Prior debunk of this narrative can be found here. 

The EU condemns the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

 

Keywords: World War 2, War in Ukraine
Countries: Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Germany
More
Ukraine will not secure itself by becoming a member of NATO
Additional details: Ukraine will not secure itself by becoming a member of NATO.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/4g_PrzUTNzQ?t=4140
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 time 1:09:00-1:09:12
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative trying to discredit the existence of NATO as well as statehood of Ukraine. Previous cases on NATO can be found here.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a political and military alliance, that was founded in 1949 and is a group of 29 countries from Europe and North America that exists to protect the people and territory of its members. As stated in the Brussels Summit Declaration from 11 July 2018, NATO is a defensive Alliance. Its greatest responsibility is to protect and defend the territories and populations of all member countries against attack. Therefore, Ukraine does indeed have a lot to gain from a security point of view from its membership of the Alliance. For this reason, since 2014, in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has been intensified in critical areas. Newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited NATO Headquarters on 4 June 2019 to discuss the security situation in Ukraine and NATO’s continued support for Ukraine, expressing his eagerness to give new impetus to his country’s engagement with NATO. Unsurprisingly, the topic of Ukraine and NATO cooperation is the frequent target of disinformation attempts with outlets often making contradicting statements, for example, that it is impossible for Ukraine to join NATO and at the same time claiming that the accession will mean "inevitable" war between Russia and the West.

Keywords: Ukraine, EU/NATO enlargement
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The population of non-government controlled areas in Ukraine don’t see themselves as part of it any more
Additional details: The population of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk republics has turned away from Ukraine, the people don’t see themselves as part of it any more.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Russian Channel 1 time 00:29:12
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A manipulative claim, part of a Pro-Kremlin narrative about the impossibility to reconnect the Russia-controlled regions to Ukraine.

According to a survey held by the Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in 2017, more than half (56%) of the population of so-called self-proclaimed "republics" (LNR and DNR) see their future as part of Ukraine.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian language does not exist, it is a dialect of Russian
Additional details: The law on the Ukrainian language regulates a language that is simply a dialect of Russian.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ren.tv/blog/439327
Disinforming outlet(s): REN TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the existence of a separate Ukrainian language and the language law.

Ukrainian is an East Slavic language and the official state language of Ukraine. It is one out of 20 Slavic languages.

Linguists trace the origin of the Ukrainian language to the Old Slavic language of the early medieval state of Kievan Rus'. The Modern Ukrainian language has been in common use since the late 17th century.

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, modern literary Ukrainian emerged out of the colloquial Ukrainian tongue at the end of XVIII century.

Attacking the Ukrainian language is one of the recurring topics of pro-Kremlin propaganda. Similar examples can be found here.

Keywords: Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Refugees from the Middle East will enter Ukraine and ruin the country
Additional details: These elections are the last ones. In 2024, Ukraine will no longer exist. WWIII is approaching. Refugees from the Middle East will enter Ukraine and ruin the country.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/Vce1Q9S0fcA?t=3618
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Rossiya 1 time 1:00:18-1:00:53
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given to support the claims concerning the demise of Ukraine, imminent World War 3 or around the claims about an influx of migrants. Similar disinformation message to a previous claims made in the Russian media, in 2017, that Ukraine will accept 20,000 refugees instead of Germany. See the debunk here. See also article on EUvsDisinfo website on how Ukraine stands out as the country, most targeted by disinformation by pro-Kremlin media.

 

 

Keywords: Ukraine, Refugees, Middle East, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
There are no Russian ground troops or special forces in Syria
Additional details: News about the participation of Russian special and ground forces in the battles of Idlib is again false news. There are no Russian ground troops in Syria.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ar.rt.com/m50k
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Arabic
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Russian ground troops are not active in Syria. There is a wide spectrum of sources disproving this claim. 

In 2016, Russian military intervention helped President Assad's forces regain control of territory in Syria. As a result, Moscow built up substantial ground forces throughout Syria. Estimates place around 4,000 troops on the ground including private military companies such as ENOT Corp, “Wagner” and Morgan Security Group PMC. Subsequently, Russia established a permanent military presence at naval and air bases in Syria. Last year, President Putin said that Russia has no plans to pull its military out of Syria. 

See more relevant cases here.

Keywords: Idlib, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
Present-time Poland and Piłsudski regime are politically identical
Additional details: The current political regime in Poland and Józef Piłsudski's regime are identical. Their common characteristics are the preservation of nominal democratic institutions, right-wing conservatism and worsening relations with the USSR / Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the undemocratic EU and its individual member states. It is aimed to discredit the current Polish political system by drawing analogues with the interwar undemocratic regime of Józef Piłsudski.

Whereas a number of remote similarities between the two were taken out of context, it is groundless to claim that the Józef Piłsudski interwar political regime is identical to present-time democratic Poland.

Poland is placed rather high in authoritative democracy rankings, be it the Democracy Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, or the Democracy Ranking compiled by the Association for Development and Advancement of the Democracy Award.

Keywords: Democracy, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: Poland, USSR, Russia
More
Ukrainian elections: Votes for Viktor Medvedchuk’s party stolen
Additional details: It is clear that Viktor Medvedchuk’s votes are being stolen
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Voskresnyi Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Rossiya 1 (26:12)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There is no evidence given.

This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the elections in Ukraine, seeking to undermine their legitimacy.

According to the preliminary report by the OSCE, Ukraine’s early parliamentary elections were efficiently run and respected fundamental freedoms.

International observers noted that the parliamentary elections in Ukraine took place in the context of ongoing armed conflict in the east of Ukraine and the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation, which meant that voting could not take place in Crimea or the regions controlled by illegal armed groups.

Nevertheless, the OSCE welcomed the fact that the simplified procedure for internally displaced persons to change their voting address has been extended to all voters across the country.

Keywords: Ukraine, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
The blackout in Argentina was the result of some kind of US attack
Additional details: The blackout in Argentina, Uruguay and some areas of Brazil and Chile in June 2019 was intentionally caused by the US, perhaps through an electromagnetic pulse or a cyber-attack. It could be intended to warn Argentina prior to the upcoming elections in which a left-wing government may come to power again, and as a deterrent against Russia, China and Iran.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence is provided to support these claims. Argentina’s blackout happened after a similar outage in Venezuela, where the government openly blamed an alleged US cyber-attack.

On July 3, an official report of the Argentinian government attributed the blackout to an “operating error by high-voltage power transportation company Transener”, in charge of securing the country’s electric grid, definitely ruling out the possibility of an external intervention.

You can see other examples of disinformation about Western cyberattacks against Russia, the US causing the blackout in Venezuela and US cyber-attacks behind the power outage in South America.

Keywords: Cyber
Countries: United States
More
NATO will use Georgia and Ukraine for provocations against Russia, without giving them full membership
Additional details: NATO will not give full membership to Ukraine, or Georgia, nor other countries participating in various programmes of interaction with the alliance. NATO will use their territories for various provocations against Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Armenia time [0:48-1:05]
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO encircling Russia and NATO belligerence, as well as about Ukraine and Georgia and cooperation with NATO.

NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means.

Ukraine is a strategic partner for NATO in many areas. Since the 1990s, relations between NATO and Ukraine have developed into one of NATO’s most influential partnerships. In February 2019, the Parliament of Ukraine amended the Constitution and cemented Ukraine's course to the EU and NATO.

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

The narrative is part of a larger campaign aiming at influencing public support against Georgia's NATO aspirations and portray neutrality as the most rational foreign policy choice for Georgia. See here for other examples of disinformation targeting Georgia.

More information about NATO and Georgian relations can be read here and NATO/ US military assistance to Georgia can be found here.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, Encircling Russia, NATO
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Georgia
More
Out of respect for Polish sovereignty, the Red Army did not participate in the Polish martial law
Additional details: Introduction of the martial law by General Jaruzelski is a good example of the Soviet respect for Polish sovereignty – the martial law was introduced by the Polish security forces, without any participation of the Red Army.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message should be perceived as historical revisionism aimed at the underestimation of responsibility of the USSR over the political developments in the Polish People's Republic (which in 1945-1989 appeared under the full political control of the USSR).

In 1981, the USSR insistently demanded from the Polish authorities to stop the ongoing socio-economic protests and the spread of the “Solidarity” movement by the introduction of the “state of emergency”. Moreover, the so-called Brezhnev Doctrine was still actual – it assumed the open Soviet military intervention into a Socialist state, which “tries to turn towards Capitalism” (as it happened in Hungary in 1956 and in Czechoslovakia in 1968). In this situation, the USSR abstained from the use of the Red Army in Poland not because of the “respect for Polish sovereignty”, but because of the fact that the Polish security forces succeeded in the introduction of the martial law without any external support.

See other examples of the Russian historical revisionism concerning Poland here and here.

Keywords: USSR, Historical revisionism
Countries: Poland, USSR
More
The US claim that Russia has not complied with the INF treaty was just a pretext to withdraw
Additional details: The US claim that Russia has not complied with the INF treaty was just a pretext used by Washington to withdraw from the treaty.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the collapse of the INF treaty is to be blamed entirely on the US.

It is not true that US claims about Russian non-compliance with the INF treaty were just a pretext to withdraw from the treaty. The US  has been concerned about Russian non-compliance with the treaty for many years. As early as 2008, the US government was aware that Russia was testing a cruise missile in violation of the treaty. In July 2014 the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing the 9M729 missile which violated the INF Treaty. In March 2017, a senior US military official accused Russia of deploying a new missile, which posed a threat to NATO and facilities within the NATO area of responsibility.

In the last six years, the US has engaged with Russia to try and resolve Russia’s non-compliance, raising the issue in numerous meetings, including at the highest levels as well as in meetings of technical experts. Russia constantly refused to address US and NATO concerns. On the 2nd of August 2019, after the last opportunity to honour the Treaty obligations was turned down again by Moscow, the US put into effect its decision to withdraw from the Treaty. This decision was fully supported by NATO Allies.

See here for other disinformation cases about the INF Treaty.

Keywords: INF Treaty
Countries: US, Russia
More
Bulgarians have not seen any significant benefits from membership of the EU and NATO
Additional details: Bulgarians have not seen any significant benefits from EU membership. Furthermore, they benefited even less from joining NATO.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Serbia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

These claims are false. Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007; as a result, its GDP, exports, average annual wages, as well as a share of products created in their economies by the industrial sector increased. In 2006, before joining the European Union, Bulgaria’s GDP was estimated at USD 34.4 billion; in 2016, this figure increased to USD 52.4 billion. In 2006, the GDP per capita was equal to USD 6 107.71 and in 2016 it increased to USD 7 926.

European countries account for 78% of Bulgarian exports. Find out more about how Bulgaria benefits from EU funding.

In addition, the EU accession process helps the countries concerned build their capacity to adopt and implement EU law, as well as European and international standards.

For similar disinformation cases about Bulgarian membership of the EU see here and here.

Regarding the NATO claim, all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe which have joined NATO over the past decade have enjoyed peace, security and cooperation with their neighbours since then, Bulgaria included.

Keywords: economy, Economic difficulties, NATO
Countries: Bulgaria
More
Trump's main goal is to destroy the current regime in Iran
Additional details: Trump is making every effort to start a big war in the Middle East. The main goal of his mandate is to destroy the current regime in Iran. The reason for Trump's goal is because he came into power with the help of the Israeli lobby.

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

Conspiracy theory with no substance or evidence. Previously, pro-Kremlin outlets have published disinfo about president Trump being unable to resume dialogue with Russia because of the "deep state”, and threatening to release thousands of ISIS members in Europe.

Regarding the conspiracy theory about Israely lobby - pro-Kremlin outlets have also previously claimed that the 9/11 was a Jewish-Zionist job and Ukrainian wealthiest people are controlled by the US and Israel.

Keywords: War preparation, Secret elites / global elites, Donald Trump
Countries: US, Iran
More
Protests in Georgia caused serious damage to the country's economics
Additional details: Georgia fully depends not on its number one strategic partner – the United States, not on its “historical family” – Europe, but on “occupier” Russia. Only one threat from Moscow about banning Georgian imports has caused unprecedented depreciation of GEL (Georgian Lari) and resulted in record-high fuel prices. These developments are also causing damage to one of the few profitable branches of Georgia’s economy – tourism.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

These statements are untrue. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative as if without Russian market Georgian economy will collapse.

Contribution of Russian tourists to Georgia’s economy is 1.8%, while arrivals from Russia by plane represent 0.5%. Despite the decrease of Russian tourists after Russia banned direct flights to Georgia, as a whole, during the first two weeks of July 2019, the number of tourists in Georgia increased by 3.2% y/y.

As per Georgian currency, the protests did not cause its devaluation. The protests started on June 20. A month before Gavrilov’s visit, the national currency had already faced certain problems. In late May, Lari exchange rate was fluctuating within 2.78-2.79 against USD, reaching 2.8 already on May 31.

Finally, the growth of fuel prices in Georgia is driven by increased prices of oil products on international markets and not the ongoing protests. In his comments to online edition BPN, Vano Mtvarelashvili, chairman of the Union of Oil-Products Importers, cites increased prices of oil products on international markets and Lari depreciation as the reasons behind the growth of fuel prices in Georgia. CNBC analyst claims that oil prices are rising faster this year than expected, explaining that OPEC supply cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela are leaving the market with less cushion to absorb oil supply disruptions.

More details in the article by Myth Detector. More information about recent protests in Georgia here.

Keywords: Sergei Gavrilov, Protest, Economic difficulties
Countries: Georgia
More
Research report ties nuclear accident in 2017 to Italy
Additional details: Two years ago, in October 2017, several European countries detected elevated levels of radiation in the air. An accident at the Mayak nuclear plant in southern Urals was said to have caused the nuclear cloud. Now, a team of physicists have established that Italian scientists from the Borexino neutrino detector, who performed physical experiments, were to blame for the leakage of radioactive ruthenium-106 into the atmosphere of Russia and Europe. The Russian Mayak plant, which was accused of releasing a hazardous chemical, is not to blame.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/20190729/1556983256.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The claim contradicts the findings of the study, referred to in the article.The study clearly identifies the source of the radiation.

The data suggest a release from a nuclear reprocessing facility located in the Southern Urals, possibly from the Mayak nuclear complex.

Scientists from 32 countries studied the release of ruthenium-106 for two years, a cloud of which covered Russia and Europe in 2017. The results of the study pointed to the Russian Mayak plant, which was engaged in the manufacture of a radioactive source for a neutrino experiment in Italy. Ruthenium-106 does not exist in nature, and Russian scientists obtain it from used nuclear fuel.

A special group of scientists who investigated the causes of the radioactive cloud analysed the movement of the atmosphere over Russia and Europe. Scientists have analysed more than 1300 measurements of radioactive background from 176 stations in nearly 30 countries. These specialists concluded that the release of the hazardous substances occurred at the Russian Mayak plant from the evening of September 25th 2017 to noon on September 26th 2017.

The authors of the study also reject the version about the possible fall of a satellite with a radioisotope source based on ruthenium on board. Scientists rejected the version that ruthenium-106 could have been thrown out as a result of an accident at the reactor: in this case, the atmosphere would have recorded elevated levels of other radioactive isotopes.

In the Italian laboratory at the Gran Sasso Apennines in 2017, preparations were underway for an experiment aimed at identifying an elementary particle of matter, the so-called sterile neutrino. For this, Italy needed a source of strong radiation from radioactive cerium-144. The Russian plant Mayak was going to deliver it. After the accident, Russian scientists said they were not able to produce a cerium source of neutrinos with the necessary parameters.

Read more about the accident here.

Keywords: experiments, Radiation, Chernobyl
Countries: Europe, Russia
More
USA is the gravedigger of the INF Treaty
Additional details: Russia calls on the USA to give up on mid- and short-range missile deployment plans. Washington is the "gravedigger of the INF Treaty" because they have started and finished the procedure of unilateral withdrawal from the Treaty.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Serbia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF treaty.

Since 2014, the US has been trying to resolve the issue and has pressed Russia to return to the compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty. However, it faced  continuous attempts to mislead and denials.

Finally, in August 2019, the North Atlantic Council stated that the United States has withdrawn from the INF Treaty as a result of the continuous Russian violations. This decision is fully supported by NATO's allies.

Similar cases claiming that there is no evidence that Russia violated the INF Treaty and that Washington is fully responsible for its termination can be found here and here respectively.

Keywords: INF Treaty, Nuclear issues, NATO
Countries: United States, Russia
More
Russia's involvement in the Skripal case has never been proved
Additional details: Russia's involvement in the Skripal case has never been proved.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury claiming that the UK has never proved Russia’s involvement and has not provided any evidence.

As clearly stated  by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council on the 5th of September 2018, UK police and UK intelligence services have produced sufficient hard forensic evidence to charge two Russian nationals, identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU, for the attack against the Skripals. The investigative outlet Bellingcat has later revealed the identities of the two Russian nationals.

Furthermore, the UK investigation found that Sergey and Yuliya Skripal were poisoned using a specific Novichok nerve agent that could not have been produced by non-state actors. This was confirmed by an independent OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons]  analysis.

According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, in the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

For similar cases see here.

Keywords: novichok, Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia
More
US deploys missiles prohibited by INF treaty in Poland and Romania
Additional details: At military bases in Romania and Poland the US is deploying systems that are capable of launching Tomahawk-type cruise missiles, prohibited by the INF agreement.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

In reality, Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF because it produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile which violates the treaty.

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

For a similar case see here, all cases about the INF Treaty can be found here.

 

Keywords: INF Treaty, NATO
Countries: US, Poland, Romania
More
Latest US sanctions against Russia prove that the British version of the Skripal case was made up
Additional details: The latest US sanctions against Russia in the Skripal case are powerful evidence that London's official story was fictional. Further, this official story about Skripal poisoning is fully discredited.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Srbija
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Salisbury poisoning. The disinformation message was created as a series of inconsistencies, implying a US and UK governments conspiracy behind the Skripal poisoning.

British police have presented a solid chain of evidence about the Skripal case, including pictures, that connects the two suspects to particular locations in the case. EU and the EU Member States have supported the conclusions of the British investigation.

Bellingcat research found that both “Alexander Petrov” and “Ruslan Boshirov” are active GRU officers. This conclusion is based on objective data and on discussions with confidential Russian sources familiar with the identity of either one of the two persons.

Find more similar cases on this issue here.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Sanctions
Countries: US, UK, Russia
More
US Senate finds no proof of Russian meddling in 2016 presidential election
Additional details: The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said in a report on Thursday that it had found no evidence any votes were changed in the 2016 presidential election.

Attempts by US investigators to prove any of the claims about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election have been an abject failure.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

The article deliberately conflates "changing votes" with "Russian interference," although the former is a very specific instance of the latter. The 67-page report issued by the US Senate is only the latest set of evidence proving Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. It follows Robert Mueller's report from March 2019 and the US intelligence community's assessments dating back to January 2017.

See more related cases here, here, and here.

Keywords: election meddling, Robert Mueller, Manipulated elections/referendum
Countries: US, Russia
More
London has no evidence of Moscow's complicity in Skripals' poisoning
Additional details: British police have acknowledged that they have no evidence to suggest that the Russian authorities were complicit in the attack on the Skripals.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Romania, Sputnik Moldova
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury claiming that the UK has never proved Russia’s involvement and has not provided any evidence.

As clearly stated by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council on the 5th of September 2018, UK police and UK intelligence services have produced sufficient hard forensic evidence to charge two Russian nationals, identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU, for the attack against the Skripals. The investigative outlet Bellingcat later revealed the identities of the two Russian nationals.

Furthermore, the UK investigation found that Sergey and Yuliya Skripal were poisoned using a specific Novichok nerve agent that could not have been produced by non-state actors. This was confirmed by an independent OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] analysis.

According to the UK intelligence assessment, based on open-source analysis and intelligence information, in the past decade, Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichok agents, long after it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention.

For similar cases see here.

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: Russia, United Kingdom
More
The referendum in Crimea took place as a result of a coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014
Additional details: The referendum in Crimea took place as a result of a coup d’état in Ukraine in February 2014.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Euromaidan was a coup d’état.

Maidan or Euromaidan, the demonstrations which began in November 2013 in Kyiv and finished in February 2014, was not provoked from outside but was a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. More cases on this topic here.

In order to justify the illegal annexation of Crimea and the reunification with Russia, Moscow claimed that Euromaidan was a coup d’état. In 2014, a particular political context enabled the mobilisation of latent pro-Russia sentiment in Crimea after the occupation by the “green men” had already occurred, NOT vice versa. Euromaidan created a pretext for Putin to enact a pre-prepared contingency plan.

The European Union does not recognise Crimea's illegal 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 other disinformation cases about Crimea see here.

Keywords: Ukraine, Coup, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Washington is behind Latvia's decision to buy Belarusian-produced energy
Additional details: It is an illusion that the Latvian government changed its policies and suddenly started caring about the people; put a stop to psychiatric Russophobia; stopping attempts to revise the results of WWII results and to rehabilitate fascism. Latvia’s decision to trade energy on the border with Russia, not through Lithuania as before, could not be adopted without the US's approval. Such geopolitical deals cannot be made by Latvia without Washington, just as the issues of moderate importance have to be agreed in Brussels.
The US's intention seems to increase leverage over Belarus by intensifying its economic dependence on Latvia. At some point in the future, if no concessions are made by the Belarusian authorities over some matters, Washington will be able to blackmail Minsk, saying that Latvia will interrupt imports of Belarusian energy.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy which continues a series of disinformation attempts concerning the construction of the Belarusian NPP. It is consistent with recurring narratives about Latvia as a vassal state of the US and the prevalence of fascism and Russophobia in the Baltic countries.

Taken that Lithuania considers the Belarusian NPP as insecure and intends to end energy imports from Belarus and that until recently, the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, had been serving the Baltic states as the only point of trade in energy with third countries, Latvia decided to open an energy trade point at the Latvian-Russian border. It is groundless speculation that Latvia sought Washington’s approval to make this decision. Instead, as the Latvian government stated, it consulted neighbouring Estonia and Lithuania and the European Commission over this issue.

See previous disinformation cases alleging that Latvia lost its sovereignty to the EU, that its authorities destroyed national banking sector on Washington orders, and that Nazis rule present-time Latvia.

Finally, the accusation that Latvia is attempting to revise the results of WWII, it is actually Russia who has published a series of disinformation attempts on this over the past weeks, see, for instance, here, here, here, and here.

Keywords: Nuclear issues, Conspiracy, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: US, Latvia, Belarus
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USSR was forced to sign the Treaty of Non-aggression with Germany
Additional details: The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact with Germany because it was forced to do so to ensure its security after the refusal of England and France to create an anti-German coalition together with the USSR.

As recognised by authoritative, including Western historians, until mid-August 1939, right up to the failure of tripartite negotiations, Joseph Stalin aimed to create an anti-Hitler coalition within the USSR, France and Great Britain.

 
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Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/20190708/1556297568.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 1939. To the public pact of nonaggression was appended

A secret protocol was appended to the public pact of nonaggression which divided the whole of eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Poland, east of the line formed by the Narew, Vistula, and San rivers would fall under the Soviet sphere of influence. The protocol also assigned Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland to the Soviet sphere of influence.

Vyacheslav Molotov, then head of the Foreign Ministry of the Soviet Union, who signed the non-aggression pact and the secret protocol to it, denied its existence until his death in 1986. In December 1989, a special commission headed by Alexander Yakovlev, followed by the USSR Congress of People's Deputies, acknowledged the existence of a secret protocol to the Treaty between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Moscow’s copy of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was published for the first time in 2019.

Contrary to the statement that there was no alternative for the Soviet Union other than to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, it was the USSR who held negotiations with Britain, France and Germany at the same time. On August 19, 1939, Stalin publicly expressed the need to push Europe to a major war that would become an overture to the "world revolution".

Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, USSR
Countries: Poland, USSR, Germany
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The US has violated the INF Treaty and refused to discuss with Russia
Additional details: While failing to provide any evidence that Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), the US, itself, has been in breach of the Treaty. We know what the Americans have violated and we pointed to these three issues: missile launchers, target missiles and drones. But they refused to discuss their violations.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Serbia
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Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the INF Treaty.

The US government has issued repeated rebuttals of Russian accusations of US non-compliance with INF Treaty (see the latest press release of US Mission to NATO here). All three issues mentioned (the Aegis ashore missile defence systems, ballistic target missiles and armed unmanned aerial vehicles) have also been discussed with Russia through the Treaty’s Special Verification Commission and other forums.

NATO has repeatedly confirmed that US is not in violation of the Treaty. In July 2018, the NATO Brussels Summit Declaration stated that “The United States is in compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty and continues to provide substantial transparency on its programs while pursuing a diplomatic dialogue with Russia”.

Similar disinformation cases can be seen here and here.

Keywords: INF Treaty, Nuclear issues, Nikolay Patrushev
Countries: US, Russia
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The US seeks to ensure global dominance by withdrawing from arms reduction treaties
Additional details: The US hasn’t left the INF Treaty because Russia violated it, but because it wants to re-establish global military dominance. The real reason for the withdrawal is that the US wants to be able to deploy any number of weapons anywhere it wants and agreements like the INF Treaty are preventing that.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Serbia
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Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the INF Treaty.

It is well documented that the US withdrew from the INF Treaty because Russia violated it by producing and testing the 9M729 missile with a range capability of more than 500 kilometers.

The US has been raising the issue of Russia’s INF Treaty violation since 2014. The US and NATO have repeatedly engaged with Russia to preserve the INF treaty, spending almost six years in attempts to resolve Russia’s non-compliance. The issue was raised in numerous meetings, including at the highest levels as well as in meetings of technical experts. However, Russia consistently refused to address US and NATO concerns.

Keywords: INF Treaty, Nuclear issues, Nikolay Patrushev
Countries: US, Russia
More
Britain and US are organising the protests in Hong Kong
Additional details: Britain and America have been caught red handed organizing the protests in Hong Kong.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Strategic Culture Foundation
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Conspiracy theory, suggesting any demonstration and expression of popular discontent is staged by foreign, malevolent, actors. Similar cases can be found here.

Hong Kong protests started in June 2019 over a controversial extradition law, but have expanded to call for Hong Kong's leader to step down, an inquiry into alleged police brutality, for those who have been arrested to be released and greater democratic freedoms

Keywords: Protest, Conspiracy
Countries: United States, China, UK
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International bankers created the "Global Warming" hoax
Additional details: The world’s top banker and conspiracy master David Rockefeller, who most likely created the idea of anthropic global warming due to CO2, produced by the combustion of oil. Rockefeller was also the head of the Council on Foreign Relations that controls all medias. After Putin helped Assad to rid Syria of NATO’s terrorist groups in 2015, it was the end of the bankers’ dream of enlarging Israel. Out of the blue, continents of plastic emerged from the deep and whales suddenly started choking on straws when medias started demonizing plastic, another oil byproduct, to make the transition to electricity a priority more urgent than ever. The gullible masses are programmed to see a link between plastic and global warming, but they don’t seem to bother over the absurdity of it. Schools should start teaching the truth, instead of the science-deprived CO2 greenhouse effect and absurd anthropic global warming, or climate changes, or whatever you now want to call this theory.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Oriental Review
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Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence.

Climate change is a scientific fact. Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth's temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and farming livestock. This adds enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to those naturally occurring in the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and global warming. Preventing dangerous consequences of the climate change is the  key priority for the EU. 

Keywords: Climate
Countries: US, Israel, Russia, Syria
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Outside the Great Russian context, Belarusian literature lacks interest
Additional details: The more active provincial nationalists are focusing on their local and uninteresting shortcomings, the deeper the cultural degradation of White Russian culture will be. Out side the great Russian context, this culture is not only lacking interest to the masses, but is also toxic and destructive, and hampering any attempts to expressing the vital art of real enthusiasts.

 
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Disinforming outlet(s): EA Daily
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Disproof note:

A recurring Kremlin-backed narrative on the Belarusian culture and denying the possibility for Belarus to exist out of all-Russian context.

Belarusian culture is an independent culture which has been developing for many centuries despite the lack of independence for the Belarusian land for a long period of time. Its music, fine arts, literature and theatre are well-known all over the world. Read more about contemporary Belarusian culture here.

Keywords: culture, Russian superiority, Russian world
Countries: Russia, Belarus
More
Russia has never been a party in the Donbas conflict
Additional details: Russia has never been a party in the Ukrainian internal conflict which broke out in 2014 in Donbas.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
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Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformatin narrative about the  armed conflict in Donbas. See a similar case denying Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine here.

The EU has condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

 

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Poland wanted to ally with Germany and attack the USSR
Additional details: 80 years ago Poland called on Germany to ally and attack together the Soviet Union. 

Today Poland promotes an open policy of Russophobia.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Estonia
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Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a conspiracy theory about the WWII.

In fact, it was the USSR to become ally with the Nazi Germany for 22 months. On 23 August 1939 they signed a non-aggression pact, also known as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (Hitler-Stalin Pact). The deal was accompanied by a secret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR.

Just a week after the signing of the “Hitler-Stalin Pact,” the German attack on Poland started World War II. Two weeks later, Soviet troops entered Polish territory forcing the Polish army to fight on two fronts.

Keywords: WWII
Countries: Poland, Russia, Germany
More
George Soros confirms the instructions given to the Russian opposition leaders
Additional details: Instructions given from the US Embassy to Russian opposition leaders are confirmed by George Soros. The only function of the US ambassdor was to instruct Russian opposition.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus time 02:00 - 02:18, 02:58 - 03:30.
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Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about US role in Europe on the involvement of American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros in the political changes in post-Soviet and post-socialist states.

Pro-Kremlin propaganda often accuses George Soros of organising anti-Kremlin protests because of his support for democracy and human rights in dozens of countries around the world.

The protests in Moscow started in July after the election committee banned opposition candidates from running for the elections to the city council - the Moscow City Duma, disqualifying their ballots because of what officials claimed were irregularities in the 5,000 signatures each had to gather to run. The protesters also demanded the right to fair elections and the right to free assembly.

 

 

Keywords: Protest, Anti-Russian, George Soros
Countries: Russia
More
The Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the WWII
Additional details: The Munich Agreement (1938) is the culmination of the helplessness of European diplomacy in front of the Nazi threat. This Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the largest war in history. 

UK and France did not want to form an anti-Nazi alliance with the USSR, which forced Moscow to take maintain peace on its territory with its own forces.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Baltnews
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Disproof note:

This is a pro-Kremlin conspiracy narrative about the WWII.

The Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938), indeed, permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland, in western Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler was heavily criticized in Europe and proved to be a disastrous move. World War II began in Europe on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany on 3 September.

A week before Germany attacked Poland, Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact, also known as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (23 August 1939). The deal was accompanied by a secret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR.

Soviet Union attacked Poland on September 17, forcing the Polish army to fight on two fronts. Poland was divided according to the agreements of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. USSR later attacked Finland and annexed the Baltic states, all along the agreements with Nazi Germany.

USSR and Germany engaged in an intensive trade program, where Soviet Union provided Germany with grain and strategic raw material. More on the trade between Moscow and Berlin 1939 – 1941 here.

The war between the U.S.S.R. and Germany began on 22 June 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union joined forces with the Allied Powers immediately after the German attack.

Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, USSR, WWII
Countries: Poland, UK, USSR, Russia, Germany, France
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USSR is not to blame for the beginning of World War II
Additional details: The accusations against the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin about the beginning of World War II are nonsense and pursue a purely pragmatic goal. The Molotov-Ribbentrop (Hitler-Stalin) Pact cannot be considered a military conspiracy between two dictators.
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Link to the disinformation: www.pravda.ru/news/society/1424202-obvinenia/
Disinforming outlet(s): Pravda.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, also known as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (Hitler-Stalin Pact), was signed on 23 August 1939. Following the agreement, Nazi Germany and the USSR became allies for 22 months. The deal was accompanied by a secret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR.

Just a week after the signing of the “Hitler-Stalin Pact,” the German attack on Poland started World War II. Two weeks later, Soviet troops entered Polish territory.

Read more about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact here.

Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin
Countries: USSR, Russia, Germany
More
NATO jet intentionally provoked Russian jets over the Baltic sea
Additional details: The F-18 pilot acted unacceptably […] There could be only one conclusion: the NATO pilot received an order to show "who is the boss of the house" over the Baltic sea. But it didn’t work out since our fighter jets warded him off. It was an intentional provocation.
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Disinforming outlet(s): MK.RU, Sputnik Lithuania, Sputnik Abkhazia
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Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO.

On August 13 2019, two NATO fighter jets assigned to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission were sent to identify a Russian Tu-214 transport aircraft that was being escorted by two Russian Su-27 fighter airplanes over the Baltic Sea, close to NATO member airspace.

The officials at NATO explained that unlike the Tu-214 that had a flight plan and responded to air traffic control, the escorting Su-27s flew without a flight plan and had their transponders switched off. According to NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu, the flight path of one of the NATO jets was interrupted when 'one of the Russian fighters conducted an unsafe manoeuvre'.

The Russian Tu-214 was transporting Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu. The Russian media insisted that NATO knew who was aboard the plane. However, NATO officials commented that they had no official information as to who was flying on that airplane.

Keywords: Baltic sea, NATO
Countries: Russia
More
The USSR tried to prevent the start of WWII, but Europe abandoned the anti-Hitler coalition
Additional details: The Soviet Union made every effort to create an anti-Hitler coalition with European countries in order to confront fascist Germany. However, in spite of all the USSR's efforts, Poland, France and Great Britain had signed the non-aggression pact with Germany, so the Soviet side had to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which was a forced measure.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Rg.ru
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Disproof note:

During the so-called Moscow Negotiations, which began in May and lasted until August 1939, the UK, France, Poland and the USSR could not find a compromise to create a coalition. Poland categorically refused to let the Red Army into its territory, fearing Soviet occupation. The USSR also started negotiations with Germany in parallel and on August 23, 1939, signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop (Stalin-Hitler) pact, in which the Soviet Union and Germany divided the spheres of interests in Europe: the division of Poland, the Baltic countries, Finland, and Romania were agreed.

On September 1 1939, Hitler attacked Poland, Soviet troops entered the territory on September 17 of the same year. From September 3 1939, Great Britain and France were at war with Germany, creating an anti-Hitler coalition together with the expelled Polish government and other countries.

Read more cases of disinformation about WWII here.

Keywords: WWII, Adolf Hitler, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Europe, USSR
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WWII: There was no French resistance to the invaders during the first year of occupation
Additional details: There was no French resistance to the invaders for more than a year. It’s not common knowledge whom the majority of the French actually supported.


Only one Nazi German has been killed by a French since the beginning of the Nazi occupation and it happened on 21 August 1941.
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Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
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Disproof note:

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

Within weeks of the 1940 occupation of France, groups of men and women had begun to resist. Some collected military intelligence for transmission to London; some organized escape routes for British airmen who had been shot down; some circulated anti-German leaflets; some engaged in the sabotage of railways and German installations. French citizens helped to save Jews during the occupation as well.

220.000 French people were honored by the post war authorities for their role in the French Resistance. Moreover, French units abroad under the command of Charles de Gaulle continued fighting against Axis troops, rejecting Marshal Petain's armistice with Germany. The air force of Free France even set up a Fighter Regiment, engaging in combat on the Eastern Front along with Soviet Air Force units.

Read more about the French Resistance here.

Keywords: WWII
Countries: USSR, Germany, France
More
Washington did not provide evidence of Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty
Additional details: Naturally, Americans are trying to justify their decisions and claim that Russia is a violator of the INF Treaty, that it allegedly “developed the weapon” prohibited by the Treaty, i.e. Novator 9M729 missile. However, there have been no serious arguments provided by Washington to prove their position, and, most likely, the accusations of having “prohibited weapon” addressed to troublesome countries have become a sort of a business card of the American diplomacy.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
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Disproof note:

A recurring Kremlin-backed narrative denying Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty. See a similar case here.

NATO stated that Russia bears sole responsibility for the demise of the INF Treaty because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the Treaty. In July 2014, then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5500 kilometres.

The US and NATO have repeatedly engaged with Russia to preserve the INF treaty. In a joint statement released after the meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on 4 and 5 December 2018, NATO Foreign Ministers stated that "the United States has remained in full compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty since it entered into force" and that "Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security."

Keywords: INF Treaty, Sphere of influence
Countries: Russia, US
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Ukraine is a developing country with a colonial dependency
Additional details: For many developing states or countries which are in colonial dependency (such as Ukraine) the termination of International Monetary Fund credit activities is literally a verdict, which is immediately followed by currency devaluation, and sometimes mass riots.
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Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti,Sputnik Belarus
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Disproof note:

A recurring Kremlin-backed narrative questioning the sovereignty of Ukraine and its position in the system of international relations.

The statement is ungrounded and has no evidence. Ukraine is a self-sufficient independent state, active on the international arena.

Keywords: Imperialism/colonialism, Abandoned Ukraine, Economic difficulties, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is being demonized by the European countries
Additional details: The USSR was left alone in front of the Nazi aggression, as London and Paris refused to form a coalition. And, in fact, Poland was also an ally of Germany.

Moscow had no other choice than signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Today this pact is being demonized, particularly by the countries who signed the Munich Agreement in 1938.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Baltnews
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about WWII and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

World War II began in Europe on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. A week before Germany attacked Poland, Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact, also known as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (23 August 1939). The deal was accompanied by a secret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR.

France and the United Kingdom did actually negotiate with Soviet Union an agreement on containing German, but as Moscow demanded UK and France to allow Soviet troops access to Polish territory, the negotiations broke down.

Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, USSR, WWII
Countries: Russia, Europe, USSR
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The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact did not trigger World War II. Russia was threatened by Germany
Additional details: Supporters of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as a "conspiracy of two dictators" deliberately forget to mention the role of the 1938 Munich Agreement, the culmination of the helplessness of European diplomacy in the face of the Nazi threat.

The Munich Agreement forced Moscow to be an outside observer of the entire European adventure. Russia could finally give up the illusions regarding the anti-German intentions of England and France, which skillfully pushed the German aggression to the East, to the Soviet borders.

Moscow draw the simple conclusion; the time had come when only their own forces could keep peace on their territory.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Baltnews
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 1939. Its secret protocols divided Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact directly caused the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in complete occupation of the country by Germany and the USSR. The Treaty enabled the Soviet Union to invade and annex the Baltic States. The Soviets also annexed Romania's provinces of Bessarabia (today's Moldova) and northern Bukovina (now in Ukraine) and the Czechoslovak territory of Carpathian Ruthenia (now also part of Ukraine). Throughout the territories it occupied, the Soviet Union carried out harsh political reprisals, including mass executions and deportations.

Also, the Soviet Union kept negotiating with Britain and France, but in the end, Stalin chose to reach an agreement with Germany. By doing so, he hoped to keep the USSR at peace with Germany and to gain time to build up the Soviet military establishment, which had been weakened by the purge of the Red Army officer corps in 1937.

See another example referring to Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact here.

Read more about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators (Deutche Welle); The Night Stalin and Hitler Redrew the Map of Europe (RFERL).

 

 

Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Encircling Russia, Historical revisionism, WWII
Countries: Poland, USSR, The West, Germany
More
Latvia plans to buy electricity at Russian border to disrupt Belarusian-Russia relations
Additional details: Latvia's decision to buy electricity at the Latvian-Russian border is an attempt to play a political game. Latvia wants to occupy a strategic position thanks to its location between Estonia and Lithuania. It also wants to place itself higher than the other Baltic states due to its Russophobic activities. Latvia wants to enhance bilateral relations with Belarus by becoming a large buyer of energy produced at the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Given that Latvian relations with Russia are tense, Latvia plans to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations this way. This is an artificial and silly measure though, which will hardly bring fruit for Latvia.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is conspiracy based on a misinterpretation of the recent decision taken by the Latvian government. This message is consistent with recurring narratives about the West's attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russia relations by any means and groundless Russophobic tendencies and measures taken by the Baltic states.

Taken that Lithuania considers the Belarusian NPP unsecure and intends to end energy imports from Belarus and that, until recently, the Lithuanian-Belarusian border had been serving the Baltic states as the only point of trade in energy with third countries, Latvia decided to open an energy trade point at the Latvian-Russian border.

On 13 August 2019, the Latvian electricity transmission system operator informed: "With the aim to timely mitigate the risks of shortened electricity flows or negative tariff fluctuations, today the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal by the Ministry of Economy to place the electricity trade at the Latvian border after Lithuania terminates trade in electricity with Belarus. This decision will ensure that the present-tie conditions on trade with third countries will remain in place." The message issued by the Latvian government gives an identical reason behind the decision.

After Lithuanian president Gitanas Nausėda voiced sadness over Latvia’s decision to purchase electrical energy produced at Astravets nuclear power plant in Belarus, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš made a statement, saying that: "I can repeat that the Latvian government has not made the decision to buy electricity in Belarus.”

Previously pro-Kremlin outlets speculated about various Western measures aimed at disrupting Belarusian-Russina relations, including Poland's decision not to invite Putin to the WWII commemoration ceremony, and producing the popular Chernobyl series. See a collection of disinformation cases concerning the construction of the Belarusian NPP here.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Nuclear issues, Conspiracy
Countries: Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus
More
Soviet Union was forced to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Additional details: [Context: "A collection of archival documents was presented at the House of the Russian Historical Society in Moscow, proving that Hitler Germany was the initiator of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact."]

The Soviet Union was forced to sign this document in order to ensure its security.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/20190814/1557479723.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 1939. Its secret protocols divided Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact directly caused the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in complete occupation of the country by Germany and the USSR. The Treaty enabled the Soviet Union to invade and annex the Baltic States. The Soviets also annexed Romania's provinces of Bessarabia (today's Moldova) and northern Bukovina (now in Ukraine) and the Czechoslovak territory of Carpathian Ruthenia (now also part of Ukraine). Throughout the territories it occupied, the Soviet Union carried out harsh political reprisals, including mass executions and deportations.

Also, the Soviet Union kept negotiating with Britain and France, but in the end, Stalin chose to reach an agreement with Germany. By doing so, he hoped to keep the USSR at peace with Germany and to gain time to build up the Soviet military establishment, which had been weakened by the purge of the Red Army officer corps in 1937.

See another example referring to Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact here.

Read more about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators (Deutche Welle); The Night Stalin and Hitler Redrew the Map of Europe (RFERL).

Updated September 5, 2019: The headline of the summary of disinformation changed to reflect the original disinformation message.

 

Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, WWII, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, USSR, Germany
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US refused to provide evidence of Russia’s INF Treaty violations
Additional details: The Kremlin asked to be presented with facts supporting the accusation that Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), but the US never produced any proof.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Serbia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the INF Treaty, which Russia violated by producing and testing the 9M729 missile, prompting the US to withdraw from the agreement.

The US has been raising the issue of Russia’s INF Treaty violation since 2014. The US State Department publishes yearly reports on compliance with arms control, non-proliferation, and disarmament agreements and commitments. The report from 2014 stated that “the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles”. This has been reaffirmed in all subsequent compliance reports.

The US presented this information to Russia and has repeatedly attempted to resolve the issue before it decided to withdraw from the Treaty (see a detailed State Department record of its diplomacy efforts here).

Similar disinformation cases are presented here and here. Further debunking of the claims made in this article available here.

Keywords: INF Treaty, Nuclear issues, Nikolay Patrushev
Countries: US, Russia
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Kyiv is planning to disrupt transit of gas to the EU
Additional details: The version that Kyiv is working on, to disrupt the transit (of gas), is almost confirmed. Almost every day, Naftogaz representatives say they won’t sign the new contract. Of course, they blame Russia for everything, but they make it clear that, in any case, there will be no agreement. And they are developing an action plan that will be implemented only if the transit is suspended.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: svpressa.ru/economy/article/240773/
Disinforming outlet(s): Svobodnaya Pressa
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative blaming Ukraine for the disruption of the gas talks between Russia and Ukraine and plans to cut gas transit from Russia to the EU.

According to Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council Secretary Oleksandr Danylyuk, a group to negotiate a new deal between Russia and Ukraine on gas transit will be set up after Ukraine forms a new government.

“The [Russian gas transit] contract expires on 1st January. Once the new government is appointed, it will form the group and the group leader, the energy minister, will be tasked with negotiating the conclusion of a new contract or the extension of the current one,” Danylyuk told BBC Ukraine in an interview published on 13 August 2019.

He acknowledges that the extension of the transit is important for Ukraine, and Kyiv is ready to sign a new contract.

“There are other factors to be taken into account, including the way the Ukrainian GTS [gas transportation system] works. This is important. Continuation of Russian gas transit would have been irrelevant if not for that. We understand that this is another leverage,” he said.

However, in case a new deal cannot be agreed, Ukraine is preparing a Plan B. State gas transport company Ukrtransgaz has already upgraded five gas pumping stations that will be able to provide gas for consumers in the Eastern and Southern regions of Ukraine in case gas transit is disrupted.

At the moment, Ukraine and Russia have different views on how a new deal should work. Moscow proposes a short-term deal to have time to complete its pipelines that bypass Ukraine. On the contrary, Kyiv supports European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic’s proposal to sign a 10-year transit contract with a guaranteed minimum yearly transit volume of 60 bcm and 30 bcm of additional flexibility.

Trilateral talks between Ukraine, Russia and the EU on gas transit will resume in September.

Keywords: Ukraine, gas, economy
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, EU
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Crimea re-united with Russia on the basis of the will of Crimea’s citizens
Additional details: Crimea re-united with Russia on the basis of the will of Crimea’s citizens, who independently determined their future in a referendum held in March 2014,  in which over 90% of voters voted in favour of joining Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia, Sputnik Srbija
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to re-join Russia through a legal referendum.

The so-called referendum held on 16th of March 2014 has not been recognised by any international body.

On the date of its announcement, the 27th of February 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula.

A year later, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

Five years after the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the EU issued a statement to confirm its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and reiterates that it does not recognise and continues to condemn this violation of international law.

For other cases about Crimea see here.

Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Ukraine ignores Minsk agreements
Additional details: The Minsk agreements will soon be 5 years old, but the Ukrainian authorities have done nothing to implement them.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Utro.ru, svpressa
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Minsk agreements, portraying Ukraine as the primary violator of the cease-fire.

In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of EU sanctions on Russia to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, acknowledging Russia's responsibility to uphold the Agreements.

The EU has condemned systematic restrictions to the freedom of movement of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, by Russia-backed armed formations in southern Donetsk and non-government-controlled areas along the Russian border.

According to the latest reports by the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, there are violations of the Minsk agreement on both sides of the conflict.

The analysis of the Atlantic Council shows, that the majority of violations can be attributed to Russia-backed armed formations.

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Minsk agreements
Countries: Ukraine
More
Russia’s involvement in Skripal poisoning has not been proven
Additional details: British police acknowledged that it does not possess evidence of Russia’s involvement into the Skripal’s poisoning. They would like to, but after years of careful investigation, they found nothing.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ren.tv/blog/446404
Disinforming outlet(s): REN TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning claiming that the United Kingdom was never able to prove a “Russian trace” and did not provide detailed evidence of Russia’s involvement.

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.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal
Countries: UK, Russia
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Groundless accusations against Russia for the downing of MH17 in Donbas
Additional details: The accusations against Russia for the downing of MH17 in Donbas are groundless since the Joint Investigative Team did not provide concrete evidence against Moscow.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

Actually, the JIT has indeed provided concrete evidence of Russia's involvement.

On the 28th of 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 – was transported 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, with the participation 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 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 JIT conclusions were further corroborated by the Bellingcat Investigation Team.

For the full Bellingcat report see here.

Keywords: Donbas, MH17
Countries: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
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NATO planned to turn Crimea into its military base
Additional details: NATO admitted that it intended to turn the annexed Crimea into its huge naval base. The North Atlantic Alliance chatted about how the future of the peninsula would have developed if Crimea had not become part of Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad.tv, Utro.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The mythical encroachments of NATO countries on the Ukrainian peninsula are the most common narrative from Russian media. The Kremlin justifies the annexation of the peninsula with these “facts about the evil NATO”. Although NATO has repeatedly emphasised that the North Atlantic Alliance did not have any views on the ports of Crimea before it was annexed.

Speaking at the Centre for Strategic Studies at Queen Victoria University in New Zealand on August 5, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg did address the Crimean issue. However, Stoltenberg spoke of Crimea not in the context of the "NATO plans for militarising" the peninsula, but as one of the main modern threats to the world order that developed after the end of World War II.

According to the NATO Secretary-General, at the moment, there is an increase in the Russian presence in the world due to the increasing competition of states. Stoltenberg emphasised that one of the main goals of the Kremlin is to undermine confidence in democratic institutions in NATO member countries. Therefore, Moscow annexed Crimea and withdrew from the INF Treaty.

 

Keywords: NATO, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Only two EU countries opposed the issue of Russian passports in the Donbas
Additional details: Lithuania and Estonia are the only countries in the European Union that have opposed the issue of Russian passports by the Kremlin in Donbas.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This Kremlin narrative is not backed up with evidence. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously signed a decree on simplified citizenship for residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine. In response, Kуiv stated that the Kremlin is, unprecedentedly, interfering in the country's internal affairs and is preparing for the next phase of aggression against Ukraine.

Contrary to statements by the Russian media about the EU’s “indifference” to this issue, Ukraine’s international partners immediately responded to this development. During the June 2019 EU summit, EU states expressed their support for Kуiv and collectively condemned Russia’s actions. On top, Estonia has already refused to recognise the Russian passports of Donbas residents and France also stated that the decision to grant citizenship to the inhabitants of the occupied territories is contrary to peace agreements.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has stated that EU is currently preparing a coordinated response to the Kremlin for the illegal issuing of passports to Ukrainians in the occupied territories and emphasised that the intention not to recognise these passports has been repeatedly declared by the international community.

Keywords: War crimes, Hybrid war, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, EU
More
Russophobia in Ukraine has been cultivated for many years
Additional details: The Russophobia virus in Ukraine has appeared not today, not yesterday, and even not the day before yesterday. It was brought to Ukraine artificially a long time ago. It was cultivated, at first slowly, but then more actively.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/EDoeCv4_v-4?t=870
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @Channel One TV time 14:30-14:50
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Ukraine is a Russophobic country with Russophobia sentiments cultivated by the West.

There is no evidence of this. In fact, Ukraine is not a Russophobic country as is often claimed by the Kremlin media. It had to react to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the act of aggression by the Russian armed forces in Donbas. It did not ban the Russian language, as is often claimed by the Kremlin, nor did it ban contact between Ukrainians and Russians.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian army killing the people in Donbas
Additional details: Ukraine behaves in the Donbas in the same way that Nazi Germany behaved in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union. In the conditions when the Ukrainian army obeys Turchinov’s order to kill the citizens of Donbas who protested peacefully, the main principle is the right to national liberation. The Ukrainian army is an army of looters, punishers, and killers.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/EDoeCv4_v-4?t=2208
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @Channel One TV time 36:40 – 37:35
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to portray events in Donbas as a civil war, with the aim of obscuring ongoing acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine.

This message also contains other common pro-Kremlin narratives about Fascist / Nazi Ukraine.

The war in Eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but an act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, that has been ongoing since February 2014.

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 that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities: refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine, halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

The right to rebellion against tyranny can be inferred in the third paragraph of the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: "Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by rule of law." After the Euromaidan, the new President was elected in free and fair elections. According to the OSCE, "the people of Ukraine had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box."

Keywords: DNR, Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, LNR, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Skripal case is another Western fabrication to prevent Russian economic development
Additional details: Western manoeuvres that always end up in sanctions or trade embargoes against Russia, China, Iran or other emerging countries are nothing but excuses for the defence of geopolitical interests. The Skripal case was another fabrication aimed to harm the Russian economy and Russia’s development capacity, to prevent it from challenging Western hegemony.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT en Español time 02:35 - 03:24
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Skripal poisoning, claiming that there is “no evidence of Russia’s involvement” and therefore sanctions on Russia are unjustified.

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 allegation that sanctions and retaliation measures imposed after the Skripal poisoning are an attempt to curb Russia’s development and hurt its economy is unsubstantiated, with no basis in reality.

You can see other examples of Russian disinformation on the Skripal case, such as allegations that evidence against Russia is non-existent or was fabricated, that British intelligence services are involved, that it is only a matter of Russophobia or that it is all aimed to cover up paedophilia scandals in the UK.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Anti-Russian
Countries: Russia, The West
More
Scotland Yard recognises that there is no proof of the Kremlin’s role in the Skripals’ poisoning
Additional details: Police admitted that don’t have any evidence that the Russian President had played a role in this case. There was a lot of speculation about who was responsible, who gave the orders, all based on expert opinions from Russia. I need some evidence said Scotland Yard’s Deputy Chief Neil Basu.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Sputnik Belarus
Sputnik Italy
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The disinformation outlet distorts the message of the publication it refers to. In fact, the Russian President is assessed by UK intelligence agencies as ‘likely’ to have approved the nerve agent attack on the Skripals, as can be read in the article. This is why Scotland Yard is also examining the role of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in the Novichok nerve agent attack in Salisbury, according to the Guardian.

At that, no European Arrest Warrant can be issued so far against Putin, says Scotland Yard Deputy Chief Neil Basu: “You’d have to prove he [Putin] was directly involved. In order to get an EAW, you have to have a case capable of being charged in this country. We haven’t got a case capable of being charged.” Scotland Yard Deputy Chief Neil Basu states that “The whole of the investigation is still a live criminal investigation”.

Two Russian intelligence officers “Petrov” and “Boshirov” (believed to be false names) have been charged by Scotland Yard with the attempted murder of the Skripals and murder of Dawn Sturgess. They will be arrested if they travel outside Russia within the European Union, Neil Basu confirmed. The two Russians charged are believed to be part of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency. They were also charged with the use and possession of Novichok, contrary to the Chemical Weapons Act.

See more disinformation cases on Skripal case here.

Keywords: novichok, GRU, Sergei Skripal
Countries: Italy, UK, Russia, Belarus, France
More
Only the Soviet past remains of Ukraine's space industry
Additional details: With the collapse of the Soviet Union, independent Ukraine inherited a significant piece of the formerly unified Soviet space industry. After the untimely death of the USSR, Ukrainian space enterprises were literally "left out in the cold."

Against the backdrop of increasingly brave statements about the "bright future", in fact, Ukraine is more and more immersed in the pitch dark Middle Ages, in which even rockets mastered in production under the USSR are already becoming some kind of magical technology of forgotten ancestors.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Vzgliad
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine as a failed state.

In fact, in the space industry, Ukraine cooperates with 30 countries, including China. According to the State Space Agency of Ukraine, from 1991 to 2018, 158 rocket launches were carried out, which were made by Ukrainian enterprises. Ukraine also takes part in the international Antares and VEGA carrier projects.

Further debunking by Stop Fake.

Keywords: Ukraine, Abandoned Ukraine
Countries: USSR, Ukraine
More
The Baltic States are perpetuating the myth of the Soviet occupation
Additional details: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia cannot stand the situation, when Moscow gets in their face with historical truth, discounting the myths of "Soviet occupation". Russia and its fireworks remind the nationalists in the Baltic States that they lost the WW2 together with their Führer.

Political successors of Hitler's accomplices are in power in the Baltic States. They cannot bear the fireworks to honour the liberation of the Baltic cities from Nazis, because these fireworks remind them of their defeat.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Rubaltic.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazi Baltic States, with the aim to revise history and deny Soviet occupation.

On the 23rd of August, 1939, Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression (Molotov-Ribbentrop) pact, whose secret protocols divided the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Romania into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence. The secrets behind the the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact led to  World War II and all its consequences. Shortly after the pact was signed, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany on 1 September and by Soviets on 17 September in 1939, followed by the Soviet aggression against Finland, and in June 1940  - occupation of the Baltic States and part of Romania.

After Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941, the Baltic States were occupied by Nazi Germany until 1944 when the region reverted to Soviet control.

Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the re-capturing of the Baltic States did not bring freedom, but Soviet repressions and occupation, which lasted for 50 years. The estimated war and occupation deaths are at 90,000 in Estonia, 180,000 in Latvia, and 250,000 in Lithuania. Furthermore, It has been estimated that between 1946 and 1953 deportations and guerrilla deaths reached 95,000 in Estonia, 125,000 in Latvia, and 310,000 in Lithuania.

The disinformation message appeared when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania protested Moscow's plans to celebrate with fireworks the anniversary of Red Army re-capturing the Baltic States' capitals.

 

Keywords: USSR, Occupation, Nazi/Fascist, Baltic states
Countries: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania
More
US is going to use ISIS for guerrilla and subversive activities
Additional details: After the defeat of ISIS, the Americans changed their tactics in order to use this terrorist group for guerrilla/subversive activities.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Abkhazia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives that the US and other Western countries are supporting and using jihadist groups to advance geopolitical goals.

There is no evidence that the US has supported radical Islamist terrorist groups in Syria. The US-led military campaign in Syria has been fighting ISIS and Islamic terrorists along with the Global Coalition Against Daesh. Background and a similar case can be seen here and here.

Keywords: Terrorism financing, Terrorism
Countries: US, Syria
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The Baltic States refuse to celebrate the victory over Fascism
Additional details: Soviet occupation is the favourite topic of Baltic politicians, inspired by the Americans.They have big problems in the Baltics.They have borrowed a lot of money from Europe, but now it is time to return it. Adults and young people left to work in other EU countries, only old people and children stayed. The only trump card for those countries is to keep this anti-Russian and anti-Soviet trend. Now, the Baltic states refuse to participate as millions of people of the planet celebrate the victory over fascism. On July 10, 1944, Soviet units liberated the northern part of Vilnius and entered the Old Town, and on July 13, Vilnius was completely liberated.


 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Baltnews.lt
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to revise the history and deny the fact of Soviet occupation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

On the 23rd of August, 1939, Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression (Molotov-Ribbentrop) pact, whose secret protocols divided the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Romania into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence. The secrets behind the the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact led to World War II and all its consequences. Shortly after the pact was signed, Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany on 1 September and by Soviets on 17 September in 1939, followed by the Soviet aggression against Finland, and in June 1940 - occupation of the Baltic States and part of Romania.

After Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941, the Baltic States were occupied by Nazi Germany until 1944 when the region reverted to Soviet control.

Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the re-capturing of the Baltic States did not bring freedom, but Soviet repressions and occupation, which lasted for 50 years. The estimated war and occupation deaths are at 90,000 in Estonia, 180,000 in Latvia, and 250,000 in Lithuania. Furthermore, It has been estimated that between 1946 and 1953 deportations and guerrilla deaths reached 95,000 in Estonia, 125,000 in Latvia, and 310,000 in Lithuania.

The disinformation message appeared when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania protested Moscow's plans to celebrate with fireworks the anniversary of Red Army re-capturing the Baltic States' capitals.

It also includes recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobic and decaying Baltic States.

Keywords: Occupation, Russophobia, Baltic states
Countries: Baltic states
More
Navalny is financed by the West as a fifth column against Russia
Additional details: Aleksei Navalny is a project of the Western special forces. He has been leading our "fifth column" under the cover of western NGOs. "Navalny" is a US project, just like "Saakashvili", "Yushchenko", "Guaido" and "Zelinskyy". All of the, except for the last one, has attended training as "young leaders" in America.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Topwar.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. The article is in line with a narrative that protests, in this case in Russia, are always financed by outside forces. Similar cases can be found here.

Keywords: Protest, Colour revolutions
Countries: US, Russia
More
Female Russophobic writer Alexievich confesses to lesbian love
Additional details: Female Russophobic writer Svetlana Alexievich confessed to lesbian love. Alexievich has become an icon of the Russophobic nationalist opposition in Belarus.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): EA Daily
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Attempt to defame a Belarusian Nobel Prize Winner Svetlana Alexievich. See previous disinformation case: Svetlana Alexievich was awarded the Nobel Prize because Swedes envy Russian victory in the battle of Poltava

Svetlana Alexievich became a focus of attacks from numerous Russian mass-media (see also here) after her statements criticising the undemocratic regimes in Russia and Belarus.

Pro-Kremlin immediately labelled Alexievich a Russophobe, although she has underlined many times how much she loves certain aspects of Russian culture.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, LGBT
Countries: Russia, Belarus
More
The protests in Moscow were coordinated from the US
Additional details: Numerous sources and experts confirm that the rallies of the so-called “opposition” in Moscow in recent weeks were coordinated and financed from abroad. The US embassy is openly advertising a rally in Moscow.

US State Department has prepared a manual on protest activities in Russia, which is distributed through the ECHR. The manual instructs the protesters to provoke the arrests, so that the number of detainees exceeds 1 million. The goal is to accuse the Russian authorities of tyranny and project this idea all over the world. The Western puppet masters expect that Russia's economy will weaken, if it has to make payments on the basis of the ECHR verdicts, especially to a million people.

We are talking about full-scale intervention, which aims to overthrow the legally elected Russian government.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): riafan.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about US-funded "colour revolutions" and US and its global role. Similar disinformation messages also appeared in cases of GeorgiaUkraineBelarus and Venezuela.

The protests in Moscow started in July after the election committee banned opposition candidates from running for the elections to the city council - the Moscow City Duma, disqualifying their ballots because of what officials claimed were irregularities in the 5,000 signatures each had to gather to run. The protesters also demanded the right to fair elections and the right to free assembly.

The Russian state officials and the media, however, circulated the message that the protests were organised by the U.S. embassy in Moscow. The reason for this claim was a message (a demonstration alert) published on an official website of the Embassy on 2 August. This alert, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, amounted to U.S. interference in Russian affairs. The U.S. embassy's message, however, was addressed to U.S. citizens living in the Russian capital and warned of an unauthorised protest and a likely heavy police presence, suggesting that Americans avoid the area. Such alerts are a regular practice of U.S. and other embassies to inform their own citizens of different public protests and other mass events.

The US is not a party to the European Convention of Human Rights, and thus has no relations or influence to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Recently Russia's voting rights in the Council of Europe were restored, which means its citizens can appeal to the EHCR if a state violates their rights.

Russian officials have long been accusing the U.S. of organising protests in Russia, especially since the 2011-12 protests when thousands of Russian came on to the streets to protest against Putin's decision to return to the Presidency after being Prime Minister from 2008-2012.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Colour revolutions
Countries: Russia
More
Fitch agency confident in economic stability of Russia despite unfair sanctions
Additional details: The international rating agency Fitch believes that Moscow will be able to cope with the new sanctions imposed by the United States on its financial sector because of the alleged involvement of Russia in the Skripal case, although no evidence of such involvement has been provided so far.

This decision [of Fitch] to upgrade Russia’s rating confirms once again that the Russian economy has fully adapted to existing challenges and is able to achieve new growth rates.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Disinformation message, which involves recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the Skripal poisoning.

Following the activities in Salisbury in March 2018, two GRU (Russia military intelligence) agents were charged with the attempted murder of the Skripals in a criminal case in London. Pursuant to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (the CBW Act), the United States imposed a second round of sanctions on Russia for its use of a “novichok” nerve agent in the attack. The U.S. introduced additional sanctions banning U.S. banks from buying new issues of non-ruble Eurobonds but leaving the much-larger market for ruble securities untouched,  as reported by Bloomberg.

Fitch’s press release states that “the continued threat of sanctions' escalation will weigh on Russia's external financing flexibility, investment and growth prospects”. It also clearly indicates “failure to raise growth”: “Current sanctions and uncertainty regarding the potential type and scope of future sanctions will continue to weigh on growth prospects, create risk for sovereign and external financing flexibility and continue to test Russia's macroeconomic and financial sector resilience. Perceived failure to raise growth and living standards could increase political and social pressures on the policy framework to provide greater support for domestic economic activity”, - according to Fitch.

See other disinformation cases on “noneffective” economic sanctions against Russia here.

 

 

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Sanctions
Countries: US, Russia
More
All US partners have to accept the US narrative about termination of the INF Treaty
Additional details: It is not surprising Angela Merkel accused Russia for the demise of the INF treaty. The US narrative about termination of the INF Treaty is now accepted by all its partners as an axiom. To say something else is to admit Washington's cardinal untruth.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Srbija
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the INF Treaty.

NATO stated that Russia bears sole responsibility for the demise of the INF Treaty because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the Treaty. The US has gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometres and has spent almost six years in dialogues with Russia to try to resolve Russia’s non-compliance. However, Russia consistently refused to address US and NATO concerns.

In July 2014, the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5500 kilometres. In March 2017, a senior US military official accused Russia of deploying the new missile, which posed a threat to NATO and facilities within the NATO area of responsibility.

Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by the NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on 4 December 2018. In a joint statement released after the meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on 4 and 5 December 2018, NATO Foreign Ministers stated that “Allies have concluded that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.”

Keywords: INF Treaty, Nuclear issues, Angela Merkel
Countries: US, Russia
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Young people leave the Baltic states. The empty territory will be used either for NATO bases or to home migrants
Additional details: Unemployment prompts young people to leave the Baltic states. As a result, the UN has already put Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on the list of countries which may become depopulated in the coming decades. NATO will deploy its bases on the depopulated territories of the Baltics, or they may become a shelter for Asian and African migrants.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Georgia 00:01 - 00:58 (whole video)
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Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the Baltic states are disappearing due to declining demographics. Sputnik's claim contains several disinformation statements and conspiracy theories.

  1. The UN reports do not include any list of endangered countries. According to the UN data booklet on world population prospects, the population of the Baltic states will decline in 2050 and 2100, but they are far from “extinction.” The tendency of population decline has been observed in Eastern Europe, as well as in other parts of the world.
  2. According to Eurostat data, the unemployment rate, as well as the youth unemployment rate decreased in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 2005-2018.
  3. Two open questions at the end of the video that NATO will deploy its military bases on the depopulated territory of the Baltic States or that these territories may be used to home Asian and African migrants are conspiracy theories.

See more here and similar disinformation narratives here.

Keywords: migration, Demography, NATO
Countries: Baltic states
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South Ossetia' authorities link atypical plant and animal diseases to Lugar Lab
Additional details: The activities of the Richard Lugar Public Healthcare Research Centre in Tbilisi are to blame for the cases of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), nodular prurigo, and the brown marmorated stink bug in South Ossetia.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Ossetia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Long-lasting conspiracy theories about the Lugar Laboratory. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has been disseminating conspiracies about the work of the Lugar Laboratory for years, claiming that it spreads dangerous viruses and exports them to Russia.

For the diseases to spread from the Lugar Laboratory to the occupied territories of Georgia, the outbreaks should have first been recorded in Tbilisi, within the functionality area of the lab.

In fact, the first case of ASFV was recorded in Georgia several years before the launch of the lab in 2007. As for nodular prurigo, it spread in the whole of Eastern Europe in 2016, with only four cases recorded in Georgia. As for the brown marmorated stink bug – its origin is South-East Asia, from where it first spread to Abkhazia and then to other regions of Georgia. See more about the case here.

Read more about Lugar lab on Myth Detector. See other disinformation cases against the Lugar Lab here.

Keywords: Lugar
Countries: Georgia
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US destroyed INF treaty thus threatening global security
Additional details: The US became the grave digger of the INF Treaty. The US’s decision leads to negative developments in the whole architecture of global security and strategic stability.

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Russia made every effort to preserve the INF Treaty and to bring the Americans into a constructive conversation.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Abkhazia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the INF Treaty.

Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the agreement. In July 2014, the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5500 kilometres.

In a joint statement released after the meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 December 2018, NATO Foreign Ministers stated that the United States has remained in full compliance with its obligations under the INF Treaty since it entered into force and that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security."

The US and NATO have repeatedly engaged with Russia to preserve the INF treaty. For background on pro-Kremlin myths on the INF Treaty see here.

Keywords: INF Treaty
Countries: US
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Donald Tusk implements the German vision of the European Union
Additional details: It is not a secret that the President of the European Council Donald Tusk implements the German concept of the European Union.
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Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
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Disproof note:

This message is a part of the Kremlin’s narrative about the undemocratic EU – see examples here and here. Also, it promotes the idea that civil servants from smaller EU members do the bidding of the larger, older EU member states instead of being independent, impartial, objective and loyal – see example here.

It also misrepresents the role currently held by Donald Tusk, as President of the European Council. The President's role is to chair European Council meetings and drive forward its work, ensure the preparation of European Council meetings and the continuity of their work, help to facilitate cohesion and consensus within the European Council and present a report to the European Parliament after each European Council meeting. Decisions are taken by the representatives of the Member States who make up the Council together with the European Council President and the President of the European Commission and who, depending on the issue, take decisions by simple majority (15 member states vote in favour), qualified majority (55% of member states, representing at least 65% of the EU population, vote in favour) or unanimous voting (all votes are in favour).

Keywords: Euro-scepticism, European Commission, Donald Tusk
Countries: Poland, EU, Germany
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