Sometimes facts can be disinformation. Taken out of context, a quote, a number, a statement or a picture can be deceiving, while factually correct. Lies work more effectively, when they are supported by something factual; something real, something true.

A picture, published by the pro-Kremlin disinformation outlet Sputnik, is a good example of this. Two smiling young men, in front of the burning Notre Dame. The picture itself has been discussed – doctored or not? Sputnik reassures that it is an authentic picture of two young students at the scene, and states that they “did not attract the attention of our correspondent neither during the photo shoot, nor when the photo was published”.

Funny, did the photographer shoot only one frame? Didn’t Sputnik have any other choice, than to publish this very picture? As Kremlin Propagandiste Extraordinaire Dmitriy Kiselyov would say: “A coincidence? I don’t think so!”

Of course, the reality is that this picture was carefully selected among dozens, even hundreds of frames shot by Sputnik’s photographers. Because this one suited Sputnik’s narrative. And Sputnik didn’t then have to instruct the trolls – they knew how to use the photo.

Half-Truths and Full Lies

The French news agency AFP performed an investigation on the story of the picture. It was picked up by far right American and French sites and used to “prove” the Muslims’ reaction to the fire. The two young men in the picture describe to AFP how they in a few hours became the target of international racism.

Other examples of “fact-based disinformation” this week:

Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets are mastering the art of almost not lying. But a half-truth can be just as deceiving as a lie.

News Front Blames the Jews

Of course, there is no shortage of blatant lying as well: pro-Kremlin media continue to repeat fantasies claiming that the illegal Crimean annexation was anything but Moscow land-grabbing; and about Ukraine being controlled by nazis, supported by French President Macron. The usual stuff.

Lies, half-truths, one-percent-truths – the pro-Kremlin disinformation machine certainly has an impact. US based cybersecurity firm SafeGuard Cyber estimates, according to Politico.eu, that “half the population of the EU-countries may have been exposed to some form of Russian-backed disinformation campaign”. The focus for the campaign is the large EU countries, like Germany. Russia-based sites in German, like News Front and South Front, are eager to present anti-migration and anti-EU topics, spicing them up with some anti-Semitic material on “The Jewish Soul of the Bolshevik Revolution“. Sputnik Deutschland keeps parroting how voting in the election to the European Parliament is worthless.

Moscow has mobilised a noisy disinformation campaign to target the EU elections in May, juggling full lies, half-truths, facts and pictures taken out of context; spinning stories, only remotely connected to reality.

It’s a twisted version of the oath “The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth”: The oath of the Kremlin disinformation outlets is “The Half-Truth, a Little of the Truth and a Lot of Stuff Besides the Truth”.

The campaign is loud and obnoxious, but there are methods to find the facts, the truth, the real stories. Check out our tool box for fact-checking and let us, as voters and citizens, keep fighting for clean and fair elections.

EDIT: Removed reference to a story that didn’t meet our criteria for disinformation

Notre-Dame fire might have been arson and a warning to France
Additional details: This year, two great churches of Paris were the object of fires. In the opinion of the most knowledgeable specialists, the Notre-Dame fire is a criminal arson because it could not come unexpectedly like that, on the beams which make a square meter of section and which are 700 years old. Try burning an oak log and you'll see what it takes.
It's probably the work of an intelligence service, because the equipment and the spread of the flame required organisation that probably goes beyond a personal initiative.
These fires must be a warning. For years, we have been denouncing the transfer of population from non-European countries to Europe, especially to France.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik French
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A conspiracy theory not confirmed by facts.

The ongoing police investigation into the Notre Dame fire reveals that it was most likely due to a short circuit in a temporary elevator used for renovation works. The version of arson was not confirmed by any evidence.

Conspiracy claims are based on false allegations. A previous arson attack which took place in Paris was due to presence of homeless people in a church, as previously reported.

See other disinformation cases on Notre Dame fire.

 

Keywords: Notre Dame
Countries: France
More
Foreign media stage family's "death" in Hama
Additional details: Western journalists in the Syrian province of Hama conducted a staged filming of the "death" of a family, allegedly as a result of a chemical attack conducted by Assad government troops.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The story advances recurring pro-Kremlin narratives on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the Western media's complicity in demonizing Moscow and its allies.

The report offers no details as to which correspondents were present at the site, and which Western outlets subsequently reported the "staged" death. Nor does it provide the source or any specifics of the claim that a chemical attack had been perpetrated.

Keywords: Mainstream media, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, Syria
More
The war in Donbas is carried out solely because of the will of Kyiv
Additional details: The war has been going on for five years now, and no changes are planned. The fighting is carried out solely because of the will of Kyiv.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine, and it is not a civil war.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 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.

Similar disinfo cases you could find here and here.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War crimes, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine
More
American delegation in Crimea condemned the actions of NATO in the Black Sea
Additional details: The head of the American delegation to Crimea said that the expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia and the actions of the North Atlantic Alliance in the Black Sea are cause for concern.

The delegation marched with the flag "No NATO" during the May Day parade in Simferopol as well.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/20190501/1553217372.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that foreign delegations are recognising Crimea as part of Russia.

Similar "delegations" have already visited occupied Crimea. The US embassy in Ukraine made a statement that “the delegation is in no way connected with the US government,” and the United States is “unswervingly on the side of Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression".

 

Keywords: NATO, Sanctions, Crimea
Countries: United States, Russia, Ukraine
More
Due to a very high decline in Lithuania’s population, the country will be depopulated in 20 years
Additional details: The population decline in Lithuania is so rapid that virtually no people will remain in the country in twenty years. Hence, Lithuania will not need any nuclear energy sector as kerosene lamps will suffice for the remaining people.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is consistent with pro-Kremlin narrative about the socio-economic and demographic degradation in the Baltic states because of their membership of the EU. See earlier disinformation case alleging that the Baltic states are dying because they chose not to be with Russia.

 

 

Keywords: Nuclear issues, Baltic states
Countries: Lithuania
More
There is a Civil War in Ukraine
Additional details: The worst thing is, there is a civil war in Ukraine. [...] The conflict has run through the whole of Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2KFz0Uw94w
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine.

Russia provoked the war in Ukraine, and it is therefore not a civil war.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation". This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 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; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; 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.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

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

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war
Countries: Ukraine
More
There is no evidence for accusations there was an alleged "occupation" of the Crimean peninsula in 2014
Additional details: There is no evidence for accusations there was an alleged "occupation" of the Crimean peninsula in 2014

The Crimea had decided to reunite with Russia by referendum in 2014.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutsch
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.The European Union does not recognise, and continues to strongly condemn, this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order.

For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

Background:

Following the covert invasion of “little green men,” power in Crimea was vested in a makeshift executive headed by Sergey Aksenov, a former mafia enforcer. The new Crimean regime conducted the referendum hastily and at gunpoint, barred impartial observers from entering the peninsula, and instead invited dozens of fringe politicians and activists to “monitor” the procedure, most of them far-right Kremlin loyalists.

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

 

Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukraine nearly had a new Chornobyl disaster at a nuclear power plant
Additional details: The Chornobyl tragedy almost repeated itself in Ukraine.  As the local rescuers reported, a fire broke out at the nuclear power plant in Rivne - a transformer caught fire.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Manipulative headline with exaggerating conclusions. A fire did take place at the Rivne nuclear power plant in Ukraine However, on the official site of the Rivne NPP, it was noted that according to the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), the incident was classified as “zero / out of scale”, that is of little significance in terms of safety.

It was also noted that “there were no violations of the limits and conditions of safe operation. The radiation and ecological status at the RNPP and the adjacent territory has not changed and is within the limits of the current standards”.

This is recurring narrative about insecurity of Ukrainian nuclear power plants and the possibility of a second "Chornobyl" in Ukraine. Similar disinformation cases on the theme: here and here.

 

 

Keywords: Chernobyl, Nuclear issues
Countries: Ukraine
More
Crimea became part of Russia after the referendum following coup d’état
Additional details: Crimea has become a Russian region after a referendum which took place there in March 2014, when 96.77% of Crimea’s population and 95.6% of Sevastopol’s inhabitants voted to become part of Russia. Crimean authorities organized the referendum after the coup d’état.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Crimea’s referendum and Maidan.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on the 16 March 2014. On the 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. 5 years on, the EU re-affirms its unwavering support for Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The Euromaidan protests were a spontaneous reaction among large parts of Ukrainian population, ignited by the decision of former President Yanukovych not to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The Maidan movement resonated with a widespread discontent with corruption and mismanagement under the Yanukovych’s rule.

Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Coup, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian ships illegally crossed the Russian border in the Kerch Strait
Additional details: Ukrainian navy officers, who were detained on 25 November 2018 when the Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed the border with Russia in the Kerch Strait, will be imprisoned until 24 July 2019.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given for illegal border crossing. A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Kerch strait incident.

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

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

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
White Helmets plotting false-flag chemical attack in Syria's Idlib
Additional details: The White Helmets are plotting a new false-flag chemical attack in Syria's Idlib. The Western-backed, pseudo-humanitarian group will then pin the responsibility on the Syrian government.

Last March, the 'civil defence' organisation cooperated with the intelligence services of France and Belgium to stage a similar provocation in the same area. In April 2018, the group staged a chemical attack in the city of Douma.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative blaming Western governments and organizations for "false-flag attacks" in Syria, and painting the White Helmets as terrorists and war criminals.

The report provides zero proof to support the allegation. It even refers to the alleged plot as a "new" attack, alluding to Moscow's earlier and equally outlandish claims. Available evidence on chemical attacks in Syria, however, has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime.

It also remains unexplained why, according to the misinforming outlet, the White Helmets would choose to perpetrate real chemical attacks in one city, but stage fake ones in another. See our recent debunking of Moscow's Douma-related narrative here.

See here for our debunking of the claim that France and Belgium were preparing a false-flag attack of their own.

Keywords: false flag, Douma, Idlib, White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Syria
More
Ukraine needs denazification to stabilise the country
Additional details: It is is essential for Ukraine to rid itself of Nazis in order for stabilisation. Nationalism and neo-nazism, fraught with anti-semitism have to be eliminated for the country to be healthy.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

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

Under denazification, a process and a set of measures is meant to rid societies in Germany, Austria, and other European countries of Nazist ideology. However, neither Ukraine's culture nor press nor judiciary nor politics are marked with this ideology.

Furthermore, the fact that Volodymyr Zelensky who recently won Ukraine's presidential election by landslide is of Jewish ancestry, disproves the allegation about wide-spread neo-Nazism fraught with anti-Semitism in Ukraine.

See an earlier case alleging that Nazis seized power in Ukraine.

Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Ukraine, Conspiracy, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Ukraine
More
The "White Helmets" are preparing new provocations in Syria
Additional details: The "White Helmets", together with the terrorists Dzhebhat an-Nusra, are preparing another provocation using chemical weapons in the province of Idlib. The main goal, as in previous cases, is to blame the Syrian army to discredit officials in Damascus.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=3143049
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti.ru, Russia 24
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is also a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative of crimes and hoaxes perpetrated by the White Helmets.

Pro-Kremlin disinformation has claimed that both the 2017 attack in Khan Sheikhoun and 2018 in Douma were faked. A UN-OPCW Joint Investigation found Syria’s Government responsible for last year’s attack in Khan Sheikhoun.

On 10th of April 2018, Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.  In June 2018, the OPCW members granted it power to assign blame for chemical attacks.

Similar disinformation cases here and here.

Keywords: White Helmets, Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: International, Syria
More
Macron interferes in Ukraine in favour of fascists
Additional details: President Macron is always explaining to other people how they should behave. He is installing a new president in Venezuela, he would like to overthrow the Syrian president, he is interfering in Ukraine in favour of the fascists whom he denounces at home.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/qnkHrzVhU7g
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Western interference in Ukrainian politics. See other cases here, here, here, and here.

See more disinformation cases about "Nazist influences in Ukraine". Volodymyr Zelensky who recently won Ukraine's presidential election with a landslide is of Jewish ancestry.

 

Keywords: Juan Guaido, Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron, Syrian War, Bashar al-Assad, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria, France
More
If all Ukraine supported joining the European Union and NATO, Poroshenko would have received many more votes
Additional details: If Ukrainians supported the course towards the European Union and NATO, the result would have been different.

Poroshenko did a lot towards joining the European Union and NATO, but received only 25% of the votes of the second round.  If the whole of Ukraine supported the course towards the European Union and NATO, Poroshenko would have a received a different percentage of the votes.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): 1tv.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

One of the multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives around the Ukrainian elections.

The latest polls show that 49% of Ukrainians believe that Ukraine should move towards accession to the European Union, and more than 44% support NATO membership for Ukraine.

According to the polls, if a referendum on NATO membership was held, 44.2% of Ukrainians would vote in favour, 30.3% would oppose, and 8.5% would abstain and not vote.  Another 17% of the respondents were undecided or refused to answer the question.

"Thus, 59.3% of Ukrainians who would have participated in the referendum would vote for joining NATO", - the KIIS report said.

Read more disinformation cases on Ukrainian presidential elections 2019 here and here.

 

 

Keywords: NATO, Petro Poroshenko, Elections, Europe
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Sweden cancelled Christmas TV concert not to irritate migrants
Additional details: Swedish TV cancelled broadcast of the most popular Christmas concert, in order not to irritate Muslim immigrants.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: ren.tv/blog/412542
Disinforming outlet(s): REN-TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative about the decline of Christianity in Europe. The outdoor concert 'O, Holy Night' was broadcast live from the city of Örebro by national broadcaster TV4. The broadcast last Christmas was cancelled, due to contract issues, as English language Swedish site The Local writes.

Keywords: migration, Christmas, Europe
Countries: Denmark, Sweden
More
French conservatives believe Notre Dame fire was deliberate
Additional details: The majority of French right-wingers believe that Notre Dame was set ablaze deliberately in a terrorist act. This sentiment is strengthened by the fact that Macron's "state machine" has declared it an accident since day one. French conservatives are not convinced by official explanations about the tragedy. Right-wing French media says that Macron and the pro-Macron liberal media falsifies information about the fire to make it look like an accident and suppress the truth.

There continues to be no real explanation about how a building with one of the world's most advanced fire alarm systems could burn out almost completely, while first responders found no fire and left the cathedral.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Magyar Expressz
Reported by:
Disproof note:

There is no evidence to support the claim that the "majority" of French conservatives or right-wing voters believe that the Notre Dame fire was started deliberately. There is no public data to support such a conclusion. However, pro-Kremlin and far right media in France and elsewhere exploited the tragedy to spread lies and conspiracy theories about the cause of the fire, including unfounded claims that it was a terrorist attack. More examples of this trend are available here.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are still ongoing, but all official sources are treating it as an accident, likely due to a short circuit in a temporary elevator used for renovation works. According to firefighters, the blaze began in the area under renovation. Zero links to terrorism or arson have been established.

Finally, there is no evidence to support the claim that first responders abandoned the scene - on the contrary, they are being honored for their bravery.

Keywords: Notre Dame, Emmanuel Macron, Mainstream media, Media, Terrorism, Conspiracy
Countries: Hungary, France
More
Ukraine is a colony of the US
Additional details: The Ukrainian government practically deprived Donbas and Luhansk of voting rights. Ukraine is a colony of the US.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: axar.az/news/planet/367850.html
Disinforming outlet(s): Axar.az
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation conspiracy about Ukraine's relations with the US and Ukraine's statehood.

The election took place in the context of ongoing armed conflict and other hostilities in the east of the country and the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation.  As a consequence, the election could not be organised in Crimea and certain parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are controlled by illegal armed groups. People from Luhansk and Donetsk occupied territories could vote - but they would have to travel from occupied territories to land controlled by the Ukraine government.

The United States reiterates its unbending support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, within its internationally recognised borders, including its territorial waters.

Keywords: Donetsk, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
A clash of civilizations prompted a domestic military conflict in Ukraine
Additional details: A clash of civilizations prompted a domestic military conflict in Ukraine. The confrontation between Orthodox Slavic and Western Christian civilizations has been manifest in the Ukrainian society. A civilizational factor as a catalyst of domestic military conflict in Ukraine is often overlooked or put in doubt. Ukraine's federalization could soften the negative impact of the civilizational factor, however this scenario was not supported by either the West or Ukrainian oligarchs.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sonar2050
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the war in Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood.

It was Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine, and it is not a civil war or 'domestic military conflict' as the disinformation message alleges.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.  This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 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 that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border.  NATO leaders also demanded that Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; 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.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. Neither US, nor the EU control Ukraine and impose decisions concerning the mode of government (federalism vs unitary state), etc.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: West, Ukraine
More
Czech Republic recognises Juan Guaido despite EU doubts
Additional details: The government of the Czech Republic recognises Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed “president” of Venezuela, despite the doubts of EU member states about this move and the precedent it sets.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Svobodné noviny
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Czech Republic's support for Juan Guaido was not a unilateral decision but rather a coordinated move with 10 other EU member states: Austria, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. The move followed the expiration of an ultimatum for Nicolas Maduro to call a new election.

This is another example of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and the pro-Western opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Keywords: Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro
Countries: Venezuela, Czech Republic, EU
More
US introduced anti-Russian sanctions in exchange for anti-Trump kompromat from Poroshenko team
Additional details: Poroshenko's team was very active in promoting anti-Russian sanctions in Washington. It passed colossal Russia-related volumes of information on to the US Democratic party as part of these activities. The Democrats, however, mostly used this information against Trump rather than against Russia. Generally the information concerning Trump's connections with Moscow was exchanged for US anti-Russian sanctions to please Ukrainian authorities.

For the whole period of the Mueller commission's work, which is over two years, Trump could not do anything about it because media interpreted any his counteractions as an intention to hide his connections with Moscow. However, the official conclusion of the Mueller commission proves that Trump has not developed ties with Moscow. Hence it turned out that Clinton administration violated US laws based on the falsified documents passed by the Poroshenko team alleging illegal Trump ties with Russia.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy theory aiming to diminish the Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election by introducing unfounded claims about collusion between the US Democratic party and Petro Poroshenko.

Mueller's 448-page report though mentions Ukraine a dozen of times, mostly in a part which assesses Paul Manafort's ties to Russia and Ukraine, and does not contain a single mention of Petro Poroshenko.

 

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Donald Trump, Petro Poroshenko, Conspiracy
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
American curators of Zelensky demand Ukraine support US anti-Russian course
Additional details: The US Congress gave new instructions for the work of the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.  American curators demand that Ukraine support the country's anti-Russian course and declare that they will help Volodymyr Zelenskyi in this matter.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: crimea.ria.ru/world/20190503/1116555831.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti (Crimea)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The statement that Ukraine is controlled by "American curators" is one of the most common narratives of Russian propaganda.

The US Congress did not make such statements and did not give any instructions to Ukraine regarding the country's domestic or foreign policy.  The Russian media manipulated information that the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of the US Congress held open hearings on the topic of countering Russian aggression.

As a result of the event, a number of statements were made, which stated that the United States intends to continue to support Ukraine in resisting Russian aggression.  The Committee said that the United States must demonstrate strong support for Ukraine, increase political, diplomatic and military-technical assistance in the fight against Russian aggression.

Also during the meeting, US experts stressed that democratic and free presidential elections were held in Ukraine, and the newly elected head of state will face important tasks: to continue anti-corruption reforms, ensure political stability and economic well-being of the country.

Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Anti-Russian, Russophobia
Countries: United States, Ukraine
More
Sovereignist Parties face censorship in European elections
Additional details: Mainstream media are ignoring sovereignist parties in the EU elections. An alliance of nine anti-migration and EU-sceptic parties performed an event in Prague, without almost no media interest. This media censorship makes it hard for voters event to identify their candidates.

 
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Katehon.com
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about "the elites" censoring media. The event, mentioned in the text, received extensive coverage in international, European and national media.

Keywords: EU elections 2019, Censorship, Media
Countries: Russia
More
Experts on EU-election Russian meddling will be forced to recognise they were wrong, as for the Yellow vests case
Additional details: All elections are subject to Russian interference. The intelligence services of Estonia consider Russian intervention in the European elections very likely. It is a question of propaganda rather than manipulation. Like the Benalla case or the Yellow Vest movement where some have seen the shadow of the Kremlin, it is possible that once again, the so-called experts of the Russian threat will recognise that they were wrong and have to eat their hats.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z6x_sFA4U4, (00:00 - 00:18, 03:25 - 03:36)
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Currently, the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN) in France is in charge of the ongoing investigation of the alleged meddling of Russian social media accounts in the yellow vests protests. Therefore, no experts have been already forced to recognise they were wrong, as the report suggests.

Ahead of the European elections, Microsoft registered cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organisations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, public policy and whom are often in contact with government officials. Microsoft continues to investigate the sources of these attacks, but is confident that many of them originated from a group called Strontium, also known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – which is believed to be associated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. Read more here.

In the past, the 2018 report by the French Foreign Ministry and Ministry for the Armed Forces think tanks says "Russian media, with Sputnik and RT at the head, played a non-negligible role in the diffusion of this information [from the hacked Emmanuel Macron's party En Marche e-mails].What can be safely assumed is that, whoever the perpetrator was, they were at least linked to Russian interests and received help from the American alt-right and French far-right".

See more disinformation cases on Russia's elections meddling in France and elsewhere and on the EU election 2019.

Keywords: EU elections 2019, election meddling
Countries: EU, France
More
US is like 4th Reich
Additional details: [Context: US policy in Venezuela] This is an absolute rule. US is a country that has a clear destiny, which, a bit like the 3rd Reich, believe they are better than all others. They may merit the nickname of the 4th Reich from this point of view.
Language / Targeted audience:
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/B7AMElxiZZA, (00:12 -01:20)
Disinforming outlet(s): RT France
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurrent conspiracy narrative on the US having Nazi-like features.

Background on the situation in Venezuela: 

Nicolas Maduro was officially re-elected president of Venezuela on May 20, 2018.  Several Venezuelan NGOs, such as Foro Penal Venezolano, Súmate, Voto Joven, the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory and the Citizen Electoral Network, expressed their concern over the irregularities of the electoral schedule, including the lack of the Constituent Assembly's competencies to summon the elections, impeding participation of opposition political parties, and the lack of time for standard electoral functions.  After that the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, Australia and the United States expressed concerns on electoral process.

In the declaration on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini reiterated that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The EU has called for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in Venezuela.

Keywords: Donald Trump, Coup
Countries: Venezuela, US
More
Poroshenko leaves legacy of war, poverty, Russophobia
Additional details: The legacy of Petro Poroshenko, who is approaching the end of his five-year presidential term, is marred by war, economic decline, and Russophobic policies.

A recent New York Times op-ed hails the "reforms" which the outgoing Ukrainian leader supposedly spearheaded -- the same reforms which left 13,000 people dead and caused the economy to shrink by 15% in two years.

Moreover, the works of 500 Russian writers have been banned in Ukraine. A further 1,000 Russian artists are prohibited from entering the country,
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation narrative painting Ukraine as a disintegrating, Russia-hating, artificial state.

The cynical notion that Ukrainian leaders are to blame for the 13,000 deaths recorded to date in the Russia-Ukraine conflict -- a covert war of aggression launched by Moscow in spring 2014 -- fits the wider pro-Kremlin narrative on the ongoing hostilities in the Donbas.

The economic free-fall which marked the first years of the Poroshenko presidency has also been linked to the armed conflict, as well as the Russian annexation of Crimea, where plundered industrial facilities and enterprises, losses in labour force, and ruined infrastructure continue to generate billions of dollars in losses annually. Incidentally, the above-mentioned figure of 15% roughly corresponds to the economic output of Crimea and the Donbas before their illegal occupation by Russia (ibid., p. 1).

Russians writers are not banned in Ukraine. In May 2017, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law dictating that the import and sale of books originating in Russia be subject to approval by a relevant state body, and mandating the withdrawal from sale of a number of books advancing anti-Ukrainian propaganda, historical revisionism, and Russian irredentism. An overwhelming majority of Russian literature is freely available for purchase.

The statement on banned "Russian" artists is a gross manipulation of both facts and figures. In accordance with a 2015 law, the Ukrainian Culture Ministry publishes a list of "cultural figures whose actions threaten the national security of Ukraine." As of March 2019, the list contains 148 names -- not 1,000 -- and is not limited to Russians.

Keywords: economy, Anti-Russian, Ukrainian disintegration, Economic difficulties, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, Donbas, Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Lithuania is occupied by NATO
Additional details: Lithuania is a NATO-occupied country.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Berestje-News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is a conspiracy consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Baltic states under external control. Lithuania made a sovereign decision to become part of NATO, joining on the 29 March 2004 by depositing their instruments of accession with the United States Government. Lithuania’s membership in NATO is based upon the provision set forth in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania: “to guarantee the security and independence of the country, welfare of the citizens and their fundamental rights and liberties”.

Generally, lost sovereignty is one of the most common pro-Kremlin propaganda narratives. Pro-Kremlin disinformation sources like to claim that certain countries are no longer truly sovereign. Examples of this narrative are numerous: Ukraine is ruled by foreigners, the Baltic states are not really countries, the EU is directed by Washington.

See also earlier disinformation case alleging that the Baltic states are dying because they chose not to be with Russia.

Keywords: NATO, Conspiracy, Baltic states
Countries: West, Lithuania
More
Russia is not a party in the conflict in the East of Ukraine
Additional details: It should be noted that Russia, contrary to the opinion of these observers, is not a party in the conflict in the East of Ukraine, but acts only as a guarantor of the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring Kremlin narrative about a lack of evidence of the presence of Russian troops involved in war in the East of Ukraine.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 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".

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

More similar disinfo cases on this narrative.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Hybrid war, War in Ukraine, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
There is overwhelming evidence of direct US support of jihadist groups in Syria
Additional details: In Syria, there is overwhelming evidence of direct US support of Jihadist groups from Al Nusra to ISIS, as shown by the declassified DIA documents and by statements of members from the US establishment.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Italia
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US supporting or working together with jihadist groups. There is no evidence that US has supported Daesh, al-Nusra or other Jihadist 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 here and here.

 

 

Keywords: Terrorism financing, Terrorism, Daesh
Countries: US, Syria
More
British intelligence services have disseminated numerous versions of the Skripal incident
Additional details:
British intelligence services are throwing into the public space numerous versions of the incident in Salisbury.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RT Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Classic whataboutism, accusing your critic of exactly what you have been exposed as doing. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Salisbury poisoning. The claim about the UK allegedly staging the Skripals' poisoning is an unfounded conspiracy theory.

UK police and intelligence investigations have produced hard evidence which is sufficient to charge two Russian nationals for the attack on the Skripals. These two individuals have been established as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU.  More British public documents/statements on the case here and here. 

The EU Member States support the UK findings, and decided unanimously to introduce sanctions against the GRU officers responsible and their commanding officers.

More similar cases on this issue.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Intelligence services, Conspiracy
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Contemporary Europe is an Islamic zone and more godless than communism
Additional details: Europe is defacing itself and its existence. It is not Europe of Peter and Paul, it is not Europe of big men and not Europe of big Roman bishops. Contemporary Europe in its anti-Christian spirit is more godless than communism. Communism inherited at least a little bit of Christian morality. Europe has neither that spirit, nor that morality and today it completely destroys Christianity and becomes an Islamic zone.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Islamisation of Europe in line with a similar narrative on the morally decaying West.

 

Keywords: Islamisation, European values, Christianity
Countries: Europe, EU
More
Crimea has become a Russian region following the referendum after the coup d’état
Additional details: Crimea has become a Russian region following the referendum of March 2014 in which 96.77% of the Republic’s population and 95.6% of Sevastopol inhabitants voted to become part of Russia. Crimean authorities organised the referendum after the coup d’état.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Polska
Reported by:
Disproof note:

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Crimea’s referendum and the Maidan.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on the 16th of March 2014. On the 27th of March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. 5 years on, the EU re-affirms its support for Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The Euromaidan protests were a spontaneous reaction among large parts of the Ukrainian population, ignited by the decision of former President Yanukovych not to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The Maidan movement resonated with widespread discontent with corruption and mismanagement under Yanukovych’s rule.

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
White Helmets run an organ trafficking network similar to the one that operated in Kosovo
Additional details: The White Helmets have been using their network of medical centres in Syria to operate an organ trafficking network, involving the forced extraction of organs, similar to the one operated by the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 90s.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Spanish
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The allegation is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to portray the White Helmets as a terrorist and criminal organisation. You can see other examples of it here and here.

The report presents no credible evidence to support the claims, but claims to have interviewed 40 employees of the White Helmets, 20 former “terrorists” and 45 Syrian residents on the ground, .

The reference to Kosovo is an attempt to link these allegations to the so-called "Medicus case" which was tried before a court and brought forward convictions of two doctors. Chief investigators of this case found no evidence of KLA involvement.Sources here and here.

 

 

 

Keywords: White Helmets, Syrian War
Countries: Syria
More
Russian company Rosneft is an object of western defamatory campaign for its successes
Additional details: On 23 April 2019 Reuters introduced amendments into its article that was published a few days earlier. It initially stated that Venezuela bypasses US sanctions on oil exports thanks cooperation with the Russian oil company Rosneft. The amendments followed a very critical Rosneft reaction to Reuters' article. Nobody was surprised by this Rosneft-related defamatory publication because Reuters is regularly exposed on reporting fakes. In the last years even the most authoritative western media and political forces lost their respectability and reputation.

When it comes to Russian gas giant Gazprom, it has built on Soviet successes in the gas sector. The company is a well-known devil for the West. Rosneft is a different story because a series of big Russian successes in the oil sector is a recent phenomenon. A few years ago Moscow began taking control over the world oil market from the west. It hijacked OPEC from Washington by reaching an agreement with Saudi Arabia behind the US's back. Therefore Rosneft is manifestation of a new Russia, which is cunning, sneaky and developing tricky schemes with the so called 'pariah' states (Iran, Venezuela, Syria) to the detriment of Western economic and political interests.

Western hatred towards Rosneft translates into creation of an infernal image of Rosneft and blaming the company for any sins or crimes, and Reuters' publication perfectly fits into this trend.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western anti-Russian activities, in this case activities by Western media directed against Russian oil giant Rosneft.

The mentioned Reuters publication was indeed corrected and an editorial note said Reuters "could not determine payments were made under the proposed arrangement.” It also removed a reference to Evrofinance Mosnarbank and clarified that “experts see no violation of sanctions.”

In a press release on 19 April 2019, Rosneft said "Reuters stopped its activities as information agency and media outlets" and accused Reuters in "systematic spread of disinformation" to damage Russia economy and state. It also said Rosneft plans to turn to law enforcement agencies "to prevent the pseudo-agency's illegal activities in Russia."

While acknowledging initial Reuters erroneous reporting, the allegations about regular fakes by Reuters are ungrounded exaggeration and claims about Western anti-Rosneft campaign amount to conspiracy. Authoritative western media do not run coordinated campaigns against specific Russian companies and are not dictated by western political powers. A high degree of media freedom in Western countries is reflected in the top ranks that Western countries occupy in respective world rankings including World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders.

Keywords: Rosneft, Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Russia
More
West's geopolitical priority is to disrupt Belarus' ties with Russia
Additional details: Belarus is a part of the West's strategy to contain Russia. This strategy aims to create a 'cordon sanitaire' of countries hostile to Russia on its western borders. Belarus is a missing link in the chain of such countries that prevents a 'buffer zone' stretching from the Baltics to the Black Sea. Hence a disruption of ally relations between Russia and Belarus is a key Western geopolitical priority.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RuBaltic
Sozh
Teleskop
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This is a conspiracy theory and recurring disinformation narrative about Western attempts to force Belarus to sever ties with Russia and about the belligerent West attempting to encircle Russia.

See earlier cases alleging that the West has developed 'Great Turan' doctrine and 'Anakonda' plan to encircle Russia with hostile countries.

Read here about the concept of big conspiracy.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Russia, Belarus
More
Belarus becomes an epicentre of West's struggle over Eastern Europe
Additional details: On the eve of Belarus' elections, the country is becoming an epicentre of Western struggle to control Eastern Europe. The level of competition over Belarus is linked to the weakening of the West and a revival of Russia's military and political strength. Faced with systemic crisis, the West desperately needs a success story. This explains why the West's interest toward Belarus is the highest today. The latest Western success story was a coup d'état in Ukraine which happened a result of mass protests under the motto of European choice. Belarus' turnaround would become an even more conclusive evidence of the remaining might and attractiveness of the Euro-Atlantic space.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): RuBaltic
Sozh
Teleskop
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is conspiracy combining various recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about the EU's and West's' imminent collapse, a coup in Ukraine, and Western attempts to organize a colour revolution in Belarus.

Read more about the 5 most common propaganda narratives concerning the West.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Colour revolutions, Coup, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
More
The West began destabilising Belarus through religious issues and Kurapaty memorial site
Additional details: The West began generously paying Belarusian opposition for mixing politics and religion. This decision was made after failures to destabilize the country through social and political spheres. As a result, Belarusian opposition began a crusade against the Orthodox church from Kurapaty memorial site. Nobel prize winner in literature, Svetlana Aleksievich, a number of civic activists, opposition politicians and a member of parliament Anna Kanapackaya declared war against the Orthodox Church.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Berestje-News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory consistent with the pro-Kremlin narratives about Western attempts to stage a colour revolution in Belarus and that the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is favoured by the West in order to organise a full-scale split from the Russian Orthodox Church and to disrupt Russia-Belarus ties.

Neither Noble prize winner Svetlana Aleksievich nor other individuals mentioned in the publication declared a war or hostile activities towards the Orthodox Church as alleged.

Kurapaty is an area on the outskirts of Minsk, where at least 30,000 people (according to some estimates, up to 250,000 people) were executed for political reasons by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, in the period between 1937 and 1941. In 1993 the site was included in the register of the Cultural Properties of Belarus as the first-category of cultural heritage.

On 4 April 2019, the Belarusian authorities, without a prior notification  began digging up wooden crosses at the Kurapaty memorial site. These actions provoked protests from the population in Kurapaty, critical statements by various public figures and disapproval from representatives of the Orthodox, Greek-Catholic and Catholic churches. Many other religious organisations are also speaking out against them (including the Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church) because they consider Kurapaty an important memorial site.

See an earlier disinformation case alleging that Kurapaty memorial site is a Western project to ruin Belarusian statehood.

Keywords: Orthodox Church, Colour revolutions, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Belarus
More
Totalitarian sectarians financed by the West aim to destroy Orthodox church in Belarus
Additional details: Opposition leader Mikalai Statkevich, a chairman of totalitarian Satanist sect Narodnaya Hramada (People's Assembly) proclaimed a crusade against the Orthodox church in Belarus. He is supported by the self-proclaimed Belarusian National Congress and a sectarian protestant community named in honour of John the Baptist. Svetlana Aleksievich, a Noble prize winner in literature, also called for a sectarian coup.

Leanid Akalovich of the Belarusian Authocephalous Orthodox Church is the political face of this group. His mission is to orchestrate the Ukrainian scenario in Belarus. Hence in the post-Soviet space, an open war of Authocephalous churches is unfolding against the Orthodox church, the former supported by the Belarusian opposition. And as long as the Western sponsors feed them, they will bark like dogs.

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

Conspiracy theory consistent with the pro-Kremlin narrative that the Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (BAOC) is favoured by the West in order to organise a full-scale split from the Russian Orthodox Church and to disrupt Russia-Belarus ties.

Politician Mikalai Statkevich called followers of all religions to gather for a public prayer for the victims of Soviet political repressions in Kurapaty rather than for a crusade against the Orthodox church as alleged. The Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People's Assembly) is an unregistered social democratic political party in Belarus rather than a "totalitarian satanist sect" as alleged. The claim that the whole Belarusian opposition supports the BAOC are ungrounded as most of Belarusian opposition parties and movements have never voiced their support for BAOC or publicly spoken about this issue at all.

Kurapaty is an area on the outskirts of Minsk, where at least 30,000 people (according to some estimates, up to 250,000 people) were executed for political reasons by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD in the period between 1937 and 1941. In 1993 the site was included in the register of the Cultural Properties of Belarus as the first-category of cultural heritage.

On 4 April 2019, the Belarusian authorities, without a prior notification of society began digging up wooden crosses at the Kurapaty memorial site. These actions provoked protests from the population in Kurapaty and disapproval from representatives of the Orthodox, Greek-Catholic and Catholic churches; not only the BAOC. Many other religious organisations are also speaking out against them (including the Belarusian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church) because they consider Kurapaty an important memorial site.

See an earlier disinformation case alleging that Kurapaty memorial site is a western project ro ruin Belarusian statehood.

Keywords: Orthodox Church, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Belarus
More
Lithuania promotes terrorism in Belarus
Additional details: Lithuania plans to commemorate Polish revolutionary Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski who it is claimed, without good reason, to be Belarusian. In their own interests, the West and Russophobia advocates have seemingly selected the little-known terrorist Kalinowski, as a Belarusian national hero, to promote terrorism. This encourages Belarusians willing to commit crime to obey orders from Western curators.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Berestje-News
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This message is built around conspiracies and ungrounded claims consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Western strategy to promote terrorism in Belarus and to make the country an anti-Russian bastion.

Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski, also known as Kastuś Kalinoŭski was a 19th-century writer, lawyer and revolutionary. As one of the leaders of the Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish national revival and the leader of the 1863-1864 uprising (also known as January uprising) against Imperial Russia, Kalinowski is considered a national hero in Belarus, Lithuania and Poland.

The monument to Kalinowski in the Belarusian town of Svislach where Kalinowski graduated from a local school was established in 1958.

In 2017-18 Lithuanian archaeologists found the remains of Kalinowski and other leaders of the uprising in the centre of Vilnius. The Lithuanian authorities plan to rebury their remains and to open a monument to the January uprising in 2019. In response to an appeal by Belarusian public figures to the Lithuanian state,  the Lithuanian government stated it plans that the inscriptions on the monument will be in Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish.

Keywords: Occupation, Russophobia, NATO, Terrorism, Conspiracy
Countries: West, Lithuania, Belarus
More
Kyiv admitted that Russia is protecting the residents of Donbas
Additional details: Ukraine recognised that Russia is protecting the residents of Donbas. The country's leadership said that Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to ease the procedure for obtaining Russian passports for residents of Donbas in order to be able to protect the citizens of his country.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Ukraina.ru
Luga1news.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The news in the Russian media appeared against the backdrop of a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin dated May 1 about the simplified granting of Russian citizenship to residents of the occupied territories of Ukraine - those who lived in Crimea before annexation, but left the peninsula after the Russian seizure, as well as those who now live in areas controlled by militants, so called "LNR" and "DNR".

Claims that Ukraine admitted Russia is protecting residents are not true. Ukraine did not make such statements. On the contrary, after the signing of the Russian decree in Kyiv said that Putin had taken such measures in order to destabilise the situation in Donbas, legalize the "LNR" and "DNR" militants, and protect them from the Ukrainian court after the end of the war and the de-occupation of the Ukrainian territories.

The Ukrainian government emphasises that people who are citizens of Ukraine and take part in illegal military formations of Donbas are collaborators. The Kremlin will issue passports primarily to its mercenaries. Russia took this step to legalise its aggression against Ukraine under the pretext that the Kremlin allegedly “protects its citizens” in the territories of the groups.

 

Keywords: Occupation, Donbas
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Western media have a list of individuals and organisations to target with defamatory campaigns
Additional details: The Western media have a list of individuals and organisations against whom they run defamatory campaigns, disregarding basic rules and standards of journalist ethics. The list includes Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad, Victor Orban, the Alternative for Germany, Rosneft, and others.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Belarus
Reported by:
Disproof note:

This conspiracy is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western media outlets as subservient to Western political elites.

Reputable western media do not run coordinated campaigns against specific individuals or organisations on someone's orders. A high degree of media freedom in Western countries is reflected in the top ranks these countries occupy in respective world rankings including the World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders.

See an earlier case alleging that The Guardian is controlled by MI6.

Keywords: Viktor Orban, Mainstream media, Donald Trump, Media, Vladimir Putin, Conspiracy, Bashar al-Assad
Countries: West, The West
More
Ukraine’s new language law violates country’s constitution
Additional details: On April 25 the Ukrainian Parliament passed a new language law, that is a violation of Ukraine’s Constitution, Russian speakers will be discriminated against and their rights will be violated. The new law violates scores of international agreements and treaties that Ukraine was party to. The law for obligatory use of Ukrainian language in the state sector is the cherry on the “Russophobic” cake that Ukraine has been baking for 5 years.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 time 05:05
Ukraina.ru
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The new language law simply makes use of Ukrainian mandatory in all official government and administration business. Suggesting the new law violates the special status of the Russian language supposedly enshrined in the Constitution is a fake; Russian has never had special status in Ukraine.

Furthermore, article 10 of the Ukrainian Constitution grants special status to the Ukrainian language as the official state language. Article 11 of the Constitution meanwhile, guarantees the development and free functioning of indigenous and minority languages, be they Greek, Bulgarian or Russian.

Claiming that the new language law violates international treaties and charters is another example of distortion and fear mongering by the Russian media regarding the use of language in Ukraine.

The European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, which Ukraine ratified, is designed to protect and promote regional and minority languages and to enable speakers to use them both in private and public life. In no way does the new language law infringe on the rights of minority languages, Ukraine continues to support national minority languages in culture and education.

Read more cases about the new Ukrainian law here.

Keywords: Russian language, Russophobia
Countries: Ukraine
More
Western-propagandist news on Venezuela is spread by Soros-owned media
Additional details: The nature of Czech media coverage of the crisis in Venezuela is connected to its ownership structures. In particular, the Czech online news outlet, Seznam.cz, is influenced by its owner – the Tiger Holding Four company, which belongs to George Soros.
Language / Targeted audience:
Disinforming outlet(s): Nová republika
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The ownership information of Seznam.cz is outdated. In January 2016, the platform’s founder, Ivo Lukačovič, bought back all foreign-held minority shares, including from the Tiger Holding Four company. Accordingly, the claim that George Soros influences the editorial agenda of Seznam.cz is unsubstantiated.

This is another example of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation and conspiracy theories about Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist George Soros.

Keywords: Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Mainstream media, Media, Conspiracy, George Soros
Countries: Venezuela, Czech Republic
More


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