On Monday the pro-Kremlin media claimed that Russia is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine because there is a civil war there. They also said that there have never been and are no Russian armed forces in southern and eastern Ukraine. Sadly this would only be true if pro-Kremlin media were able to build a time-travelling machine and used it extensively.

Ukraine was constantly in the crosshairs of Kremlin disinformation last year and it seems that the country will remain there this year as well. This week there were again false accusations of Ukraine being an aggressor in Donbas and in the Kerch strait.

The well-known narrative about Ukraine as a “failed state” was also present, as there were incorrect claims about Ukraine’s plans to close its nuclear power plants due to a shortage of uranium. In addition, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was accused of serving the interests of oligarchs and we were told that Ukraine would soon reach the top of the list of countries with the biggest debt. However, those claims only ring true in pro-Kremlin media; elsewhere they appear for what they are – accusations without evidence.

Last but not least, pro-Kremlin media tried to disinform about the dispute over the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church claiming that the whole process is a pre-election trick and “tomos”, i.e. the document with the decree of Ukrainian autocephaly, is not entirely real. Both of those narratives are used to undermine the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and at the same time discredit the upcoming presidential elections in the country.

Fascism special

On 13th of January, the Lithuanians commemorated the night in 1991 when Soviet troops attempted to crush the country’s re-established independence. That night Soviet troops killed 14 unarmed civilians who were amongst the crowd standing as a human shield to protect the TV tower and the country’s only TV station. Pro-Kremlin disinformation has consistently tried to put these events into a completely different and cynical light, claiming that the 14 people were killed by fellow Lithuanians.

As if attacking the memory of 14 innocent people was not enough, pro-Russian media also had a problem with the annual Freedom Prize, which the Lithuanian parliament gave to seven freedom fighters – the Forest Brothers, who took up armed resistance against the Soviet occupation at the end of WW2.

The pro-Kremlin media has long been slandering the Baltic Forest Brothers as Nazi collaborators, in attempts to discredit the Baltic States’ independence struggle and whitewash the history of Soviet occupation. This year the rhetoric was updated to reflect more current trends, as the Forest Brothers were also labelled as terrorists.

Disinformers also used the occasion to praise Stalin’s regime as “not bloody and very humane”. A regime, which, according to estimates, killed around 20 million people.

New narratives

The planned emergence of a new Republic of North Macedonia (FYROM) inspired pro-Kremlin media to come up with claims that the country has been forced into its name change and NATO accession by other countries and that there are mass protests against the new name. Those with a keen eye will probably notice that the accusation of being a puppet of the west is something that has been heavily used by the Kremlin media against Ukraine as well.

Last but not least – a laboratory in Georgia has for some time been in the epicentre of outright conspiracy theories. This week there were claims – without any evidence to support them – that biologists from a U.S. military medical group and some private contractors could have performed secret experiments on Georgians and that nearly 100 people died after a free Hepatitis C elimination program did not go as planned.

In reality the laboratory facility is part of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), which became operational in August 2013. The Lugar center is a top-tiered institution in the NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory for the Georgia’s public health system.

Crimea has been Russian since 1783 and this was confirmed by the 2014 referendum
Additional details: Crimea, which has been Russian since 1783, was transferred to the Socialist Republic of Ukraine for administrative reasons in 1954 by Nikita Krushchev, then-leader of the Soviet Union. In 2014, the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula expressed their choice via referendum to return to Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: French
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik FR
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated that “[t]he information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government." Click here for more information.

In addition, Mustafa Dzhemilev disclosed that Vladimir Putin called him on March 12th 2014 announcing that Tatarstan is very happy being part of Russia and that Crimean Tatars will be happy as well.  Announced on March 27th 2014, the "referendum" in Crimea took place on March 16th. On April 17th 2015, Vladimir Putin admitted that "[Russian] soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion".

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

The claim that Crimea is part of Russia is a recurring disinformation narrative.

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, War in Ukraine, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, France
More
There has never been Russian forces in Ukraine, Russia is not a party in the conflict in Ukraine, it is a civil war
Additional details: There are no and never has been Russian armed forces in southern and eastern Ukraine. (35:40)

Russia is not a party in the conflict in Ukraine, it is a civil war. (39:50)
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK-UntXwq7Y
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @Rossiya 1, time 35:40, 39:50
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 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/144158.pdf
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. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_50090.htm#

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilize, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow. http://www.dia.mil/Portals/27/Documents/News/Military%20Power%20Publications/Russia%20Military%20Power%20Report%202017.pdf?ver=2017-06-28-144235-937

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/vladimir-putin-admits-russian-military-presence-ukraine

Keywords: Civil war, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
Kyiv will have to abandon its nuclear power plants due to uranium deficit
Additional details: Kyiv will have to close its nuclear power plants due to uranium deficit.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Moskovskij Komsomolets, News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about nuclear issues and Ukraine. No evidence given for any global uranium deficit.

Ukrainian Energoatom has agreements on fuel deliveries both with the US Westinghouse and Russian TVEL. The share of the deliveries by Western companies is growing and the Russian share decreasing. Ukraine aims to move to use Western fuel starting from 2025.

Further debunking by the StopFake.

Keywords: Nuclear issues
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople demands Ukraine money for monasteries in Crimea
Additional details: In Ukraine, the caricature government finally squeezed out of itself a caricature church. // The false patriarch Filaret and the president Poroshenko, hated in Ukraine, handed over everything. Around ten stauropegic monasteries and dozens of churches will be handed over to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

//







[Ecumenical Patriarch] Bartholomew of Constantinople has said that the monasteries in Crimea need to be handed over, Poroshenko answered that he cannot do that. Then Bartholomew said: you have to transfer finances then.








 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: vesti7.ru/video/1860637/episode/13-01-2019/
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti Nedeli @Rossiya 1
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation around the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

In October the St. Andrew's Church, located in Kyiv, was handed over to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for permanent use. There has been public discussion about transferring one church in Lviv in the same manner, but there is no evidence of plans to hand over dozens of churches.

Likewise there is no evidence of any discussions about fincancial compensation of the monasteries in Crimea between the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

Debunking by the Insider.

Keywords: autocephaly, Orthodox Church
Countries: Ukraine
More
UN Global Compact for Migration is classified and will result in thousands of migrants coming to Georgia
Additional details: UN Global Compact for Migration is a classified document.

//

It will cause a new wave of Asian and African settlement in Georgia, which can be compared to the invasions of Mongols, Turks and Persians.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Asaval - Dasavali, p. 20
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The UN Global Compact for Migration is a public document, available on the UN webpage.

//

The aim of the UN Global Compact is to better manage migration at local, national, regional and global levels, in a cooperative manner. It is non-legally binding; any measures taken to tackle migration are within the remit of the signatory countries. Therefore, the document does not force Georgia or any other country to let in any migrants and as such, cannot result in new waves of migrants.

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on migration and UN Global Compact for Migration.

Keywords: migration, Global Compact for Migration, UN
Countries: United Nations, Georgia
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Tomos of autocephaly issued to Ukraine by the Archbishop of Constantinople is a dirty political provocation for the Orthodox realm
Additional details: Tomos issued by the Archbishop of Constantinople Bartholomew is a provocation of the Orthodox realm. It is dirty politics that has no connection to canonical law, Christianity and faith. There is no shadow of a doubt that the incumbent Archbishop Bartholomew has a pro-American geopolitical orientation. His determination in this matter is in line with strict instructions from Washington. He had already promised autocephaly to Yushchenko, but then the instruction was not so strict.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.1tv.ru/news/issue/2019-01-12/21:00#1
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya @ 1 kanal (12:00 - 14:30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about autocephaly and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

For more information on the tomos of the autocephaly see here.

 

Keywords: autocephaly, Provocation, Orthodox Church
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Ukrainian navy violated Russian borders in the Azov Sea
Additional details: On November 25, three ships of the Ukrainian navy violated Russian borders in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. They were carrying out dangerous manoeuvrers, ignoring the legitimate demands of the Russian authorities.

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

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine violating Russian territorial integrity in the Sea of Azov.

The use of the Kerch strait and the Sea of Azov is regulated by a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004. According to the document, the Sea of Azov is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

On November 25 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 opening fire at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen.

 

Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, Provocation
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Patriarch Filaret is not baptized and revenues of the Ukrainian Church will be transferred to Constantinople
Additional details: Patriarch Filaret is not baptized.

The revenues of the Ukrainian Church will be transferred to the budget of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Georgia and World
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

Filaret worked under subordination of the Russian Patriarchate till 1992. He was the Metropolitan of Kiev of the Russian Orthodox Church, also a member of the Holy Synod, and even participated in the elections of the Moscow Patriarchate. Thus, “non-baptized” Filaret could not have held such senior positions; neither would he be able to participate in the elections to the Moscow Patriarchate.

After being granted the autocephaly, the Ukrainian Church became independent from other churches. It means that all of its revenues will remain in the budget of Ukraine’s new united church.

Further debunking by Myth Detector.

Keywords: autocephaly
Countries: Ukraine
More
The autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a pre-election trick
Additional details: Tomos of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a pre-election trick. The election is in 2.5 months and the main thesis of Poroshenko's election campaign is the "Army of the New Faith". This is an attempt to inflame the religious war, to hijack the church that could lead to instating the state of emergency. It would allow Poroshenko if not destroy the election, then control how it is conducted.

The Tomos is not entirely real, the Archbishop of Constantinople deceived everyone. It is not an official document but the agreement of a cabal. So far the only one who will benefit from the autocephaly is Byzantine patriarch.

The autocephaly is a new type of conflict in a country torn by a civil war.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.5-tv.ru/glavnoe/broadcasts/509872/1181/
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestia Glavnoe @Channel 5 TV.
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about autocephaly and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Such narrative also contributes to the attempt to discredit upcoming presidential election in Ukraine. For more examples of such cases see here and here.

For more information on the tomos of the autocephaly see here.

Keywords: autocephaly, Orthodox Church, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
Association Agreement with the EU obliges Georgia to import chemical waste
Additional details: The Association Agreement with the European Union obliges Georgia to import and utilize chemical waste.

There are plans to build a chemical waste utilization factory which would make living in Adjara life-threatening.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Alia newspaper
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The Association Agreement signed between the European Union and Georgia in 2014 does not include import and utilization of hazardous waste.

Law on Import, Export, and Transit of Hazardous Waste prohibits import, export, and transit of any kind of waste on the territory of Georgia.

The project by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Ministry of Finance of Adjara aims to build a household waste utilization polygon in Tsetskhlauri village near Kobuleti. The project has nothing to do with the import and utilization of the chemical waste.

Further debunking by Myth Detector.

Keywords: health, AA/DCFTA
Countries: Georgia
More
Georgetown University course on Russian disinformation will include the 'alleged annexation of Crimea'
Additional details: Georgetown University offers a new course on Russian hybrid war, which will include information on Russian bots and trolls, Russian information operations and 'the alleged annexation of Crimea'. It may cause hate towards Russia among the students.

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

Recurring narrative about the West's Russophobia.

The annexation of Crimea is a fact.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe considers that the actions of the Russian Federation leading up to the annexation of Crimea, and in particular the military occupation of the Ukrainian territory and the threat of the use of military force, the recognition of the results of the illegal so-called referendum and subsequent annexation of Crimea into the Russian Federation constitute, beyond any doubt, a grave violation of international law, including of the United Nations Charter and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helsinki Final
Act.

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 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. Click here for more information.

Keywords: Russophobia, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
FYROM is forced by foreign countries to access NATO and change its name
Additional details: Name change of FYROM is another step on the route to accessing NATO. The NATO accession is forced by foreign countries and so is the artificial name change.
Language / Targeted audience: German
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik Deutschland
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The name change is part of the political process, subject to international negotiations and internal debate in FYROM. Settlement of this issue is indeed linked with the country's NATO and EU accession. FYROM expressed its own will to join the Euro-Atlantic community already in 1993 and has been working towards the membership of NATO (and the EU) ever since.

For background, see the information provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.

 

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, NATO, The West
Countries: Macedonia
More
There should be six different sexes in the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Additional details: In the name of equality the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe asked Russia to include people from six sexes to their delegation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestija
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The letter from the European Council Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) sent to the Russian parliament stated that Russia’s PACE delegation should include “at a very minimum one member of the under-represented sex appointed as a representative". It is a standard letter and all speakers of national parliaments received it at the end of November 2018.

Further debunking by Polygraph.

See also our story here.

Keywords: Sexual harassment
Countries: Russia
More
On January 13th, 1991, people died in Vilnius at the hands of their own forces
Additional details: Forest brothers in Lithuania killed 25 thousand people during the WW2, including youth and children. Now they are awarded the Freedom Prize. It is symbolic that the freedom prize is awarded on the 13th of January. On this day in 1991 fifteen people died at the TV tower in Vilnius. Later independent experts determined that these people were killed by their own forces. The prize is 5000 euros - this is the price of Lithuanian freedom.

The freedom prize was made up by the parliament in 2011, is it given to those who are approved by the Lithuanian authorities for their public service  - that is exceptionally russophobic.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.5-tv.ru/glavnoe/broadcasts/509872/1183/
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestia Glavnoe @ Channel 5 TV,
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Prominent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Independence movements in Lithuania and the Baltic States and the Forest Brothers. 

On January 13th Lithuania commemorates the night in 1991 when Soviet forces attempted to crush the re-established independence, killing 14 civilians. Lithuania proclaimed independence in March 1990. Moscow tried to foil the secession with an economic blockade. When that proved ineffective, Soviet troops still garrisoned in the capital Vilnius attacked its TV broadcast tower and sole TV station, killing civilians standing as human shields there. The events of the January 13th, 1991, and the offences committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented.  

See also BBC reporting from 1991.

The Freedom Prize was established by the Lithuanian Parliament in 2011 to acknowledge the achievements and contribution of persons and organisations to the defence of human rights, democratic development, and fostering of international cooperation for the cause of sovereignty and the right to self-determination of Eastern and Central European nations. More (in Lithuanian).

The Forest Brothers were Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian partisans who fought against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation during and after the World War II. In the early 1950's, the Soviet forces had eradicated most of the partisan resistance in the Baltic States.

Further reading on the Forest Brothers: Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania;  Estonica;  Estonian Institute of Historical Memory;  Edward Lucas on Unpacking the history of the Baltic "Forest Brothers".

Keywords: Occupation, Baltic states
Countries: Lithuania
More
A concerted campaign against Russia and Russian people in the US and UK
Additional details: A concerted campaign to denigrate Russia and the Russian people has been carried out in the US and Britain for many years, with an additional aim to denigrate commentators who show open-mindedness toward Russian foreign policy.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT CrossTalk
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring narrative about the Russophobia in the West.

Keywords: Russia Today (RT), Russophobia
Countries: UK, Russia, The West, US
More
Ukraine adopted law on consent in sexual relations for the sake of EU and NATO accession
Additional details: Ukraine acceded the EU in the sexual sense of this word. The law on sexual consent was adopted, not for the sake of Ukrainian people, but for the EU accession. It is a signal to the EU: "we do this the same way you do". It is also a part of transition to NATO standards, because EU accession must follow the accession to NATO. This law is a demonstration of the signal: "we are the same like you". This law is culturally alien to Ukraine - it is not Sweden. Ukraine has one of the lowest birth rates and this new regulation will make the situation worse.

//

Ukrainian legislators put sex above the faith in God.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkvTr7eE3yQ
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Ukraine has amended the criminal code in connection with the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. The law implements the provisions of the Istanbul Conventiona into national legislation, improving legal capabilities of Ukraine to combat violence against women and strengthening laws against sexual and gender-based violence. Read more

The Convention is a document initiated by the Council of Europe and is neither a part of EU accession process nor a step to NATO membership. See more on EU-Ukraine relations here.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, European values, NATO
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
Banning Russia from the Olympics is a modern form of racism
Additional details: It is modern-day racism to declare a certain group of people non-eligible for a certain activity. An example of that is telling Russian athletes that they "can't compete in Olympic Games, can't speak Russian, and can't show Russian flags".
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): RT CrossTalk '23:50
Reported by:
Disproof note:

The International Olympic Committee banned Russia from the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 due to the systemic manipulation of anti-doping rules during the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Individual athletes from Russia could still compete under the Olympic flag.

Racism or Russophobia accusations are a frequent technique of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign to distract the audience from the actual cause for the ban.

Keywords: Olympics, Racism, Russophobia
Countries: Russia
More
Forest Brothers were Nazi collaborators, criminals and terrorists.
Additional details: Forest brothers were Nazi collaborators. In Lithuania they exterminated 25 thousand people. In modern terminology they would be called terrorists. They started fighting the Red Army for the sake of the Third Reich and continued after the war, except their master changed, it was Great Britain and the USA.

We are told stories about bloody Stalin's regime, but how come we see these healthy old people if the regime supposedly exterminated everyone? That means the regime was not bloody and was very humane to those, whom we can call terrorists.

In Lithuania they are trying to find heroes for the young people. And it is either military heroes who fought fascism in the Red Army, or those who fought with fascism against the Red Army. There are no other heroes. Since the main ideology in the Baltic States is Russophobia, they take fascists for heroes. The West is pretending that they are some abstract fighters for abstract freedom. They are criminals, terrorists and killers.

///

The doctrine that Lithuania is the victim of Russian aggression and Russian occupation spreads in academic, public and political levels. This is how killers become heroes. Lithuanian schoolchildren have trouble remembering national history and are proud of the exploits of so-called "partisans". But no Lithuanian textbook now contains information about the bloody terror and civil war. How partisans killed civilians, not excluding women and children. They were not partisans, they were bandits.

In Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia tens of thousands of people died at the hands of forest brothers.

In Latvia forest brothers are also heroes and chekists are evil. No one remembers that soviet soldiers arrived because the bandits terrorised villagers.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Pervyi kanal (1tv.ru) (19:30 - 23:30)
Izvestia Glavnoe @ Channel 5 TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Prominent pro-Kremlin narrative about the Forest Brothers and armed anti-soviet resistance in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to discredit the independence struggle of the Baltic States and whitewash the history of Soviet occupation and Stalin's crimes - a growing disinformation trend of historical revisionism. For background on earlier attempts to disinform see our article here.

Forest Brothers were Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian partisans who fought against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation during and after the World War II. In the early 1950's, the Soviet forces had eradicated most of the partisan resistance in the Baltic States.

The pro-Kremlin disinformation considers as civilian victims those, who, in the statute of the partisan military tribunal, were defined as the representatives of the Soviet administration. It is widely believed that during the guerrilla war in Lithuania, around 12 thousand Soviet collaborators and soldiers died. During the Soviet times, these numbers were artificially inflated. Often KGB agents raided local communities while dressed as partisans to sow distrust towards the freedom fighters in the countryside. Today, it is known that the Soviet security services also counted the victims of unrelated criminal activity as victims of the partisans. Read more on Delfi.lt

The Soviets used the most brutal methods of fight against the guerillas: persecuted their families’ members and destroyed farmsteads of their supporters by setting them on fire. The Soviets used their agents to infiltrate the partisan movement. Partisans who were killed could not rest in peace: the Soviets would brutally disfigure the bodies of the guerrillas and dump them in public squares in towns and villages as a way to intimidate people. Over 20,000 Lithuanian partisans were killed holding weapons in their hands or were tortured to death by the Soviet invaders.

Further reading on the Forest Brothers: Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania;  Estonica;  Estonian Institute of Historical Memory;  Edward Lucas on Unpacking the history of the Baltic "Forest Brothers".

 

 

 

Keywords: Red Army, WWII, Terrorism, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: UK, Latvia, Baltic states, Estonia, Lithuania, US
More
Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is perceived as fulfilling propaganda tasks and serving the interests of oligarchs
Additional details: After the coup in 2014 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is perceived as a structure, that fulfils propaganda tasks and serves political interests of oligarchs who govern the country.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.1tv.ru/news/issue/2019-01-11/21:00#7
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremia @ Pervyi kanal (01:04 - 01:15)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Slander.

No evidence on public or international perceptions given.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Euromaidan and alleged coup in Ukraine.

Keywords: Coup
Countries: Ukraine
More
The EU may try to pressure the elected candidates in Ukraine through social media monitoring
Additional details: The EU wants to create an impression of free elections in Ukraine through social media monitoring. Later the collected data can be used to pressure the elected candidates.

//

This shows disregard by the EU for Ukraine's sovereignty.

 

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Russia Today (RT) in Russian
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence given for any influence attempts. The tender the article apparently refers to has been published by Council of Europe, a human rights organisation that has 47 member states, including Russia.

It is part of the The Council of Europe project “Supporting the transparency, inclusiveness and integrity of electoral practice in Ukraine”, implemented within the Action Plan for Ukraine 2018-2021.

The European Union reiterated its full support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders for example in November when Russia used military force against Ukraine in the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait.

Keywords: Elections
Countries: Ukraine, EU
More
Nearly 100 dead as a result of free Hep C vaccine from the Lugar Lab
Additional details: Nearly 100 people, and likely more, died over a free Hep C elimination program that did not go as planned. This is the true agenda of the US-funded Lugar Lab.

Biologists of the U.S. military-medical group in Georgia and private contractors under federal contract with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency could have performed secret experiments on residents of Georgia.
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

No evidence about the experiments in Lugar laboratory, vaccine or 100 dead bodies. Recurring narrative about Lugar Laboratory.

Keywords: Lugar
Countries: Georgia
More
Ukraine nearing the top of the most indebted countries list
Additional details: Ukraine can soon reach the top of the list of the countries with the biggest debt.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Tv Zvezda
Reported by:
Disproof note:

According to the IMF data, Ukraine's debt level is on the level of the 70.5% of GDP and is stabilising. This debt level is relatively far from the most indebted countries, reaching well over 200% of GDP.

Further debunking by Stop Fake.

Keywords: economy
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine came up with excuses to continue murder and terror in Donbas
Additional details: There was little that could have prevented Kiev from stopping the war in Donbas if it were really ready to embark on the European path. Ukrainian authorities came up with excuses, continuing shelling, murder and terror.

 
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Reccurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukraine being the aggressor and provocating the conflict with Russia.

The annexation of Crimea is a fact.

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 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. Click here for more information.

Keywords: War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
Ukraine overthrew legally elected president, committed unlawful acts and undermined its own Constitution
Additional details: Ukraine overthrew legally elected president, committed unlawful acts and undermined its own Constitution.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkvTr7eE3yQ
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 (17:10 - 17:20)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Euromaidan.

For background:

There was no coup in Ukraine in 2014. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT.

Keywords: Euromaidan
Countries: Ukraine
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Ukraine engages in scaremongering that Russia is about to attack it
Additional details: One of the main scaremongering tactics of Ukraine that Russia is about to attack is not coming true.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkvTr7eE3yQ
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Rossiya 1 (19:45 - 20:30)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative denying the presence of Russian soldiers in Ukrainian territory. For previous cases see here.

The war in Ukraine is a consequence of Russia's military aggression.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Warmongering
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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The Western partners turned Ukraine into a big waste dump
Additional details: The Western partners turned Ukraine into a big waste dump [reference to ships that Ukraine received from "transatlantic friends"].

Ukraine has long ago abandoned its pride, just like its independence, and all cooperation with the West concludes with implementing political orders by the masters. Which, for their part, have turned Ukraine into an asylum for junk.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation undermining the Ukrainian statehood, denigrating Ukraine's army and the West abandoning Ukraine.

Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. UNGA Resolution 68/262 also affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders: http://bit.ly/1RZGnjo.

Ukraine agreed in September to accept from the US two Island-class patrol boats as free military aid, which apparently is the assistance the article refers to. See for further background Polygraph's earlier debunking.

This aid is especially crucial at a time when Russia is undermining the freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov, cowardly hunting and intimidating commercial ships,” Ukrainian President Petro Porohsenko said at the time.

“Our task is to convince the Kremlin that we are committed to defending Ukraine’s shores.”

Those outdated vessels, manufactured for the U.S. Coast Guard from 1985-92, are intended to help Ukraine create a so-called "Mosquito fleet" – with a focus on quick deployment covering a large area.

Keywords: Abandoned Ukraine, The West, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine, US
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The Western World and America are using the Church in hybrid warfare against Russia
Additional details: The Western World and America are using the Church in hybrid warfare against Russia. Orthodox unity is something that the post-Soviet countries have in common. It is the last spiritual pillar of the nations since the Soviet times. That is why Istanbul gave Ukraine the kind of autocephaly that traps it within its own borders. Because nationalists are the main force against the powerful Soviet internationalism that the Americans and later Europeans copied with their European Union.

Now the attempts are made to disrupt the renaissance of unity through nostalgia for USSR. The issue of the church is not the project of President Poroshenko, but it’s conducted on a higher level. After he loses the election Poroshenko will leave to Spain with his billions.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ren.tv/video/epizod/374341
Disinforming outlet(s): Dobrov v efire @ REN TV
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy on Western involvement in the autocephaly of  the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

For more information on the tomos of the autocephaly see here.

 

Keywords: autocephaly, Orthodox Church, Petro Poroshenko
Countries: USSR, Ukraine, EU, US, Spain
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A political party in Estonia wants to liquidate the Russian community
Additional details: The political agenda of one of the Estonian parties says that, in principle, it is necessary to liquidate the Russian community in Estonia.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.5-tv.ru/glavnoe/broadcasts/509872/1183/
Disinforming outlet(s): Izvestya Glavnoye @ Channel 5
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Russophobia of the Baltic States. For other examples see here and here.

According to the program of the party Eesti 200: "All Estonian children should go to the unified Estonian school irrespective of their mother tongue. The lessons in the Estonian school will be conducted in Estonian, but children with other mother tongue have a possibility to study and develop their mother tongue." There is no sign of liquidation of Russian community or Russians in the program.

Keywords: Russophobia
Countries: Estonia
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Mass protests in FYROM against the name change
Additional details: Mass protests in FYROM against the name change. The citizens don't want that their country would be called North Macedonia.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Pervyi Kanal (1tv.ru)
Reported by:
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about FYROM and the name change. No reliable media reported any mass protests. On January 11, the parliament of approved amendments to FYROM’s constitution and the country will change its name to North Macedonia. Outside the parliament there were small groups of protesters opposing the decision.

Further debunking by the Insider.

Keywords: Protest
Countries: Macedonia
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