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A consistent principle of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign is to keep its audience’s heads in a permanent state of spin. Confusion, after all, is paralysing. When people cannot make sense of reality, they cannot act coherently in their own self-interest. The devilishly brilliant political parody account on Twitter @DarthPutinKGB said it best: “We don’t make up so many lies so you’ll believe one of them, we do it so you believe none of them. If you don’t believe anything, you’ll do nothing.”

This week’s cases take us on a frenzied ride through several topics that have been preoccupying the pro-Kremlin media over the last several weeks and months: coronavirus, protests, historical revisionism, MH17, Ukraine, NATO… disinformation in every possible flavour, to suit every possible palate.

Coronavirus

While the pandemic is no longer the focal point it was in March and April, the pro-Kremlin media is still indulging in conspiracy theories and disinformation about COVID-19. Most egregiously, there are continued attempts to spread anti-vaccine messages and promote fake cures. Pro-Kremlin outlets also continue pushing disinformation about the coronavirus being manmade, and about nefarious US biolabs orchestrating the outbreak and planning to attack Russia. Efforts to stoke discord between European countries persist as well, for example with claims that Italy received no aid from the EU and that the coronavirus destroyed European unity.

One case especially gave us a good laugh: according to RT, the World Health Organisation apparently had “no right” to classify COVID-19 as a pandemic.

Protests

The US racial justice protests continue to be a prevalent theme, with George Soros, the “Deep State”, and the US Democratic Party repeatedly portrayed as the architects of a “colour revolution” aimed to thwart President Trump’s re-election. Besides Soros’ extensive sponsorship of Black Lives Matter, unspecified “transnational corporations” are apparently also funding the protests – which, we are ominously told, have morphed into pogroms and terrorist riots. A global Negro Caliphate is coming into play as well. The conclusion is that America is finally falling apart – and the pro-Kremlin media delights in scadenfreude, claiming that US revolutionary manuals used to overthrow governments around the world have finally been turned against America itself. 

World War II revisionism

The Kremlin’s revisionist push regarding World War II is taking on new international dimensions with the publication of an essay in online foreign policy magazine The National Interest, titled “The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II” – authored by Vladimir Putin himself. The high-level attention afforded to this topic reveals its importance to the Kremlin, meaning that we are likely to see a sustained disinformation campaign on the topic in the months to come.

The EUvsDisinfo database currently has over 250 disinformation cases about World War II and the Soviet legacy. This week, we saw familiar messages attacking Poland for causing the outbreak of World War II, obfuscating the history of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols, and accusing Western countries of trying to rewrite the history of the war. We are told that the USSR incorporated the Baltic States “legally” and that Western countries are the “thieves of history” for claiming that Winston Churchill saved Europe, without giving due credit to the Soviet Union. Edward Lucas is correct when he calls pro-Kremlin revisionism gaslighting of the countries that bore the brunt of Soviet imperialism: “making the victim of persecution doubt their sense of reality.”

Other notable examples of disinformation this week:

 


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14.06.2020
Imhoclub
US
19.06.2020
60 minut @Rossiya 1 - YouTube
US
20.06.2020
Pervyi Kanal - YouTube
USSR, Poland
04.06.2020
ukraina.ru
Russia, Belarus, US
05.06.2020
politnavigator.net
Russia, Baltic states, Belarus, Poland
22.06.2020
Katehon - Arabic, djazairestv.com, medias-dz.com, medias-dz.com, alwatanvoice.com, alwatanvoice.com, dzayerinfo.com, alarabi.press
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18.06.2020
Sputnik Italia
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16.06.2020
Geopolitica.ru - Italian, Geopolitica.ru - English, Oriental Review
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11.06.2020
RT Russia
Russia, Ukraine
19.06.2020
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18.06.2020
Sputnik France, Sputnik France
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19.06.2020
RT France, RT English
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19.06.2020
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21.06.2020
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19.06.2020
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21.06.2020
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18.06.2020
novorosinform.org
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15.06.2020
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19.06.2020
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Georgia
03.06.2020
Georgia and the World
EU, Georgia
19.06.2020
new.crimiz.ru
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19.06.2020
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Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
22.06.2020
inforeactor.ru
Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
22.06.2020
RT Germany
Latvia, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, US
14.06.2020
News Front - Spanish
Ukraine
19.06.2020
Sputnik Poland
Russia, Germany, Poland
19.06.2020
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19.06.2020
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Russia, Germany
11.06.2020
novorosinform.org
Ukraine, US, The Netherlands
12.06.2020
News Front - Spanish
Libya, Russia, US
19.06.2020
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17.06.2020
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US
18.06.2020
almayadeen, Arabi today, igfd.net, Klyoum.com, syrianownews.com, uepapress.com, wakalanews.com, Katehon - Arabic, shaamtimes
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05.06.2020
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China, Russia, US
05.06.2020
Sputnik Spain
Russia, US
16.06.2020
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US
19.06.2020
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20.06.2020
Sputnik Armenia - Russian
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17.06.2020
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19.06.2020
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Russia
15.06.2020
Sputnik Germany
Russia, US
17.06.2020
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18.06.2020
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17.06.2020
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08.06.2020
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14.05.2020
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UK, US
21.05.2020
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23.05.2020
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18.06.2020
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11.06.2020
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11.06.2020
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11.06.2020
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10.06.2020
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China, EU, Italy, Russia
10.06.2020
politnavigator.net
Ukraine
16.06.2020
Tsargrad TV
Ukraine, US
17.06.2020
politnavigator.net
Ukraine
17.06.2020
politnavigator.net
Ukraine
16.06.2020
RT Arabic , Khabar Masr, New Hub, lb.shafaqna.com, Head Topics
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13.06.2020
News Front - Hungarian
Ukraine
15.06.2020
nahnews.org, rusvesna.su
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12.06.2020
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Syria
16.06.2020
News Front - English, News Front - Russian, News Front - French, News Front - German, News Front - French
Russia, Ukraine, Spain
09.06.2020
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09.06.2020
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10.06.2020
News Front - Spanish
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12.06.2020
Sputnik Spain
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10.06.2020
Facebook resource
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10.06.2020
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11.06.2020
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Romania, Russia, Baltic states, Poland
09.06.2020
Sputnik Armenia - Russian
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10.06.2020
Sputnik Armenia - Russian
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09.06.2020
regnum.ru, News Front - Russian
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08.06.2020
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09.06.2020
News Front - Hungarian
Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
09.06.2020
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08.06.2020
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29.05.2020
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