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Christmas trees, Christmas lights, Christmas candy, cheesy Christmas movies on TV we have seen umpteen times already. We sing Christmas hymns and decorate the town and our homes with Nativity scenes. We are all preparing and waiting for the culinary delights of Christmas, whether it is ham, turkey, carp or lutefisk on the Christmas menu. Children all over Europe (and us adults too, let’s admit it) are eagerly awaiting Father Christmas, Père Noël, Joulupukki, Jultomten, Ded Moroz, Sinterklaas, Saint Nicolas, Babbo Natale, Ziemassvētku vecītis or other manifestations of the Christmas Spirit.

And it is the season for Christmas Disinformation Cases! All the cosy little lies about Europe, cancelling Christmas, repeated faithfully every year! EUvsDisinfo has collected disinformation for five years, and the pro-Kremlin media’s persistent Yuletide attacks have been repeated every year: it has become part of the Kremlin’s very own Christmas disinformation tradition: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

The Battle against Christianity

This year is no exception. The pro-Kremlin outlets provide us with their well-worn, comfortable old Christmassy yarns: EU bureaucrats want to limit the use of Christian symbols and Brussels has decided not to display a Christmas tree. The one shown on this web-cam must be false! Muslims in England also want to forbid Christmas trees – and not only in Britain – all over Europe! An Italian town has forbidden Christmas carols to avoid insulting Muslim migrants. In order to appease the migrants 40 percent of Germans will not celebrate Christmas at all. The disinformation outlets often point at small communities – in the above examples Rozzano in Italy and Eschweiler in Germany – to add “authenticity” to the lies. It looks convincing, and very few bother to check the facts – or check the ecumenical site of the Christian parishes of Eschweiler, inviting everyone to Christmas celebrations. Even the restrictions connected to the pandemic , in the view of Russian state-owned Sputnik Moldova, are merely a pretext for the battle against Christianity.

This type of disinformation is part of a larger narrative, suggesting an imminent breakdown of moral and social values in the West. We see it manifested this week not only in the traditional Christmas disinformation, but in cases suggesting the sexual revolution is more lethal than the Russian and Chinese revolutions or that liberalism is a precursor to empires’ collapse. This is a daring theory, entirely unrelated to anything that resembles real history: a little more than a hundred years ago, four European empires disappeared almost simultaneously: Russia, Germany, Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. None of them excessively liberal-minded.

The Attack on Alexei Navalny

The Kremlin’s attacks on Alexei Navalny looks more and more desparate: this week we have documented a claim on Russian State TV that Mr Navalny might have been exposed to poorly produced moonshine vodka. Russian independent outlet The Insider has, together with the investigative teams of Bellingcat, CNN, Der Spiegel and El Pais, performed a detailed investigation, establishing the methods used, the individuals that performed the attack and the connections to the Russian state security services, the FSB. On Tuesday 15 December, the Kremlin’s press service decided to cancel all press meetings and has refused to comment on the evidence provided in the investigation.

Cheatnik Belarus

Sputnik Belarus deserves a very special Christmas present from EUvsDisinfo. Not only was the outlet the first to provide a documented case of disinformation on COVID-19 in January; this week it has managed to attract attention through some serious nuclear weapons rattling, suggesting – of course without anything to support the claim – that NATO is massing its troops on Belarus’ borders. It also introduced the concept of “Bald, stinky dog” to the vocabulary of international relations.

From All of Us to All of You

The Disinformation Review will take a few weeks off for the holidays. This Christmas will be different in the shadow of the pandemic. Many of us worry about our loved ones; we need to be careful and respectful and help each other through these difficult times. The important part of Christmas is not at the dining table with Christmas carp/ham/turkey/lutefisk: the important part is the message of love and caring.

EUvsDisinfo wishes our readers, followers and critics a Merry Christmas and extends the sentiments from the classic 1944 song, immortalised by Frank Sinatra:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on
Our troubles will be miles away

See you 7 January 2021! Stay healthy!


related disinfo cases

Date
Title
Outlets
Country
14.12.2020
  • Sputnik Lithuania - Russian,
  • Sputnik Lithuania
USSR, Lithuania, Russia
14.12.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
Turkey, US, Russia
14.12.2020
  • vesti.ru,
  • regnum.ru,
  • news.ru
Russia
13.12.2020
  • Voskresnyi vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym - YouTube
Russia
11.12.2020
  • Sputnik Lithuania
EU, Ukraine, Russia
11.12.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
Germany, Russia
11.12.2020
  • Sputnik Lithuania,
  • News Front - German
EU, US, Russia
11.12.2020
  • Sputnik Georgia,
  • Ria Novosti,
  • gazeta.ru,
  • TASS - Russian,
  • rg.ru
Georgia, US, Russia
11.12.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Russia
11.12.2020
  • Sputnik English
Russia
11.12.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
EU, Poland
10.12.2020
  • Sputnik Armenia - Russian
Ukraine, Russia
10.12.2020
  • 24fm.ps,
  • addiyar.com,
  • almarsad.co,
  • almstaqbal.com,
  • alsahfia.info,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • asabnews.com,
  • awanmasr.com,
  • bawabaa.org,
  • corwna.com,
  • dotalkhaleej.com,
  • elmowatn.com,
  • elsiyasa.com,
  • Gulf 365,
  • innfrad.com,
  • kuwaitnews.com,
  • kuwaitpress.net,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • masress.com,
  • mobtada.com,
  • nabd-masr.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • nafeza2world.com,
  • qurtasnews.com,
  • sabq-sa.com,
  • satelnews.net,
  • thedailybreakingnews.com,
  • transparencynews.com,
  • youm7.com
EU, Ukraine, Russia
10.12.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
EU, Russia
10.12.2020
  • ukraina.ru,
  • News Rambler
US, Ukraine
10.12.2020
  • Sputnik Poland
Poland, Russia
09.12.2020
  • NEWSONE - YouTube,
  • Izvestia,
  • regnum.ru,
  • Argumenty i Fakty,
  • anna-news.info,
Ukraine
09.12.2020
  • kol-masr.com,
  • Arabnews 24,
  • nafeza2world.com,
  • RT Arabic
US
09.12.2020
  • RT France - YouTube,
  • Embassy of the Russian Federation in France,
  • RT France - Twitter,
  • RT France - Facebook
Ukraine, Russia
09.12.2020
  • RT France - YouTube,
  • RT France - Facebook,
  • RT France - Twitter
Ukraine, Russia
09.12.2020
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • ukrpress.net,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com
Ukraine, Russia
09.12.2020
  • News Front - German
Ukraine, Russia
09.12.2020
  • News Front - Spanish,
  • News Front - Russian,
  • Ria Novosti
EU, Russia
09.12.2020
  • RT France - YouTube,
  • RT France - Facebook,
  • RT France - Twitter,
  • Embassy of the Russian Federation in France
Russia
09.12.2020
  • RT France - YouTube,
  • RT France - Facebook,
  • RT France - Twitter,
  • Embassy of the Russian Federation in France
EU, US, Russia
08.12.2020
  • Baltnews Lithuania
Romania, Poland, US, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia
08.12.2020
  • RIAFAN - Russian
Ukraine, Russia
08.12.2020
  • Sputnik Greece
US
08.12.2020
  • Sputnik Belarus - Russian,
  • ,
Sweden
08.12.2020
  • vz.ru,
  • Imperiya News,
  • newsland.com
Russia
08.12.2020
  • Izvestia,
  • Kommersant,
  • ukraina.ru,
  • rg.ru,
  • TASS - Russian,
  • argumenti.ru,
  • vesti.ru,
  • rubaltic.ru,
  • Tsargrad TV,
  • RT Russia,
  • tvzvezda.ru,
  • ren.tv,
  • Sputnik English,
  • Sputnik Spain,
  • Sputnik Brasil,
  • Sputnik Serbia - Cyrillic,
  • 3yonnews.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • aniraq.com,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • Arabnews 24,
  • iq.shafaqna.com,
  • tvzvezda.ru
Ukraine, Russia
08.12.2020
  • RT Arabic ,
  • hafryat.com,
  • addiyar.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • aliwaa.com.lb,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • newsformy.com,
  • meshwarmedia.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • abrag.akwadon.com,
  • kol-masr.com
EU, Russia
08.12.2020
  • RT Arabic ,
  • hafryat.com,
  • addiyar.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • aliwaa.com.lb,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • newsformy.com,
  • meshwarmedia.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • abrag.akwadon.com,
  • kol-masr.com
Ukraine, Russia
08.12.2020
  • News Front - Spanish,
  • News Front - Russian
China, US
08.12.2020
  • News Front - Spanish
Austria, Ukraine, Russia
07.12.2020
  • Arabnews 24,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • jo24.net,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • kachaf.com,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • rtarab.com,
  • ru4arab.ru,
  • watira.com
Ukraine, Russia
07.12.2020
  • RT Arabic ,
  • dowwar.com,
  • algeria.shafaqna.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • kachaf.com,
  • New Hub,
  • almatareed.org,
  • Khabar One
EU, Germany, US
07.12.2020
  • Ritm Evrazii,
  • Ria Novosti,
  • ren.tv
Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Baltic states
07.12.2020
  • Sputnik Germany
Russia
07.12.2020
  • News Front - Hungarian,
  • lenta.ru,
  • Ria Novosti,
  • ren.tv,
  • Radio Sputnik RIA,
  • life.ru,
  • news.ru,
  • gazeta.ru,
  • Moskovskij Komsomolets,
  • RIAFAN - Russian,
  • rossaprimavera.ru,
  • Pravda.ru ,
  • fedpress.ru,
  • runews24.ru
Hungary, Ukraine
07.12.2020
  • News Front - Spanish,
  • elespiadigital.com
Moldova, US
06.12.2020
  • Ritm Evrazii
Ukraine, Russia
06.12.2020
  • Sputnik Czech,
  • Sputnik Czech
EU, Hungary, Poland
06.12.2020
  • News Front - Spanish
EU, Italy, Canada, US
05.12.2020
  • Ritm Evrazii
Ukraine, Russia
04.12.2020
  • addiyar.com,
  • ajelsa.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • almanar.com.lb,
  • almanartv.com.lb,
  • almasryalyoum.com,
  • almehwartoday.com,
  • almelnoujoum.com,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • alsolta.net,
  • amad,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • awjaz.com,
  • awjaz.com,
  • dostor.org,
  • elgornal.net,
  • eltakrer.com,
  • Gulf 365,
  • Gulf 365,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • libya24.tv,
  • lomazoma.com,
  • manartv.com.lb,
  • masr20.com,
  • masralyoum.net,
  • mogaznews.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • okaz.com.sa,
  • rtarab.com,
  • ru4arab.ru,
  • sada-ar.com,
  • sahafah-24.net,
  • Sahafaty,
  • sauress.com,
  • shahennews.com,
  • shamra,
  • sns.sy,
  • watira.com,
  • xeber24.org,
  • yeslibya.ly,
  • zamanarabic.com
Ukraine, Russia
04.12.2020
  • News Front - Spanish
EU, Libya, UK, Turkey
04.12.2020
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • almasryalyoum.com,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • alaan.org,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • almamar.net,
  • balakona.com,
  • klivehub.com,
  • egypt-today.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • pucnews.com,
  • New Hub,
  • aafaqnews.com
EU, Russia
04.12.2020
  • Sputnik Belarus - Russian
US, Latvia
03.12.2020
  • anna-news.info
EU, Belgium
03.12.2020
  • anna-news.info
EU, Italy, Spain, Germany
03.12.2020
  • Sputnik Belarus - Russian
Romania, Poland, Germany, Belarus, Baltic states, Russia
03.12.2020
  • mixednews.ru,
  • ,
  • zakonvremeni.ru
Sweden
03.12.2020
  • Sputnik Italia
EU, US, Russia
02.12.2020
  • Sputnik Italia,
  • Sputnik English
US
02.12.2020
  • Sputnik Moldova
EU, Romania
01.12.2020
  • novoross.info,
  • Luhansk People’s Republic State Television and Radio Company
Italy, Spain, US, Ukraine
01.12.2020
  • News Front - Russian
EU, Hungary, Russia
01.12.2020
  • Polnyi contact - Radio Vesti
Russia
01.12.2020
  • Polnyi contact - Radio Vesti
Germany
01.12.2020
  • News Front - Bulgarian
US, Russia
01.12.2020
  • Sputnik Belarus - Russian
Poland, Belarus, Lithuania
01.12.2020
  • RT Arabic ,
  • dowwar.com,
  • bladipresse.com,
  • Khabar Masr,
  • sahafah24,
  • palestine.shafaqna.com,
  • nuomnews.com,
  • Head Topics
EU, US
30.11.2020
  • vz.ru
EU
30.11.2020
  • ukraina.ru
Germany
30.11.2020
  • 6060news.com,
  • abrag.akwadon.com,
  • abu-link.com,
  • alaan.org,
  • RT Arabic ,
  • Arabnews 24,
  • djelfa.info,
  • djelfa.info,
  • djelfa.info,
  • eltakrer.com,
  • eshraag.com,
  • kachaf.com,
  • kol-masr.com,
  • nabd.com,
  • nabdapp.com,
  • newsformy.com,
  • Sahafaty
US
30.11.2020
  • versia.ru
EU
30.11.2020
  • Together with Russia,
EU, Poland
30.11.2020
  • Trend News Agency - Azerbaijani
Azerbaijan
28.11.2020
  • News Front - Bulgarian
US, Belarus, Russia
27.11.2020
  • Sputnik English
Syria, US, Ukraine, Russia
26.11.2020
  • News Front - Hungarian
Hungary, US
26.11.2020
Libya, France
25.11.2020
  • News Front - Georgian
Georgia, UK, US
23.11.2020
  • Geopolitica.ru - Italian,
  • Geopolitica.ru - English
China, US, Russia
21.11.2020
  • Sputnik Arabic,
  • akhbarak.net,
  • Al Minasa Press,
  • nuomnews.com,
  • Gulf 365,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • saudi.shafaqna.com,
  • elssayda.com,
  • sahafah24,
  • ,
  • Klyoum.com,
  • elssayda.com,
  • mkhbr.com,
  • iraqnews-in.com,
  • 6060news.com
EU, Syria, US
18.11.2020
  • 1news.az
Azerbaijan, Armenia
06.11.2020
  • Sputnik Latvia - Russian
France, Latvia
04.11.2020
  • Argumenty i Fakty
UK
30.10.2020
  • topcor.ru
Ireland, Denmark, UK, France, The Netherlands, Germany