Western military exercises are an obvious target for the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign that aims to undermine the public’s trust in EU countries, NATO and the West in general.

Recently the Ukrainian-hosted “Clear Sky 2018” – a 12-day joint multinational military exercise – concluded. And NATO’s Trident Juncture 18, one of the largest military exercises ever held in Norway, was launched on Thursday. The disinformation about these events had been well prepared and tailored for different audiences well in advance.

Let us go through some of the most frequent narratives and techniques pro-Kremlin disinformation uses when spreading disinformation about military exercises in the West.

1. They’ll claim that these military exercises mean preparation for war against Russia. This week, Russian TV started with claims that the Clear Sky 2018 exercise serves as evidence that the US “dreams about organising a regional war in Europe”. And it continued with the usual disinformation about Ukraine being a vassal country and a US colony, as well as disinformation about Ukraine launching a revanchist offensive ahead of the March presidential elections, deploying NATO-equipped Polish mercenaries in Donbas, and killing Russians without consequences in line with US permission. Completing the defamation were claims that Satanist Ukraine is a dictatorship. To set the record straight, please see the links to our database to read the facts.

2. They’ll claim that participating in a military exercise equates to having territorial claims. One of the outlets claimed that while Finland cooperates closely with NATO and takes part in the Trident Juncture 18, the secret motive for cooperation is aggression: the thirst to gain new territories in the Arctic. Actually the objective of Finland’s arctic policy is to strengthen multilateral Arctic cooperation. It does not include any desire for imperialistic expansion. Earlier, we have seen how the attempts to create an image of NATO as an aggressive military power have led pro-Kremlin disinformation to claim that NATO was deploying thousands of tanks in Europe instead of dozens as it in fact did.

3. They’ll aims to provoke distrust and tensions among the local people who live in the area where the exercise is conducted. Here we have earlier heard the whole spectrum of lies: claims that a child was killed during a NATO exercise in Lithuania, that only prostitutes profit from NATO exercises and that NATO’s commanders are likely to test new techniques by subjecting Russian-speaking individuals to new physical, biological and other methods aimed at altering human psyche and behaviour. For the history of these conspiracies see our reporting and the database of disinformation messages.

And talking about what was trending on the conspiracy production line of the pro-Kremlin disinformation machinery this week, one disinformation-oriented outlet in Georgia puts a lot of effort into trying to convince its audience that the West is about to introduce necrophilia and zoophilia in Georgia. This time, it spread unsubstantiated claims from the St. Petersburg troll factory outlet Riafan about a goat raped by a migrant in Bulgaria. Earlier, it has spread similar stories about the rapes of an alligator, a mummy – and even a wax figure. Often these stories originate in satirical and humorous websites but are then portrayed as real events by the outlet in question. For further background see Myth Detector’s report.

Update: Previous version of the article stated that exercise Trident Juncture 18 was launched on Wednesday, when in fact it was Thursday October 25. 

The Danish government has proposed a new law whereby having "pro-Russian" views will be criminalised and punished with up to 12 years in prison
Additional details: The Danish government has proposed a new law whereby having "pro-Russian" views will be criminalised and punished with up to 12 years in prison.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Ria Novosti, Pervyi Kanal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

In reality the proposal for a new law specifies existing legislation, underlining that collaboration with foreign intelligence services with the aim to influence public opinion, especially ahead of elections, is a crime.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, Freedom of speech
Countries: Denmark
More
The Kerch shooter was a victim of Western culture that leads to the chaos of destruction
Additional details: So far, at least, there are no obvious traces of his ties either with Ukraine or with some terrorist organizations. But this does not mean that it is impossible to talk about it.


[...]

This person was under a strong influence, well, first of all, so to speak, well, let's say, of templates of the Western subculture, Western youth subculture and was a direct victim of it.

[...]

We need to understand that all these “freedom heights”  in fact, they can lead to chaos. In general, freedom in its absolute manifestation is chaos. The chaos of destruction.

[...]

The family of this young man could have contacts with the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses [banned in Russia]. This is a pro-American sect. All this is a well-known fact. There are a lot of problems relating to it.

[Same commentator for all the four quotes]

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjuOlMeva9Y
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher c Vladimirom Soloviovym @ Rossiya 1, timing 17:32, 18:04, 18:38, 21:21
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given that the shooting would have any connection to the Western values, which are a frequent target for pro-Kremlin disinformation. Read more on the tragedy in Kerch on BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45891201

Keywords: Kerch, Ukraine, The West, Crimea
Countries: Russia, The West, Ukraine
More
US and French forces are ravaging North Syrian archaeological sites
Additional details: American and French forces, and forces supported by Washington are doing excavations at archaeological sites around the city of Manbij. Allegedly, this is "how they are stealing archaeological findings and objects made of precious metals." The US and French, for example, have taken a lot of gold from these sites.

Manbij is used by the West to smuggle the artifacts out of Syria, to Turkey.

The artifact theft is not new to the US, as they assisted the looters of the Iraqi National Museum in 2003.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Disinforming outlet(s): Orientalista
Reported by: Political Capital Institute
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation about the West's role in the Syrian conflict. Earlier, the same website has repeated pro-Kremlin disinformation and falsely accused the White Helmets staging chemical attacks in Syria.

There is no proof that US and French forces are doing illegal excavations in Syria.

The US did not secure the Iraqi National Museum for a few days for military reasons. https://stanford.io/2NRcGq5 However, Assistant Manhatten district attorney Matthew Bogdanos, a former marine serving in Iraq, has played an important role in recovering the stolen treasures. https://bit.ly/2Cr5qPw

Keywords: Syrian War
Countries: US, Syria
More
Georgian Ministry of Education authorized Arabic language teaching in schools
Additional details: The Ministry of Education of Georgia had already authorized the teaching of Arabic language in the first grade, said a presidential candidate from a political union Free Georgia..
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Link to the disinformation: www.myvideo.ge/v/3687995
Disinforming outlet(s): Local broadcaster
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

According to Mythdetector, the schools in Georgia are obliged to carry out general education activities with the certified textbooks. Based on the Decision of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia from August 1, 2018, six textbooks were certified for the first graders. Out of those six, none is written in Arabic.

There is only one page in one of the books for the first graders, which mentions Arabic language, together with five other languages, to illustrate different writing systems.

Further debunking by Mythdetector.

Keywords: education, Muslim/Islam, Migration crisis
Countries: Georgia
More
Migrant raped a goat in Bulgaria
Additional details: Mladan Kirilov, a 73-year-old Bulgarian shepherd, came acrossa dark skinned migrant, who raped his goat, Milena. The shepherd resisted the attacker and the latter ran away, shouting something in Arabic.
Language / Targeted audience: Georgian
Disinforming outlet(s): Geworld
Sputnik
Newsbul
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

The story about a migrant having raped a goat cannot be found in any reliable source. Geworld refers to Russian news agency RIA FAN as its original source. A journalistic research project undertaken last year by the independent Russian news outlet RBC showed that RIA FAN is in fact itself an offspring project of the famous St. Petersburg “troll factory”.

Further debunking by Mythdetector.

Keywords: fake rape, animal cruelty, Migration crisis
Countries: Bulgaria, Georgia
More
Court ruling in Finland: authoritarian regime repressing people for their opinion
Additional details: Court ruling against "Kremlin trolls" in Finland: authoritarian regime repressing people for their opinion.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): TV Channel Rossiya 24 (Vesti.ru), time 02:30
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Ilja Janitskin - the founder of anti-immigration websites MV-lehti and Uber Uutiset - was found guilty of 16 criminal charges related to his websites and handed a prison sentence of one year and 10 months by Helsinki District Court. The criminal charges included

  • Three counts of aggravated defamation
  • Two counts of aggravated incitement against an ethnic group
  • Three counts of copyright infringement
  • Two counts of breach of confidentiality
  • Two counts of illicit gambling charges
  • Four counts of illicit fundraising charges.

The aggravated defamation charges were related to three complainants. They, according to testimony, had received death threats and offensive messages including ones about their appearance as well as threats of sexual violence, prompted by articles posted on Janitskin's sites.

Johan Bäckman received a one year suspended sentence for harassing and defaming Yle journalist Jessikka Aro and also inciting others to defame her. Bäckman had taken aim at Aro for writing about Russian internet trolls trying to influence public discourse in Finland. Source: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/anti-immigrant_agitator_ilja_janitskin_gets_22-month_jail_sentence/10463931

Keywords: Ilja Janitskin, Johan Bäckman, Jessikka Aro, Freedom of speech
Countries: Finland
More
US has been planning for clashes between Ukrainian and Russian naval forces in the Black Sea since 1990s
Additional details: Audio of a telephone call by a former Russian soldier is played in the studio. He claims that in the 1993 – 1994, while posted in Yugoslavia, he came across a US computer game that simulated clashes between Ukrainian and Russian naval forces in the Black Sea.

This means that the Americans have probably "been planning" for such a scenario as far back as the 1990s, presenter concludes. They have been "several steps ahead".

//

The US has always been "dreaming" of organising a "regional European war".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya Pokazhet @ Channel One, time 34:27
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Logical fallacy frequently used in pro-Kremlin disinformation. medium.com/dfrlab/logical-fallacies-fuel-kremlin-disinfo-e4185bb455e6

No connection between a potential video game in the 1990s and the war in Ukraine, which was provoked and is maintained by Russia.

For more on the Azov sea read https://www.unian.info/politics/10262727-ukraine-to-create-azov-naval-base-by-year-end.html and https://www.rferl.org/a/sea-of-troubles-azov-emerging-as-tinderbox-in-russia-ukraine-conflict/29417753.html

 

Keywords: Azov sea, War preparation, US presence in Europe
Countries: Yugoslavia, Russia, Ukraine
More
US has introduced a fairly efficient dictatorship in Ukraine
Additional details: The Americans "aim to establish an efficient dictatorship; and it is a fairly efficient dictatorship that they have introduced in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AOxP80f0L4
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 minut @ Russia 1, 09:30
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine's government as illegitimate power. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=ukraine&disinfo_issue=&date=

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of large parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

The EU strongly supported the holding of open, genuine and democratic Presidential and parliamentary elections in May and October 2014: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/statements/docs/2014/140612_01_en.pdf

OSCE: The elections marked an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate democratic elections in line with its international commitments. There were many positive points to the process, such as an impartial and efficient Central Election Commission, an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/132556?download=true

 

Keywords: Dictatorship, US presence in Europe, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
Ukrainian Church's demand for autocephaly is a CIA special operation, not a religious conflict or a split
Additional details: What Bartholomew is doing was first approved by US agencies. It's not a secret. The Ukrainian Church's demand for autocephaly is a special operation by the US intelligence service with the aim of alienating Ukraine from Russia. For this reason, this is not a religious conflict or a split, this is an operation by the US Central Intelligence Agency, which has always paid paramount attention to what's going in leading world religions.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vecher s Vladimirom Solovyovym @ Rossiya 1 (russia.tv), time, 00:17:10
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on West's secret services' role in Ukraine and on the Orthodox church.

 

Keywords: Orthodox Church, Secret services
Countries: Ukraine, US
More
US gave the Ukrainian authorities a right to kill Russians without consequences
Additional details: The Russians, the Orthodox Russians are the most unprotected people in the world now. All these facts [anti-Moscow statements in Ukraine] prove: you can kill a Russian and nothing will happen with you.  The Americans gave them this right.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DJPvfwOtVM
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @ Pervyi kanal (1tv.ru), time 22:29
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Russian-language minority in Ukraine.

Any unlawful killing, regardless of nationality, is punishable in Ukraine as in any other country.

Keywords: Orthodox Church, Russian language, Ethnic Russians
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
Plans to grant independence to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine are "absolute Satanism"
Additional details: The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople's plans to grant independence to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine are "absolute Satanism".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=541EIY9Atmo
Disinforming outlet(s): "Polnyy Kontakt" @ Vesti FM radio, 05:30
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory. No evidence given.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Satanism in Europe. Please see examples here and here.

Keywords: Satanism, Orthodox Church
Countries: Ukraine
More
US has a dream to organise a regional European war
Additional details: [context: ‘Clear Sky 2018’ military exercises] The US has a dream: to organize a regional war, an European war. It generates provocations both in Ukraine and Russia.

The Ukrainian issue cannot be resolved in Ukraine. The war is not with them - it’s an information, economical and psychological war against the Americans and more precisely, against the Anglo-Saxon political nation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ8dM23rlWs
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @ Pervyi kanal, timing 35:36
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged West's provocations and American interference in Ukraine's internal affairs.

In fact, it was Russia that provoked a war in East of Ukraine and annexed Crimea, creating instability in the region.

According to Ukraine's Ministry of Defence, the “Clear Sky — 2018” multinational exercises, in which Ukrainian military and military of the NATO member-states take part, is "intended to increase the level of interoperability of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the Air Forces of the US and NATO, work out effective joint management of operations in the air, work out the sharing of intelligence and surveillance capabilities, as well as cyberdefense focused on the needs of the air forces".

 

 

Keywords: Military exercise, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, NATO, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
All the evil on the Crimean land is done thoroughly by the Ukrainian authorities
Additional details: We understand that all the evil on the Crimean land is done thoroughly by the Ukrainian authorities.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.c-inform.info/news/id/70293
Disinforming outlet(s): ‘Krym-inform’ news agency (in Russian: ‘Crimea-Inform’ / «Крым-информ»)
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about alleged Ukraine's aggression against Crimea.

The speculation was made in the light of the recent gun attack at Kerch college in Crimea. At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more wounded.

 

Keywords: Kerch, Ukraine, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Ukrainian nationalists linked to the massacre at a college in Crimea
Additional details: The ISIS hand cannot reach Kerch. It’s all more like a Ukrainian trace. It can be either some official structures or nationalists, who are ready to do anything while they hate Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/incidents/20181017/1530864610.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

At least 19 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in the recent gun attack at Kerch college in Crimea.

Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and states that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a measure underscoring that the mid-March referendum in Crimea that led to the peninsula’s annexation by Russia “has no validity”.

Keywords: Kerch, Ukraine, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The West is carrying out towards Russia a policy of "political rabies”
Additional details: The West is carrying out towards Russia a policy of "political rabies. "Why could there be any sudden reason for thinking that the rabies will go away, that they (the West) will speak out and calm down?"
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIs46v6o234
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @ Pervyi kanal, timing 01:27
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Russophobia and "Western hysteria".

Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. The restrictive measures imposed by the EU involve: economic sanctions, diplomatic measures, individual restrictive measures (asset freeze and travel restrictions), restrictions on economic relations with Crimea and Sevastopol and restrictions on economic cooperation.

Recently, the US has adopted new sanctions against Russia over the March poisoning in the U.K. of Skripals.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, The West
Countries: Russia, The West
More
MI5 linked to the murders of Boris Berezovsky, Badri Patarkatsishvili and former KGB agents
Additional details: The UK extends the rights for its Special Forces to kill and torture throughout the world.

UK's Security Service MI5 is linked to high-profile murders of former KGB agents, attempted murders, as well as deaths of some persons associated with Russia, including Boris Berezovsky and Badri Patarkatsishvili.

It is beyond any doubt that Berezovsky was cooperating with British Special Forces. He was recruited by an agent named Pablo Miller - the same Pablo Miller, who also recruited Alexander Litvinenko - later he was killed in London - as well as recently poisoned Sergei Skripal. "So, the question arises – why do the agents of British special forces become the victims of criminals exactly when it is so favourable for their employers?".
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Pervyi Kanal
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy narrative about UK secret services.

Boris Berezovsky, a fiery critic of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin who fled to the UK in 2000, was found dead at the age of 67. Some investigative journalists have suggested that the death of Boris Berezovsky was ordered by the Kremlin.

Badri Patarkatsishvili was Boris Berezovsky’s close associate and his business partner. He has been forced to flee Russia in 2001 under threat of prosecution for fraud and was found dead at his home in Great Britain in February 2008. According to the British investigation, he died of heart failure.

Recently, the Georgian prosecutor’s office released an audio tape recorded in 2007, announcing that it has charged three former Georgian officials with plotting Patarkatsishvili assassination. The Georgian prosecutor’s office emphasized that plotting the assassination and the death of Patarkatsishvili are two independent cases.

Further debunking by Mythdetector.

Keywords: Badri Patarkatsishvili, Sergei Skripal, Chemical weapons/attack, Conspiracy, Alexander Litvinenko
Countries: UK, Russia
More
Ukrainian army deploys NATO-equipped Polish mercenaries to Donbas
Additional details: Ukrainian army deployed up to 30 NATO-equipped Polish mercenaries to Donbas. The lieutenant colonel Andrey Marochko, the representative of the so-called People’s Police of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic announced during his latest briefing that Ukraine’s military was supplementing its 53rd mechanized brigade deployed around the village of Triokhizbenka in the eastern Ukrainian Luhansk region with 30 fighters armed with NATO grade weapons who arrived on the scene speaking Polish.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): News agency Regnum
Novorosinform.org
Lug-ingo.com
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given.

According to Stop Fake, the Ukrainian Armed Forces press office emphasized that there are no foreigners in the war zone in eastern Ukraine, only exclusively Ukrainian military are deployed there.

Pro-Kremlin sources repeatedly accuse foreign military of taking part in the war in Ukraine without providing any evidence, see dozens of cases in our database. Earlier, Polish Ministry for National Defence  and Lithuania's Armed Forces have confirmed that their soldiers have only delivered trainings to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and do not take part in combat actions.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, NATO, Foreign mercenaries
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, Poland
More
Russia has not imposed sanctions
Additional details: If it is in Russia's interests to make concessions to the West, we need to make them. But should we? It was not us who imposed the sanctions.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: youtu.be/7dpzkqIVvQc
Disinforming outlet(s): Pravo Golosa @ TV Centre (TV Tsentr), time 1:49
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

It was Russia that annexed Crimea and continues to destabilise Ukraine, which were the reasons for the EU and the West to impose sanctions on Russia. The only thing needed from Russia to get the economic sanctions dropped is to implement the Minsk agreements. It has not done that, hence the economic sanctions have stayed. https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/

Since March 2014, the European Union has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. The EU has prolonged the sanctions against Russia until 15 March 2019. The restrictive measures imposed by the EU involve: economic sanctions, diplomatic measures, individual restrictive measures (asset freeze and travel restrictions), restrictions on economic relations with Crimea and Sevastopol and restrictions on economic cooperation.

On 6 August 2014, Moscow announced an embargo on imports of a range of agricultural products from the EU, applicable from 7 August. The Russian measures cover meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the EU, United States, Canada, Australia and Norway.  https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/newsroom/218_en

Recently, the US has adopted new sanctions against Russia over the March poisoning in the U.K. of Skripals.

Keywords: Sanctions
Countries: Russia, The West
More
The political elite of the EU is following the orders from the US when imposing sanctions on Russia
Additional details: Brussels [the EU] is forced and obliged to work out what the Americans say: sanctions and so on. I mean the Brussels elite. As for the countries and the real state of affairs, in Italy, France or Germany, the business continues and continues to work with Russia. Very closely.

 

             
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU1ZEF6yu2E
Disinforming outlet(s): Mesto vstrechi @ NTV, time 1:20:24
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on sanctions.

Since March 2014, the EU - including its member states Italy, France and Germany - has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine.

Keywords: Anti-Russian, US presence in Europe, Sanctions
Countries: Russia, EU, US
More
Russia is being constantly provoked and accused by the West
Additional details: We are being constantly provoked by the West. These provocations take place, firstly, well, with the aim to increase the degree of tension in relations between Russia and Western countries, the main nuclear states. To raise this degree of tension, when the world begins balancing on the brink of a nuclear war. [...] And we already know: here, no matter what happens, we always know the right answer. What answer? Who is guilty? It’s Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mul0UzFbsAw
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @ Pervyi Kanal, timing 4:50
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given, This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about West's alleged provocation and Russophobia.

Over the past years, Russia has been accused of election meddling in the US and beyond; Skripal poisoning; downing of MH17; provoking a war in Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea. And recently the Dutch security services expelled Russian spies over plot targeting OPCW. These accusations are supported by evidence.

Keywords: Provocation, Nuclear issues, War preparation, Vladimir Putin, The West
Countries: Russia, The West
More
Russia does not create tensions in international affairs
Additional details: There is an old joke... Maybe some don’t know it, it will be interesting. It goes like this. Question: ‘How do you relax?’ Answer: ‘I don’t get tense.” The same goes for tensions in international affairs. We [Russia] don’t create tensions for anybody; we don’t create any problems.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/politics/20181018/1530976655.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring narrative in the pro-Kremlin disinformation euvsdisinfo.eu/good-russia/.

Russia is currently involved in several conflicts and has illegally annexed Crimea. The Western countries reacted to clearly hostile and aggressive activities of Russia's government, like in the recent cases around Skripal and other attacks of the GRU.

Further debunking by Polygraph.

Keywords: Valdai Club, Russian superiority, Vladimir Putin
Countries: Russia
More
US orchestrated unfair vote in Macedonian parliament on name change
Additional details: The US orchestrated an “unfair vote” in the Macedonian parliament which approved the country’s name change, despite a failed popular referendum.  “The eight votes that the parliament lacked for securing the qualifying majority were received via blackmail, threats and bribes given to the opposition lawmakers… Notably, the US Ambassador [to Macedonia] was in the parliament building up to the end of the session, and this is why there is no doubt that he orchestrated the process".
Language / Targeted audience: English
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik, Russia Today (RT), Davidicke.com
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given of any US secret operation to orchestrate the vote. The United States has openly and publicly welcomed the "decision by Macedonia’s Parliament to initiate the constitutional changes needed to implement the Prespa Agreement with Greece". [Press statement - https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/10/286799.htm] It has stated it “strongly supports the agreement’s full implementation”. https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/09/286334.htm

RT also writes that the "Macedonian parliament greenlighted the name change", which is not the case. The voting on Friday was only the first phase of the procedure to make the necessary amendments to the constitution that will lead to the implementation of the agreement on name issue with Greece.

Balkan Insight meanwhile reported that the eight MPs from the opposition bloc who voted in favour were in fact targeted immediately after the vote by hate speech and threats on social networks and in some pro-opposition media. They are now assigned police protection, the FYROM interior minister Oliver Spasovski said. He also said that the police have identified a “group” close to the informal movement which campaigned for a boycott of the ‘name’ referendum which he said has been threatening the lives of MPs and their families.

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, US presence in Europe, Referendum
Countries: Macedonia, US
More
Ukraine is likely to launch some kind of revanchist offensive ahead of March 2019 presidential elections
Additional details: Ukraine is likely to launch some kind of revanchist offensive ahead of March 2019 presidential elections. The apparent danger facing the two self-declared Donbass republics is comparable to that faced by Abkhazia and South Ossetia when Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili attacked them.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj45pF0GO6E
Disinforming outlet(s): 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1, time 30:30, 32:00
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Pro-Kremlin disinformation routinely accuses Ukraine for war preparation ahead of major news events, when it was Russia itself that provoked and maintains the war in Ukraine.

Many international organizations condemned the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia, see e.g. the OSCE statements here and here and European Parliament's resolution.

Keywords: Abkhazia, South Ossetia, War preparation, War in Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili, Donbas
Countries: Ukraine, Georgia
More
Russia is being accused without any evidence
Additional details: We are accused of something, and with a high degree of probability ("highly likely"), as they say; we did this or that, intervened here, did something there. At the same time, no one considers it necessary to provide any evidence.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: ria.ru/world/20181018/1530977688.html
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

RIA Novosti states that, for example, Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of trying to influence elections in different countries.

The expression "highly likely" may refer to Theresa May's statement following Skripal poisoning. The Prime Minister of the UK said in March 2018 that it is ‘highly likely’ that Moscow ordered the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal using a type of military-grade nerve agent developed in Russia.

Both accusations have been supported by evidence. Read more about Russian election meddling in the US and beyond and Skripal poisoning on our website.

Russia is also accused of being responsible for the 2014 downing of MH17, provoking a war in Ukraine and of illegal annexation of Crimea. And recently the Dutch security services expelled Russian spies over plot targeting OPCW.

Keywords: Sergei Skripal, Valdai Club, Vladimir Putin, Crimea
Countries: UK, Russia, Ukraine
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Crimea belongs to Russia
Additional details: Crimea is ours… And why ours? Not because we came and grabbed something… What is democracy? A government of the people. And how is a government of the people validated? Through referendums, elections and so on. People in Crimea turned out for a referendum and voted… to be independent and, as a next step,… to be a part of the Russian Federation.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Life.ru
Mir24
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on referendum in Crimea.

Crimea is part of Ukraine. Russia violated international law as well as key principles of the European security framework in illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. 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. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.

UNGA Resolution 68/262, which condemned Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine, was supported by 100 United Nations member states. Only 10 states opposed it.

Further debunking by Polygraph.

Keywords: Valdai Club, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Sevastopol has always been legally part of Russia
Additional details: Legally Sevastopol has always been part of Russia.


It was a city of central subordination, even when Crimea was transferred – illegally – from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. It is illegal because the decision was made by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the RSFSR, Ukraine and then approved by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, while it should have been approved by the republics’ supreme councils and the USSR Supreme Council. But even during this process, which was essentially illegal, everybody just forgot about Sevastopol, and it was not transferred from the USSR to Ukraine. So technically and legally it has always been part of Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
RT
Politikus
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Crimea.

Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula, which is part of Ukraine. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.

Further debunking about Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) and USSR by The Insider.

 

Keywords: Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Crimea, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Ukraine’s army preparing sabotage in Crimea
Additional details: Ukraine is the real threat for the peninsula. A threat that several times tried to materialize: from constant aggressive rhetoric of the Ukrainian president (...) to real attempts of sabotage on the territory of the peninsula.

The provocations come from the Ukrainian side.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik
Rusdialog.ru
RIA FAN
RT
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine.

According to Stop Fake, these statements came as a response to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's announcement that 39 additional military units were deployed along Ukraine’s border in places considered to be at risk from Russian attack. These units, Poroshenko said, were formed to defend Ukraine’s mainland and not to attack Crimea, as Russian politicians and media claim.

 

Keywords: Leonid Kalashnikov, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
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Ukraine is a vassal country, a colony of the US
Additional details: (Ukraine's president Petro) Poroshenko exists solely to speak, he takes no action. Ukraine is a vassal country, a colony of the United States. The Ukrainian authorities can do nothing without the permission of the United States.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA FAN
Reported by: EAST Stratcom Network
Disproof note:

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

Ukraine is a sovereign state with a legitimate government recognized by all the the UN members.

The EU strongly supported the holding of open, genuine and democratic Presidential and parliamentary elections in May and October 2014: http://www.eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/statements/docs/2014/140612_01_en.pdf

OSCE: The elections marked an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate democratic elections in line with its international commitments. There were many positive points to the process, such as an impartial and efficient Central Election Commission, an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms https://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/132556?download=true

Keywords: Alexander Sherin, Eastern Ukraine, US, Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
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The Islamic state took chemical weapons originating in the West
Additional details: The Russian Reconciliation Center said that the Islamic State took chemical weapons originating in the West in an attack against Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham near the border of the Idlib Governorate. Allegedly, attackers seized two chlorine canisters. The canisters fell into IS's hands because of the "West's irresponsible behaviour."

A chemical attack was being faked and filmed, and then those videos would be shared with international organisations.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Disinforming outlet(s): News Front
Reported by: Political Capital Institute
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation about the West supporting terrorists, and about plots to fake chemical attacks in Syria.

There is no proof that the West handed over any chemical weapons to any groups in Syria.

Keywords: Chemical weapons/attack, Syrian War
Countries: Russia, The West, Syria
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