As the year comes to an end, one tends to look back over the past twelve months to try to sum up what has happened. But summing up the pro-Kremlin disinformation year is more about what didn’t happen.

During the year we have witnessed plenty of spectacular claims from pro-Kremlin mouthpieces, such as the imminent threat of civil war in Sweden, that an American plane dropped a nuclear bomb over Lithuania, and that the US aims to occupy Europe.  Among the things claimed just last week that didn’t happen, we can find a clumsy Ukrainian soldier who didn’t blow himself up (it was a video made for fun), the rape cases in Sweden that rose by a thousand percent (in fact a rise of 1,4% since 2015) and Pope John Paul II claiming that the invasion of migrants has to stop (he just didn’t). Apart from this, we have also seen the usual recurring pro-Kremlin narratives repeated over and over again.

Within the constant flow, one can notice some overarching themes. Here we have summed them up for you.

Good Russia

With this theme, Russia is described as an innocent actor which does everything it can to solve the world’s problems, but is constantly mistreated by the “West”. During his annual press conference last week, President Putin repeated two favourite recurring themes: that Russia is not involved in the war in Ukraine and that Crimea decided its own fate. As we know, the European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has concluded that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, Russian state TV repeated the claim that sanctions are aimed at destroying Russia, when it is clear that they have been imposed by the international community because Russia decided to break international law.

The Evil West

In the pro-Kremlin disinformation sphere, the “West” is described as Russophobic, and determined to humiliate and discredit Russia; it is undemocratic, untrustworthy and guilty of double standards; it is immoral and in decline; and it is an international aggressor. For example, this week on Russian state TV, Poland was accused of aiming to enslave Russians, in cooperation with other European states. And the UK was accused of attempting to humiliate Russia during the upcoming Olympic Games. Russia’s Foreign Minister repeated some of these claims in an interview, and said that NATO made a promise to Russia not to expand eastwards and that NATO is deploying troops in Poland and the Baltic states in a non-transparent way. Find the debunk for the claims here and here.

The case of Ukraine

As followers of the disinformation review must have noticed, Ukraine has a special place within the disinformation (un)reality. Ukrainians are often described as fascists, oppressors, aggressors and xenophobes; Ukraine is portrayed as an artificial country, failing, disintegrating and alone; and Russian actions concerning Ukraine are described as legitimate and legal. This last week we saw several examples of this theme. In pro-Kremlin outlets it was claimed that President Poroshenko was brought to power by the US to establish a nationalist regime and that the Ukrainian state denies Donbass access to water, among other things. As we know by now, the regime in Kyiv is not nationalist and came to power through popular protest and democratic elections. The water in Luhansk was turned off by the local energy company since the bills were not paid.

All we want for Christmas is a disinformation-free information space. But we regret to say that it is probably not the last time you will see the narratives above. Since repetition is the mother of disinformation, we hope that knowing the narratives well will help you spot and debunk disinformation in the future. With this, we wish you a happy Christmas and New Year!

The Venice Commission published an opinion about the facts of gross discrimination of Russian language and minority languages in the Edcuation Law of Ukraine
Additional details: On December 10, the Venice Commission published an opinion about the facts of gross discrimination of Russian language and minority languages in the Edcuation Law
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Inosmi.ru
Reported by: Stopfake.org
Disproof note:

Misleading. In fact, the Venice Commission does not mention “facts of gross discrimination” but states:

"However, paragraph 4 of Article 7 provides no solution for languages which are not official languages of the EU, in particular the Russian language, as the most widely used language apart from the state language. The less favourable treatment of these languages is difficult to justify and therefore raises issues of discrimination."

The Venice Commission recommends in particular:

 to enter, within the framework of the implementation of the new Education Law, into a new dialogue with representatives of national minorities and all interested parties on the language of education.

 to ensure that the implementation of the Law does not endanger the preservation of the minorities’ cultural heritage and the continuity of minority language education in traditional schools.

http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-AD(2017)030-e.

Further debunking by Stopfake.org https://www.stopfake.org/manipulyatsiya-venetsianskaya-komissiya-priznala-diskriminatsiyu-russkogo-yazyka-v-ukraine/.

Keywords: Russian language
Countries: Ukraine
More
The US has brought the world to the threshold of a nuclear war
Additional details: On December 7, the Central Telegraph Agency of Korea issued a statement of the representative of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, the idea of which boils down to the fact that a war with America is unavoidable. [...] A cold wind of a nuclear winter blows. It is when radioactive dust and smoke from the fires block the Earth from the warming Sun and all the life on our planet freezes to death in the darkness. We have been brought to this state by the US that is becoming increasingly unpredictable and unskilful in its military operations. It doesn’t coordinate its military plans and major international decisions with anybody, including its own allies. Everybody may become a victim.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Vesti nedeli @Rossiya 1, 00.00
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation adopting the point of view of a country on whom the United Nations has imposed several sanctions because of its nuclear weapon's programme. See the UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea: https://www.un.org/sc/suborg/en/sanctions/1718/resolutions Both Russia and the United States are permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Keywords: Nuclear issues
Countries: North Korea, US
More
President Poroshenko was brought to power by the US and Ukrainian oligarchs in order to establish a nationalist regime in Ukraine
Additional details:

No one will ever believe that [the West, the US and the Ukrainian oligarchs] did not understand what [they] were doing when removing Yanukovich, who had been supposedly thieving around, and then replacing him with the supposed “honest Poroshenko”. Everyone knows what the Ukrainian oligarchs have been doing in Ukraine during 25 years! They were robbing this country! This whole country has been designed in order to get rich. [...] It is a monstrous deception of the population of the former splinter of the Soviet empire, by the Americans together with their [Ukrainian] oligarchs! It will end with coming to power of the most radical gang of Ukrainian nationalists. It is all directed against Russia.

Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw_gvgM96a4
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 19:20, 20:00
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

As witnessed by the democratic and inclusive Presidential elections held on 25 May 2014, Ukraine is governed now by a democratically elected government, not by the West or the US. The OSCE characterized the elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." http://bit.ly/2g9K0Mp  . The far-right ‘Right Sector’ that is often depicted as "fascists" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets, gained only 1.8% of the votes during Parliament elections held the same year, far short of the threshold needed to enter the Ukrainian Parliament. The electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not extremism or war against any country, including Russia, and the composition of the Parliament reflects that clearly http://bit.ly/2dFFEdi.

Keywords: War in Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, The West, Ukrainian statehood, Viktor Yanukovych
Countries: Russia, Ukraine, US
More
Ukrainians never protest against their government, because they are afraid of the Ukrainian authorities
Additional details: The question ‘Why do Ukrainians not go out on the streets with stones?’ is naive. There is a simple, very human, everyday and sad answer: they are afraid. Because the current authorities with the support of 8%  have made people very afraid of going out on the streets.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw_gvgM96a4
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 35:06
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. See examples of recent street protests: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-17/ukraine-protesters-seek-poroshenko-s-removal-at-kiev-rally

The disinformation is based on misleading polling data by the Ukrainian TV channel "News One" that has been criticized by Ukrainians for its pro-Kremlin stances. Polls conducted by the media reflect the opinion of the audience of these media, and not the entire society. See also a list of other polls conducted: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_Ukrainian_presidential_election,_2019

Keywords: State oppression
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Ukrainian authorities have got a record low publicly accepted rating
Additional details: According to a poll conducted by the Ukrainian TV channel "News One", the Ukrainian authorities have got a record low publicly accepted rating.

[A video on the screen in the studio shows results of the poll]:

Question:   "If you have a choice now – to choose the previous criminal government or the current one, for whom would you vote?”


Answers:   "For the previous one - 92 %, For the current one - 8%"

Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpnJrzbAinw
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

Polls conducted by the media reflect the opinion of the audience of these media, and not the entire society. The Ukrainian TV channel "News One" has been criticized by Ukrainians for its pro-Kremlin stances. As for the publicly accepted rating of the "current government" in Ukraine defined by the "News One" as a "record low" and amounting to 8 % now, see for example a list of other polls conducted: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_Ukrainian_presidential_election,_2019

There are no reliable polls that suggest that a majority of Ukrainians support the idea of Yanukovich return to power. https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/92-of-ukrainian-tv-viewers-want-yanukovich-back/

Keywords: Media, Elections
Countries: Ukraine
More
Pope John Paul II said that we have to stop the 'invasion' of migrants
Additional details: The Pope predicted a Europe full of immigrants: "I see the the 3rd millennium's Church suffering a deadly wound which, compared to this millennium (Nazism and communism), will be deeper and more painful". In his prophecy (mentioned by an Italian priest), Pope John Paul II asked "the representatives of the 3rd millennium's Church to stop the invasion" of migrants.
Language / Targeted audience: Romanian
Disinforming outlet(s): Sputnik.md
Reported by: Citizen First
Disproof note:

No evidence given. Sputnik mentions a priest, who "heard" this prophecy from Pope John Paul II in early 90s. On the Holy See's website there is a statement which reflects the opinion of Pope John Paul II on migrants:"Today the phenomenon of illegal migrants has assumed considerable proportions (...).The present economic and social imbalance, which to a large extent encourages the migratory flow, should not be seen as something inevitable, but as a challenge to the human race's sense of responsibility (...). It is necessary to guard against the rise of new forms of racism or xenophobic behaviour". https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/messages/migration/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_25071995_undocumented_migrants.html

Keywords: Pope Francis, Vatican, Migration crisis, Europe, Sputnik
Countries: Moldova
More
Ukrainian Army are ready to use white phosphorous
Additional details: The Ukrainian Army are ready to once again use white phosphorous against the population of Donbas, weapons they must have gotten from NATO countries.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Politnavigator
Reported by: RFE/RL
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation, no evidence given https://euvsdisinfo.eu/report/ukrainian-army-uses-white-phosphorous/. See also DFRLab's report.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Chemical weapons/attack, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
US Air Force in Syria seeks to prevent Russian Air Force from killing Islamic state terrorists
Additional details: US Air Force in Syria seeks to prevent Russian Air Force from killing Islamic state terrorists.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): ac24.cz
Reported by: European Values
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation that the US support Daesh https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=ISIS&disinfo_issue=&date=.

Keywords: Islamic extremism, Syrian War, Daesh
Countries: Russia, US, Syria
More
Due to migration, the number of rapes in Sweden has increased by 1000% in two years
Additional details: From 2015, when the migration wave began, the number of rapes in Sweden increased by 1000%. The mainstream media is silent about it.
Language / Targeted audience: Czech
Disinforming outlet(s): ac24.cz
Reported by: European Values
Disproof note:

According to Swedish authorities, the number of reported rapes since 2015 is up by 1,4% - a far cry from 1000% as claimed in the article. So, the number of reported rapes in Sweden has risen. But the definition of rape has broadened over time, which makes it difficult to compare the figures. It is also misleading to compare the figures with other countries, as many acts that are considered rape under Swedish law are not considered rape in many other countries.
For example: If a woman in Sweden reports that she has been raped by her husband every night for a year, that is counted as 365 separate offences; in most other countries this would be registered as a single offence, or would not be registered as an offence at all.
Willingness to report such offences also differs dramatically between countries. A culture in which these crimes are talked about openly, and victims are not blamed, will also have more cases reported. Sweden has made a conscious effort to encourage women to report any offence
http://www.government.se/articles/2017/02/facts-about-migration-and-crime-in-sweden/, http://www.notisum.se/rnp/sls/lag/19620700.htm#K6, https://www.bra.se/brott-och-statistik/statistik-utifran-brottstyper/valdtakt-och-sexualbrott.html

Keywords: Refugees, Migration crisis
Countries: Sweden
More
Ukraine will accept 20,000 refugees instead of Germany
Additional details: As reported by the Bavarian newspaper Kraichgau News, by the end of 2018 Ukraine will accept no less than 20,000 refugees most likely those who are currently in Bavaria. This deal resulted from an agreement with Ukraine’s Interior Ministry and its German counterpart and Ukraine is actively preparing for the reception of that large number of people.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): RIA Novosti
Reported by: Stopfake.org
Disproof note:

Kraichgau News is neither Bavarian nor is it a newspaper. It is an internet portal where anyone can post their information based in the Baden-Württemberg area. A user calling themselves Kerstin Neumann who wrote the article that Russian media cite registered with the Kraichgau News portal one day before publishing her fake story on November 1. This fake began to be widely republished in Russian media during the recent EU Eastern Partnership summit at the end of November. There is no agreement between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding refugees. Further debunking by Stopfake https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukraine-to-accept-20-000-refugees-instead-of-germany/.

Keywords: Eastern Partnership, Refugees
Countries: Ukraine, Germany
More
Ukrainian Army's autumn recruitment was a failure
Additional details: Ukraine’s autumn recruitment campaign is a complete failure with a 70 percent no show rate.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Tsargrad TV, RIA Novosti, Zvezda TV, Vesti, Politnews, Voyennoye obozrenye, Versia, Channel five
Reported by: Stopfake.org
Disproof note:

Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reports that the latest recruitment drive aimed to attract 12,460 persons for contractual military service, 2,000 more than in previous drives. According to the Ukrainian Land Forces press service, recruitment centers throughout the country report that goal has been met with 8,360 recruits going into the Ukrainian army, 3,500 into the National Guard and 600 into a specialized military transport service. Further debunking by Stopfake.org. https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukraine-s-autumn-recruitment-a-washout/

Keywords: Military, Ukrainian disintegration, Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Ukraine
More
Kyiv shuts off water to Donbas without any explanation
Additional details: Without warning or explanation, Kyiv cut off water supplies to Luhansk. This is a genocide Ukrainian style.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Luhansk1.info, Vzglyad, Kharkiv News Agency, Ukraina.ru, Voskhod info, Nasha Gazeta, Luhansk1, Realnaya Gazeta, Rubaltic, Ostrov
Reported by: Stopfake.org
Disproof note:

Kyiv did not cut the water to Luhansk, Luhanske Enerhetychne Obyednannia, (LEO) the regional utility company has warned countless times that both consumer and corporate electricity accounts located on separatist controlled territory that were not paying their bills, particularly such companies as Popasnianska Vodokanal pumping station, would be cut off. LEO reports that it is in a precarious financial position because of the millions of unpaid bills, which has led to its accounts being frozen by the National Energy and Public Services Regulatory Commission. One pro-Kremlin site referred to this as a genocide,  a word that is often used in pro-Kremlin disinformation but seldom refers to the actual crime against humanity https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=genocide&disinfo_issue=&date=. Further debunking by Stopfake.org https://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-kyiv-shuts-off-water-to-luhansk-without-explanation/.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian disintegration, Genocide
Countries: Ukraine
More
The UK has announced a competition for "the most humiliating neutral flag and anthem" for the Russian athletes participating in the Winter Olympics
Additional details: They [the West] are preparing already to make us drink this cup of humiliation, but not like the way we are drinking it now. [...] In England they are preparing, for example, for the situation that we will take the decision [the decision of the National Olympic Committee of Russia on the participation of Russian athletes in the Winter Olympics under a neutral flag]. And they are preparing already to meet us in South Korea according to their program: the competition for the most, if possible, humiliating neutral flag for Russia and the anthem.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uidAgckIJKg
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 40:57
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

The show quotes a satirical article published in The Times December 9, 2017. Even the closest monitoring of the British media does not reveal any mention of a real “competition for a neutral flag and anthem" for Russian athletes.

Keywords: Olympics, Doping
Countries: South Korea, Russia
More
Europe will be a German colony
Additional details: The next step after Martin Schulz's earlier statement about a federal European constitution would be to subordinate smaller countries to Germany or France. Especially the countries of the eastern bloc will be affected; Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary ... There is obviously an ambition to punish these countries for representing a different position. Schulz would punish them for representing a different opinion on immigration from Germany or Europe.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Disinforming outlet(s): Hidfo.ru
Reported by: Mátyás Safranka
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The statement about the federalism of Europe was made by one politician at his party's conference, and there was no mention of immigration or punishing other member states.

Keywords: EU disintegration, EU, United States of Europe
Countries: Germany
More
Tens of millions of Ukrainian citizens are ready to support pro-Kremlin regimes in Donbas and create Novorossia on the left bank of the Dnipro River
Additional details: As soon as the DPR and LPR are legalized in Ukrainian politics, tens of millions of Ukrainian citizens will openly support them. They will become - for sure! – a political force of the Left Bank [the entire territory of Eastern Ukraine, located on the left bank of the Dnieper River] and Novorossia will emerge in the internal Ukrainian … [politics]. [Former President of Ukraine Oleksandr] Turchynov and [current President of Ukraine Petro] Poroshenko will face charges for unleashing a civil war in Ukraine.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3fKMuDEDN4
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. On the contrary, according to the poll by the International Republican Institute Center for Insights in Survey Research, a combined 80 percent of Ukrainians nationwide and a combined 73 percent in the Donbas region believe that separatist-controlled areas of the Donbas should remain under Ukrainian control. Only six percent nationwide and four percent in the Donbas believe that these areas should either be separated from Ukraine or become part of Russia.

As for the state of “Novorossia” or “New Russia” in English, pro-Kremlin media refers with this term to the regions of the South-East of Ukraine.

There is no civil war in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine is a war between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Keywords: Civil war, Novorossiya, Oleksandr Turchynov, DPR, LPR, Petro Poroshenko
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Russian Army is not involved in the war in Ukraine
Additional details: There is no Russian army on the territory of Donbas but military-police formations have been created, ready to repulse an offensive against Donbas.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual news conference
Reported by: Polygraph.info
Disproof note:

One of the most repeated examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation. But the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming, much of it coming, inadvertently or deliberately, from Russian troops themselves. Further details, for example, are in the following reports: http://bit.ly/1i9fChX, http://bit.ly/1JUXaQB, http://bit.ly/1RbWQU5, http://bit.ly/1L6f6J6, http://bit.ly/1GpWmnW.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has concluded 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 http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT.

President Putin himself admitted to the presence of Russian “people there, who deal with certain matters, including in the military area” [aka soldiers] in December 2015 http://bit.ly/1kC94ch and again in October 2016 http://bit.ly/2enbpt2. He even awarded  medals to Russian soldiers who fought in Donbass http://bit.ly/2dsPbWN. And Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoygu awarded a medal to a Russian soldier for fighting near Debaltseve http://bit.ly/2eNYKka.  Furthermore, evidence of Russian soldiers and Russian commandment in Donbass can be found here: http://bit.ly/2e6RE77.

Further debunking at Polygraph.info https://www.polygraph.info/a/newsc-putin-ukraine-election-media/28918925.html.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
The people of Crimea determined their own fate
Additional details: The 1954 handover of the Crimea to Ukraine was illegal.The people of Crimea determined their fate the way they did, in the March 2014 referendum that showed 97 percent of Crimeans voted for independence from the rest of Ukraine and to become a part of Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual news conference
Reported by: Polygraph.info
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation. 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: http://bit.ly/2d9uXT9.

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. http://bit.ly/1RZGnjo.

Further debunking by Polygraph.info https://www.polygraph.info/a/newsc-putin-ukraine-election-media/28918925.html.

Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
Polish Catholics and neo-Nazis plan to seize and divide Russia and, in cooperation with other European states, enslave the Russians
Additional details: Poland led by Catholics and neo-Nazis has a plan to seize and divide Russia and then, in cooperation with other European states, enslave the Russians and destroy their masculinity. They [the Europeans] treat us as a space for a potential capture. Just think: what these crazy Poles are saying – these Catholics and neo-Nazis, who today are ruling Poland - this is actually what all these Stoltenbergs and other Western leaders are thinking about! [...] They want to conquer, divide, enslave, destroy all the resistance, all the masculine origin [of the Russians].
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3fKMuDEDN4
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 40:52, 41:17
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

Conspiracy theory, repeating recurring disinformation regarding Western aggression. There are no neo-Nazis in the government of Poland. No evidence that Poland, Nato or the West have a treacherous plan to destroy "masculine origin" of the Russians.

Keywords: Destabilising Russia, The West, Nazi/Fascist
Countries: Russia, Poland
More
A Ukrainian soldier was caught on video, as he blew himself up with an "intelligent mine" in the bombardment of Donbass
Additional details: A Ukrainian soldier accidentally blows himself up when handling weapons, as shown by a video.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Riafan.ru
Reported by: RFE/RL
Disproof note:

As shown by RFE/RL, the video is a joke - it is even mentioned below the video that the viewers shouldn't take it seriously https://ru.krymr.com/a/28913899.html. It is clear in the full length of the video https://youtu.be/4lO-AvnOLYM. Further debunking by RFE/RL https://ru.krymr.com/a/28913899.html.

Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Military, War in Ukraine
Countries: Ukraine
More
The Western sanctions are aimed at destroying Russia
Additional details: Sanctions [against the USSR and Russia] have existed before, it is a game to destroy Russia.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAOuOXO1jw4
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The restrictive measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. They do not aim at destroying Russia. The economic sanctions targeting exchanges with Russia in specific economic sectors are aligned to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/sanctions/ukraine-crisis/

Keywords: Sanctions
Countries: Russia
More
Ukrainians and Russians are one single people
Additional details: The Ukrainians and Russians are a single people.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: http://tass.ru/politika/4812823
Disinforming outlet(s): Tass
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

An old myth designed by the Kremlin and debunked many times. The Russians and the Ukrainians are not the same or a single nation. Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc.

Keywords: Ukrainian statehood
Countries: Russia, Ukraine
More
ISIS is a geopolitical strategy of the western world against the Russian-Syrian-Iranian coalition
Additional details: Victory of the Russian-Syrian-Iranian coalition is a defeat for the West. The army of the IS was always fighting in the side of the West. The US assisted the terror state with weapon supplies and education.
Language / Targeted audience: Hungarian
Disinforming outlet(s): Orientalista.hu
Reported by: Mátyás Safranka
Disproof note:

Recurring disinformation https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=ISIS&disinfo_issue=&disinfo_keywords%5B%5D=77105&date=, no evidence given. It is self-evident nonsense to state that IS fights on the side of the West.

Keywords: The West, Daesh
Countries: Iran, Russia, US, Syria
More
NATO used Russia’s military exercise, Zapad 2017 as a pretext for deploying troops in the Baltic states and Poland
Additional details: Everyone who wished to attend the exercise, did so, and confirmed that everything was transparent. But, while hysteria was whipped up, the U.S., together with NATO, was able to deploy additional military contingents and military hardware on the sly to the Baltic states and Poland.The excuse was used though the fears were not in the slightest justified, but as the phrase goes, the case is closed.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://youtu.be/4UGilEvpzRc
Disinforming outlet(s): Interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Belorussian CTV
Reported by: Digital Forensics Research Lab, https://medium.com/dfrlab
Disproof note:

As explained by DFRLab, while there are NATO troops and equipment in Poland and the Baltic states, Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov’s claim that the presence increased in response to Zapad 2017 is misleading. The United States did, in fact, deploy three additional fighter jets and 600 American paratroopers to the Baltic states and Poland for the duration of Zapad. However, the deployment was public, reported by Reuters at the time, and there is no evidence to suggest that the additional forces overstayed their visit.

Similarly, the recent arrival of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) to Poland, which was recently targeted by similar Kremlin disinformation, was a part of a planned rotation of U.S. Army Europe, a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. As @DFRLab reported in October, the deployment of the 2nd Armed Brigade Combat Team was first announced in April 2017, six months before the start of Zapad 2017. There is no evidence to uphold the claim that the deployment was linked to Russia’s military exercise, but the deployment was rather a part of the rotational schedule. Further information at https://medium.com/dfrlab/balticbrief-russia-claims-secret-nato-deployment-e6c0e649ccfb

Keywords: Military, EU/NATO enlargement, Military exercise, NATO
Countries: Russia, Baltic states, US, Poland
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NATO promised not to expand eastwards
Additional details: NATO has previously promised not to expand eastwards and NATO has broken international agreements.
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UGilEvpzRc
Disinforming outlet(s): Interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Belorussian CTV
Reported by: Digital Forensics Research Lab, https://medium.com/dfrlab
Disproof note:

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on NATO. As explained by the DFRLab, both statements have been debunked numerous times. NATO made no promises not to expand into eastern and central Europe back in 1990, which was confirmed by the former president of the Soviet Union Mihail Gorbachev. Back in 2014, Gorbachev said:"The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility." https://www.rbth.com/international/2014/10/16/mikhail_gorbachev_i_am_against_all_walls_40673.html. Furthermore, the claim about NATO "expansion" misrepresents the process of NATO enlargement. NATO does not "expand" but considers the applications of candidate countries which want to join. In any case, no such promise was made https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_109141.htm.

Similarly, NATO did not break the “Substantial Combat Forces” pledge of the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act. The pledge precluded “permanent stationing of substantial combat forces” in the region. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2016/583782/EPRS_ATA%282016%29583782_EN.pdf. The four multi-national battle groups deployed in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are rotational, defensive, and well below any reasonable definition of “substantial combat forces.” Further debunking at DFRLab https://medium.com/dfrlab/balticbrief-russia-claims-secret-nato-deployment-e6c0e649ccfb.

Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, NATO
Countries: Russia
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NATO frighten European women with the idea that the Russians will come and rape them
Additional details: NATO as Russia's enemy is interested in terrorising European women with the idea about those who would rape them. Well, of course, it will be an aggressor. Who is the main aggressor for NATO today? Well, of course, it’s Russia. The Russians will come and rape all of you.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Link to the disinformation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOpjA3WklKI
Disinforming outlet(s): Vremya pokazhet @Pervyi kanal, 14:01
Reported by: Pavel Spirin, former journalist
Disproof note:

Sexual threats is a recurring theme of pro-Kremlin disinformation. On December 10, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and actress Angelina Jolie stated that they have joined forces to project the alliance as a progressive role model for gender politics and a “leading protector” of women’s rights starting a joint mission to secure the “fundamental promise in the UN Charter of equal rights and dignity for women.” Stoltenberg/Jolie’s article does not say a word about Russia. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/10/why-nato-must-defend-womens-rights )

Keywords: Sexual assault, NATO
Countries: Russia
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Newspaper Helsingin Sanomat is a kind of headquarters of Nato in Finland
Additional details: The US and the UK want to revenge themselves on the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and organise a hybrid war against Finland. They use their agent, newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, as an accomplice.

The newspaper is a kind of headquarters of Nato to manipulate the brains of Finnish people.

 
Language / Targeted audience: Russian
Disinforming outlet(s): Svobodnaya Pressa
Reported by: East Stratcom Task Force
Disproof note:

No evidence given. The US, UK and Finland are partners. Helsingin Sanomat is an independent Finnish newspaper and has no connection to Nato. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Helsingin-Sanomat

Read more for the background: https://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/mondays_papers_intelligence_documents_leak_heavy_concert_accident_the_jobs_in_your_genes/9981816

Keywords: Hybrid war, Media, NATO
Countries: UK, Russia, US, Finland
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