Weekly disinformation review

  • European External Action Service
  • 1.6.2017 16:10

The circle is square!

There is one method of disinformation that only a few dare to use: the dissemination of “facts” which are completely and clearly contrary to the truth. But it is quite a common technique of pro-Kremlin disinformation.

“Russia threatened to use nukes? US commission produces wildest claims in push for military build-up”. So ran a recent Russia Today headline in an article that tries to leave the impression that the Kremlin would never make threats like these.

The truth is on record as the opposite. “I do not think that the Danes fully understand the consequences if Denmark joins the US-led missile defence shield. If that happens, Danish warships become targets for Russian nuclear missiles,” the Russian ambassador to Denmark has said. President Putin himself indicated that he is ready to use nuclear arms in the case of resistance to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. And last year, he warned the people of Romania and Poland that they would be in Russia’s cross-hairs if they were to host elements of the US missile shield.

This week's Vremya Pokazhet TV show made some claims that were similarly contrary to the truth. According to the speakers on the show, there had been a plan to destroy the Russian nation in Crimea, which is why Russia had to intervene in 2014; and now, so we were told, there is a plan to kill millions of people in Donbas. Even worse - Angela Merkel is silent about it, which proves that she is involved.

The reality: there was no plan to do the Russians in Crimea any harm – only defamatory disinformation stories in pro-Kremlin outlets. And there is no such plan for the Donbas now. That is the reason for the silence.

Meanwhile, according to Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia cannot be an aggressor, since it is in the Russian genetic code to refuse any war. The International Criminal Court has taken a different view.

When the laws of logic cannot help

Ukraine was very much in the focus of the pro-Kremlin disinformation again over the past week. Some shows on Russian national TV were devoted solely to this country. Thus, we heard again the disinformation that Ukraine's Russian-speaking minority is being repressed, that Ukrainians are just Russians and that NATO orchestrated the Euromaidan revolution.

Continuing in the vein of the Russian reaction so far to Ukraine's visa free regime with Europe, Dmitry Kiselyov, the Kremlin’s chief propagandist, currently on the European sanctions list, has investigated and concluded that the visa free regime's aim is to convert Ukrainians into slaves of Europe. Thus it is that, in the logic of pro-Kremlin disinformation, the opportunity to travel equates to slavery.

Similar thoughts were presented in a Georgian pro-Kremlin outlet, according to which the EU and the US have jointly “destroyed” the Georgian education system. The same outlet said that the credits and loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund mean that Georgia has become enslaved by these two international organisations.

Click here for the FULL TABLE of recent stories repeating disinformation (.pdf).

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