Disinformation Review: It’s a Russo-centric world

Be it Nagorno-Karabakh, MH17 or Belarus, everything is always against Russia.

Starting off with fresh disinformation about latest events, the pro-Kremlin media claims the escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh is directed against Russia because the US was meddling in Armenia. In reality there is no evidence the conflict is meant to destabilise Russia.

However, this disinformation claim is greatly outpaced by an Armenian language outlet, iravunk.com, claiming that in 2018 a mutant junta, funded by George Soros, arranged a coup in Armenia allowing LGBT people to grasp power and who now serve the goals of external forces.

Actually, there was no such coup d’etat in Armenia, but peaceful protests of hundreds of thousands of people against Serzh Sargsyan’s decision to take on the post of prime minister after serving for more than a decade as the country’s president. Claiming that civil uprisings are West-funded coups has already been applied to protests in UkraineVenezuelaGeorgia and Belarus to portray the West as an aggressive actor, constantly preparing new coups and colour revolutions with paid protesters instructed by the Russophobic West.

Governing Under Influence

One of the most creative examples of disinformation regarding Belarus is trying (yet again) to list all countries meddling there. Poland and Lithuania are claimed to be the main culprits, helped by the US, the Czech Republic and Ukraine. As usual, the pro-Kremlin media wilfully ignores that the electorate might be tired of fraudulent election results allowing the same politicians to remain in office without an end in sight.

Inspired by yet another example from the plentiful category of “someone being under the influence of someone else” it is time to coin a special term describing this condition. As for rules or guidelines, there is just one: while the EU, like the Baltic States, is claimed to be under US influence, and the CIA is influencing Facebook, it’s just a conspiracy theory that Russia influenced the US elections four years ago. As for the term, the most logical would be to paraphrase the American abbreviation for Driving under the influence or DUI, but instead of driving, it should be Governing under Influence or GUI.

This week we also documented some desperate attempts from pro-Kremlin media to convince the public that the USSR and Russia neither conducted research on Novichok, nor had it in stock. Now, this claim may contradict the words of the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, who stated that Russia had destroyed its Novichok stockpile “in accordance with OPCW procedures and rules”, but it also raises the question, where did this stockpile of Novichok came from?

Well, worry not! First, according to the pro-Kremlin media, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is “by no means a trusted organisation”. Now, ignoring the question of why bother with playing by the rules of the OPCW if it’s not trustworthy, the pro-Kremlin media also claims that “the most likely sources of the poisonous gas are the UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States”.

No holds barred with MH17

While we sometimes end the Disinformation Review cover letter with funny or strange examples of disinformation, this time this section should be dubbed as rubbing salt into the wound. Tsargrad has published an article claiming that “Hiding the truth about the [MH17] plane crash is beneficial to the Netherlands. Because, if the plane crash was caused by an explosive device on board, the responsibility falls on the Netherlands, since the airliner took off from the Dutch airport, Schiphol.“

But then again, all the above mentioned examples are in line with the ethical standards of pro-Kremlin media, giving itself licence to ridicule murder, deny occupations and blame every wrongdoing on somebody else.

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