New #DisinfoReview from the EU East StratCom Task Force
6 April 2017


If in doubt – blame Germany

This week, Germany was in the limelight of pro-Kremlin disinformation once again. There were several reports in Czech pro-Kremlin outlets accusing Germany of being the ruler of the Czech Republic and of hindering the country from entering the Eurozone, as well as accusations that Germany controls the Czech Armed Forces.

In a Lithuanian outlet, a German commander in NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence battalion in Lithuania was accused of being a Russian agent, although the picture meant to prove the false claim was a fake: an image of the commander's head was pasted onto another image with the help of Photoshop, as shown here and here.

In a Slovakian outlet, it was announced that Angela Merkel is resigning – confusingly the statement was withdrawn later in the very same article, a case of a severely misleading headline. Furthermore, Berlin was accused of aiming to rule the European continent via Brussels, with a Czech outlet making parallels between the Brexit negotiations and the Munich agreement that permitted Germany to annex some Czechoslovakian territories in 1938.

Europe is everyone's enemy

But it was not only Germany that was targeted with disinformation: The European Union, Member States and EU institutions also got their share of accusations this week. Just as last year, when after the horrific terror attacks in Brussels, pro-Kremlin outlets blamed Angela Merkel, the West, Europe – or even claimed the attacks were staged and did not happen at all; so too, after the horrifying attack in London on the 22nd of March, did a pro-Kremlin outlet claim this was orchestrated by the "Brussels elite" in order to deter Theresa May from triggering Brexit.

Meanwhile the European Parliament building in Strasbourg was claimed to have been inspired by the Tower of Babel (although it was really inspired by Roman amphitheatres) and the EU was accused of being a "satanistic project" apparently "proven" by a poster designed by the Council of Europe. This bizarre disinformation has been around since 2008 and reminds us of last year's disinformation that that the new NATO headquarters building was inspired by Nazi symbols.

On Russian state TV we saw yet another example of historical revisionism where it was claimed that a united Europe leads to war with Russia as during WWII and that Europe started the war in Ukraine – overlooking such historical facts as the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact for example or the more recent facts on the ground; Europe did not start the war in Ukraine and is not participating in it – in contrast to Russia's activity.


Business as usual in Ukraine

Ukraine was portrayed in the usual way in pro-Kremlin outlets: as a terrorist state which conducts genocide in Donbas and which planned to build concentration camps in eastern Ukraine. A slightly new focus was to portray President Poroshenko as a dictator who does not have legitimate power and to say that the EU agrees with this description but supports him anyway – despite the obvious fact that President Poroshenko was democratically elected by the citizens of Ukraine in 2014.

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


A short-lived romance with Sputnik

Take a look at the headlines above. Who would cooperate with the producers of this kind of journalism? Slovakia's national news agency wanted to, but quickly changed its mind.
Read more

KT - Kremlin Today

As therapists know, it is the issues the client insists on not talking about that ought to be addressed most. The story of the TV channel Russia Today and its name change to RT.
Read more

Russian language media in the EU

Who owns the only Russian language daily newspaper in the EU, which is published in Latvia? A 23 year old student from Ukraine? Or a former member of the Russian Duma?
Read more

Do you remember?

Remember we wrote about the way Pro-Kremlin media portray the French presidential election campaign? Now France’s polling commission has issued a warning.
Read more


"How does the Rothschild family struggle to control the world?"

Russian state-controlled Channel 1 (Pervy Kanal) sees no problem in asking this kind of question and illustrating it with the above image. Look at the piglets to see the reach of the Rothschild conspiracy, according to Russian public television.

Disinformation in the form of conspiracy theories can generate a lot of clicks - a temptation Pervy Kanal couldn't help falling for, especially when such theories support an overarching narrative of global conspiracies against Russian interests. Pervy Kanal's new production was brought to our attention thanks to Julian Röpcke's tweet and is a part of a series that also uses the story about the Rockefeller family as a frame for presenting international politics.

(Image: Pervy Kanal)

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Every Thursday, the Disinformation Review brings you the latest cases of news articles carrying key examples of how pro-Kremlin disinformation finds its way in international media, as well as news and analysis on the topic. The review focuses on key messages carried in international media which have been identified as providing a partial, distorted or false view or interpretation and/or spreading key pro-Kremlin messaging. It does not necessarily imply however that the outlet concerned is linked to the Kremlin or that it is pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. The Review is a compilation of cases from the East Stratcom Task Force's wide network of contributors and therefore cannot be considered an official EU position. Likewise, the news articles are based on the analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force, so information and opinions expressed there cannot be considered an official EU position. Any errors or misrepresentations should be reported to the East Stratcom Task Force for correction at
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