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Disinformation Review: Issue Twelve

YouTube Terror Threat for the Netherlands

The disinformation of the week is a fake video where alleged Azov battalion fighters threaten the Dutch people with a terror attack if they vote against the EU-Ukraine deal in the upcoming referendum, and burn a Dutch flag. Debunking was quick in this case: the real Azov posted their denial of the information on YouTube the same day, and the deception was reported in several media (Radio Svoboda or Evropeiska Pravda in Ukraine, EUObserver in English). The video was posted on a newly created account, the weapons in the video were replicas, the outfit also did not correspond to the Azov battalion outfit, and several media pointed to language errors in the “actors’” Ukrainian. According to a Ukrainian deputy Minister, the video is probably of Russian origin, see Ukraine Today.

European media mostly seemed to recognise the disinformation and only a few media outlets multiplied the fake video. Informnapalm immediately dedicated a whole article to the most repeated pro-Kremlin fakes spread in the Netherlands. In the table, you will see further disinformation stories about the Netherlands and the EU-Ukraine deal, one of them aired on prime time TV for millions of viewers of the famous Dmitry Kiselyov show. 
Litvinenko Killed by Russia? Or by the UK? Or He Poisoned Himself. Or...
On Thursday, 21 January, a 300-page report was published on the death of Alexander Litvinenko, former FSB officer, who was killed in London in 2006, poisoned by a rare radioactive isotope shortly after meeting a former KGB officer. The independent inquiry was led by a retired judge, Sir Robert Owen, and according to his findings, it was “probably” Vladimir Putin himself who sanctioned the murder.
Although the report was quite long, the reaction from Russian authorities and official media was quite quick and followed a familiar pattern: the inquiry and its findings were relegated to low level news items; they were dismissed as “politicised” (LifeNews and Russia Today; and a number of confusing conspiracies were circulated, including that Litvinenko poisoned himself (Kharkiv Human Rights Group), that the British had more reasons to kill Litvinenko (Russia Today), or that it is strange that two witnesses of this case died (Pervy Kanal) - one seven years after the Litvinenko’s murder, the other even a year later.
We see here a similar strategy to that used in the case of MH17, or the shot-down Su-24 above Turkey - pro-Kremlin media try to fill the information space with as many stories as possible. It doesn’t matter that they are often contradictory - the aim is not to persuade, the aim is to confuse the reader to make him disbelieve every story, even articles from credible media.
If You Don’t Like My Fake, You’re Against Freedom of Speech
As you will see in the table, there was again a lot of disinformation about Germany. Most popular was the story about an alleged rape of a thirteen-year-old Russian girl in Berlin. The pro-Kremlin media ignored the repeated denial of the information by the Berlin police, and repeated the disinformation, and even interviewed “witnesses” of the “case”. In a popular TV show, one of the guests even illustrated that there is no freedom of speech in Germany, because there was not enough attention paid to the incident.
In the Disinformation Review, you will see disinformation examples about Ukraine, Canada, Syria, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania... And, of course, some revealing facts about the United States where you will learn how the USA has existed since the 7th-8th century AD and what Hillary Clinton’s “Satanic glee” proves. Also where the EU stands on the idea of mixing races, and news that the migrant crisis is actually caused by the EU’s Russophobia.
Finally, in Vladimir Solovyov’s show (time 0:27:07), you can also see what is the world’s most bloodthirsty religion - and we can promise you it is none of the religions you might have in mind.

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Thank you very much once again, and we are looking forward to your new reports
East StratCom Task Force
Follow us on Twitter @EUvsDisinfo
The Disinformation Review is a compilation of reports received from members of the mythbusting network. The mythbusting network comprises of over 450 experts, journalists, officials, NGOs and Think Tanks in over 30 countries. Please note that opinions and judgements expressed here do not represent official EU positions.
Copyright © 2016 European External Action Service, All rights reserved.

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