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New #DisinfoReview from the EEAS East StratCom Task Force
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Issue 22 - 12 April 2016

A global conspiracy?


Regular readers of our disinformation products know that conspiracies are an essential part of the disinformation campaign. The most resonant pieces of news in the last weeks have led to several waves of conspiracy in the pro-Kremlin media, claiming that almost every major piece of recent news is orchestrated by the West, and that the West is always driven by its never-ending desire to destroy Russia.

Thus, we see claims that the world-wide investigation by dozens of journalists into the leaked “Panama Papers” is just another information attack resulting from Western “Putinophobia”. Putinophobia, or its older sister Russophobia, was mentioned e.g. in the TV show Bolshinstvo (http://bit.ly/1SHKaCi).

We see further claims that such a supposed attack on Russia (or rather on President Putin - for pro-Kremlin media specialised in spreading disinformation, “Russia” and “Putin” are synonyms) must have been prepared by someone with access to great personal resources. The outlets picked the Hungarian-American investor George Soros (http://bit.ly/1MVglld), alternatively the Soros and Ford foundation (http://bit.ly/1YoJ2aM).  

 
But it is not solely about the Panama Papers. One video blogger tried to prove the “American information war" by reference to a recent BBC documentary on President Putin's wealth (http://bit.ly/1MU8Wm6). Another TV show claimed that the US is aiming to destroy Russia through a plan of the “secret brotherhood of global elites led by the Anglo-Saxons” (http://bit.ly/1quVCLq).

Destroying Russia was also supposedly the main aim of the “coup” allegedly organised by the West in Ukraine. This claim comes from the major Kremlin Think Tank, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (http://bit.ly/1SeDFXc).

Wherever a war may be - it is always "a plot against Russia"


So we hear time and time again that Westerners’ only wish is to destroy Russia. And yet they always seem to launch the wars that should fulfil this goal in the wrong country.

Thus, the “coup” in Kyiv aimed to destroy Russia. So did the worsening crisis in the East of Ukraine (http://bit.ly/1Nin7fw). And now also the renewed conflict in Nagorno Karabakh. We read that it was induced by the West, because NATO supposedly wants a war with Russia (http://bit.ly/1Vhqc8a). Alternatively it was induced by Turkey (http://bit.ly/1NjNHFk); or then again by the USA through Turkey (http://bit.ly/1S4B4lM); or even by the USA and Turkey, as presented in Pyotr Tolstoy’s show (http://bit.ly/1qgCCzp). According to the Georgian print outlet, Asaval Dasavali, all these actors also get help from former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

And for a dose of historical revisionism, we learn that such evil plotters even decided to manipulate history and invented the anti-Hitler coalition that defeated fascism. In the world of pro-Kremlin propagandists, it was only Russian soldiers that defeated Adolf Hitler (http://bit.ly/1qgDWCh).

 

"Czechs will be killed by the CIA"; "Swedes will help Daesh"


Pro-Kremlin outlets like to spread fear and threats via their disinformation - as you could have seen in multiple Reviews already (see e.g. http://eepurl.com/bObLLT; http://eepurl.com/bO1Di9; http://eepurl.com/bPTE1r; http://eepurl.com/bQJ8OH). During the recent period, we received multiple similar intimidating pieces regarding the Czech Republic.

For example, consumers of pro-Kremlin media in this country have been told that their freedom of speech has been limited and that they can now go to prison for their opinions (http://bit.ly/20uacik); also that there will be terror attacks organised by the CIA in the period between 4th and 11th April (http://bit.ly/1S0kt02) – happily that particular piece of disinformation has already been disproved by the simple passage of time.


Sweden also received its portion of disinformation this week. According to a letter addressed to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Margot Wallström, Sweden should soon start "fulfilling its promises and support Daesh with weapons and ammunition" (http://bit.ly/23kPza0). Of course, the letter is a fake - and no media apart from pro-Kremlin outlets covered it.
 
READ THE LATEST DISINFORMATION REVIEW: ISSUE TWENTY-TWO
Thank you very much for your reports, we are looking forward to new ones.

East StratCom Task Force
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The Disinformation Review collects examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation all around Europe and beyond. Every week, it exposes the breadth of this campaign, showing the countries and languages targeted. We're always looking for new partners to cooperate with us for that.
The Disinformation Digest analyses how pro-Kremlin media see the world and what independent Russian voices say. It follows key trends on Russian social media, so you can put pro-Kremlin narratives into their wider context. And finally… some Friday Fun before the weekend!
DISCLAIMER: 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.
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