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New #DisinfoReview from the EEAS East StratCom Task Force
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Issue 39 -  13 September 2016

Evil West! Poor Russia!


Stories about the West, particularly the US, constantly harming Russia and her interests dominated the output of disinformation outlets last week.

According to the NTV talk show “Bolshinstvo”, the West does not allow Russia to participate in the world economy (http://bit.ly/2cmp7rB) - although Russia is a member of the World Trade Organisation and the G20 and was, until the illegal annexation of Crimea, also a member of the G8 (now the G7).

According to the Pervyi Kanal show “Vremya Pokazhet”, the West invented international law from a position of strength to impose it on the weak or stupid (http://bit.ly/2cOZZ1S). The speaker omits that international law is embedded in the UN Charter, which is also signed by Russia (previously by the USSR).
According to Izvestiya (http://bit.ly/2c1SHlh), the US and the EU demand that Russia, being the loser in the Cold War, constantly makes concessions to the West. A similar claim was repeated in the already mentioned “Bolshinstvo” TV show a couple of days later (http://bit.ly/2cmuK9a). In a Czech disinformation outlet, it was reported that NATO allegedly is preparing an attack against Russia, which is proven by the “fact” that the new NATO HQ in Brussels has nazi symbols (http://bit.ly/2cO4mGn). The English version of Sputnik tries to persuade its readers that the US is researching chemical weapons in laboratories on Russia’s borders (http://bit.ly/2coG21u). In the table, you will see more examples of similar stories.

We already covered the strategic narrative of the “humiliation of Russia from the West” in the Disinformation Review two weeks ago: http://eepurl.com/cduuCH; but since that report this accusatory narrative from Russia against the West and the EU seems to have strengthened.

Who conducts the information war?


One of the speakers in the "Vremya Pokazhet" show also accused the West of launching an information war against Russia (http://bit.ly/2cOZZ1S) - allegedly because the country has become stronger and started respecting its President, Vladimir Putin.
Let us remember a couple of facts. It is Russian strategic documents that talk about information war, see e.g. the reports written by the Centre for Eastern Studies here: http://bit.ly/1hjC01g, or here: http://bit.ly/2cozzRt. It is the official Russian media (as well as the unofficial, but still pro-Kremlin outlets) that are filled with an orchestrated disinformation campaign - as is proved i.a. by dozens of our Disinformation Reviews. And it is the Russian state that awards participants in this disinformation campaign with Presidential awards, as in the case of Crimea (http://bit.ly/2c6fGfl), or military awards, as in the case of Syria (http://bit.ly/2cCOoCS).

On the other hand, there is not a single country with a similar state-organised and state-awarded disinformation campaign anywhere in the West.

US to cause famine in Ukraine


The “Vremya Pokazhet” TV show one more time: Last week, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, tried to spook the Ukrainians. According to his claim, the Americans are now buying Ukrainian soil in order to sow genetically modified crops there - which will cause a famine in Ukraine in a few years (http://bit.ly/2cB82fx).

Not only did Zhirinovsky not provide any evidence for these accusations. In his statement, we also see recycling of an older disinformation theme, which was targeted at Sweden. Last year, in the pro-Kremlin outlets it was this Nordic country that was buying Ukrainian soil (http://bit.ly/2c6gWyX).
And in case you would like to know how the refugee crisis changed the family life of an average European, REN TV provides an answer. According to this channel, Europeans now envy the migrants from the Middle East, and are indeed longing for polygamy (http://bit.ly/2cNrXXZ).
Download the FULL TABLE (.pdf) of disinformation pieces
collected for the Disinformation Review issue No 39

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.
Copyright © 2016 European External Action Service, All rights reserved.

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