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New #DisinfoReview from the EEAS East StratCom Task Force
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Issue 33 -  05 July 2016

Brexit: Let’s invent a grave and dance on it


The UK referendum has been at the centre of pro-Kremlin media coverage this last week. Regime-loyal commentators mostly welcomed the result, as we already covered in our Digest (http://eepurl.com/b70dTH). In addition, the outlets specialised in spreading disinformation took the opportunity to express their opinion about the doom of the entire European Union project.

The overall tone was set by chief pro-Kremlin anchor Dmitry Kiselyov, in his Vesti nedeli TV show. According to Kiselyov (http://bit.ly/29hgTDw), the whole of Europe now lives in fear, because the “dissolution of the EU is a fact”. He also said that the British voted to leave despite the human sacrifice of Jo Cox - thus repeating the distasteful conspiracy theories about the Labour MP’s killing being staged by the Remain camp (noted in last week's Review: http://eepurl.com/b7D4d9).
Kiselyov also misrepresented the video from President Juncker’s press conference, claiming that Juncker ran away from journalists in order to avoid the question of whether “Brexit” means the beginning of the end of the EU. In reality, the President of the European Commission did reply very clearly, although briefly, as you can see e.g. here: http://bit.ly/29o4Cge; in Kiselyov’s show, the answer was ignored (you can see the precise time codes in the table).

To fit the narrative of a disintegrating Europe, pro-Kremlin media also created stories like “Brexit indicates that 500 million European citizens said no to the United States of Europe” (http://bit.ly/29f9QYU); “Brussels is planning to replace the UK with Turkey in the European Union” (http://bit.ly/28XUrMd); and “Almost half of the Austrian electorate would prefer leaving the EU” (http://bit.ly/297ulvj).

The disinformation does not stop here, but spreads also to the response given by some Member States to the result of the UK referendum. “France and Germany plan to destroy member states and create a superstate instead” (http://bit.ly/29EU1ey). This English language article distorted an actual document signed by French and German foreign ministers (http://bit.ly/29oKAE2), and claimed that individual countries will lose the right to have their own army, law system, tax system, or central banks. The same disinformation was later multiplied in other languages, e.g. Hungarian and Czech.

“Our threats do not exist, Nazis just invent them”


As the NATO summit is about to start, the trend of disinforming about the Alliance continues. An English language pro-Kremlin outlet, Russia Insider, wrote an article about NATO creating “imaginary threats” and saber rattling which aims to “defend” against bogeyman threats: http://bit.ly/29ia42z. This article was multiplied in several other languages. It did not mention such real threats as regular violations of borders and airspace in the Baltics, a simulated attack on a US battleship, the kidnapping of Estonian citizen Eston Kohver from his country, cyberattacks and other hybrid attacks, and the threat of nuclear or other attacks against EU Member States.
Pro-Kremlin outlets in many languages tried even to persuade their readers that the new NATO headquarters building is inspired by Nazi symbols (http://bit.ly/28Zx9Wv, http://bit.ly/29214wa or http://bit.ly/29GNmjL). In accordance with this thinking, a Georgian outlet said it is well known that NATO has fascist roots (http://bit.ly/29cAd1l).

Satanists ban letters and Rammstein frontman loves Putin


Remember the opening of the world’s longest trail tunnel in Switzerland? (http://bbc.in/29lrn3f). Well, it wasn’t just an ordinary opening ceremony. In fact, it was a huge satanic ritual organised for Europe's leaders. No one noticed this alarming circumstance, until Georgian pro-Kremlin printed outlet Asaval-Dasavali uncovered it last week.

As well as taking part in satanic rituals, the EU leaders are also apparently the enemies of specific elements of some European languages. For example, the Czech site lajkit.cz informs that the EU wants to ban the letter “Ř” from the Czech alphabet (http://bit.ly/29gIBOH). In fact, lajkit.cz multiplied a piece of “news” from a parody website (http://bit.ly/29njrRi) - apparently without knowing it is a parody.
Whereas the EU is evil on multiple levels, there is one place in the world that is great, although it is a victim of the malicious West. “Vladimir Putin is a strong leader and Russia is subject to unfair political attacks from the West,” said Till Lindemann, vocalist and frontman of the German band Rammstein. To show admiration to the Russian President, Lindemann also wore a T-shirt with Putin's portrait on it (http://bit.ly/29bOCPp). In fact, though, this piece of news exists only in the reality of pro-Kremlin outlets. The T-shirt was photoshopped, and Lindemann never made such a statement (http://bit.ly/29jjKJC). 
READ THE LATEST DISINFORMATION REVIEW: ISSUE THIRTY-THREE
Thank you very much for your reports, we are looking forward to new ones.

East StratCom Task Force
Follow us on Twitter @EUvsDisinfo

For contributions, please e-mail jakub.kalensky@eeas.europa.eu
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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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