Elections in Europe and beyond remain a target of Pro-Kremlin disinformation: this week’s disinfo review

 

Hybrid War

With multiple elections coming up, the pro-Kremlin media is definitely not at ease.

Let us start with Moldova. According to pro-Kremlin media, the US is allegedly preparing the opposition for mass protests, or even a color revolution. Why should the US do such a thing? Because Moldova (that doesn’t even share borders with Russia, – Ed.) supposedly plays a strategic role in the American policy of containing Russia.

While the pro-Kremlin media dedicated attention to its usual targets like Nagorno-Karabakh, Covid vaccine, Belarus, and Ukraine, they are also keeping an eye on the US elections.

One of these examples supposedly quotes The Guardian and claims that around 60 percent of citizens in nine competitive states didn’t receive their mail-in ballots, and that the OSCE is questioning the legitimacy of the elections. In reality, the 60 percent claim is completely fabricated, just as the OSCE challenging the legitimacy of the US 2020 election.

But then again this is nothing new or shocking. We have repeatedly proven that the pro-Kremlin media is not part of the news business, but the disinformation industry instead.

And disinformation is an art. Every now and then, talented disinformation creators manage to come up with a real pearl. When confronted with such a finding a true disinformation aficionado carefully picks it up, places it on a velvet pillow, observes it from every angle, and slowly picks it apart to enjoy the composition made with such care and passion.

More of Novichok

In the following example, this passion is put to work to completely tear apart the thorough investigation on the Skripal’s case and to ridicule the attack on the Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny:

The parallels between the German Novichok Navalny case and the British Novichok Skripal case are obvious: both are fake. […]

The EUvsDisinformation database has more than 227 narratives about the Skripal poisoning and this quote from RT fits that bunch nicely. As for Navalny, the use of a chemical nerve agent was established by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. Combining these two events tries to convey the disinformation about Skripals to the case of Navalny:

The Russian government was declared guilty; not on the basis of circumstantial evidence, but with the help of the twisted motto “Who else but Putin could it have been?”

The “there is no evidence” claim is used in every possible situation. It is well-matched with some tastefully placed ridicule, making it look like a slogan that is easy to understand, remember, and use:

And because that worked so well in the Skripal case, the transatlantic US vassals in the German government in Berlin are trying to pull the Navalny rabbit out of the Novichok hat with the same British Skripal magic trick, because the German population must be put in position against the evil Russians. […]

Timeline

Ultimately it’s not important how many tricks or disinformation narratives are used in the RT article. We have more than 150 disinformation cases about Navalny alone and our entire database has 10,000 examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation. It is important to remember that the common nominator for all of this is the modus operandi of the pro-Kremlin disinformation actors: use multiple versions of an event to confound citizens about the truth.

We have seen this put in use in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, and chemical attacks in Syria, to name a few. But who or what will be next? We’ll see it next week…

See all Disinfo Reviews


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