dedo Vasiľ (ded_vasilij) wrote,
dedo Vasiľ


Issue 31 -  21 June 2016

“Our trained thugs went to France only to protect you!”

In the previous edition of our Disinformation Digest we have discussed Russian officials' peculiar interpretation of football hooliganism during the European Football Championships in France. Since then, EURO 2016 has become a top issue for pro-Kremlin outlets as well, offering plenty of material for proof of their often alleged "world-wide anti-Russian conspiracy".

Some outlets quoted journalist Simon Rowntree from Forest Echo Media, who tweeted that the English fans provoked Russia supporters in Marseille ( // The only problem was that Simon Rowntree’s account (now suspended) is a fake, as indeed is the "Forest Echo". Unfortunately, despite a quick debunk by Meduza (, most of the outlets still have the imaginary Mr Rowntree’s testimonies in their articles.

Some inventions were far more insidious, trying to stir up their audience and create anger against Europeans. During Pyotr Tolstoy’s talk show on Russian national TV, we heard that “Russian fans protected the population of Marseille from drunk English fans who wanted to beat up the locals” ( According to Vladimir Markin, Major General of Justice, the Russian fans were only protecting their rights to life, health and leisure ( The same Major General also claimed that the actions of Russian fans seem unusual to Europeans because they are used to seeing “men” only during gay parades (
So let's recall the facts - hundreds of armed hooligans from Russia came to France with the deliberate aim to beat someone up (; they were “extremely well-trained” and “prepared for ultra-rapid, ultra-violent action” ( They attacked tourists even on their way home in Germany (

In the “reality” of the pro-Kremlin outlets, though, these actions just aimed at protecting the local population and preserving the right to enjoy one’s free time.

NATO conquers, occupies, escalates and invades

As usual during the last couple of weeks, multiple stories in the outlets focused on pro-Kremlin disinformation covered NATO. Thus, we heard for example that NATO is conquering the states of Eastern Europe (, later translated also into Czech:; that NATO tries to escalate the international situation (, or pure inventions like “3,000 NATO soldiers were horrified by a small bear in Finland” ( - a piece of disinformation spread by the official TV channel of Russia's Ministry of Defence, TV Zvezda.
The current NATO exercises were also described as a destabilizing factor ( that does not contribute to the atmosphere of trust and security in Europe ( But Eastern European countries have repeatedly asked for increased military presence on their territories precisely because of the fact that they do not feel secure next to Russia (see e.g.

Numerous stories talked about NATO’s plans to attack, or at least intimidate Russia: ( ( ( (; during Dmitry Kiselyov’s TV show, the German blockade of Leningrad from World War II was even recalled ( A Czech outlet informed that the exercises aim at provoking a nuclear apocalypse (

What wasn't mentioned: Russia's intervention in two sovereign countries; violent changes to the borders in Europe for the first time since World War II; the kidnap of an EU citizen from an EU country (; the repeated violation of the airspace of EU countries and NATO allies; and a readiness to use nuclear weapons if required (

When you invent stories, you have to think big

This week, the pro-Kremlin outlets were particularly fertile in sensational inventions that have nothing to do with reality. Here are our fantasy favourite three:

- The EU grants visas based on the skin colour of the applicants (Hungarian site;

- Normal Europeans seek refuge in Russia (printed outlet Georgia and the World);

- There are training camps in Europe where journalists learn how to write against Russia (Czech site
Tags: disinformation review

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