CounterPropaganda · Disinformation · Information operations · Russia

Disinformation Review: Week Five


e9941de9-fd82-4053-9c28-4f905610bf71Dear colleagues,

Thank you very much for all your reports. Every one of them provides a better illustration of disinformation – the more we get, the better the knowledge for all of us.

This week, the political and security repercussions of the downing of the Russian Su-24 on Tuesday 24th November were reflected in the media landscape. Since this day, the most prevalent topics of disinformation have been related to Turkey. We have seen a mass of reports, as listed in the Review, claiming inter alia that the jet was downed on the orders of Washington and Brussels (http://bit.ly/1R6rgrU); that it was downed by the CIA rather than by the Turkish air force (e.g. here http://bit.ly/1jr1Lnl); and that the action was approved by President Obama (http://bit.ly/1POL1Vr).

Swift connections were made between this event and the issue of alleged links between Turkey and ISIL – again you will see multiple reports of this in the attached table. Evidence of the link was sourced to stories that President Erdogan’s son had his picture taken with ISIS leaders (in fact, these were the owners of a restaurant taking pictures with famous guests: http://bit.ly/1PUfGkband http://bit.ly/1lnJokq); and that President Erdogan’s daughter owns a hospital, in which ISIS fighters are cured (http://bit.ly/1MLjrVr). Further stories repeated allegations that Turkey buys oil from ISIS, or is partly controlled by the Islamic State. Our contributor, French author and journalist Galia Ackerman highlights a story suggesting that these allegations lead to one conclusion: that “Russia has to help Turkey to get rid of President Erdogan”.

Ukraine is also blamed for the downing of the Russian Su-24, on the basis that the plane was downed by Turkobanderites (http://bit.ly/1Ip4EM4 andhttp://bit.ly/1XuSOXr). “Experts” already link the downing to a recent deal, whereby Ukraine (ordered by the USA) provided missile complexes to ISIS (here: http://bit.ly/1Nsmjd2). Regular readers of the Disinformation Review will remember that this deal has already been refuted.

There are many factual inaccuracies in the reporting on this subject. For example, Sputnik (http://bit.ly/1NU4C0x) claims that France condemned the downing of Su-24 during a NATO summit and said that Turkey’s actions undermined the operation against ISIS. But on the same day as publication (27 November) the French Ambassador denied he made the comment, sayings: “The remarks that Sputnik is attributing to me are pure fiction” (http://bit.ly/1NhA8cz). The Sputnik article remains unchanged as of this Review date (Tuesday, 1 December).

In line with previous trends that we have reported, we continue to see repetition of “Ukraine and ISIS” disinformation. Our colleague Dmitry Zolotukhin from razvedka.in.ua wrote a longer piece on the story that Ukraine is the source of Chinese MANPAD’s for ISIS terrorists.

In the course of the past week, Russian media has claimed that Russia is the target of attacks by the USA, the EU, the CIA, Turkey, Turkobanderists, Ukraine, ISIS and its business partners (all of the above). Now we have also received a story that Russian military actions in Syria are monitored by UFOs – this was published by the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Anne Applebaum wrote in the Washington Post: “Follow the Russian media over any time period and you soon begin to see patterns in the reporting of news. Nothing ever just “happens.” Every event is always part of a larger story, usually a conspiracy theory. Russia, or rather a plot to destroy or undermine Russia, always lies at the center. Elements of reality are included in the story, but distorted with virtual reality in order to suit the story line.”

DOWNLOAD DISINFORMATION REVIEW WEEK FIVE (.pdf)

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Thank you very much once again for your reports, we are looking forward to the new ones,

East StratCom Task Force
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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.