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Newsweek Echoes Russian Disinformation

In an amazing piece of terrible journalism, Newsweek published this article,RUSSIA ACCUSES U.S. OF POLITICAL MEDDLING BY PROMOTING ANTI-PUTIN PROTESTS, written by .  Besides the title being in all caps, the article contained Russian disinformation.  

The article below from, a USAGM product, published yesterday, clearly shows the posted map warned readers to avoid the area of the unsanctioned rally.  In the Newsweek article referenced above, it states that participants should “Meetup at any of the indicated spots. Direction: depending on the situation.”  This bit of disinformation makes it appear like the US Embassy was supporting the unsanctioned rally.  

Apparently Newsweek took Russian disinformation as gospel and their research did not include the page.  Unfortunately, my simple Google search, yesterday, turned up the article at the top of my list of search returns.  Newsweek has no excuse, their research and the article is, at the very least, lacking. 

Perhaps someone at Newsweek missed this error. Perhaps someone at Newsweek is pro-Russian.  This is not Newsweek’s first apparent pro-Russian mistake.

</end editorial>

Russian Foreign Ministry Accuses U.S. Embassy in Moscow of Publicizing Unsanctioned Rally

05 August 2019

Maria Zakharova
Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman

“A division of the State Department of the United States — and, directly, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow — published the itinerary of the so-called walk that lay ahead on Saturday.”


The embassy published a warning to U.S. citizens to avoid the demonstration.

During an interview on the political talk show Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the U.S. State Department of encouraging Russians to attend an unsanctioned protest in Moscow that took place the previous day. As “proof,” she cited an item published on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow’s website, which gave the route of the march as well as its beginning and end times.

Matthew Luxmoore@mjluxmoore

Russian state TV continues to push the line that Moscow protesters are armed provocateurs funded & manipulated by the West. “The US embassy has been actively involved in all of this,” Foreign Ministry spox Maria Zakharova said on
a leading talk-show yest 

View image on Twitter

Matthew Luxmoore@mjluxmoore

As evidence Zakharova cites the US embassy’s publication of the route protesters planned to take through Moscow & claims it encouraged people to attend. She seems to be citing this warning, which specifically urges US citizens NOT to go. HT @Mike_Eckel 

Demonstration Alert: U.S. Embassy Moscow, Russia | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia

Supporters of unregistered opposition candidates for the Moscow City Duma election plan to gather and march on Saturday, August 3, 2019, beginning at 1400.

See Matthew Luxmoore’s other Tweets

​In fact, the embassy bulletin was a warning to U.S. citizens to avoid that area of Moscow during the march. After giving the basic details of the event, it stated:

“The protest rally has not been sanctioned by authorities.Given the possible size of the protest and the large police presence, U.S. citizens should avoid the protest route.”

Later, Zakharova acknowledged that the statement told U.S. citizens to avoid the march, but, overall, her comments clearly implied that the warning was simply a cover, whose real purpose was to incite Muscovites to attend the protest in favor of fair municipal elections. In any case, there was nothing unusual about the embassy’s warning to U.S. citizens in the Russian capital. video fact check by Nik Yarst.

For example, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued three “demonstration warnings” in the spring of 2019. One such warning from April 30 read:

“May Day demonstration will take place on May 1, 2019 in Paris and other major cities in France. The ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (Yellow Vests) are expected to join labor union marches across the country. Previous ‘Yellow Vest’ demonstrations have become violent with smaller groups splitting from the main demonstration and causing serious damage to private and public property. Police response has included water cannons, rubber bullets, and/or tear gas. Demonstrations may cause traffic disruptions and impact public transportation throughout France, including significant delays traveling between downtown Paris and the major airports (Charles de Gaulle Roissy and Orly) and access to rail stations. Disruptions to public services and closures of various sites usually open to the public (businesses, museums, tourist attractions) have taken place.”

The U.S. State Department’s April 2019 travel advisory for France puts it at Level 2 — meaning “Exercise Increased Caution” – due to “terrorism and civil unrest.”

“Demonstrations in Paris and other major cities continue in France and are expected to continue in the coming weeks,” the travel advisory stated.

“Property damage, including looting and arson, in populated tourist areas has occurred with reckless disregard for public safety. Police have responded with water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas. The U.S. Embassy is advising official U.S. government travelers to avoid travel to Paris and other major cities in France on the weekends.”

Like the Moscow warning this week, the U.S. State Department, in issuing these warning to U.S. citizens in the French capital during the Yellow Vests protests, was advising them to avoid the scene.

One thought on “Newsweek Echoes Russian Disinformation

  1. Newsweek > Olivet University > David Jang > World Evangelical Alliance > World Council of Churches / Russian Orthodox / International Society for Human Rights (ISHR)

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