Hushing up is also lying: this week’s pro-Kremlin disinformation.

Sometimes, what is not lied about is revealing. Seven years ago last week, a Russian military unit shut down Malaysian Airlines MH17, killing all 298 people onboard. This, and the ongoing trial in the Netherlands, was extensively reported in the international media; for instance in United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. Major pro-Kremlin domestic outlets, like the broadcasters Vesti.ru or First Channel ignored the topic. Outlets aimed at an international audience, RT.com, Southfront.org or Strategic Culture Foundation, also loudly avoided mentioning the disaster. The EUvsDisinfo database contains 314 cases on MH17 – none of those from the last month. The body of evidence connecting Russian state structures to the killing of 298 people is overwhelming.

A Zionist Virus

We see the same strategy when it comes to the current COVID-19 outbreak in Russia. The country has, since mid-June, experienced a dramatic rise in cases and deaths because of the virus. At no time during the entire pandemic have so many died from COVID-19, despite Russia being the first country in the world to approve a vaccine. All this is barely mentioned in the pro-Kremlin media. The EUvsDisinfo database contains 860 cases on the coronavirus, and all of this week’s cases claim the virus is a “Western, US or Zionist weapon”. This claim is really the “alma mater” of all disinformation on COVID-19, documented as the first case on the virus. Already on 22 January 2020 the Belarusian edition of Sputnik “knew” that the virus was manufactured in NATO laboratories.

The Russian state continues to exploit the international pro-Kremlin network for marketing Sputnik V: The Russian vaccine is the “the most effective vaccine”; “The EU has political prejudice against Sputnik” and “Sputnik is the subject of a disinformation campaign”. The campaign against the Western vaccines, on the other hand, continues. Geopolitica, an outlet owned and managed by the Kremlin-affiliated oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, describes PfizerBioNTech as possibly “even more dangerous than COVID-19”.

Comfortable Lies

So if obvious news like the shooting down of MH17 and the COVID-19 outbreak in Russia are hushed up, what are the pro-Kremlin media broadcasting? On 23 June a British ship, HMS Defender, passed in Ukrainian waters to the south-east of Crimea. Russia illegally annexed the peninsula in 2014 and claims the waters as Russian naval territory. They are not. The the case of HMS Defender continues to be a big story in the disinformation outlets. A provocation! The Brits were scared off by Russian warnings!

This fits well with traditional anti-NATO sentiment. Dialogue with NATO is impossible! NATO is anti-Russian! NATO is training to destroy Donbas! All comfortable, well-worn pieces of disinformation about a hostile encirclement of Russia. A narrative well in place ahead of the major Russian military exercise scheduled for September, Zapad 2021.

The recent events in Cuba, where large crowds protested against the Cuban regime’s insufficient action on the COVID-19 pandemic the COVID-19 pandemic is, of course, depicted as yet another colour revolution: four cases this week describe how the US is attempting to provoke regime change in Havana. One of them identifies COVID-19 as an entirely new US method for “enslaving the world”.

The Weird Cases of the Week:

In conclusion: a week of hushing up the real news and recycling old lies. Even the “The White Helmets plan a Chemical Attack” is employed! A recurrent claim, regularly delivered by the Russian Armed Forces in Syria; so far this year in June, May, March, and February. Not true then; still a lie today.

Further reading:

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