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23 Jan, 2022 15:55

Russia replies to US ‘disinformation’ claims

Moscow denies US State Department’s assertion that Russia creates false narratives and publishes propaganda
Russia replies to US ‘disinformation’ claims

Documents published by Washington on Thursday alleging the Kremlin has created an “ecosystem” of propaganda are an attempt to “incriminate the Russian authorities,” the country’s ambassador in Washington has claimed. In a comment posted on Facebook, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said the US’ allegations were baseless.

On Thursday, the US State Department published a series of articles relating to so-called Russian “disinformation.” In one of them, headlined “Five Persistent Disinformation Narratives,” the “narratives” listed include historical revisionism and the promotion of the idea that Western civilization is collapsing. It also accused Russia of portraying itself as an innocent victim and playing the ‘Russophobia’ card any time the Kremlin is criticized.

“These narratives act like a template, which enables the Kremlin to adjust these narratives, with one consistency – a complete disregard for truth as it shapes the information environment to support its policy goals,” the State Department “fact sheet” says.

In another piece, with the headline “Fact vs. Fiction: Russian Disinformation on Ukraine,” Moscow is accused of having told lies about the situation in the Donbass, where a war is still raging, and of attempting to paint Ukraine and Ukrainian government officials as the aggressors.

According to Antonov, the documents were designed to “incriminate the Russian authorities and state media.” He suggested the US was denying “objective facts” about the current situation in Kiev.

“Such actions are unacceptable,” he said. “They do not have any added value for resolving the problems of global security, and lead to further degradation of bilateral relations.”

Writing on Telegram, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova also took aim at the documents, focusing in particular on US claims about the situation in Ukraine. “There are passages of simply inhumane lies and stupidity,” she wrote, calling opposition to Moscow having “redeploy[ed] armed forces on Russian territory” as a “masterpiece.”

Zakharova also slammed the claim that ethnic Russians and Russian speakers are under no threat in Ukraine, quoting an assertion by the former Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, that he would send his men to “blow the[ir] brains out.”

“What is the reality here – lies or illiteracy? I do not even want to understand,” she wrote. “I know one thing for sure: only the ‘Ministry of Truth’ could have published this.”

The State Department’s documents have been published at a time when tensions between Ukraine and Russia are at an all-time high, and Moscow stands accused of stationing more than 100,000 troops near the border in preparation for an invasion. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the accusation.