Attacks against the EU’s critical infrastructure saw the pro-Kremlin creative juices flowing, and remorseless propagandists leave no human tragedies in peace.
Source — EUvsDiSiNFO — October 19, 2023 —
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Last week, the Finnish authorities reported that Balticconnector, a gas pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia(, was ruptured, likely because of an ‘external activity.’( Related to this incident, in addition to factual reporting, the pro-Kremlin ecosystem started circulating a number of narratives resembling those utilised earlier in relation to the explosions of the Nord Stream pipelines.
Hamas’ attack against Israel continues to stir interest in pro-Kremlin disinformation circles, as the disinformers attempt to capitalise on human suffering by attaching their false narratives to the tragic events unfolding.
In addition to events in the Middle East, information manipulators wasted no time to take advantage of the latest terrorist attack in Brussels, where two Swedish nationals lost their lives.
Otherworldly takes on Balticconnector
Key narratives that surfaced in the pro-Kremlin infosphere in relation to the Balticconnector incident included a conspiratorial view that the US stands to benefit from the ruptured gas pipeline – An allies-splitting, continuously pushed narrative also in the case of the Nord Streams.
There was also a more paranoid take that the gas pipeline incident was long in the planning and aimed at ousting Russian ships from the Baltic Sea and cutting off the sea lines of communications to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.
False narratives included also a cynical, and removed-from-reality take, where instead of the US, the Finns were seen as the main beneficiary of the incident, as the Finns got to keep all the natural gas. The logic behind this claim remains a mystery.
Would you mind freezing this winter?
Pro-Kremlin outlets have also been quick on their feet to spread messages insinuating that Finland and the European Union will freeze in the coming winter, as there is no longer energy security within the EU due to the lack of Russian natural gas imports.
All this pro-Kremlin huff-and-puff, despite the fact that the Balticconnector rupture did not make a dent in Finnish energy security, where natural gas imports play only a minor part. Also, if the pro-Kremlin line sounded familiar, it is not surprising as it comes straight out of their disinformation playbook for energy.
Hanging out with terrorists
As our readers are well aware, Russia is no stranger to human suffering, especially taking advantage of it to advance their own agenda.
As a developing story, we have witnessed yet another activation of the false narrative in which Western military aid to Ukraine, or in another version more generally NATO weaponry, ends up allegedly in the wrong hands, whether that is the black markets, the Paris riots, or to be used by Hamas terrorists.
The most recent iteration of this pro-Kremlin false narrative surfaced soon after the terrorist attack against Swedish citizens in Brussels that took place on October 16. This time the narrative associated the weapon used by the attacker to NATO and the US. A number of accounts pushed slight variations of this narrative on X (formerly Twitter) in English, Arabic, Czech, Portuguese, and Russian.
Making a subconscious connection, or an affiliation, between a horrific act and a person or an organisation, is an age-old trick from the manipulators’ toolkit that pro-Kremlin actors, and other adversaries in this space, do not shy away from using, regardless of how despicable it is.
Also blinking on EUvsDisinfo’s radar this week:
- Neo-Nazis targeted in missile strike on Hroza. As we are aware from the well-documented case of MH17, and many other horrific scenes of atrocities, such as Bucha, the Russian disinformation apparatus knows no bounds and suffer no remorse. The latest example of Russia’s cycle of death and denial is Hroza, where on October 5th, a Russian Iskander ballistic missile struck a village in mourning killing 59 civilians, mostly women and elderly people. The gut-wrenching scene, which the UN is investigating as a war crime, was another day at work for pro-Kremlin propagandists that peddled their go-to lies. They tried to portray the group of mourners as ‘neo-Nazis’, a fake classification designed by the Kremlin to justify the unjustifiable – the destruction of Ukraine and its people.
- Demonic Western civilisation is leading humanity straight into abyss. You may remember from our coverage last year how pro-Kremlin propagandists’ lies gave rise to the mighty ‘Gaytan’ to be fought against in Ukraine. Not to be outdone by their past fabrications, pro-Kremlin disinformers posting in Italian went all-in and came up with true end-times visions summoning the Antichrist himself. There is nothing new about pro-Kremlin disinformation affiliating the Western countries, liberal values and the world order they stand for with the ‘Old Nick’, as we have reported many times before. Russian propaganda attempts to portray Russia as the champion of ‘traditional values’ in a clear juxtaposition to Western countries portrayed as decadent, morally bankrupt, or as in this case, straight up satanic. Naturally, there is little to no evidence presented by the propagandists to support their arguments, whereas there is plenty available to reveal the hypocrisy of the ruling nomenclature in and near the Kremlin.
- UK instructors trained Hamas militants. As we have reported here above, and last week, the pro-Kremlin information manipulation machinery rarely leaves a good opportunity, such as a terror attack, to distract and deceive unused. In this case, the particularly industrious Belarusian branch of Sputnik, high on their own supply, concocted a false narrative, linking Hamas, Ukraine, ‘Nazis’, and the UK. There is no evidence to back up their narrative claiming that UK instructors trained Hamas members. The UK added Hamas to the list of terrorist groups or organisations back in 2001. Hamas has also been designated as such by the EU, the US, and several other countries. Narratives such as this attempt to cynically capitalise on the unfolding human tragedy, and to inject disinformation narratives into wider consumption.
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