The EU vs. CNN: Who’s Lying About Last Year’s Belarus-Wagner Provocation?

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The EU vs. CNN: Who’s Lying About Last Year’s Belarus-Wagner Provocation?

It’s impossible for both of them to be right: this interpretation of events is either ‘disinformation’ or the truth, there’s no middle ground.

EU vs. Disinfo”, the self-described “flagship project of the European External Action Service’s East Stratcom Task Force” (the EEAS being the self-described “EU’s diplomatic service”) that functions as one of the bloc’s top infowar instruments against Russia, claimed last summer that it was so-called “disinformation” to think that the Ukrainian and US intelligence services had anything to do with the Belarus-Wagner provocation at that time. That allegation has since been thrown into question by CNN’s latest exclusive report that the outlet claims to have “spent weeks” verifying by reviewing relevant documents and interviewing inside sources. CNN concluded that the Ukrainian and US intelligence services cooperated to an unclear extent to lure Russian private military contractors to Belarus in an effort to provoke a scandal intended to result in their extradition to Kiev.

The EU and CNN have hitherto always been on the same side in their anti-Russian infowar operations so this represents an unprecedented narrative split in the transatlantic alliance. It’s impossible for both of them to be right: this interpretation of events is either “disinformation” or the truth, there’s no middle ground. One of them is lying, and it’s most likely the EU. Its infowar project recklessly smears anyone who even remotely diverges from the bloc’s official version of events on anything concerning Russia by labeling them “disinformation agents” connected to the Kremlin. CNN, by contrast, is usually more careful with making such innuendo, let alone defamatory claims like “EU vs. Disinfo” always does. That’s probably partially because its writers include their byline on every article whereas the EU’s never do in order to eschew responsibility.

If “EU vs. Disinfo” has any integrity, then it should either directly respond to CNN’s story by convincingly contradicting it with factual evidence or at least citing its own sources like that American outlet does or do the right thing by issuing a retraction and apologizing for smearing those who shared CNN’s interpretation of events as Kremlin-connected “disinformation agents”. It’s predictably the case that the EU will probably ignore this infowar scandal since it’s much too embarrassing for it to acknowledge and thus more politically convenient to ignore as long as possible, hence the openly stated purpose of this analysis in putting pressure upon it or at the very least raise awareness about the unethical behavior of its employees who are being funded by EU taxpayers that expect better than this.

There’s a deeper dimension to all of this though than just calling “EU vs. Disinfo” out for ironically (though not unsurprisingly) spreading disinformation since the timing of CNN’s report suggests that there are veritably very serious problems in US-Ukrainian relations at the moment. I wrote last month that “Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were The First US Allies To Be Abandoned By Biden”, and Kiev’s latest revelations to CNN via its intelligence sources might be an asymmetrical response to Washington’s earlier decision to waive most Nord Stream II sanctions. A senior US official denied those sources’ claims that American intelligence supported their botched operation and speculated that these allegations “may be an attempt to share, or even pass, blame for what was a high-risk Ukrainian operation that went wrong.”

In other words, Ukraine is taking revenge on the US for Biden’s comparatively pragmatic approach to Russia by publicly implicating its increasingly unreliable ally in last year’s Belarus-Wagner provocation in a plausibly deniable way through the intelligence sources that spoke to CNN. This is most likely intended to cause his government some embarrassment even though it was under his predecessor that this operation was executed. Even so, Ukraine might be calculating that making this known could complicate US-Russian relations even though Moscow was obviously well aware of all of this the entire time and decided to eventually move past it for the sake of pragmatism. The unmistakable blowback though is that Ukraine inadvertently undermined one of the EU’s top infowar instruments against Russia and exposed “EU vs. Disinfo” as nothing but disinformation.

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

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