Spokesman for the Russian President Dmitry Peskov compared with "pulp fiction" the publication of the American newspaper The New York Times about the existence of a secret unit of the GRU, whose task is supposedly to destabilize Europe.
“Such publications are, let's say, from the category of pulp fiction, pulp fiction in English. Of course, President Putin has repeatedly said that Moscow is interested in building good relations with Europe as a whole and with European countries on a bilateral basis. This has been repeatedly said and confirmed, ”Peskov told reporters.
We will remind you that the newspaper The New York Times earlier released material stating that there was a unit in the structure of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia that allegedly stands behind the assassination of Sergei Skripal in the UK in 2017, an attempted “coup” in Montenegro in 2016 -m, the attempt on the Bulgarian arms dealer Emelyan Gebrev in 2015 and a kind of "campaign of destabilization in Moldova."
In support of its information, NYT refers to Western experts and even one "GRU officer." All these, of course, are anonymous sources. The only "factual evidence" is the publication in the LiveJournal for 2016 from a deserted training center in Russia, where the military was allegedly trained to handle domestic and foreign weapons.
The editorial office also allegedly has a certain photograph where the commander of this secret unit was captured at the wedding of his daughter with “Colonel Anatoly Chepiga,” also known as Ruslan Boshirov from the story with the poisoning of Sergey and Yulia Skripaley. However, instead of it, the article demonstrated a photo collage.
Secret to the whole world
The NYT article has a frightening headline, "Security officials say the top-secret Russian intelligence unit is trying to destabilize Europe." It is alleged that we are talking about military unit No. 29155, located at the headquarters of the 161st special training center, and commanded by Major General Andrei Averyanov. Allegedly notorious Boshirov and Petrov served in this particular unit, and Western intelligence officers learned about the activities of this unit "only recently."
“According to Western intelligence agencies, the activities of the unit are so secret that, most likely, even other GRU operatives are not aware of its existence,” the article says.
However, this statement contradicts the information that can be found in a variety of open databases in the Russian segment of the Internet. For example, in the SPARK database you can find the address of the unit - ul. Park 11th, house 38A. The telephone number of the contact person and even the financial details of the part are also indicated there.
Information on the fact that military unit 29155 is the 161st center for training intelligence specialists can be found on sites dedicated to the history of Russian special services and on specialized forums. And the link to the entry in the LiveJournal, which contains photographs of abandoned premises, presumably related to military unit 29155, does not indicate the particular secrecy of the object. It can be seen that this room is not guarded.
"NYT describes the GRU's secret sabotage unit, which is" so secret that even the special services know nothing about it. " So secret that no one knows anything about his shares either. In general, the scenario of the bad Hollywood thriller and the reality were confused, ”Alexey Pushkov, chairman of the Federation Council Commission on Information Policy, ironically commented on the publication of The New York Times.
The New York Times describes the GRU's secret sabotage unit, which "is so secret that even the special services know nothing about it." So secret that no one knows anything about his shares either. In general, the scenario of a bad Hollywood thriller and reality were confused.- Alexey Pushkov (@Alexey_Pushkov) October 9, 2019
The source of the Vedomosti newspaper, in turn, specified that the military unit referred to in the NYT investigation is “ordinary intelligence courses” and “considering them“ an elite unit for destabilizing Europe ”is a big exaggeration.”
- GRU special forces soldier
- RIA News
- © Nikolay Khizhnyak
Among the other “inaccuracies” in the material in The New York Times is the claim that in 2006, Russian President Vladimir Putin legalized “the commission of selective killings abroad.” In fact, then a law was passed that allowed the use of the army and special services to combat terrorism outside of Russia.
“America is very fond of conspiracy theories. This is generally very symbolic for American foreign policy. When there are no facts and evidence in America, they come up with various conspiracy theological ideas, ”said Konstantin Blokhin, an expert at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in an interview with RT.
According to him, news similar to the NYT report on a top-secret GRU unit is needed in order to unite the West, split by many internal contradictions, frightening the townsfolk with the “Russian threat”.
“Everything is done in order to escalate fear, in order to consolidate the West on an anti-Russian basis. In order to maintain the myth of the "Russian threat", as it was in the era of McCarthyism. Now comes neo-Makkartizm, a new witch hunt. Only now they are hunting not for the Communists, but for the ubiquitous Russian spies, ”the political scientist claims.
The head of the Institute of Newest States, political scientist Alexei Martynov, in turn, noted in an interview with RT that the ridiculous accusations against Russia are beginning to resemble comic book plots.
“It’s becoming more and more difficult for Western propaganda to feed the inhabitants of their countries unthinking Russophobia. Therefore, new stories are being invented. This is the same story from a comic book of the 70-80s, where the evil GRU colonels threaten peace. And some superheroes save the world from these villains, ”the expert said in an interview with RT.
A story with fakes
Recall that The New York Times is not the first time caught in the publication of false information. US President Donald Trump often accused the publication of distributing fakes. Most often, it was about targeted attacks on Trump himself with reference to all kinds of “sources”. It is worth noting that at the beginning of 2018, the US President awarded NYT the Fake News of the Year 2017 award, which he himself established.
But sometimes there were frank errors. For example, in 2017, journalists of the publication referred to the news on a mock Twitter account, mistaking it for the state media in North Korea.
In January 2019, journalists of the publication, in an article about the former head of Trump's campaign headquarters, Paul Manaforte, managed to confuse Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska with Ukrainian oligarchs Sergey Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov. NYT later admitted to misleading readers.
- Paul Manafort in the New York Supreme Court
- © Lucas Jackson
In June of this year, the newspaper published an article stating that the United States intensified cyber attacks against Russian energy facilities. Then Trump said that “this is not true” and accused journalists of high treason. In July 2019, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the New York Times a “misinformation” message that a group of teachers at the Anglo-American school in Moscow allegedly refused to issue visas.
According to Alexei Martynov, "the once respected publication is slipping into primitive things, degrading."
According to Konstantin Blokhin, the abundance of fakes in Western media in general and in NYT materials in particular can be explained either by a “low level of professionalism” when a journalist is not able to verify information, or by the desire to broadcast an outright lie to the audience.
“Fake news, alternative facts, the world of post-truth have become symbols of today. The West is waging an information war against all countries that impede its leadership, the United States is manipulating not only its own population, but also the international community, its allies. There is a dirty, uncompromising struggle, ”says the expert.