Analysis of the News “It’s over, the USA has decided – There will be a nuclear war with Russia!”

May 2023

As part of the Regional Initiative in Combating Disinformation “Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: Exposing Malign Influences through Watchdog Journalism”, we present you a new analysis of fake news and disinformation narratives.

NATO is planning a war with Russia – “It’s over, the USA has decided – There will be a nuclear war with Russia!”

In this week’s issue of fake and unverified news, we come across one dominant topic that occupies numerous Russian and pro-Russian portals, and it concerns the Western invasion of Russia and the necessity of a nuclear confrontation.

Victoria Nikiforova, the author of RIA Novosti, in her article, which is translated and published by Webtribune under the title “NATO is planning a war with Russia”, writes about the decades-long unsuccessful planning of NATO to subjugate Russia. Referring to information from the American magazine Newsweek, Victoria analyzes the NATO strategy, claiming that since 2010, there has been a clear plan to attack Russia in the event of any invasion of the Baltic countries. The article states that US Admiral James Stavridis, who commanded NATO at the time, established interaction between the armed forces of the Baltic states and Poland, identified ports for support from the sea, and appointed nine US, British, German, and Polish NATO units, which were supposed to protect the Baltic states in the event of a Russian “invasion”. The text points out that to this day, despite all the assurances, NATO has been conducting military operations against Russia through the hands of the Ukrainians for a long time and that the final NATO summit in Vilnius, which will be held on July 11 and 12, where secret plans for an alliance for war with Russia will be officially put into use.

In the very next article, Webtribune publishes a new date for the start of World War III and nuclear confrontation, announced between June 12 and 24. On June 12, NATO members begin the largest air force deployment exercises in history, called “Air Defender 23”. On the eve of the start of this exercise, in which 25 countries will participate, there is a potential possibility for inclusion in the Ukrainian counter-offensive, the authors claim. The author claims that NATO member countries have given almost everything they can to Ukraine, and yet Ukraine is still losing. Therefore, NATO is reaching a tipping point: either they will admit that they cannot help Ukraine defeat Russia or they will enter the war on the side of Ukraine. It is further planned that it will be necessary to create an incident that would justify NATO entering into a direct confrontation with Russia. The authors state a number of different scenarios, such as a direct attack by NATO on Russia, then an attack in the Belgorod area, where the planes will be operated by American and British pilots, who will prove that an attack on Russia was carried out by NATO, and similarly. Each of the scenarios will, of course, result in the use of Russia’s nuclear capabilities, which will be directed towards NATO decision-making centers.

Both articles presented contain a significant amount of incorrect and twisted information. We will start with the text of Victoria Nikiforova, who attributes the expansion of NATO to NATO itself and not to the sovereign decisions and wishes of certain countries to become part of the alliance. The fact that Ukraine was invaded, even though it is not a member of NATO, further supports the thesis that these countries made a decision that directly protected the future of their country and people. Further, a strategy where the Ukrainians would launch any sort of attack on Russian forces makes absolutely no sense because Ukraine is already doing so by defending itself on its own territory. The question arises: does Ukraine have the right to self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations? Every day we hear statements from Russian officials regarding violations of international law, but they seem much less comfortable when rights and principles are respected.

The following text in the title itself defies the previous one, when it comes to the assessment of the beginning of the Third World War, and the dates for the start of the war are predicted between June 12 and 24, that is, at the time of the largest air exercise of the North Atlantic Alliance. The author believes that NATO uses “exercises” to cover a real military operation. In this case, it would be the entry of NATO into a direct conflict with Russia. ” For NATO to enter the conflict, there must be some action or event that would “justify” NATO entering the fight”. The author goes on to describe various incidents and scenarios that he believes could happen. Also, to support his theory about NATO’s hidden plans, the author refers to the location of the NATO exercise: “NATO does it right next to the conflict zone of Ukraine and Russia. God, what a coincidence!”.

Namely, the NATO Air Defender 23 exercise is the largest exercise in the history of the NATO alliance and includes 25 member countries. The exercise as such will primarily be held on the territory of Germany, specifically in: Schleswig-Holstein, Wallsdorf in Lower Saxony, Bavaria near Augsburg, and Spangdahlem in Rhineland-Palatinate. Outside of Germany, the exercise will take place in two other locations, Volkel in the Netherlands and Časlav in the Czech Republic. The mentioned areas have been routinely used for decades for aviation training, and there is absolutely nothing epochal about them that the author suggests. What is typical in the conclusion, as in countless other articles, is that everything will end in Armageddon and the invincibility of the greatest nuclear power, such as Russia.

The following prediction of the start of a nuclear war is constructed by Sputnik under the headline “In a nuclear war, we have two options – either to win or not to lose“. In the main part of their analysis, the authors see the termination of the START treaty as the backbone of the beginning of nuclear armageddon, for which the USA is to blame. What is not mentioned, however, yet of essential importance for the termination of this agreement, is that the United States was ready to enable Russian inspection activities under the new START treaty on the territory of the United States from June 2022 and has repeatedly conveyed that readiness to Russia. However, Russia chose not to exercise its right to conduct inspection activities, and also denied the United States the right under the treaty to conduct inspection activities beginning in August 2022. The main paradox of reporting this news is represented by the Webtribune portal, which also quotes the official website of the State Department under the title “US countermeasures in response to Russia’s violation of the new START treaty.” The document mentioned talks about the violation of the agreement by Russia, with which Webtribune opposes itself in its transmission of this news.

In the second stage of the war predictions, military expert Dallas McGregor is quoted as saying that after the defeat in Ukraine, an entire echelon of new countries will go to war with Russia, such as Poland, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania, while the United States will directly enter the conflict to protect Zelenskiy. Military expert Aleksandar Bartos, believes similarly in a separate article. He analyzes the statement of the former Deputy Minister of Defense of Belarus, General Valdemar Skrzypchak, that the West has a plan to overthrow the government in Belarus and that Poland will support a possible rebellion in Belarus. Bartos believes that “If external forces organize a coup d’état in Belarus, then it will be an attack not only on Lukashenka but also on the common state – the Russian Federation.” The expert emphasizes that “Warsaw is preparing the possibility of occupying Western Ukraine in case of defeat, where the Kyiv government will be stationed in the future. In addition, the Americans are now actively working to start military conflicts in Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia.”

In response to the question, “What is Poland’s motivation to initiate the mentioned strategy?” the military expert states that Poland’s desire to occupy parts of Ukraine dates back to before the Second World War. This is an often-mentioned narrative by disinformation creators who seek to portray the self-interest of the countries surrounding Ukraine instead of real solidarity. The fact is that Poland is one of the biggest donors of equipment and weapons, while it accepted a huge number of refugees from Ukraine, due to the unjustified and illegal invasion by Russia.

Authors: Đorđe Terek, Tanja Plavšić