By EU vs Disinfo

Attacks against the EU’s critical infrastructure saw the pro-Kremlin creative juices flowing, and remorseless propagandists leave no human tragedies in peace.

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.

Additionally, some pro-Kremlin ecosystem members ridiculed the incident and took on a victim’s role, a known pro-Kremlin self-victimising trick.

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 EnglishArabicCzechPortuguese, 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:

By EU vs Disinfo