24 February 2018
Moscow: 05:27
London: 02:27

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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

11.09.2017

Facebook statement on fighting fake accounts

We were pleased to hear about the statement by Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos made on 6 September. It states that an investigation conducted by the website’s administration identified a group of 470 fake accounts, which spent about $100,000 to promote their Facebook posts in 2015-2016.

We are glad that Facebook is at last beginning to take the issue of fake accounts seriously. They should have done it long ago. We could not get the attention of this social network’s administration when fake accounts appeared, and not just some incognito structures but those that presented themselves as official agencies and claimed to be the only official accounts of, for instance, a Russian embassy in some country. We tried everything – publishing our Ministry’s comments, drawing attention to this in social media, making official statements during briefings – but there was no reaction. And, finally, a breakthrough! We hope that now when we publicly mention fake accounts posing as Russian foreign missions, these accounts will be promptly blocked.
Moreover, I have mentioned this many times during briefings, interviews and media comments, let alone in social media, we tried to draw attention to attacks by Lithuanian fake accounts and bots on the social media accounts of Russian foreign missions and the Foreign Ministry. Unfortunately, once again, no reaction from the Facebook administration followed.
We see that this discovery by Facebook security experts has expectedly turned once again into an element of the anti-Russia information campaign. Allegedly, these accounts were managed from Russia and, again, were directly connected with the US elections. I have just one recommendation or a proposal to the administration, the management team, the owners: let us coordinate the efforts of the social network’s administration and the relevant Russian government authorities (law enforcement agencies, oversight bodies), and all other agencies that should be involved in this matter. Provide us with your information, and we will make our information readily available to you too. Why should we always operate through third parties? Why should these things always turn into information campaigns? We have a great opportunity here to launch a constructive dialogue. You will hear us and we will hear you, and this will turn into a normal exchange of information as it should be. If we encounter any issues or problems on this path, we can share these problems with the media. Today, in order to block a fake account of a Russian embassy, we have to come to a briefing and speak from the rostrum in a conference room. Unfortunately, there is no normal communication between us and Facebook administrators. This is a problem not just for us, but also for many Russian government agencies that cannot get the attention of Facebook and other social media in their attempts to get the fake accounts blocked. Now the social network itself has faced the same problem. To reiterate: Russia is open to cooperation at the level of relevant agencies.




LATEST EVENTS

23.02.2018 - Four years since the coup in Kiev: Embassy Press Officer on the article by Boris Johnson on Crimea

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson published an article entitled “Four years since the illegal annexation of Crimea”. It is a pity that it is not accompanied by a piece on the fourth anniversary of the coup d’état in Kiev that was backed by the UK and the West in general, and blatantly violated not only Ukraine’s Constitution, but also the agreement between President Yanukovych and the opposition mediated by Germany, France and Poland on 21 February 2014. It was precisely the forcible removal of the lawfully elected President that paved the way to power to the self-styled “government of winners”, a bizarre mix of pro-European liberals and far-right extremists, and triggered the sequence of events that resulted in Crimea re-joining Russia.


23.02.2018 - Embassy’s comment on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Several thousand fighters are remaining in Eastern Ghouta, including those associated with terrorist organizations, primarily Jabhat al-Nusra. They are shooting at Damascus, and the intensity of those attacks is increasing every day. The population in Eastern Ghouta has been held as hostages, they are not allowed to leave the territory controlled by the terrorists. Military installations are disguised as medical facilities.


22.02.2018 - Agricultural Attache Derbenskiy took part in the Conference of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU)

On 20-21 February Vladimir Derbenskiy, Agricultural Attache of the Russian Embassy, took part in the annual NFU Conference in Birmingham on the invitation of the Union.


22.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the situation in Eastern Ghouta

Q: Could you comment on the statement regarding the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta made by Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons on 21 February? A: The best way to improve the humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta is for Jabhat al-Nusra fighters to withdraw. Instead, this terrorist group that controls the area constantly attacks residential areas and diplomatic facilities in Damascus, keeps civilians as hostages and uses them as a human shield. Information on civilian casualties mostly comes from Nusra-affiliated structures, which cannot be seen as impartial. Several medical evacuations have been arranged but met with refusal by the terrorists, who are preventing any attempts to negotiate a larger-scale civilian evacuation.


21.02.2018 - MFA comment on the accusations by UK against Russia of staging massive cyber attacks against Ukraine’s cyber infrastructure

A new era of information warfare against Russia is upon us. It is now alleged that Russia had something to do with the June 2017 cyber attack against Ukraine. The UK Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence have now joined the Western media in spreading these accusations. This time, however, instead of laying the blame on the anonymous and now legendary “Russian hackers,” they went as far as to accuse the Russian government. In keeping with the tradition adopted by the West in general, London failed to provide any specific facts, preferring to make groundless and exasperating statements and allusions and pretending that everything is clear even without coming up with any evidence.


20.02.2018 - DRAFT UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON COOPERATION IN COMBATING INFORMATION CRIMES



15.02.2018 - Embassy Comments on statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad

The statement of Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad regarding Russia’s alleged responsibility for the NotPetya cyber-attack is, like many other similar accusations, not backed by any evidence. It is another example of irresponsible and hostile rhetoric of British officials towards Russia. The Embassy considers it as a part of the continuing campaign aimed at the stigmatisation of our country, that we have witnessed in the UK over the recent months.


15.02.2018 - The latest anti-Russian campaign in Western media (MFA comment)

We have noted a number of articles published by Western media in the latest campaign to denigrate Russia’s role in fighting terrorism in Syria. Here are just a few of the many examples: “Syria’s Idlib province pounded by Russian airstrikes, activists say” (The Washington Post, February 5); “Russia bombs Syria rebel strongholds after jet is shot down” (Newsweek, February 5); “Biggest airstrikes in a year hit Syria after rebels shoot down Russian jet” (The Guardian, February 6); “Devastating Russian airstrikes of retribution in Syria” (Deutsche Welle, February 5); “Russia launches an offensive after the jet is downed” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 5). These articles are obviously carbon-copies – their style and reasoning are strikingly similar. The misinformation comes down to allegations that the Russian Aerospace Forces are striking rebel strongholds in Idlib, killing civilians and damaging civilian infrastructure, including medical institutions. The Syrian Army is being groundlessly accused of using chemical weapons.


14.02.2018 - Embassy’s Press Officer on the chemical incidents in Syria

Q: Could you comment on the recent statements by a number of Western politicians and media claiming that Moscow and Damascus were responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in the course of the Syrian conflict? A: Russia is against any use of chemical weapons and is a strong supporter of chemical disarmament. In Syria we are in favour of conducting professional on-site investigations of all chemical incidents, something that has never been performed. Instead, the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) relied on “evidence” provided by the self-styled activists and rescue organisations such as the White Helmets which are in fact colluding with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.


12.02.2018 - Ushakov Medal presented to the Arctic Convoys Veterans

On 9-11 February 2018 Third Secretary of the Embassy Vadim Retyunskiy presented the Ushakov medals to the Arctic Convoys veterans Mr David SIMPSON and Mr George MOON



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