On October 18, an online edition progressnews.ge published an article titled “The Dissolution of Soviet Union was the Biggest Crime of the United States – Henry Kissinger is Disappointed with Capitalism”. According to the article, Henry Kissinger states that a Soviet individual was living a complete life and was one step ahead of the West. Progressnews cited a Russian edition – panorama.pub - as the source of the article.
Progressnews.ge: “A Soviet individual was able to find happiness in things as simple as jeans, toilet paper, and smoked sausage and was living a complete life. We corrupted them and opened them a door to a world, in which, behind the glittering seductions, cruel laws of capitalism hide… We only had sex, while they had true love. We only had money, while they had pure human gratitude and this relates to all spheres of life. Of course, nobody can call me an admirer of socialism, as I am a Western individual with Western mindset, however, I believe that the Soviet Union was giving birth to a true new human. One can label such human homo soveticus. This human was one step above us and I honestly regret that we destroyed this sanctuary. It may be our biggest crime ever” – stated the diplomat.
Later, Progressnews corrected the article and mentioned that Henry Kissinger’s interview is allegedly a fake piece of information disseminated in Russian media. However, the edition corrected neither the title of the article (“The Dissolution of Soviet Union was the Biggest Crime of the United States – Henry Kissinger is Disappointed with Capitalism”), nor did it explain in the post shared on Facebook that the interview was fake. The post caption includes an excerpt from the article – “[Soviet] human was one step above us and I honestly regret that we destroyed this sanctuary”. The given post creates a perception as if Kissinger’s interview was real.
The primary source of Progressnews – panorama.pub – is actually a satirical edition, something that is not clearly indicated in the material. Disseminating the piece with the title, identical with the one from the Russian humorous media outlet (“The Dissolution of Soviet Union was the Biggest Crime of the United States – Henry Kissinger is Disappointed with Capitalism”) creates a perception that Kissinger’s assessment is real, subsequently misleading the readers.
The article does not have an author and it had been disseminated on behalf of the editorial board, followed by the word Progressnews on the last line, which, at the same time, is a hyperlink to the panorama.pub webpage. The given link forwards us to the Russian primary source where the given piece of information is dated October 15, 2018.
At the bottom of the webpage, next to the “About Us” section, there is a Warning (Предупреждение) section, mentioning that all materials on the website are satirical and made up and that any kind of coincidence with real individuals or events does not aim to offend or harm anyone’s reputation, as the materials are satirical in nature.
Therefore, the materials published by panorama.pub cannot be considered real.
- About Progressnews
Progressnews news agency was registered on February 26, 2019. Darejan Meparishvili is its director and a 100% shareholder. According to the description posted on the website, the news agency provides a professional and unbiased coverage of political, social, economic, cultural and other developments taking place in Georgia and beyond its limits. Darejan Meparishvili’s statements are frequently released by a pro-governmental online news agency, Marshalpress. This latter is featuring as the source of hate speech in the respective reports released by the Media Development Foundation.
- Presenting Satire as a Real Story
Presenting satirical invented stories as real ones is one of the propaganda methods. Using this method propagandistic and tabloid outlets try to demonstrate that the developments described in these stories, such as zoophilia and necrophilia, are the rule of life typical for western societies.
Myth Detector has been reporting on this issue earlier.
- Geworld's photo manipulations and disinformation about the rape of mummy and a wax figurine
- Disinformation on an alleged attempt of Jimmy Olsen to rape an alligator
- Geworld Spreads Disinformation by St. Petersburg Troll Factory about Goat Raped by Migrant
appendix: the initial version of the article on Progressnews