5 March 201819:19

More fake news on the joint Russian-Argentine operation to disrupt drug trafficking

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Conspiracy theorists continue to obsess over efforts to shut down a drug trafficking channel from Argentina to Russia. The latest fuel on the fire is the article “The Foreign Ministry, Cocaine and Hyena Dances,” published by the website Voyennoye Obozreniye (Military Review) on March 3, 2018.

In the first paragraph, it is stated that a request for comment was submitted to the “relevant department,” but “as expected,” none was forthcoming. We do not know exactly which department they are talking about, but neither the Information and Press Department, nor the Latin American Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry received any requests from Voyennoye Obozreniye.

But the outlet “managed to interview” a “department employee” Ruslan Arefyev, who agreed to talk with the Voyennoye Obozreniye “correspondent.” Note, there is no person named Ruslan Arefyev on the staff of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The whole interview is falsehood after falsehood.  

False: “The security adviser to the Ambassador to Turkey, who worked in Ankara during the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, was transferred after those events to Argentina to live in exile." Truth: The current security adviser to the Russian Ambassador to Argentina has never worked or even been there.

False: “The protection of the embassy is handled by the Zaslon group, which provides special border forces.” Truth: Guarding the Russian Embassy in Buenos Aires is the job of duty commandants. All of them are members of the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of Russia. The Zaslon detachment has nothing to do with this. In addition, the security of Russian diplomatic missions and citizens abroad is regulated by Russian law and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, according to which responsibility for the security of foreign diplomatic missions rests with the host country.

False: “Argentine law enforcement agencies requested ‘orders be issued to inspect’ the embassy school. Truth: Drugs were found in the basement of the school and residential building of the Embassy by the new director of economic issues. In December 2016, Russian Ambassador to Argentina Viktor Koronelli informed the Argentine authorities about this after receiving instructions from the Centre. After that, a carefully planned joint Russian-Argentine operation was launched to shut down the drug trafficking channel, which was conducted by the secret services of the two countries – the Ministry of Security of Argentina and the Russian Federal Security Service. This topic was emphasised by Viktor Koronelli in his interviews with the Russian and Argentine media (RIA Novosti, RBC, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Kommersant – the texts are also posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website).

False: “Formally, a company with the interesting name ‘Inpredkadry’ is engaged in the selection of personnel for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” Truth: Inpredkadry is a structural subdivision of the Main Directorate for Servicing the Diplomatic Corps. The Federal State Unitary Enterprise The Main Production and Commercial Directorate for Servicing the Diplomatic Corps of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia deals with issues related to the placement and servicing of diplomatic missions and consular offices of foreign countries, missions of international organisations and mass media, as well as with performing work and  providing services related to the maintenance of functioning of diplomatic missions and consular establishments in Russia.

Inpredkadry, a branch of the Main Directorate for Servicing the Diplomatic Corps, provides recruitment services for missions of foreign countries in Russia (!). Issues related to employment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia are under the jurisdiction of the Human Resources Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

False: “Police in Argentina are called ‘Uncle Sideburns.Truth: What on earth are you talking about, “Ruslan”?

And these are just some examples of the nonsense contained in the article. We hope it’s clear that the interview of this “Ruslan Arefyev” is a fake, perhaps even made-to-order.


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