Regarding a New York Times article “Married Kremlin Spies, a Shadowy Mission to Moscow and Unrest in Catalonia”

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Maria Zakharova: It was with undisguised surprise bordering on admiration that I read a text (it would be a crime against honest journalists to describe it as an “article,” let alone “investigative reporting”) in The New York Times about the alleged contacts an emissary of Catalonia’s top separatist leader, Carles Puigdemont, had in Moscow and far-reaching conclusions from that alleged event. The essence of the text is traditionally revolutionary:  Russia is interfering again.

First of all, my colleagues and I decided to do some fact-checking, analysing one paragraph after another in search of details before issuing a political commentary.

I would like to remind you that the issue concerns a “European intelligence report,” which the newspaper’s reporters had a chance to read.

We didn’t have to work hard to establish that this was yet another silly piece of false news.

“In Russia, according to the intelligence report, Mr Alay [Josep Lluis Alay, a senior adviser to former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont] and Mr Dmitrenko [Alexander Dmitrenko, a Russian businessman] met with several active foreign intelligence officers, as well as Oleg V. Syromolotov, … who now oversees counterterrorism as a deputy minister at the Russian foreign ministry.”

This statement is designed as the linchpin in a convoluted scheme to expose these treacherous Russians.

I asked Oleg Syromolotov about the timing and format of the meeting.

It turned out that there were no such meetings in Moscow or anywhere else. Oleg Syromolotov never met with Mr Alay in Moscow or outside of Russia and never maintained any contacts with him.

I went to the trouble to check if we received any requests from the above mentioned newspaper for the confirmation or refutation of this “information.” No, we have not received any requests. This is yet another proof of a pre-planned provocation. Had the newspaper requested this information, it would have been unable to use this “solid proof.”

The question is, who has framed The New York Times? The names of the authors of this masterpiece, Michael Schwirtz and José Bautista, have been added in gold lettering to the global history of fake news.

The New York Times, as well as the other outlets that have reprinted this fake news, not just should but must publish a refutation.




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