FAKE NEWS: The Russians captured a state-of-the-art American drone

MQ-4C Triton
© U.S. Navy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons   |   MQ-4C Triton

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The Russian military captured an American spy drone over the Black Sea, according to pro-Russia blogger Dan Diaconu.

News confirmed only by his own wish

NEWS: "The Black Sea coast is buzzing with Blackhawk helicopters. Why is that? They say an MQ-4C Triton spy drone was lost. Officially, the bad weather was the cause of the drone gone missing, but unofficially it was a Russian "takeover" of that drone. It is suspected that the operation was extremely well disguised as the drone "suddenly fell silent" before registering any abnormalities around it. So, the American soldiers are hoping that it has collapsed into the Black Sea and are desperately looking for it. Look, my dears, the Black Sea is big! But maybe, who knows, you'll see it intact at some Russian exhibition of captured Western weapons."

NARRATIVE: NATO, and especially the US, have lost their technological superiority to Russia, which is achieving breakthrough results in military technology.

BACKGROUND: Fake news related to military operations in the Black Sea area has been promoted by Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine. Thus, just a few days after the start of the war, Moscow's propaganda announced that the Ukrainian army shot down a fighter plane and a helicopter of the Romanian Armed Forces.  Recently, a pro-Kremlin Telegram channel has announced that several  flights in the direction of Odesa – Serpent Island were made with F-16 aircraft   transferred to Ukraine by NATO countries, which had taken off from the Fetești air base, where the Ukrainian pilots were allegedly trained .

In late March,  a Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton reconnaissance drone,   registration number 169659, belonging to the US Naval Forces, was deployed to Sigonella Air Base on the Italian island of Sicily, marking the first time that an aircraft of this type had arrived in the Mediterranean Sea area. The MQ-4C Triton is a high-altitude and "high endurance" unmanned aerial vehicle, intended for the execution of ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) and targeting operations. The drone can stay in the air for more than 30 hours, at altitudes of up to 17,000 meters and travel at speeds of up to 610 kilometers per hour, being able to observe up to seven million square kilometers of surface per day. These characteristics, the specialists say, allow the drone to be brought for missions in the Black Sea area, but also in the eastern Mediterranean, in the area of ​​the  Israeli – Palestinian conflict, regions where all types of drones located at the Sigonella Air Base frequently operate.

Dan Diaconu, the one who introduced the narrative into the Romanian information space, is a pro-Russia blogger, whose website is a conglomeration of conspiracy theories, fake news and misinformation related to most of the current topics (pandemic, anti-COVID vaccine, climate change, Israel-Hamas conflict, etc.), as well as articles in which Russia is considered a model state and its aggression against Ukraine appreciated. Diaconu also keeps a kind of frontline diary on Telegram, in which he informs his followers about the victories of the Russian army, excessively praising its successes on the battlefield. Moreover, when he announces the conquest and destruction from the foundations of a new Ukrainian town, he speaks of its "liberation". Over time, Diaconu has promoted several false narratives and disinformation made up by the Russian propaganda, such as those claiming that partnerships with the US lead to bankruptcy , while deals with Russia ensure prosperity, or that Ukrainian leaders secretly hold American citizenship.  

PURPOSE: To promote the narrative of Russia's (technological in this case) "superiority" over the West. To amplify anti-American and pro-Russian sentiments, to promote an anti-Western discourse, to weaken trust in NATO, to trigger and amplify social tensions.

The US drone mission was a success

WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: On June 14,  according to  Radar Box, the said drone, with registration number 169659 and radio callsign BLKCAT6, took off from the Sigonella Air Base, and came out over the Black Sea on the territory of Bulgaria, south of Burgas,   carrying out its first flight deep into the neutral waters of the Black Sea.   Later, three hours after takeoff, the drone landed safely at the Sicilian base,  the short duration of the mission indicating that it was carried out without any incident.

The flight path of the American drone was relatively symmetrical. It made several passes from west to east, above the Black Sea, at a distance of approximately 150 kilometers south of the coasts of the Crimean Peninsula. It was visible on radars only at the ends of the route, the rest of the time flying, most likely, with the on-board transponder turned off, to avoid interception.

The fake news was denied including by the Russian side, through Topwar,  a well-known Russian war propaganda website, certified and validated including by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), the Russian federal executive agency responsible of Russian media monitoring, control and censorship. the only one who has not denied the information yet is Dan Diaconu.

  • Publication / Media:
    FACEBOOK PAGE - DAN DIACONU
  • Date of publication:
    14/06/2024
  • Target audience:
    ANTI-UKRAINIANS, FILORUSIANS, PUTINISTS, ANTI-WESTERN, ANTI-EUROPEANS, ANTI-AMERICANS
  • Amplification:
    SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Key narrative:
    RUSSIA HAS SURPASSED NATO FROM A TECHNOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW

EBOOK> Razboi si propaganda: O cronologie a conflictului ruso-ucrainean

EBOOK>Razboiul lui Putin cu lumea libera: Propaganda, dezinformare, fake news

Cezar Manu

Cezar Manu




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