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Fact checking — Paul Robinson

Summary:
The big news from Italy this week is the seizure by Turin police of a massive arsenal of weapons held by a neo-Nazi group. Among the weapons was a stonking-big air-to-air missile. Reporting the story, the BBC links the neo-Nazis to ‘Russian-backed separatist forces’ in Ukraine….Naughty separatists. Despite all that talk of fighting ‘fascism’, it appears that they’re in bed with neo-Nazis. But then again, maybe not. For as Mark Ames points out on Twitter, there’s a problem with the BBC report. The official police statement says something very different. In fact, it says the following:… Which for those of you who don’t speak Italian, translates as:The investigations had begun about a year ago when the police headquarters in Turin, coordinated by the Central Directorate of Prevention

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The big news from Italy this week is the seizure by Turin police of a massive arsenal of weapons held by a neo-Nazi group. Among the weapons was a stonking-big air-to-air missile. Reporting the story, the BBC links the neo-Nazis to ‘Russian-backed separatist forces’ in Ukraine….

Naughty separatists. Despite all that talk of fighting ‘fascism’, it appears that they’re in bed with neo-Nazis. But then again, maybe not. For as Mark Ames points out on Twitter, there’s a problem with the BBC report. The official police statement says something very different. In fact, it says the following:…
Which for those of you who don’t speak Italian, translates as:

The investigations had begun about a year ago when the police headquarters in Turin, coordinated by the Central Directorate of Prevention Police, monitored some people linked to political movements of the ultra-right who had fought in the Ukrainian region of Donbass against the separatists.
So it turns out that they fought not ‘for the separatists’ but ‘against the separatists’....


But here’s the thing. It’s not just the BBC which makes that claim. CNN, for instance, reports that:

The stockpile was discovered by police who were investigating Italians ‘with extremist ideology’ who had fought alongside Russian-backed separatist forces in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, last July, according to the police statement.Similarly The Guardian writes that:
Police said that the discoveries stemmed from a previous investigation into Italians who took part in the Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
This is word for word what the Associated Press (AP) writes. And that perhaps explain why so many media outlets are repeating the same story. They’ve just copied it from AP without verifying it.

There is one exception, however. One media organization seems to have actually checked what the police statement said, telling us that:

The police say the groups had fought “against the separatists” in the Donbass region of Ukraine – the forces of the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east of the country.
Who’s this? The answer – RT....
Irrussianality
Fact checking
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

See also

RT

Media link Italy neo-Nazi missile to ‘pro-Russian separatists’ despite police saying the OPPOSITE

Italian police seize MISSILE, guns and neo-Nazi material in raid on far-right militants

Mike Norman
Mike Norman is an economist and veteran trader whose career has spanned over 30 years on Wall Street. He is a former member and trader on the CME, NYMEX, COMEX and NYFE and he managed money for one of the largest hedge funds and ran a prop trading desk for Credit Suisse.

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