Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

The lie at NTB, NRK and Dagsavisen

Marielle Leranand
Marielle Leraand
Leader in Fred and Justice (FOR), regular commentator in MODERN TIMES, and former deputy leader in Rødt.
WAR PROPAGANDA / The statement "Russia has the right to rule over its neighbour", which is attributed to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an NTB article that was reproduced in several Norwegian media in April, is based on quote fraud. We see here 'war propaganda' in the Norwegian media.


We in Fred and Justice (FOR) and other opponents of Norwegian arms deliveries to the war in Ukraine have always claimed that the war could have been avoided if NATO had agreed to Russia's demand to stop further expansion into Ukraine in December 2021. At the same time, we believe that it even now it is much better to go to peace negotiations than to continue the hostilities.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov says that "Russia has the right to rule over its neighbour", we could read on 19 April in a news notice on

The quote confirms what supporters of arms deliveries to Ukraine have been saying all along: Russia's warfare is about not about NATO expansion, it was just a pretext. The war is a classic imperialist war of conquest where Russia simply wants to subjugate its neighboring country.

We have come to believe that such small news notices from NTB, which is reproduced by, among others NRK, are concise objective renderings of the facts. Few will ask "Where did NTB get this from?". But isn't it a little strange that Russia's driven top diplomat makes such a statement that so clearly confirms the West's new narrative and directly undermines it Russia previously said about the causes of the conflict?

The NTB notice is not correct

I therefore thought that there is something wrong here, so I began to investigate where the statement came from. In the version of the NTB article that was reproduced by NRK, nothing is said about where Lavrov is said to have made the statement. The daily newspaper, which reproduces the same message, however also lists the German DPA as the source. And if we go to DPA, we find an article with the same main content, which refers to statements Lavrov made in an interview with several Russian broadcasters.

We can find a transcript of this interview at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The interview is long and contains much that is neither included in NTB's article nor in DPA's original article. In the interview, however, we find No statements that support the NTB article's formulation that "Russia has the right to rule over its neighbour". We find the opposite. To quote Lavrov verbatim:

“Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson openly said that letting Russia win would mean the loss of Western hegemony. […] Similar attitudes are reflected in other declarations, such as 'we will lose our influence' and 'Russia will reshape the world together with China, Iran, North Korea, Syria'. These statements [...] refer to a 'struggle' to maintain hegemony, which is opposed to the establishment of a new multipolar world order. [Something] we [can] reformulate [into …] a just and democratic world order where all nations adhere to the principles of the UN Charter.”

Systematic media criticism is one of the most important things we war opponents have to work on.

In the same way that we must be critical of Western leaders rhetoric, we should be critical of Lavrov's description that Russia's goal is a world order that is based on that countries follow the UN Charter. But the NTB notice is not a critical analysis of what Lavrov says. It is a false paraphrase of what he is supposed to have said, into something he did not say at all.


An important part of war propaganda is to portray one's own side as completely innocent, and the opposing side as unilaterally evil. In that way, the strategic enemy of the war propagandists can be weakened. This is not the physical enemy on the battlefield, but those of us agitating for peace and negotiations. Failing to reproduce key arguments from the other party is a natural part of this. Paraphrasing, which makes it possible for the journalist to weed out formulations and insert their own interpretations in such a way that the other party's arguments are weakened, is another method.

Direct citation cheating, as we see in this NTB report, involves a further escalation. It can be effective if it is not detected, but it is also risky. If it is revealed, and it happens several times, such media will lose credibility, and thus will war propagandaa losing effect. For the same reason is systematic media criticism one of the most important things we war opponents have to work with.

Leraand is a former deputy in Rødt,
and leader of the upcoming party Fred and Justice (FOR).

- self-advertisement -

Recent Comments:

Siste artikler

The human planet

ESSAY: What actually lies in the term 'anthropocene' as the term for the era we now find ourselves in? The Anthropocene refers to the many ways in which we humans have transformed the world and recreated it in our image. But there has been a discussion between biologists, anthropologists, geologists and other disciplines about what the term actually entails.

Desire, according to Lacan, is impossible to grasp

PSYCHOLOGY: Blaise Pascal was a contradictory figure: He was one of the most important mathematicians and scientists of all time, but at the same time a rather strict and dogmatic Catholic. By dogmatic is mainly meant that he emphasized a clear distinction between faith and knowledge. And ask yourself: Is there a difference between 'idiocy's truth' and 'truth's idiocy'?

The NATO resistance, a sprout for SF and Orientering

LABOR PARTY: The leading force in the labor movement manipulated Norway into a military, political and economic marriage with the Western capitalist bloc NATO. What methods did the leadership of the Labor Party use to gain a majority, and how was the first opposition organized? Sigurd Evensmo was culture editor at Arbeiderbladet when the first NATO advances were reported. When the party enrolled Norway in the alliance in 1949, he left the editor's chair and resigned from the Labor Party.

The private is political

activism: One of the main goals of the Iranian clergy, the politicians and the people who support the clergy is to keep women and everything related to them out of the public sphere. But Nobel Prize nominee Masih Alinejad is giving voice to Iran's oppressed women through social and global media. Honesty, without pretensions, is an important part of Alinejad's life and writing.

Progress in dark times

FUTURE: With crises on all sides, it has become difficult to claim that the world is moving forward progressively. In her new book Fortschritt und Regression, Rahel Jaeggi will nevertheless stick to the idea of ​​progress. Society does not aim at inherent goals – they primarily solve problems, she claims.

A renewal of the critique of ideology

ALIENATION: This little book by Rahel Jaeggi is stimulating and useful – at a time when ideology criticism and the hermeneutics of suspicion have come under pressure, among other things from people who cultivate 'presence' and the everyday. And what if our actions and institutions are emptied of meaning and go on autopilot – will we be perceived as alienated?

Once upon a time

GAZA: Snapshots from a Gaza that is gone forever. Once upon a time, everyone passed through Gaza. And to all it was the "Athens of Asia," because it was a center of philosophy. Gaza was conquered, and was Ottoman from 1516, British from 1917, Egyptian from 1948 – and finally Israeli from 1967. In the old Gaza you saw girls in miniskirts, girls with whiskey and cigarettes, girls dancing, and girls painting at the art academy . And the Ottoman teahouse Beit Sitti was a haunt for intellectuals, musicians and artists. There was also a rock band and a yoga centre, and pizzeria Italiano and granita... But today?

The biopolitical foundations of modern society

PHILOSOPHY: An immune body is understood as protected against outside invaders. But as Esposito has touched on, biological immunity has also had political and military historical significance.

I was completely out of the world

Essay: The author Hanne Ramsdal tells here what it means to be put out of action – and come back again. A concussion leads, among other things, to the brain not being able to dampen impressions and emotions.

Silently disciplining research

PRIORITIES: Many who question the legitimacy of the US wars seem to be pressured by research and media institutions. An example here is the Institute for Peace Research (PRIO), which has had researchers who have historically been critical of any war of aggression – who have hardly belonged to the close friends of nuclear weapons.

Is Spain a terrorist state?

SPAIN: The country receives sharp international criticism for the police and the Civil Guard's extensive use of torture, which is never prosecuted. Regime rebels are imprisoned for trifles. European accusations and objections are ignored.

Is there any reason to rejoice over the coronary vaccine?

COVID-19: There is no real skepticism from the public sector about the coronary vaccine – vaccination is recommended, and the people are positive about the vaccine. But is the embrace of the vaccine based on an informed decision or a blind hope for a normal everyday life?

The military commanders wanted to annihilate the Soviet Union and China, but Kennedy stood in the way

Military: We focus on American Strategic Military Thinking (SAC) from 1950 to the present. Will the economic war be supplemented by a biological war?


Bjørnboe: In this essay, Jens Bjørneboe's eldest daughter reflects on a lesser – known psychological side of her father.

Arrested and put on smooth cell for Y block

Y-Block: Five protesters were led away yesterday, including Ellen de Vibe, former director of the Oslo Planning and Building Agency. At the same time, the Y interior ended up in containers.

A forgiven, refined and anointed basket boy

Pliers: The financial industry takes control of the Norwegian public.

Michael Moore's new film: Critical to alternative energy

EnvironmentFor many, green energy solutions are just a new way to make money, says director Jeff Gibbs.

The pandemic will create a new world order

Mike Davis: According to activist and historian Mike Davis, wild reservoirs, like bats, contain up to 400 types of coronavirus that are just waiting to spread to other animals and humans.

The shaman and the Norwegian engineer

cohesion: The expectation of a paradise free of modern progress became the opposite, but most of all, Newtopia is about two very different men who support and help each other when life is at its most brutal.

Skinless exposure

Anorexia: shameless uses Lene Marie Fossen's own tortured body as a canvas for grief, pain and longing in her series of self portraits – relevant both in the documentary self Portrait and in the exhibition Gatekeeper.