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The Daily Vertical: Another Kremlin Tale Unravels (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

Well we sure have seen this movie before.

Russia makes a spectacular allegation that ramps up tensions and dominates several news cycles.

Then, on closer scrutiny, holes appear in the narrative until it loses credibility everywhere.

Everywhere, that is, except in Russia.

We saw this with the infamous Lisa case, in which Moscow falsely claimed that German authorities covered up the sexual assault of an ethnic-Russian girl by migrants in Berlin -- causing weeks of controversy over an incident that never happened.

And now we appear to be seeing it with Moscow's allegations that Ukraine sent a team of agent-saboteurs to the annexed Crimean peninsula to carry out terrorist attacks.

The OSCE, for example, says it has found no evidence of the shootout Moscow claims took place between the alleged Ukrainians and Russian forces near the boundary separating Russian-occupied Crimea and mainland Ukraine.

Additionally, Russian state television aired footage allegedly showing the FSB discovering a weapons cache belonging to the purported Ukrainian saboteurs on August 8.

There was just one problem.

The television footage showed a full moon. And the last full moon was on July 21.

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And what about those three suspects Russia says confessed to planning terrorist attacks?

Well, one of them appears to be a construction worker with a criminal record and a history of anti-Ukrainian posts on social media.

One is a Crimean Tatar who appears to have been arrested weeks before ago.

And one is a truck driver from Zaporizhzhya whose family insists was kidnapped.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

But, just like the Lisa case, Moscow is stubbornly sticking to its story even as the evidence piles up suggesting it was made up out of whole cloth.

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