The National Court of Spain has dropped the investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the Catalan separatist crisis. According to the El Diario newspaper, this decision was brought about by the lack of evidence of our country's meddling in the crisis-related concerns of Spain.
Actually, Russia did not initially doubt that everything would end up like this at the end of the day. The Russian Foreign Ministry referred to the interest of some Spanish media to the issue of Russia's "influence" as "unhealthy". Anyway, those who started this fake game have been disgraced. The whole thing resembles chasing ghosts, as the saying goes.
Someone did need it, after all. Diario reported that the "Russian interference" occurrence was opened in November 2019 after a certain police report. It contained information that Russia was involved in the Catalonia independence referendum of October 1, 2017 declared illegal by official Madrid. (Its arrangers were later sentenced to prison. And head of the Catalan government Carles Puigdemont, who initiated the independence referendum, fled the country and was declared as wanted.) The investigation was secret. Nine years later, the National Court of Spain ceased it, with regard to the prosecutor's office stance considering "facts" provided by the police insufficient and unconvincing. Well, it couldn't have been different, since the entire narrative centered around the testimony of some unknown informant and media publications. It would have been certainly ridiculous if we were not talking about interstate relations between Spain and Russia, which never improved after the very beginning of that fake campaign in Spain.
If we refer to Spanish press publications during the Catalan crisis, we will easily see a whole series of materials to convince the readers of Russia's active "penetration." In fact, it was an orchestrated information campaign. In the El País newspaper, for instance, there is a column under the frightening headline "Russian intervention in Catalonia" (Injerencia rusa en Cataluña), which still exists to collect various articles on the topic.
Here are some quotes. In an article by El País dated September 25, 2017, a few days before the referendum, we read the following: "The mechanism of spreading fake news, which Russia used to weaken the United States and the European Union, has got off the ground in Catalonia, according to a detailed analysis of pro-Russian websites and social media profiles conducted by our newspaper using digital analytics tools. After secret campaigns for Brexit, Marine Le Pen and the far-right in Germany, the Kremlin saw Catalan independence as another opportunity to deepen the European split and augment its international influence. It uses web pages that are published by information hoaxes by activists like Julian Assange, as well as a legion of bots, millions of automated social media profiles able to turn lies into a general trend by repeating it a million times."
And on November 13, 2017, after the Catalan referendum, the same El País in its article "Russian meddling machine won the online battle of the illegal referendum" blamed Russia for the independence referendum's not having been rejected by the world community. "Supporters of Catalonia's separation from Spain, deprived of the necessary resources to achieve it," El País wrote, "exploited their fake messages and news to the benefit of the powerful pro-Russian machine, which reinforced them through thousands of social media profiles from the Kremlin and from those close to the Venezuelan regime. They used their ties with activists like Julian Assange. According to several studies on social communication on the web, this deliberate strategy has convinced the international community, as it has met with no opposition from the Spanish state."
And thus, "profound" maxims of this kind, having no probative evidence but clearly suggested to Spanish newspapers by gentlemen from Washington, London and Brussels, became basis for the entire anti-Russian information campaign. And, more importantly, it also became the secret investigation's evidence base. By the way, as El Diario now notes, Deputy Prosecutor Miguel Angel Carballo virtually accused law enforcement officers of incompetence. Like, working with this material is impossible.
Whoever behind these publications, they clearly paid tribute to the narrative of Russia's "interference" in the US elections "to elect Trump", in the EU affairs "to take the UK away from the EU and thus weaken it", in the affairs of France "to bring Marine Le Pen to power", and so on. The downfall of relations between Madrid and Barcelona was exploited as an opportunity to once again revile Russia, the one "to blame for everything". This is one of the links in the demonization of Russia, a campaign being waged by the global liberal establishment. Even today, it does not slow down, with further "newsworthy occurrences" being sought out, since the old coverage opportunities, like the hoax of Russia's intervention in Catalonia, do not last long by virtue of their incongruity.