Disinfo: 2014 Ukraine coup was orchestrated by neo-Nazis

Summary

Militant neo-Nazi groups, including Right Sector and the Azov Battalion, helped orchestrate the 2014 Ukrainian coup d’etat.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat, and Ukrainian politics dominated by fascist/Nazi groups and ideology. The Euromaidan was not a coup attempt but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here. Far-right groups had a very limited presence during the protests and have suffered spectacular defeats in every national election since 2014. The Azov Battalion was established in May 2014 and could not have possibly taken part in the supposed "coup" of February 2014.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Coup, Euromaidan, Nazi/Fascist

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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NATO does not counter terrorism

NATO does not aim to сounter terrorism. The Alliance does not stand with united fronts against terrorists, in particular, against ISIS.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West, not taking up the fight against terrorism. The Alliance's leadership sees terrorism as a major threat to the security of NATO and the West as a whole. This philosophy is enshrined in NATO’s current strategic concept. Given the increased terrorist threat following the 11 September 2001 attack, Alliance leaders were forced to rethink their approaches to collective security. At the Prague Summit in 2002, NATO leaders expressed their determination to deter, protect and defend their population, territory and forces from any armed attacks from abroad, including from terrorists. To this end, they are adopting a Prague package aimed at adapting NATO to the problem of terrorism. The NATO Strategic Concept, adopted at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, recognises that terrorism is a direct threat to the security of citizens of NATO countries. In addition, since 2017, NATO has been a member of the Global Coalition against ISIS and successfully collaborates with partners in the fight against Islamists. In addition, NATO works closely with its partners in counter-terrorism matters. At a meeting marking the 70th anniversary of NATO in 2019, foreign ministers set themselves the task of once again reviewing the NATO Counter-Terrorism Action Plan. Read the full article on all of NATO’s counter-terrorism operations here.

Hungary recognised Crimea as Russian

In Hungary, Crimea was recognised as Russian territory.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the European Union recognises the annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea. The Hungarian television channel M1, showed a video clip from the annexed Crimea, marking it as part of neighbouring Russia. In a short video under the No Comment section, the TV channel shows hundreds of jellyfish that were thrown onto the Azov coast of Crimea. The description under the video “Krím-Félsziget, Oroszország - 2019. November 27” is translated as “Crimea Peninsula, Russia - 2019. November 27.” This was broadcast on 29 November. The Embassy of Ukraine in Hungary turned to the M1 TV channel with a request to correct the inscription in the video. At the moment, the video has been removed from the channel’s website and from social media. After the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014, Hungary announced that it would not recognise the occupation of Crimea. This is the official position of both the Hungarian government and the European Union as a whole, which remains unchanged to this day. The EU policy on non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol includes a whole range of measures. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against Russia.

Russia did not violate the Budapest memorandum

The Budapest memorandum does not work and it is Ukraine’s own fault, Ukraine has allowed a civil war on its territory. Russia did not violate this treaty because it did not use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that there is a civil war in Ukraine. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. The mentioned Budapest Memorandum is a diplomatic document that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons, which Ukraine received after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The arsenal Ukraine was left with was the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, including intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. On 24 October 1991, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on the country's nuclear-free status. Three years later, Ukraine actually joined the nuclear non-proliferation treaties. In exchange, the leaders of the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom signed the Budapest memorandum with guarantees of the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. The Budapest memorandum says that not one of the countries that signed the document has the right to apply any kind of aggressive policy towards Ukraine. The second paragraph states that the signatories "reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine." That is, through the Budapest memorandum Russia pledged not to use any weapon against Ukraine, not just nuclear.