24 Ukrainian sailors were captured after they violated Russia’s border

Summary

The Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe called on Russia to release the 24 Ukrainian sailors who were captured in November 2018 after they violated the Russian border.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the November 2018 Kerch incident. On 25 November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. The EU has urged Russia to release the captured crew.

However, the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, as addressed by the 2003 bilateral agreement between Ukraine and Russia are defined as the internal waters of both Russia and Ukraine. The agreement gives both parties the power to inspect suspicious vessels. Furthermore, both the 2003 bilateral agreement and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provide for the freedom of navigation.

More cases about the Kerch Strait incident are available here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 158
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: Czech
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Kerch, International Law, War in Ukraine
  • Outlet: Sputnik
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The US didn’t provide any proof that Russia violated the INF treaty

In October 2018, US President Donald Trump stated that the US would withdraw from the INF treaty due to Moscow’s violations of its commitments. However, the US didn’t provide any proof to support this claim.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty, and that Russia was fully compliant with it.

In July 2014, President Obama officially accused Russia of testing an intermediate-range land-launched missile in violation of the INF. Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on 4 December 2018. NATO allies share the US government’s assessment that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security. The US gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometers, in violation of the INF, and provided Moscow with evidence about the 9M729’s violations, including geographic coordinates and dates for the tests. Russia has continually denied any wrongdoing.

British lab in Porton Down was involved in Skripal poisoning

The Porton Down laboratory near Salisbury was evidently somehow involved in the Skripal case, though it is unclear to what extent this was a “news game” between MI5 and Russia’s SVR.

Disproof

Earlier, pro-Kremlin media have claimed that Porton Down might have manufactured Novichok, or that the Porton Down laboratory was responsible for the Amesbury poisoning.

British police and intelligence investigations have produced hard forensic evidence which was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals – identified as officers of the Russian Military Intelligence, GRU – for the attack on the Skripals. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the OPCW, invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian-produced Novichok nerve agent.

Anything bad for Russia is good for modern Polish elites

Тhe collapse of the USSR was a blow to Russia. The USSR represented Russia, even though there were many countries in it. And for the modern Polish elites, what is bad for Russia, is, in general, good.

Disproof

One of the recurring Pro-Kremlin narratives Elites vs. People, describing Polish elites as Russophobic. Russophobia is often used in pro-Kremlin disinformation as well. Similar cases can be found here and here.

This statement appeared after the head of the European Council Donald Tusk posted on Twitter: “The collapse of the Soviet Union was NOT the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century. The USSR collapse was a blessing to Georgians, Poles, Ukrainians and the whole of Central and Eastern Europe. And also to Russians."