Disinfo: A referendum and a coup forced Luhansk and Donetsk to declare independence


On May 12, 2014, the "Donetsk People's Republic" and "Luhansk People's Republic" declared their independence after most of the residents of the eastern Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk voted in a referendum in favour of secession from Ukraine.

The rift began to widen rapidly between Kyiv on the one hand, and Donetsk, Luhansk, and a number of other regions in eastern Ukraine on the other hand, following a coup in Kyiv in February 2014 that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovych. It originates in Donetsk, and unleashed the forces of the extreme nationalist right whose custodial base is located in the west of the country.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the creation of the so-called DNR and LNR which remain part of Ukraine, after the alleged anti-constitutional “coup” in 2014.,

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests.

On May 11, 2014, the Kremlin organised a semblance of voting in the Donbas, after which the DNR and LNR groups proclaimed “independence” from Ukraine. The Russian leadership "respected" the "choice" of the inhabitants of Donbas, even though no international election observers, not even Russian ones, were present during the referendums, and their "independence" is still not recognised.

Since 2014, Russia has waged large-scale armed aggression against Ukraine and is also responsible for the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine after it engineered the creation of rebel militias in Donetsk, Luhansk and other places, with its army actively participating in military clashes, which has been well documented already for years.

The EU does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. And in January 2022, the EU High Representative Josep Borrell visited Ukraine, including Kyiv and the Stanytsya Luhanska checkpoint where he said:

Russia is a party to this conflict and not a mediator as it often claims.

And this goes similarly with a statement from the G7 leaders who said:

“We remain firmly of the view that Russia is a party to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, not a mediator. We affirm our support for the Normandy Process to secure the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and call on Russia and the armed formations it backs to engage constructively and recommit to the ceasefire.”

See related disinformation claims in our database alleging that Crimea has never been Ukrainian; or that the Euromaidan led to civil war in Donbas; or that Russia has nothing to do with the conflict in eastern Ukraine; or that the Donbas conflict has an internal character; or that Donetsk and Luhansk proclaimed independence following Kyiv nationalist coup; or that Kyiv want to forbid people in eastern Ukraine to speak Russian; or that Crimea’s reunification with Russia was legal.

See also: They even needed this to declare indepence.


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  • Reported in: Issue 272
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/02/2022
  • Article language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, election meddling, War in Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood, Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine, Occupation, Sovereignty, DNR, DPR, LNR, LPR, Viktor Yanukovych, Civil war, Donbas, Euromaidan, Coup
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Disinfo: Just like Russiagate, Western hysteria about Ukraine is based on false information

The United States, and the West in general, thanks to their media domination, are trying to impose on the world an idea that what is happening is Russian aggression against Ukraine. Russia did absolutely nothing in Ukraine, but the hysteria in the Western press was effectively equal to Russiagate, the source of which, as we later learned, was a paid report by Hillary Clinton, based on false information from a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.


This article contains at least two recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia doing "absolutely nothing in Ukraine" and that Russiagate has no basis in reality.

First, the war in Ukraine is a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas. Russia is supporting its proxies with weapons, its active-duty soldiers serve there and its top military commanders visit the war zone to coordinate joint efforts with the separatists.

Disinfo: The US needs war between Russia and Ukraine to weaken Russia

The US wants to wage a war between Russia and Ukraine. The point is to weaken Russia. It is the American aim since 1946. Russia is a military opponent, the only country in the world which could destroy the US. Therefore, the point of the US is to weaken or even cause Russia to collapse.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

The US is not evaluating Russia as the enemy. As it is explained on the website of the Department of State, the US “supported Russia’s integration into European and global institutions and a deepened bilateral partnership in security cooperation to reinforce the foundations of stability and predictability” but could not continue this kind of policy because “Russia ultimately rejected this approach”. Washington also reacted to the aggressive behaviour of Moscow aiming to undermine core institutions of the West, "such as NATO and the EU, and to weaken faith in the democratic and free-market system."

Disinfo: Polish soldiers carried out mass executions of migrants at the Belarusian border

The Polish soldier testified that at the beginning, there were no signs that he and his companions would be forced to kill people. The soldier admitted that between 9 and 18 June 2021, he had been killing 20 persons each day at the border. The Polish soldiers did not talk about the killings between each other. Based on his data, between 200 and 700 people could have been killed in the mass executions. The places for execution were different each time. The soldiers received ammunition for their guns immediately before shooting at the migrants.


Disinformation related to the migration situation at the EU - Belarus border.

Belarusian and Russian propaganda are using fake statements from a Polish deserter soldier Emil Czeczko, who makes groundless claims about “mass executions” of migrants in Poland.