Disinfo: A state of Ukraine has never existed before

Summary

Ukraine has never been an independent state before - part of its territory was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, then the Russian Empire, then the Soviet Union.

They received statehood from the Ukrainian SSR, which was part of the Soviet Union, and began to build Ukrainian statehood and identity as anti-Russian.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining Ukrainian statehood.

Pro-Kremlin media outlets often cast doubt on Ukrainian statehood and claim that Ukraine either does not exist as a state or is going to tumble down very soon. Present-day Ukraine has been on the world map since 1991 when the Soviet Union disintegrated. It has elected six presidents since then and changed parties in government several times which illustrates political diversity and democratic dynamics even during economic hardship in the wake of Russian aggression in 2014. Ukraine's Western partners have been providing it with financial and technical assistance.

The history of Ukraine dates back to the era of the Kyivan Rus’ in the 9th-13th centuries. A fully independent Ukraine only emerged in the 20th century, after long periods of successive domination by Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In the aftermath of World War I and the disintegration of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires two states were created: the Ukrainian People's Republic (UNR) and the West Ukrainian People's Republic. They merged into a unified state - the Ukrainian People's Republic - on 22 January 1919.

Under Lenin's leadership at the beginning of the 20th century, Ukraine was occupied by the Bolsheviks and for decades was under communist control. When the Soviet Union began to unravel in 1990-91, the legislature of the Ukrainian SSR declared sovereignty (July 16, 1990) and then outright independence (August 24, 1991).

Ukraine is not an anti-Russian country. The relations between the countries only worsened after Russia occupied Crimea in 2014. Russia has also been involved in the destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine, the creation of DNR and LNR and the supply of personnel and weapons. The destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea have been condemned by the Council of the European Union and have led to restrictive measures since 2014.

Ukraine is an independent, sovereign states which can decide its own foreign policy orientation and alliance structure. This is fundamental and is also recognised by Russia in the Paris Charter following the dissolution of the USSR.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 261
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine
  • Keywords: USSR, Ukrainian statehood, Anti-Russian

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