DISINFO: After coup, Kyiv Nazis fight Donbas civilians while Russia is not a warring side
  • Outlet: ukraina.ru (archived)*
  • Date of publication: August 03, 2021
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 254
  • Countries / regions discussed: Ukraine, Russia
Donbas War in Ukraine Minsk agreements Euromaidan

DISINFO: After coup, Kyiv Nazis fight Donbas civilians while Russia is not a warring side


There was a coup in Ukraine in 2014, after which Kyiv’s illegitimate regime unleashed a civil war and sent neo-Nazi battalions to fight peaceful civilians in Donbas, who did not support the change of power in the country. Ukrainian authorities accused Russia of invasion. Russia is not a party to the conflict in Donbas, according to the Minsk agreements, which Ukraine signed.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets, claiming that the victory of Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity (aka Euromaidan) in 2014 triggered the alleged civil war in Donbas, while Russia is a mediator rather than a warring party. In reality, Ukraine’s Euromaidan events were initially a peaceful protest against former president Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign an association agreement with the European Union despite his earlier commitment to do so.

Contrary to Russia’s claims about the civil war in Donbas, Russia is internationally considered as a party to the conflict. There is evidence that Russian troops were shelling Ukrainian positions from Russian territory at the beginning of the war in 2014. Russia also provides the separatists with weapons and massive disinformation coverage. It has also sent active-duty servicemen to Ukrainian territory. After being captured, some of them said they had got lost as a justification for their crossing of the border and illegally entering Ukraine. The whole Donbas conflict was triggered by Russia because it needed land passage to Crimea after it occupied the Ukrainian peninsula and illegally annexed it later in the wake of an unrecognised self-styled referendum for secession from Ukraine and unification with Russia.

The Minsk agreements, which were signed in the Belarusian capital in 2014 and 2015, do not say that Russia is not a party to the conflict. Asked by a Ukrainian reporter in October 2020 about whether Russia is a party to the conflict, former Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Martin Sajdik said:

"Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE are members of the Trilateral Contact Group. This group was set up to find a solution to the Donbas conflict through the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Obviously, the OSCE is not a party to the conflict, it’s only a mediator. Then it’s easy to answer a question about the parties to the conflict."

The communiqué that was issued after the 14 June 2021 summit of NATO’s Heads of State and Government said:

“We reiterate our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova within their internationally recognised borders. In accordance with its international commitments, we call on Russia to withdraw the forces it has stationed in all three countries without their consent.”

These statements indicate that the West regards Russia as an aggressor and a party to the Donbas conflict.

See more disinformation reports about Russia’s claims that Ukraine is an aggressor.


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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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