Disinfo: NATO expansion and Euromaidan prove that master-slave logic prevailed within the West

Summary

The policy preached by those who made a short-sighted choice of NATO-centricity, geopolitical zero-sum games and a master-slave logic, having assumed the role of ruling the destinies of humankind, prevailed within Western society. Suffice to recall the bombing of Yugoslavia, the eastward expansion of the North-Atlantic Alliance despite the guarantees that had been given to the Soviet leadership, as well as the support by a number of European capitals of an anti-constitutional armed government coup in Ukraine and the subsequent imposition of unilateral sanctions against Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a violent coup, and a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO and encircled Russia.

NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by pro-Kremlin media. Rather, it considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the alliance based on their own national will. As such, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia and there is no record of NATO promising Russia it would not expand. Even if there was a personal assurance from an individual leader, it could not replace Alliance consensus and does not constitute a formal NATO agreement. In 2014, Mikhail Gorbachev, last president of the Soviet Union, confirmed:

"The topic of 'NATO expansion' was not discussed at all, and it wasn't brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn't bring it up either."

There was no armed coup d’état in Ukraine. The Euromaidan was a nationwide spontaneous and endogenous reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden withdrawal from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence.

Read a similar case claiming that the West organised the Maidan coup in order to transform Ukraine into an anti-Russian state, or that Crimea left Ukraine as a result the alleged coup, or that the Euromaidan was initiated to lower Ukraine’s living standards, or even that the Euromaidan was an American financed coup d'etat to gain control over Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic, French
  • Country: EU, Yugoslavia, Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Yugoslavia, West, EU/NATO enlargement, Russophobia, NATO, Euromaidan, The West, Europe

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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American officials repeatedly promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward after the reunification of Germany

At the end of the 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to withdraw Soviet troops from Germany, American officials  repeatedly promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand eastward after the reunification of Germany.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about encircled Russia.

Back in 2014, Gorbachev rejected this claim stating that the topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all.

Thousands were killed in NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia aiming to tear Kosovo apart

NATO forces began bombing Yugoslavia in the spring of 1999. The goal is to tear Kosovo apart.

There were thousands of victims, thousands of dead and tens of thousands of wounded.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the number of civilian casualties of NATO bombing, previously debunked by Polygraph.

According to the Humanitarian Law Center, in Serbia (excluding Kosovo) and Montenegro, 275 persons lost their lives in the NATO bombings: 180 civilians, 90 members of the Yugoslav Armed Forces and five members of the Ministry of Interior of Serbia. In Kosovo, 484 people were killed: 267 civilians (209 Albanian and 58 non-Albanian), 171 members of the YA, 20 members of the Serbian MUP and 26 members of the KLA (19 of whom died in the NATO bombing of the Dubrava prison, near Istok).

Information site Bellingcat has been convicted for disinformation

The authors of the Bellingcat project, which had previously been convicted of producing custom-made anti-Russian information campaigns, did not even bother to take into account the barely matching meaning of the replicas in the audio recordings provided to them. The public was presented with loud but empty accusations that would be forgotten, like the previous ones. At the same time, no real investigation is underway that looks like a vile mockery of the victims of a plane crash.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of the flight MH17, Joint International Investigation and organisations trying to uncover the chain of events that lead to the downing of the passenger plane.

The authors of Bellingcat have never been convicted by the courts of any country, the original article in Russian doesn't even mention this sentence. Bellingcat has been the target of a smear campaign by pro-Kremlin media on previous occasions. Bellingcat has been conducting a journalistic investigation of the downing of the MH17 and consistently published about the topic, including an investigation of the chain of command that led to the tragedy.