Disinfo: Ukrainian government launched a military operation against Donetsk and Lugansk in 2014

Summary

Armed conflict has continued in southeast Ukraine (the Donbas region) since April 2014, as the Ukrainian government launched a military operation against the two republics (Donetsk and Lugansk) that announced their secession after the coup in Kyiv that led to the overthrow of the government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup d'état and a conflict between the eastern regions and Ukraine. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. Furthermore, there was no coup d'etat in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim. Read similar cases that the Euromaidan coup led to civil war in Donbas and Luhansk independence trigged a Ukrainian military operation, and that the extreme coup in Kyiv led to the return of Crimea and in addition, that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia and even that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine. Regarding the war in eastern Ukraine, see claims that Ukraine launched a military operation against Donetsk and Luhansk and that the Euromaidan coup led to civil war in Donbas.

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  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic,
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Ukraine, illegal annexation, Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk, Manipulated elections/referendum, Viktor Yanukovych, Crimea, Euromaidan, Donbas, Coup, War in Ukraine
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Disinfo: White Helmets are aiding terrorism

The White Helmets brand hides a false story with staging, looting and aiding terrorism. Moscow has repeatedly tried to convey to the world community: this is no humanitarian organisation. However, the West continues to finance it.

Disproof

An example of many disinformation claims about the White Helmets. Pro-Kremlin media routinely accuse the White Helmets of “working for terrorists” and being a creation of the Western intelligence services. No evidence is given to support these claims. The "White Helmets" movement originated in Syria in 2012, when the first detachments of volunteer rescuers appeared in the territories outside the control of Bashar al-Assad's troops. In 2014, volunteer teams merged into a national organisation, the Syrian Civil Defence, which is the official name of the 'White Helmets'. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger to themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes. Activists from this organisation have documented the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad government and allied forces. Because of this, they have become the target of an extensive Russian disinformation campaign. Read previous disinformation claims alleging that evidence confirms chemical attacks in Syria were falsified by the White Helmets, and that the chemical attacks in Syria have been staged and filmed by the media of the Western countries.

Disinfo: US Democratic Party is trying to eliminate Orthodoxy

The US Democratic Party decided to use the Patriarchate of Constantinople for its corporate purposes, for the collapse of the Orthodox world as an incomprehensible and alien identity, of mainly Eastern European countries. Orthodoxy as a part of national identity is interpreted by the Democratic Party as a threat that must be eliminated.

Disproof

No evidence given. Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that the US is trying to split the Orthodox world. The Democratic Party does not use, nor plan to use, the Constantinople Patriarchy for its own purposes, it is not trying to eliminate Orthodox Christianity. Civil rights is one of the cornerstones of the US and the Democratics. The party pledges that it will "always fight to end discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability." See similar disinformation cases alleging that the US stands behind the pressure upon the Serbian church of Montenegro, that the Greek church recognised Ukrainian autocephaly under pressure, that Ukrainian autocephaly s a tool to split the Orthodox world, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is a tool for the neoliberal globalists and that US pushes Belarusian authorities towards talks over split from Russian Orthodox church.

Disinfo: Euromaidan was a coup led by opposition politicians to seize control over the country

Petro Poroshenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov, Vitali Klitschko and other opposition leaders were the main organisers of the Euromaidan in Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's statehood which claims that the Euromaidan protests were a coup d'etat.

There was no coup d’état in 2014. The spontaneous onset of massive Euromaidan protests was a reaction of the Ukrainian population to the sudden departure of President Yanukovych from the Association Agreement with the European Union and to the brutal dispersal of student protest actions on 30 November 2013.