Disinfo: British missiles are used to attack civilian targets in Donbas


Last week, London confirmed that it had delivered long-range Shadow Storm cruise missiles to Ukraine, which were then used to attack civilian targets in Luhansk. The deployment of the new weapons on Saturday injured six children in a town previously considered safe because of the limited range of Kyiv's weapons. Western arms supplies will only prolong the conflict and cost the Ukrainian people more lives, but will not change Moscow's policy of confronting the threat of NATO expansion in Ukraine.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine allegedly using Western weapons to strike civilian targets. The argument the article is trying to promote is that by supplying arms to Ukraine, the West is prolonging the war and the suffering.

Ukraine is not targeting civilians. The country is resisting Russia’s unlawful military invasion and the illegal annexation of its territory. In accordance with the UN Charter and international law, Ukraine is exercising its inherent right of self-defence against Russian aggression. It has the right to liberate and regain full control of all occupied territories within its internationally recognised borders.

From a military rationale, it is highly unlikely that the Ukrainian military would use sophisticated, long-range and expensive missile systems to attack militarily not relevant civilian targets on it’s own territory. From a political standpoint, the Ukrainian military aims to liberate the country’s territories from Russian occupation, not to destroy it. Thus the Ukrainian military is attacking carefully selected military targets trying to minimise civilian casualties, while Russian forces are indiscriminately bombing military and civilian targets in Ukrainian cities. This is supported by the fact that civilian casualties were 3-4 times higher on Ukrainian government-controlled territory attacked by Russia, according to the UN.

From 24 February 2022, which marked the start of the full-scale armed attack by the Russian Federation, to 14 May 2023, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 23,821 civilian casualties in the country: 8,836 killed and 14,985 injured. This included: 19,175 casualties (6,860 killed and 12,315 injured) in territory controlled by the Government when casualties occurred and 4,646 casualties (1,976 killed and 2,670 injured) in territory occupied by the Russian Federation when casualties occurred.

The West supports Ukraine with military and financial aid for the country’s efficient self-defence, in accordance with the UN Charter Article 51, to stop Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. Some EU and NATO member states provide Ukraine with military assistance to help Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s attack, but they are not involved in direct fighting. Ukraine receives weapons with the sole aim of restoring its territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Western instructors train Ukrainian soldiers on how to use modern weaponry and EU officials have frequent political contacts with Ukrainian counterparts, but there are no EU troops fighting on the front. This support allows the Ukrainian armed forces to continue defending the country against the Russian aggression.

Read more about the EU's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine along with EU vs Disinfo's Guide to Deciphering Pro-Kremlin disinformation around Putin's War.


  • Reported in: Issue 330
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/05/2023
  • Article language(s) Hungarian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia, UK
  • Keywords: Military, war crimes, Invasion of Ukraine
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Disinfo: The US wants to turn Russia against China like they turned Ukraine against Russia

The US wants to install their puppet government in Russia, and then launch the process that was previously launched in Ukraine. Just as they turned Ukraine into an “anti-Russian” country, they also want to make Russia “anti-China,” so that they can later fight China with the hands of the Russians.


This article makes a recurring claim about Ukrainian statehood, portraying Ukraine as a non-sovereign country, as a puppet of the West, mixed with an anti-Russia narrative alleging that the United States is using Ukraine against Russia and aims to control Russia. The aim is to deflect responsibility for Russia's full-scale unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. This claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

First, the US did not make Ukraine anti-Russian. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The country is not controlled by the US or any other foreign organisation or government. The US respects Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Disinfo: Luhansk evidence shows that Ukraine prepared an offensive in 2022

Documents found in the recruitment office of Severodonetsk in Luhansk show that Kyiv was preparing an offensive in 2022. Recruitment increased considerably since late 2019 to 2022. According to the documents, around 300 recruits were enlisted in 2017, increasing to 800 in 2019 and to 1,113 in only two weeks in January 2022.


No evidence is presented to back this allegation.

Even if true, an increase in recruitment of around one thousand people can hardly be considered as hard proof that Ukraine was preparing an attack. In fact, such increase would have been a shrewd foreboding reaction to Russia’s aggressive moves, as Russia had already amassed massive amounts of troops in its borders in the spring of 2021 and again at the end of 2021, which ultimately led to the on-going full-scale invasion since 24 February 2022.

Disinfo: European politicians are at the service of weapons manufacturers

Sending Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine means a bigger involvement of the UK, which is pushing for an escalation of the conflict while experiencing domestic troubles. In this regard, European politicians don’t care about the interest of their populations and are at the service of weapons manufacturing companies.


By portraying European leaders as being at the service of the weapons industry, this disinformation claim attempts to erode Western support for Ukraine and aid sent for self-defence against Russia’s aggression.

This disinformation claim is also a direct reaction to the announcement that the United Kingdom provided Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine ahead of a coming counteroffensive to liberate Russian-occupied areas. Storm Shadow missile has a firing range of 250 kilometres, which triples Ukraine’s previous maximum range.