Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative against Ukraine, portraying it as a non-independent country and falsely accusing its government of suppressing freedom and democracy and of causing the war in Donbas.
Contrary to the claim, Ukraine is a sovereign state whose government doesn’t follow orders from abroad. According to the World Press Freedom Index, Ukraine has been constantly improving since 2015, jumping from position 129 in the global ranking in 2015 to position 96 in 2020. Comparatively, Russia holds position 149.
Russian social media and internet services were put under sanctions in 2017 by former president Petro Poroshenko to protect people from companies “whose activities threaten information and the cyber security of Ukraine”, according to Ukraine’s Security and Defence Council. These restrictions were controversial at the time, but were also perceived as necessary by Ukrainian authorities in order to confront Russia’s hybrid warfare against Ukraine.
Sanctions were extended on May 14, 2020 for another three years not because the CIA ordered it, but as a result of a majoritarian vote in Ukraine’s Rada (Parliament), in which 248 lawmakers backed the extension. Both Ukraine’s security service SBU and the Parliament’s Committee on National Security, Defence and Intelligence had previously recommended to maintain the restriction in place.
See other examples of Russian disinformation on Ukraine in our database, such as claims that the Association Agreement with the EU turned the country into a colony of the West; that George Soros is about to gain control of the country; that the war in Donbass was caused by the EU; that Euromaidan was a US-funded coup; that Ukraine ceased to exist as a state; that it has become a US testing site for biological weapons; or that Freemasons are secretly chipping Ukrainians.