Disinfo: Donbas problem arose after the Kyiv coup


… The (Donbas) problem arose after the coup in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in 2014 when the residents of the region, mostly Russian-speaking, supported the establishment of two popular republics to confront the new Ukrainian regime that they rejected. 

The response of the revolutionaries was to launch a military campaign against their opponents in the Donbas region.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan and war in Ukraine.

The territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (regions) are internationally recognised parts of Ukraine. The EU has on numerous times mentioned that Ukraine’s borders must be respected. On 27 March 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 68/262 confirming Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Moreover, Russia had also pledged to respect the borders of Crimea in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 and in the Ukraine-Russia Friendship Treaty of 1997.

There was no coup d'état 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.

The war in Eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but an act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, that has been ongoing since February 2014.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Ukraine began its response to the Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine on April 13, 2014, after the pro-Russian separatists supported by Moscow took control over several cities in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.


  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, Manipulated elections/referendum, War in Ukraine, Coup, Donbas, Euromaidan, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik web Arabic, ahfad, akhbarak, elbayan-news, emeknes, elssayda, sabq-sa, news-araby, news.akhbarten, albidda, bbcnews1, abudhabi-news, masr20, miralnews, saadaonline, uk-arabicnews, araby7


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 authorities intentionally terminated the INF treaty, Russia not at fault

American authorities intentionally terminated the INF treaty under the pretext that Russia violated the agreement. However, Moscow rejects all allegations. The test of the forbidden rocket proves that the Americans sought to terminate the agreement. So, Americans deliberately failed the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF treaty.

Russia bears primary responsibility for the end of the INF Treaty, because it has produced, tested and deployed the 9M729 missile, which violates the agreement. In July 2014, the then-US President Obama officially accused Russia of testing a missile in violation of the INF Treaty, which prohibits the US or Russia from possessing, producing or test-flying ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of between 500 and 5500 kilometres.

External forces dictate to Ukraine how to solve its internal problems

Ukraine continues to be confident that the West will always unconditionally support any Russophobic regime. The country simply entrusted the definition of its foreign and security policy to the West. Moreover, Ukraine has created a situation whereby external forces dictate to it exactly how it should solve its internal problems.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative, challenging Ukrainian statehood, painting Ukraine as a geopolitical hostage and a project of the West, claiming that the United States and EU control Ukraine’s foreign and domestic policies and Ukraine is not an independent state. The concept of "Russophobia" is also present in the case.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. Neither the US, nor NATO or the EU controls Ukraine. The United States recognised Ukraine as an independent state on December 25, 1991. Since then, Washington has been working closely with Ukraine, directing its assistance to support the development of a safe, democratic and free Ukraine, fully integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community. The European Union also supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU. In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values.

Center for the Study of Democracy is NATO branch office

Sofia-based NATO center accuses Serbian Orthodox Church of being a bastion of Russia:

The Orthodox Church is one of the important links for strengthening Russian influence in the Balkans and a spiritual mediator in the spread of Russian politics, according to an analysis by the Bulgaria-based Center for the Study of Democracy, which studies Russian influence in the Western Balkans.

“Through the Orthodox Church, Russia is launching various initiatives under a religious veil. Paradoxically, the Russian and many Orthodox churches in the region were bastions of the former secret services, and are now strengthening the Kremlin’s influence, according to a study called Russia’s Economic Impact in the Balkans.

This is just another set of studies being fabricated by NATO branch offices in the region, which undoubtedly can be said for the Sofia Center for the Study of Democracy.


The Center for the Study of Democracy from Sofia is an independent NGO, and there is no evidence that it is a “NATO branch office”.

The claim that someone is under the control of someone else is common in pro-Kremlin media. Usually, NATO or the US is controlling European countries, but sometimes things are more concrete: Poland is governed by the US Embassy and the American troops.