Disinfo: Donetsk and Luhansk authorities rejected the coup that happened in Kyiv

Summary

Since 2014, Ukraine has witnessed an ongoing political and military crisis in the east of the country after the Donetsk and Luhansk region authorities announced the creation of two republics on their territories, rejecting a coup that occurred in Kyiv in February of the same year.

As a result of the coup in Kyiv, Crimea returned to Russia after a popular referendum organized on the peninsula in March 2014, through which more than 95% of the population of the peninsula voted in favour of returning to the “motherland”, but most countries of the world, primarily the Western countries, refused to recognize the results of the referendum.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the Euromaidan as a coup d'etat and claiming that Crimea chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

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.

On 26 February 2014, the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government. The next day a referendum was announced and a vote was held on March 16, 2014, in the Peninsula of Crimea. The territory was then controlled by Russian forces, though neither Ukrainian nor Russian election code was observed.

On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Moreover, 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.

Read more similar cases alleging that the extreme coup in Kyiv led to the return of Crimea and that Euromaidan was a coup d’état carried out by oligarchs, 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.

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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Ukraine may lose several regions

Odesa, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhya can leave Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in fact, does not rule the country, and “certain forces” are capable of undermining statehood. All of this can lead to radical changes.

Disproof

No evidence is given. This is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged Ukrainian disintegration. It is consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives alleging that Ukraine is a degrading state.

According to a survey that was conducted In December 2019 by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, the vast majority of Ukrainians (75%) considers themselves primarily as citizens of Ukraine. Moreover, nationwide identification prevails in all regions of Ukraine: Southern (84%), Central (78%), Western (76%) and Eastern (66%). Nationwide identification increased significantly after 2013 (December 2013 - 54%, December 2014 - 73%).

German politicians no longer require Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine

Unlike in previous years, Germany does not demand the return of Crimea to Ukraine.

“We honour the memory of the victims of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars on May 18, 1944. It is sad that after 76 years they can’t live in freedom and self-determination in their homeland,” reported a message from the Embassy of Germany in Kyiv.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea.

The statement from the German embassy has been distorted through partial reporting. It goes on to say, "Since the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia in violation of international law, the situation of the Crimean Tatars has deteriorated dramatically."

US trains ISIS in Syria

The US military based in Syria is actively cooperating with ISIS. The American intelligence services created the Islamic State, taking into account the practice of working with the terrorist organisation of the Taliban. The support of the militants was necessary for the United States in order to draw the USSR into the Afghan war.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the US is supporting or working together with ISIS in the Middle East. This message is part of a broader conspiracy theory alleging that the United States has created and supports many jihadi terrorist organisations and controls global terrorism.

In reality, the US is committed to fighting terrorist organisations, such as Daesh and Al-Qaeda. Ever since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the US and its allies have been engaged in military and intelligence efforts to counter Al QaedaISIS and other radical Islamist terrorist groups around the world.