Disinfo: Donetsk and Luhansk independence triggered a Ukrainian military operation

Summary

In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, which declared their independence unilaterally, as an expression of their opposition to the coup in Ukraine in February of the same year.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, aiming to portray the conflict as Ukraine's civil war.

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.

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.

See further the claim that Russia is not a part of the conflict in Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 185
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood
  • Outlet: Sputnik web Arabic, albidda, saadaonline, bbcnews1
see more

Ukrainian-Russian relations corrupted by a coup d’état

Ukrainian-Russian relations were corrupted by a coup d’état in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in 2014 when people with hostile feelings towards Russia came to power in Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative depicting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup d’état orchestrated by the West.

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine. The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a spontaneous and endogenous reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden withdrawal from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

Any attempt to give Donbas to Ukraine will be perceived as surrendering the territory to the Nazis. 

Any attempt to give Donbas to Ukraine will be perceived as surrendering the territory to the Nazis.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Nazi Ukraine.

The myth of Nazi-ruled Ukraine has been the cornerstone of Russian disinformation about the country since the very beginning of the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests, when it was used to discredit the pro-European popular uprising in Kyiv and, subsequently, the broader pro-Western shift in Ukraine's foreign policy.

EU sanctions for merely doing business with Damascus

The European Union imposed sanctions on a group of Syrians for merely doing business with Damascus, citing that it deals with the Syrian government, while experts said that trade between Syria and Europe has been suspended for years.

Disproof

EU sanctions concerning Syria are targeted at the Syrian regime and its policies, as are the restrictions put in place. It should be noted that the restrictions include exemptions for humanitarian needs and purposes.

In February 2020, the European Council added eight prominent businessmen and two entities linked to those businessmen to the list of persons and entities subject to the sanctions against the Syrian regime and its supporters. The justification was that their activities directly benefited the Assad regime, including through projects located on lands expropriated from persons displaced by the conflict.