Disinfo: EU has accepted Crimea's incorporation into Russia

Summary

Zelenskyy was not able to discuss Crimea [during the Normandy summit], whose incorporation into Russia has therefore effectively been accepted by the EU. He has accepted the Steinmeier formula which Ukrainian nationalists hate because it forces Ukraine to grant decentralized federal status to Donetsk and Lugansk.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war in Ukraine. See previous disinformation cases alleging recognition of the annexation of Crimea: NYT says Crimea is Russian; Catalan leaders have recognized Crimea; Naftogaz recognized Crimea; EU will recognize Crimea as a part of Russia. The EU's stance on the annexation of Crimea has remained unchanged since March 2014, when the it imposed the initial round of travel bans and asset freezes on entities and "persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity." Most recently, the sanctions regime has been extended until June 2020.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, European Union, Crimea, War in Ukraine
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Normandy summit aimed at solving Ukraine's internal problems

The so-called Normandy summit taking place on 9th December in France is designed to help Ukraine overcome its internal divisions and problems.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative which masks the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014 as a civil conflict. The Normandy format has been in place since 2014 and resulted thus far in six official meetings between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany. The aim of each summit since February 2015 has been to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Donbas conflict by implementing the so-called Minsk agreements. Without mentioning Russian personnel and hardware by name, the agreements call for the withdrawal of "all foreign armed formations, military equipment, as well as mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine" (para. 10).

OPCW covered up the chemical attack in Douma

The “Wikileaks” website published last November an email from a member of the “Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons” investigation team about the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma in 2018, in which he accused the organization of covering up a defect in the report alleging the use of chlorine in Douma.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative seeking to absolve the Assad regime of responsibility for chemical attacks perpetrated in the course of the Syrian civil war, as well as to undermine the credibility and independence of the OPCW.

The internal OPCW e-mail message sent to WikiLeaks on June 22, 2018, by an unidentified member of OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), does not accuse the OPCW management of deliberately manipulating and suppressing evidence gathered by the FFM in order to blame the Assad government for the Douma attack and to justify Western military intervention against Syria.

WADA's decision is unfounded and illegal

The decision of WADA is illegal and unreasonable. Therefore, it should be objectively examined by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). On a formal far-fetched pretext, the status of RUSADA was temporarily suspended.

Disproof

One of the methods of Kremlin disinformation is to deny the authority of international organisations and independent agencies and question their missions. See examples: "The exclusion of Russian athletes in the Olympics is a form of war" and "There is no evidence that Russian athletes have been using doping". The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments around the world. Its key purpose is to carry out the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonising anti-doping policies in all sports and in all countries. WADA reports cases of non-compliance to its stakeholders who have jurisdiction to impose sanctions, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Olympic charter was amended in 2003 to state that the adoption of the Code by the Olympic movement is mandatory. Only sports that adopt and implement the Code can be included and remain in the programme of the Olympic Games. If a country does not ratify the International Convention against Doping in Sport, it may be subject to sanctions from the IOC and from other sports organisations, including losing the right to host the Olympic Games. The Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency 'RUSADA' and the Paralympic Committee have accepted the WADA Code. On November 25th 2019, WADA said its independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) was recommending that RUSADA be declared non-compliant with the Code. Russia’s handling of WADA’s requests during the investigation of doping violations is “an extremely serious case of non-compliance” with several “aggravating features,” WADA stated. Commenting on the latest WADA CRC recommendations, head of RUSADA Ganus said “you can use political slogans as much as you like,” but the “reality of the situation” is that Russia’s sports authorities “did not do what could have been done” to explain the alterations to the database. There are no legal grounds to dispute the non-compliance (decision)."