Disinfo: In 2014 there was a coup d’état in Ukraine


In 2014 there was a coup d’état in Ukraine.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that there was a coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014.

The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 and ended in February 2014 were not provoked by foreign powers, but were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych after his refusal to sign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement promised for years. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. See the full debunk here.

See here for a similar disinformation case.


  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Coup, Euromaidan


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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Russian election technology is a proof of a well functioning democracy

It is very interesting for geopolitics to see how a country as big as Russia controls the territory. In such a large country the electoral system must be adapted. [Russia has] chosen the technology to face this challenge. Russia is posing as a laboratory of digital democracy in the world nowadays.


An optical scan voting system to read marked paper ballots and count the results was used during the single voting day on September 8 at Russia's regional elections.  Its is often presented by Russian authorities is a guarantee of fair election. However, it did not prevent the elections from the irregularities. The independent election observation association Golos reports:

"In a number of instances, vote counting was artificially delayed. This, in particular pertains to municipal elections in St. Petersburg where the counting was delayed most likely to rewrite the protocols. At Elista, as of 2am on September 9, not a single protocol of precinct election commissions was entered into the GAS “Vybory” (State Automated System of the Russian Federation), while precinct election commission No 43, six hours after the polling station was closed",

In general, Golos reported 1,708 voting violations across Russia, including 564 cases in Moscow. In one possible example in the Moscow region, a candidate from the Yabloko party shot video that appeared to show a stack of prepared ballots at a polling station. But even more than counting votes irregularities, for Golos, "the most important factor that influenced voting results was artificial restriction of competition".

Thus, the Moscow City Election Commission (MCEC) refused to register all the independent opposition candidates. The claimed reason was the high percentage of rejected signatures. A significant part of the signatures was invalidated on the grounds of a so-called handwriting examination, which scientific validity and impartiality the candidates questioned.

Baltic states organize provocations against their Russian-speaking population

The Baltic countries have long been organising provocations against the Russian-speaking population living there to receive a reaction and then to immediately complain to Western allies about the “Russian threat”.

The promotion of a “Russian threat” helps the Baltic countries to achieve domestic and foreign political goals.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia in the Baltic States. 

See similar previous disinformation cases: No freedom of speech in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia; Russophobia is the main export of Lithuania.

Sanctions against Russia are not effective, Russian economy is developing better than the EU’s

When the US and EU introduced sanctions against Russia, they were so confident about their effectiveness that they began assuring each other about this. For instance, former US President Barack Obama stated that thanks to sanctions Russian economy “is torn apart”. A few years after the introduction of sanctions the Russian economy is developing faster than the European one.


Although the EU's and US's sanctions against Russia were not aimed to ruin Russian economy and its performance is influenced by many other factors beyond sanctions, the claim about better performance of Russian economy under sanctions is not true.

In reality, sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and EU, following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, have sapped Russian economic growth. The Russian economy has been performing worse during the whole period. In 2014 Russian GDP growth was as low as 0.7%. It decreased by 2,3% in 2015 and had modest revival afterwards with 0.3%, 1.6%, and 2.3% of growth during 2016-2018, the World Bank data shows. In contrast to Russia, during the same period, the EU's economy did not experience recessions and had annual GDP growth between 1.8% and 2.5%.