Disinfo: Kyiv's Crimea-related accusations could become baseless

Summary

The European Court of Human Rights acknowledged that Crimea is under the de facto jurisdiction of Russia. The judges found that there is no evidence for Ukrainian claims that peaceful citizens died, foreign journalists were detained illegally or assets were seized unlawfully.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative concerning the situation in Crimea.

The European Court of Human Rights noted in its decision that it "was not called upon in the case whether Crimea's admission" into Russia "has been lawful from the standpoint of international law." It added that they first had to consider whether Russia had "jurisdiction" over Crimea from 27 February 2014. The court decided that "the alleged victims of the administrative practice complained of by the Ukrainian Government fell within the 'jurisdiction' of Russia" and thus the Court could examine the complaint.

The Court did find that the administrative practices of killing and shooting, detention of foreign journalists and nationalising the property of Ukrainian soldiers "had not amounted to a pattern of violations." The Court found that "on the whole, there was sufficient prima facie evidence" for administrative practices, such as (1) enforced disappearance; (2) ill-treatment and unlawful detention; (3) extending the application of Russian law to Crimea; (4) automatic imposition of Russian citizenship and raids of private dwellings; (5) harassment of religious leaders; (6) suppression of non-Russian media; (7) prohibiting public gatherings; (8) expropriation without compensation of civilian and private properties; (9) suppression of Ukrainian language in schools; (10) restricting freedom of movement between Crimea and Ukraine; and (11) targeting Crimean Tatars.

Thus, the case represents a prime example of an often used disinformation method. The manipulative article picked and chose the parts of the Court decision that fit the Russian narrative, failing to mention that, first of all, the Court said that Russia had de facto jurisdiction because it was needed to determine whether it could examine the Ukrainian complaint, and - second - that the Court found evidence for 11 administrative malpractices committed in Crimea.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/01/2021
  • Outlet language(s) Hungarian, Russian
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, ECHR, Human rights, Crimea
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CIA was behind events in Vilnius in January 1991

Behind the events in Vilnius in 1991 was the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA taught and armed Lithuanian nationalists.

The group of CIA agents arrived in Vilnius at the end of 1990. The heads of the group were Andrew Eiva and Leonard Hof.

In 1991 Andrew Eiva armed people who were ready to defend the building of Supreme Council of Lithuania. He asked to equip defenders with guns, explosives and Molotov’s cocktails. Andrew Eiva organised explosions in homes and places of dislocation of the Soviet troops. He was head of the rebels who struggled with the Soviet forces.

To events in Vilnius also was linked “father of colour revolutions” Professor Gene Sharp.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring claim that behind the events of January 13, 1991, in Vilnius stood the US. The Lithuanian struggle for independence from the Soviet Union is presented as the first “colour revolution”.

This is part of the broad disinformation campaign linked to the commemoration of events when thirty years ago thousands of Lithuanians gathered at the TV tower, the Radio and Television headquarters and the Parliament building in the capital, Vilnius, to take a stand against Soviet troops deployed to crush Lithuanian independence. During events of January 13, 1991, Soviet troops still garrisoned in the capital Vilnius, attacked its TV broadcast tower and sole TV station, killing civilians standing as human shields there. The events of January 13, 1991, and the offences committed by the USSR troops have been extensively documented. See also BBC reporting from 1991.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine calls for friendship with Russia

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine calls for friendship with Russia. Kyiv is confident that cooperation with Russia will resume after Ukraine stops the punitive operation in Donbas.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative aiming to present Ukraine as the aggressor in its Eastern region, Donbas.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak did not make any "calls for friendship with Russia". His words were quoted incorrectly and manipulatively.

The campaign to combat the Russian media in the Baltics is part of the West's larger geopolitical strategy

In the Baltic countries and in particular in Latvia they have been trying to neutralise the alternative opinion for a quarter of a century. These are methodical actions to oust any Russian influence…

The campaign to combat Russian media in the Baltics is part of the West’s larger geopolitical strategy.

The reason for the Russophobic policy is primarily due to the fact that the collective West supports those who support this same Russophobic policy and carry out their tasks. The Baltic countries have been assigned to create a “cordon sanitaire” around Russia, which they call a geopolitical adversary. Actually, that’s why all this is happening. And the floor is given to those who are just sharpened for such an anti-Russian policy.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the Russophobic West, painting Western governments as hostile toward "alternative voices" in the media, particularly Russian ones. Relevant disinformation claims can be found here, here and here.

This claim tries to portray EU sanctions on Russia, the result of its illegal actions in Ukraine, as unfair persecution against Sputnik and its employees, and against media freedom in general. In Latvia as well as in Lithuania and Estonia, Sputnik and RT are being accused of spreading disinformation, violating copyrights and acting as propaganda instruments. Different parties based their accusations on publicly available results of investigations conducted by relevant authorities and regulatory bodies as follows.