Disinfo: LNR and DNR declared independence after the coup in Ukraine

Summary

Relations between Moscow and Kiev became worse in 2014 after Crimea joined Russia. In addition, in the spring of that same year, Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donbas LNR and DNR, which declared independence after the coup in Ukraine.

Disproof

Recruiting pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat. The Euromaidan was not a coup but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here.

This message also is a part of 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.

The territories of Donetsk and Luhansk (regions) are internationally recognised parts of Ukraine. The EU has on numerous times mentioned that Ukraine’s borders must be respected. On 27 March 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 68/262 confirming Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. For similar cases see here, here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Serbian
  • Country: Serbia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: LNR, Coup, Donbas, Euromaidan

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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Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum held after the coup in Kiev

Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 by a referendum held after the coup in Kiev. 96.77 percent of the voters of the Republic of Crimea and 95.6 percent of the residents of Sevastopol voted in favor of unification with Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russia's annexation of Crimea, claiming that people chose to rejoin Russia through a legal and democratic referendum. For similar cases, see here and here. No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on 16th of March 2014. On the 27th of February 2014, when it was announced, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which 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. A year after the illegal annexation, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

It is also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan claiming that there was a coup d’état. 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. See the full debunk here

Montenegro independence referendum was illegal

Part of that strategy was the expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and from one part of BiH, the seizure of Kosovo and Metohija, the separation of Montenegro by illegal referendum, and finally the assimilation of the remaining Serb population through political engineering.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Montenegro as “occupied” country and as “weapon” of NATO and USA. The “developments” mentioned in the article refer to the approval of the law on religious communities by the Montenegro parliament, “despite street protests and a last-minute attempt in the chamber by deputies of the pro-Serb opposition to prevent the vote going ahead” as stated by Reuters. This article is conspiracy theory with no evidence given for the claim that the “developments in Montenegro are part of a broader plan to narrow down the Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans”.

This claim involves the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the referendum in Montenegro was illegal.

Montenegro developments: part of broader plan to narrow down Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans

Montenegro is an instrument of those forces that are leading their political game in the region.
The developments in Montenegro are part of a broader plan to narrow down the Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans and a tool to “encircle” Serbia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Montenegro as “occupied” country and as “weapon” of NATO and USA. The “developments” mentioned in the article refer to the approval of the law on religious communities by the Montenegro parliament, “despite street protests and a last-minute attempt in the chamber by deputies of the pro-Serb opposition to prevent the vote going ahead” as stated by Reuters. This article is conspiracy theory with no evidence given for the claim that the “developments in Montenegro are part of a broader plan to narrow down the Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans”.

This claim involves the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the West threatens and undermines traditional Christian values. Related cases where the US is accused of attacking traditional values in Europe via "sects" can be found here, here, and here. Similar cases about Montenegro and the current happenings can bee found here and here.