Disinfo: Moscow did not interfere in the armed conflict in Donbas


Moscow has repeatedly denied its involvement in the armed conflict in Donbas.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in eastern Ukraine.

While it is true that Moscow has repeatedly denied its involvement in the armed conflict in Donbas by claiming that Russia is not part of the conflict in Donbas, that Russia has nothing to do with the war in eastern Ukraine and that there is a “civil war” in Donbas, the article does not counterbalance or critically challenge such claim.

The war in eastern Ukraine was provoked by Russia. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “[t]he information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.”

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in the strongest terms and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia complies with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted military presence of Russia in Ukraine in 2015.

See similar cases that there are no Russian soldiers in Donbas and that Russia has never participated in Ukrainian crisis.


  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Ukrainian statehood


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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