Disinfo: Most European countries do not share the Polish opinion about the “Russian aggression” in Donbas

Summary

In terms of Donbas, Warsaw continues to use military rhetoric introduced by the former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The official Polish documents and statements speak about “Russian aggression”, but this point of view is not shared by most European countries.

Disproof

One of the most common disinformation narratives about the military conflict in Donbas, promoting the message that Russia has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine and that the international community does not accuse Russia of any aggression against Ukraine.

All EU and NATO member states share the opinion that Russia continues to implement direct military aggression against Ukraine in Donbas and Crimea.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. The EU has condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted in 2015 Russia's military presence in Ukraine.

See similar cases connected to the War in Donbas: Germany, France and Ukraine admitted that they need a war in Donbas, Russia isn’t and wasn’t involved in the Donbas conflict and Moscow did not interfere in the armed conflict in Donbas.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: EU, Russia, Ukraine, Poland
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Anti-Russian, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Petro Poroshenko

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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Ukraine can soon collapse and lose East and South of the country granted by Lenin in 1918

Odesa is historically Novorossia. Kharkiv and Donbas are the territories of the Donetsk-Kryvyi Rih Republic, which grandfather Lenin attached to Ukraine in 1918. These seams, which were used to patch Ukraine together into a “Great Ukraine,” can both sew together and tear apart. Therefore, they are natural dividing lines.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's imminent collapse designed to denigrate the history of Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood and its independence.

Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, confirmed by the resolutions of the United Nations, but violated by Russia.

Minsk will punish Lithuania economically for its support to the Belarusian opposition

Belarus will reroute cargo from Lithuanian ports to Russia. It needs to be done due to the behaviour of Lithuania in the context of the presidential elections in Belarus. Vilnius began to support ex-candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya when officially Alexander Lukashenko won the elections. The Belarusian authorities stated that Lithuania, Poland and other Western countries openly support the Belarusian opposition and want to provoke protests in Belarus. The European Union announced sanctions on Minsk too.

The EU should not use sanctions to scare Belarus because Minsk is ready to answer. I.e., cargo transportation from Belarus forming 30 per cent of the budget of Lithuania.

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The economy of Lithuania will be seriously damaged without Belarusian transit.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Lithuania and alleged Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus. This article also includes a fake statement about the dependence of the Lithuanian economy on Belarus.

According to the European Union, the 2020 Presidential elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair. The protests in Belarus started after the election day as the reaction of society to potential falsification of results. The European Union also does not recognise Aleksandr Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus. The EU sanctions were not just announced but already implemented.

Russia’s foreign policy is based on respect of UN resolutions, territorial integrity and people’s rights to self determination

We have always known Russia’s foreign policy to be principled, transparent and clear, and based on respecting the decisions of the United Nations and the Security Council on all regional and international crises.

If we follow [Russia’s foreign ministry] activities, we will clearly see how they were never biased towards one party at the expense of another, but rather put the national interest of the peoples of these countries at the top of their priorities; it is always based on respect for state sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right of peoples to self-determination.

Disproof

A pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia being respectful of international law, and never interfering in other country's affairs. Russia has a long record of violating other states' sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Since 1991, Russia was involved in several international conflicts, including intervention in neighbouring states, such as Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. Many international organisations condemned Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the CSCE statement here and the European Parliament's declaration.