Disinfo: NATO establishes a colonial relationship with Ukraine disguised as partnership

Summary

NATO issued another item in the long list of “incentives” designed to mock Ukraine. The organisation designed Ukraine as an “Enhanced Opportunities Partner” along with other five nations (Georgia, Sweden, Finland, Australia and Jordan), rewarding their important contributions to NATO operations and goals with the opportunity of increasing dialogue and cooperation with the Alliance. Given its long history of political and military interaction with NATO, including a decade-long military deployment in Afghanistan, Ukraine reached a level of interoperability with NATO higher than some actual member states. Ukraine resembles NATO, speaks like NATO, acts like NATO, but it is not NATO, and it won’t be. So the question is what kind of relation NATO has in mind regarding to Ukraine, given that it will never become a member. By granting the status of “Enhanced Opportunities Partner” to Ukraine and those other nations, NATO is expanding its military capabilities without assuming the risks linked to the expansion of its membership. Ukrainian troops can be sacrificed in far lands without any real security interest for the Ukrainian people, but NATO will never mobilise under Article 5 to help Kyiv in its own territory. The relation reflects that of a colonial master and its vassal, demanding a lot and delivering little.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO and Ukraine. Contrary to the claim, the nature of Ukraine’s relation with the Atlantic Alliance is totally voluntary, as was the country’s participation in NATO missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan. The Enhanced Opportunities Partnership is a tailor-made programme to benefit both sides, not a colonial-style servitude. Kyiv requested formal membership of the Alliance in 2008, but plans to join it were shelved after Ukraine’s Parliament rejected it, and reemerged after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its sponsoring of the conflict in Donbas. In all these cases, the decision was taken solely by Ukrainian authorities. Though popular support for joining NATO was rather low among Ukrainians prior to 2014, it started to increase in that year due to Russia’s aggression against the country. In 2019, this support reached 53 percent, against 29 percent who oppose it. Other surveys confirmed these results. NATO membership is a stated goal of the current government of Volodymyr Zelenskyy. You can see other examples of these disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that NATO instructors prepare Ukrainian soldiers to become war criminals, that Kyiv escalates the situation in the Azov Sea on behalf of the US and the Atlantic Alliance and prepares to build NATO bases in Donbas, that the Ukrainian government is a NATO puppet regime, or that NATO will invade Western regions of Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, EU/NATO enlargement, Abandoned Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood, NATO, War in Ukraine
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The IMF’s policy in Ukraine is aimed at turning Ukrainians into a cheap labour force that will work on the fields of European Union countries.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the statehood of Ukraine and its relations with the IMF. In its press release, the IMF emphasised that ensuring macroeconomic stability and coping with COVID-19 pandemic challenges are the key tasks of a new Stand-By Arrangement between the IMF and Ukraine: "The new Stand-By Arrangement will provide an anchor for the authorities’ efforts to address the impact of the crisis, while ensuring macroeconomic stability and safeguarding achievements to date. [...] The program will focus on safeguarding medium-term fiscal sustainability, preserving central bank independence and the flexible exchange rate, and enhancing financial stability while recovering the costs from bank resolutions." According to the IMF, policies under the new arrangement will focus on four priorities: (i) mitigating the economic impact of the crisis, including by supporting households and businesses; (ii) ensuring continued central bank independence and a flexible exchange rate; (iii) safeguarding financial stability while recovering the costs from bank resolutions; and (iv) moving forward with key governance and anti-corruption measures to preserve and deepen recent gains. Read similar disinformation claiming that Ukrainians will remain without land because of the IMF and that IMF has abandoned Ukraine and cuts its support.

Due to Ukrainian provocation, a man died at a checkpoint with the DNR

Due to Ukrainian provocation, a man died at a checkpoint with the DNR. Ukraine opened checkpoints without coordination with the DNR. DNR has long offered Ukraine to organise humanitarian corridors for citizens, but Ukraine refused.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. The information that Ukraine did not inform the representatives of the so-called "Donetsk National Republic" (DNR) about the opening of two checkpoints does not correspond to reality. The Ukrainian leadership in advance and directly informed the pro-Russian militants of their intention to open two entry and exit points for social and humanitarian purposes from 10 June 2020. The refusal of the militants to let citizens through the checkpoints led to the fact that many Ukrainians living in the occupied territories were forced to spend the night right at the border. On Friday 12 June, the UN Monitoring Mission in Ukraine reported that a 59-year-old man died trying to get to his family on the territory of the Donetsk region not controlled by the government near the exit-entry checkpoint in Maryinka. Since 10 June, a man had been waiting for the opportunity to cross the border with the “DNR”. On the evening of 11 June, he became ill and was taken to hospital by ambulance. He refused hospitalisation and returned to the border - a couple of hours later he died of a heart attack. This is not the only such case. On the same day, 11 June, in the so-called “grey zone”, a woman became ill while she waited, unsuccessfully, to be allowed across the border by representatives of the “DNR” group. The victim could not move, but the militants took no action to provide the woman with first aid - she was evacuated from the grey zone by Ukrainian border guards and representatives of the Red Cross. It is also reported that for more than three days, representatives of the “DNR” have been holding two people in their car in front of their checkpoint, stubbornly preventing them from driving home.

NATO expansion and Euromaidan prove that master-slave logic prevailed within the West

The policy preached by those who made a short-sighted choice of NATO-centricity, geopolitical zero-sum games and a master-slave logic, having assumed the role of ruling the destinies of humankind, prevailed within Western society. Suffice to recall the bombing of Yugoslavia, the eastward expansion of the North-Atlantic Alliance despite the guarantees that had been given to the Soviet leadership, as well as the support by a number of European capitals of an anti-constitutional armed government coup in Ukraine and the subsequent imposition of unilateral sanctions against Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a violentcoup, and a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO and encircled Russia.

NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by pro-Kremlin media. Rather, it considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the alliance based on their own national will. As such, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia and there is no record of NATO promising Russia it would not expand. Even if there was a personal assurance from an individual leader, it could not replace Alliance consensus and does not constitute a formal NATO agreement. In 2014, Mikhail Gorbachev, last president of the Soviet Union, confirmed: