Disinfo: NATO is expanding, annexing lands and encircling Russia


NATO, since its formation, started to unilaterally perform historical transformations and change in responsibilities regarding the security of the European continent, in terms of freedom of movement and expansion, and the annexation of lands and the installation of new military bases. NATO pressured Russia to be imprisoned in its Eurasian vicinity.

Despite NATO's commitments after World War II not to expand eastward, the number of countries joining the alliance has jumped from 12 in 1949 to 30 today, while Georgia, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina stand at the gates of entering the alliance. As for the European Union, it began in the 1950s with six countries, and today it includes 27 countries.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative regarding NATO commitment not to expand to the East, claiming that NATO enlargement is directed against Russia.

This so-called promise did not exist. NATO members have never made any political or legally binding commitments not to enlarge the Alliance.

Also, NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense as usually 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. NATO's "Open Door Policy" is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949).

At present, NATO has 30 members and more countries wanting and eager to join which is the strongest testimony of the voluntary nature of membership.

NATO and EU are seen as providers of security and prosperity necessary for building the societies desired by the citizens.

Similarly, membership of the EU is also based on applications from countries respecting the democratic values of the EU and committed to promoting them.

See more cases in our database with claims that NATO promised not to expand further east; or that the goal of NATO military exercise is to kill Russians; or that US and NATO forces invaded Europe; or that Russian land-seizing is such a crazy European paranoia.

The same article in question contained another case claiming that the US and EU coordinate colour revolutions to destabilize Russia.


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  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/02/2021
  • Article language(s) , Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, EU, Georgia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Keywords: Encircling Russia, Military, EU/NATO enlargement, NATO, European Union, WWII
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Ukraine, Baltic states discriminate against Russian language

Russia is increasingly concerned about discrimination against the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic countries and Ukraine, particularly with regard to linguistic and educational rights. Russia regrets that the UN Human Rights Council and its special procedures remain silent about the blatant violations of the human rights of millions of people. It is unacceptable when the protection of a state language is accompanied by repressions against national minorities.


This is a recurrent narrative by pro-Kremlin media both in Russia and throughout the world. Neither the Russian language nor those who speak it are oppressed in Ukraine. The closure of three TV channels – 112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne – on 2 February 2021 had nothing to do with discrimination on linguistic or ethnic grounds. These manifestly pro-Kremlin outlets were taken off the air because they were financed from the temporarily occupied territories in Eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s legislation on education does not cut any rights of national minorities. The law on the use of the Ukrainian language does not infringe on their rights either. These laws only aim to strengthen the position of the Ukrainian language in Ukrainian society, as well as ensuring the minorities’ rights.

Ukrainians are massively travelling to Russia get vaccinated with Sputnik V

The Ukrainians, deprived of the possibility to be vaccinated in their home country, decided to take advantage of Russia's naivety, arriving in large numbers “to the aggressor country” to be vaccinated against COVID-19. These trips were so popular that it turned out that the Ukrainians made up a significant number among the foreigners vaccinated at the expense of the Russian budget.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine, vaccination and Sputnik V.

The claim about Ukrainian citizens travelling to Russia on a large-scale travelling to receive the Sputnik V vaccine is not supported by evidence. There are travel restrictions between Ukraine and Russia (14-day quarantine in Ukraine plus serious travel restrictions for most of the Ukrainians entering Russia), so there is no intense movement of travellers between the two states.

New sanctions on Russia humiliate the EU

New sanctions on Russia are illogical and absurd. These sanctions are forced on the EU and they humiliate the European Union. This policy is imposed on the EU by Washington.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe and sanctions.

On the 22 February 2021 the Foreign affairs ministers of the EU agreed on future restrictive measures in response to seriuos violations of human rights in Russia. As High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said: “In response to the events around the situation of Mr. Navalny we reached a political agreement to impose restrictive measures against those responsible for his arrest, sentencing and persecution. For the first time ever we will make use of the EU Global Human Rights Regime to this.