Disinfo: NATO will divide Western Ukraine

Summary

Western regions of Ukraine will be divided between NATO countries. Poland and Hungary would be able to take care of these lands. The anti-Russian front will be expanded this way.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative, challenging Ukraine's statehood and portraying Poland as having imperialist ambitions. Ukraine is a sovereign state, one of the founding members of the United Nations, a strategic partner for NATO and the EU. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world but were violated by Russia in 2014. To NATO, a sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is the key to Euro-Atlantic security. More details on the cooperation between Ukraine and NATO could be found here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 153
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Hungary, Ukraine, Poland
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, Imperialism/colonialism, Ukrainian disintegration, NATO, Ukrainian statehood

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 is losing on the free trade agreement with the EU

Direct losses for Ukraine from the free trade agreement with the EU total around $80 bln over 5 years. The amount of indirect losses is about 2 times higher. In addition, Ukraine’s GDP has significantly decreased.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and its relations with the European Union. In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine relations. The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicates positive trends in the trade relations between Ukraine and the EU, with the volume of trade in services between Ukraine and the EU in 2018 increasing by 17%. The Ukrainian Statistical Service informs that the EU accounts for 43% of Ukrainian exports. In 2017, Ukraine exported 17.5 bln USD worth of goods to the EU. The negative trade balance decreased from 10 bln USD to 3 bln USD. See here for further information about the DCFTA and the cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has no jurisdiction over Kerch Strait dispute

International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has no jurisdiction over the Kerch Strait dispute. The tribunal has no jurisdiction either over naval vessels nor warships.

Disproof

This is one of the narratives promoted by the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on Azov sea and the Kerch Strait incident. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ratified by Russia in 1997 and Ukraine in 1999 regulates the legal order for the seas and oceans. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) was established in 1996 on the basis of the Convention. According to Article 288 of the Convention, the tribunal shall have jurisdiction over any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention. In its April 16 2019 decision the tribunal ruled that it has jurisdiction over the Kerch Strait dispute. According to Article 298 of the UN Convention, the state has the right not to recognize the tribunal’s jurisdiction over the disputes concerning military activities. This provision, however, refers to military activities rather than warships, as claimed. ITLOS ruled on May 25 after deliberation that the Russian Federation shall immediately release the Ukrainian naval vessels and detained servicemen. Background: On November 25th, 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

Chemical weapons – a false pretext to attack Assad since the very beginning

The battle for Idlib is raging as Washington accuses Assad of using chemical weapons again. The evidence put forward seems to be weak, moreover, it contradicts the official version. What is really happening? A document from a sub-team of engineers working with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), involved in the assessment of the Duma chemical attack in April 2018, has recently been leaked. It concluded that the on-site chlorine cylinders were more likely placed there by hand rather than having fallen from an aircraft, as indicated in the final report. In April 2018, the United States made false claims about the Syrian army using chemical weapons. It has been shown that these claims were false already before the leaks that just happened. It is not even a sub-team, it’s a team that was led by an engineer known in his field and perfectly competent and he was officially responsible for doing this investigation. But the OPCW deliberately dismissed this report from this engineer who said: “No, it is not possible that it was the Syrian army that did that.” It was already a false pretext in April 2018. And today as the Syrian army is about to liquidate the terrorists, to finish with the precincts of Idlib, obviously the organisations that are against this are advancing their outdated narrative saying: “the Syrian government uses chemical weapons, so you have to hit.”

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives deflecting blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as cooperating with terrorists or terrorists themselves; and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The "new leaked report" appears to be an engineering assessment carried out by one individual who, contrary to Sputnik's false claim, was never a member of the Fact-Finding Mission and is not currently employed by the organisation. The individual, however, was affiliated with the OPCW as an engineer and apparently had access to materials gathered in the course of the Douma FFM, and based his/her conclusions on the same evidence pool. An OPCW press statement confirms that "all information was taken into account, deliberated, and weighed when formulating the final report regarding the incident in Douma." The OPCW Technical Secretariat is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised release of the document in question. Regardless of the authenticity of the leaked document, its conclusion that the cylinders could not have been dropped from the air: a) has been addressed in the actual OPCW report on Douma (Annex 6, pp. 55-56); b) does not support the outlandish claim that the incident was staged and represents a false accusation against the Syrian regime. The White Helmets have not once been caught staging anything, and the version of the staged chemical attacks in Douma in 2018 was never "official". See more disinformation cases on the subject and their debunking for more details.