Disinfo: No Russian military in the Donbas or in other parts of Ukraine


There are no Russian military forces either in the Donbas or in other parts of Ukraine, as they are located exclusively on Russian territory.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the war in Ukraine, falsely claiming that Russia is not involved in the conflict.

Even though a state of war between Russia and Ukraine has never officially been announced, there is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine since February 2014. The involvement of Russian personnel and equipment has been well documented for years and includes firing artillery over the border into Ukraine, the deployment of armoured vehicles and troops in contested provinces of Eastern Ukraine, the use of non-state actors such as Russian private military companies, and the launching of thousands of cyber attacks against Ukrainian targets.

See also our article Disinformation about the current Russia-Ukraine conflict – seven myths debunked.

In addition, read similar cases claiming that Ukraine tries to drag Russia into hostilities in Donbas, that Russia is not part of the internal conflict in Ukraine and that Russia is not a threat to Ukraine and is not involved in the war in Ukraine.


  • Reported in: Issue 270
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/01/2022
  • Article language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, Military, Donbas
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Disinfo: US private military contractors are preparing to use chemical weapons in Ukraine

US mercenaries (PMC) are preparing a provocation by using chemical weapons in war-torn Eastern Ukraine. Tanks containing unknown chemical agents have been transported to the cities of Adiyivka (Avgyeevka) and Krasny Lyman to carry out provocations.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation message about an alleged US provocation being planned in Ukraine using chemical weapons.

There is no evidence to substantiate claims about the preparation for chemical weapons attacks. There are also no private foreign armies in Eastern Ukraine that would fight together with Ukrainian troops.

Disinfo: NATO repeatedly promised to Russia not to expand eastward

NATO twice made a promise to Russia that it would not expand eastward. In 1990, during the negotiations over the unification of West and East Germany, and then, again, in 1993, when NATO was extending its Partnership for Peace policy eastward. In both cases, the assurances were given by US secretaries of state, James Baker and Warren Christopher, respectively. And in both cases, they took it upon themselves to speak, in effect, for NATO as a whole.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO enlargement.

This claim has been debunked numerous times. NATO did not promise not to expand into eastern and central Europe back in 1990, which was confirmed by the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. Back in 2014, Gorbachev said “The topic of ‘NATO expansion was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991.”

Disinfo: Bernard-Henri Lévy was involved in overthrowing Gaddafi and destroying the country

[Bernard-Henri] Lévy is not just a journalist and a "philosopher" - he is a symbolic person. In recent decades, he not only fought Russia always and everywhere: from Georgia in 2008 to Ukraine in 2014, but also brought freedom to miserable peoples around the world.

The most memorable was his role in the Libyan events: it was Lévy who, after the start of the unrest, went to Libya, launched an agitation and most actively pushed [Nicolas] Sarkozy to the operation against Gaddafi. So on his personal account, there is already one act of aggression that actually destroyed the country - but it was for the sake of humanistic values.


This is an example of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that seeks to discredit high-profile individuals in the West who are strongly critical of the Kremlin’s domestic and foreign policies.

Pro-Kremlin disinformation has often targeted Bernard-Henry Lévy in recent years because of his highly critical views of the Putin regime, and his endorsement of popular protests against authoritarian governments in various parts of the world including in the former Soviet Union. For example, he was present in Kyiv during the Euromaidan protests.