Disinfo: Normandy summit aimed at solving Ukraine's internal problems

Summary

The so-called Normandy summit taking place on 9th December in France is designed to help Ukraine overcome its internal divisions and problems.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative which masks the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014 as a civil conflict. The Normandy format has been in place since 2014 and resulted thus far in six official meetings between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany. The aim of each summit since February 2015 has been to achieve a peaceful settlement of the Donbas conflict by implementing the so-called Minsk agreements. Without mentioning Russian personnel and hardware by name, the agreements call for the withdrawal of "all foreign armed formations, military equipment, as well as mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine" (para. 10).

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English, Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: France, Germany, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Eastern Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron, Civil war, Angela Merkel, Ukrainian statehood, Vladimir Putin, Donbas, War in Ukraine
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There is no evidence of Russian involvement in the war in Donbas

Ukraine is talking about some war. Ukraine is talking about something that in Europe, at least in Germany, cannot be understood. Everyone knows perfectly well the data of the BND (the German Foreign Intelligence Service) confirming that no one has ever seen Russian troops in Ukraine.

Disproof

One of the most common disinformation narratives about the "conflict" in Donbas, claiming that Russia has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine. See a similar case denying Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. 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. More on Russian military presence in Eastern Ukraine by StopFake and Bellingcat.

Territories of Donbas controlled by Ukraine are under Ukrainian occupation

[Ukraine] has captured parts of DNR and LNR. (…) Let’s not pretend! Ukraine has seized these territories; Ukraine controls them by using force.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Ukraine started a war in Donbas and occupied the territories of the so-called “DNR” and “LNR”. The territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (regions) are internationally recognised parts of Ukraine. The EU has on numerous times mentioned that Ukraine’s borders must be respected. On 27 March 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 68/262 confirming Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Moreover, Russia had also pledged to respect the borders of Crimea in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 and in the Ukraine-Russia Friendship Treaty of 1997.

72.5% of Ukrainians support a compromise between Ukraine and Russia at all costs in order to achieve peace in Donbas

There is a fresh poll of Ukrainians, which shows the following. To the question: “Do you think it is necessary to compromise with Russia and the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics, to achieve peace?” 72.5% of Ukrainians answer yes.

Disproof

Manipulation of the poll results. It is designed to create the narrative that most Ukrainians support achieving peace in Donbas at any cost. A nationwide public opinion survey was conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation by Ilko Kucheriv in collaboration with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology from 4-19 November 2019. According to it, only 14% of Ukrainians believe that for the sake of peace it is worth agreeing on any compromises. Another 58.5% believe that for the sake of peace it is worth agreeing on compromises, but not all. This position - "compromise, but not all" - is prevalent in all regions of Ukraine.