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


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


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).



  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: English, Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Emmanuel Macron, Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian statehood, Angela Merkel


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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Russia is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine

Russia only provides political, economic and humanitarian support to the people of Donetsk and Luhansk who broke away from Kyiv after an unconstitutional coup in Ukraine in early 2014. Russia insists that it is not a party to the conflict and that reaching a resolution requires direct negotiation between Kyiv and the two republics of Donbas.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying Russia's role in the war in Ukraine. It disregards the extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Eastern Ukraine. There have been many publicly available reports proving Russia's involvement in the war.

The war in Eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but an act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, that has been ongoing since February 2014.

Kyiv plans to carry out another provocation in the Donbas before the “Normandy four summit”

Ukrainian security forces are preparing provocations in the Donbas ahead of the summit of the leaders of the Normandy Four countries in Paris on 9 December.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine portraying Ukraine as an aggressor, and this conflict as an internal one. Similar cases can be consulted such as "Ukraine started the war in Donbas, it is an aggressor", "Kyiv refuses to clear up its mines in Donbas", etc.

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine reports on a daily basis on violations and the presence of weapons, which are deployed in violation of the withdrawal lines. Such violations are recorded on both sides of the conflict.

All countries use doping

All athletes are dirty: we must have the facts that American athletes use it [doping], German athletes use it, French athletes use it. There’s no way one country is doing it and all the others are clean.


No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the World Anti-Doping Agency and the state-sponsored doping scheme of Russian athletes. The disinformation message is an example of "whataboutism": attempting to discredit an opponent’s position by accusing them of hypocrisy, typically with no  evidence.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned Russia from participating in major sport events for 4 years. The unanimous decision by WADA's executive committee was made after Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared uncompliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonising anti-doping policies in all sports and in all countries.