Disinfo: Ukraine was planning to sell its products to the EU but it isn’t happening

Summary

Ukrainians thought they would be able to sell their goods quickly to the European Union when they became associated. And nothing happens.

Disproof

The recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Ukraine and its relations with the European Union. In June 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. See here for more details about EU-Ukraine relations. The total trade turnout between the EU and Ukraine increased to 50 billion USD in 2018. During 2015-2018, Ukraine increased its exports to the EU from 13 billion USD to 23 billion USD. Overall, in 2018, Ukrainian exports to the EU increased by 13.1%. Now, the EU accounts for almost half of Ukrainian exports. See here for further information about the DCFTA and the cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 167
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Trade, European Union, Europe
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In Ukraine, schools will be closed in large numbers

The Ministry of Education of Ukraine is going to close schools in large numbers and limit the teaching in Russian language. A new wave of liquidation of schools will lead to an increase in the number of uneducated people in Ukraine.

Disproof

No evidence provided. This is another pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the new Ukrainian law “on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language” and “on education”, which provides for the transition of all educational institutions of Ukraine to Ukrainian - the state language - as language of teaching. No one is planning to close schools in Ukraine. As of September 2020, those schools which teach in Russian will be transferred to the teaching system in the state language - Ukrainian. In schools with teaching languages that belong to the languages of the European Union, this system will be introduced in September 2023. However, representatives of national minorities in Ukraine, in any case, maintain the right to study their native language. Neither of the laws limits the right of national minorities to communication, education, the conduction of various events and to release information products in their native language (video from 08.45). Read more debunks on the limiting of Russian to private communication only, or entirely banning it in Ukraine.

The main activity of the Latvian state is the trade of Russophobia

Latvian sprat companies struggle because of the Russian counter-sanctions. Even the Latvian state is not able to help them. In fact, the Latvian state’s main activity is the trade of Russophobia.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Russophobia in the Baltic States and, in particular, in Latvia. See similar cases here. Such disinformation narratives are often combined with criticism on the sanctions against Russia which followed the annexation of Crimea and conflict in Eastern Ukraine and attempts to prove that EU countries suffer more from the sanctions imposed by Russia in return, as in this case. Most research support the view that sanctions, imposed on Russia by the US and EU following the annexation of Crimea and Russian meddling in the US election, were an effective tool. The Russian economy has been performing worse under sanctions. In 2014, Russian GDP growth was as low as 0.7%. As proved by World Bank data, it decreased by 2,3% in 2015 and had a modest revival afterwards with 0.3%, 1.6% and 2.3% of growth during 2016-2018. In contrast, during the same period, the EU's economy did not experience recession and had an annual GDP growth of between 1.8% and 2.5%. Latvia’s full-year GDP growth in 2019 is forecast to slow to 3.0% according to the European Economic Forecast of Summer 2019 while the Russian economy has forecast growth of 1.2% in 2019, according to the World Bank in its Russia Economic Report. See an earlier disinformation case alleging that the EU's sanctions against Russia were introduced to prevent the development of the Eurasian Economic Union

Russia does not participate in the war in the Donbas and does not take prisoners

Russia does not capture Ukrainians, because the Russian military does not take part in hostilities in the Donbas. The Minsk agreements do not state that Russia is at war with somebody.

Disproof

This is one of the most common disinformation narratives; that Russia has nothing to do with the war in eastern Ukraine and that there is a “civil war” in Donbas. Read more cases on this narrative here. There is no exact data on the number of Ukrainians arrested by Russia in the occupied parts of Donbas and in the annexed Crimea. The problem is that Russia and the separatists do not recognise such people as prisoners and qualify their actions as crimes, for example, the now liberated Crimean Oleh Sentsov, who was accused by Russia of "preparing a terrorist act" and illegally sentenced to imprisonment. According to the Security Service of Ukraine, 227 Ukrainians are still illegally detained in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In addition, another 113 people are illegally detained in Russia and the annexed Crimea, 89 of them are Crimean Tatars. Since 2014, 3,280 Ukrainians have been liberated from Russian prisons and from the occupied territories of Ukraine.