Disinfo: Ukrainian officials are obsessed by imaginary invasions and inexistent Russian imperial ambitions

Summary

Ukrainians are hysterical about an imaginary Russian threat. In June 2020, two top Ukrainian officials gave an interview where they discussed the Russian imperial ambition and the possibility for their country to face a large scale war with their neighbor. // Psychiatrists should consider opening a whole research institute in Ukraine to assess the level of insanity prevailing among the country’s elites.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative aiming at dismissing warmongering and weak Ukraine, and, on the contrary, praising peaceful Russia. The claims about Ukrainian elites lacking mental capacity are a classic example of dehumanisation as a tool of pro-Kremlin disinformation. The article refers to the interviews of Vasyl Bodnar by Interfax on June 29 and Alexeï Neijpapa by Dumskaya.net on July 5 If the original statements are read carefully - rather than reading only the account that Moscow or Donetsk of it - then their thoughts immediately sound more rational.

  • Vasyl Bodnar, Deputy Minister, MFA of Ukraine, talked to Interfax on June 29 about the existing military threat from Russia: "we see an increase in military capabilities on the eastern border of Ukraine, and secondly, we see a significant increase in military units of Russian troops in the Crimea. Russian occupation forces on the territory of the occupied Donbass are often brought to increase combat readiness. Any training can quickly go into an active phase of hostilities, so the risk is clearly increasing, and, of course, the military sees it. There was a recent statement by a representative of the Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate that the military clearly understands the threats posed by such actions. (...) Public communications are also active, aimed at showing that Russia is not abandoning its aggressive policy. "

  • In an interview to Dumskaya.net on July 5 Alexeï Neijpapa, the Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine didn't exclude the possibility that Russian troops will try to break out of the occupied Crimea and into another Ukrainian region, neighbouring Kherson. That is why Ukraine continues to strengthen its position in the area.

The claim by Russian media that "the French make fun of Ukrainian top official declaration" is not correct, since the article quoted from Donbass insider isn't a French media but an independent media based in Donetsk founded by an employee of the DoniPress official press agency and hosted in Moscow. The Agoravox French platform only republished the content and the Inosmi translation platform published a more polite Russian version. To read similar Disinfo: Ukraine is going to launch a missile strike on Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) French, Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: France, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: DNR, Donetsk, Imperialism/colonialism, Abandoned Ukraine, Russophobia, War in Ukraine
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The West controls Ukrainian economy and pumps out its resources

The West is quite satisfied with the possibility of control over the Ukrainian economy, with the ability to freely pump out raw materials like wood and other resources from Ukraine. It controls the enterprises it needs and eliminates unnecessary ones, for example, engineering.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine, which is often claimed to be under external control from the US, NATO, the EU or IMF. Neither the US, the EU nor any other state controls Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, confirmed by the resolutions of the United Nations, but violated by Russia. Ukraine exports both industrial and agricultural products. The top exported goods to the US are iron and steel, iron and steel products, electrical machinery, animal and vegetable fats and oils. The EU imports from Ukraine iron, steel, mining and agricultural products, chemical products and machinery. Since 2016, there has been a steady increase in the export of products such as machinery, appliances and transport equipment, while the number of companies exporting to the EU has increased from 11,700 companies in 2015 to more than 14,500 companies in 2019. See here for more information. See similar claims alleging that the EU Association Agreement destroyed the Ukrainian economy and that Ukraine and its economy became a Western colony.

International observers praised Russian vote in Crimea

Dozens of international observers watched the all-Russian voting on the law on amendments to the Russian constitution, which took place in the neighboring country from 25 June to 1 July. An EU delegation has even arrived in Crimea to observe the voting process. International observers praised the legitimate vote in Crimea.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to portray a gradual acceptance of Crimea's position within Russia, especially by the West. Members of the European Parliament who visited the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea did not represent the EU and did not constitute an observation mission of the European Parliament, the press service of the EР said. “We know that some members of the European Parliament and other citizens act as so-called observers in the Crimea when voting on Russian constitutional amendments. They are not EU official representatives, they are not an official EU delegation and they are not an observation mission of the European Parliament,” said Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to Ukrainian media. The EU also condemned the vote, which took place in the temporarily occupied Crimea in violation of international law.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated after a coup in Kyiv

Relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated after a coup in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv back in 2014. The new Ukrainian authority banned all forms of cooperation with Russia. And Russia was forced to implement its trade embargo on countries that have joined the US embargo on Russia, including Ukraine.

Disproof

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests depicting the 2013-14 revolution as a coup d'état and about international sanctions against Russia. Ukrainians spontaneously united against the actions of President Viktor Yanukovych after his government, due to pressure from Russia, refused to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union, which had taken seven years to negotiate. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. It was Russia that annexed Crimea and continues to destabilise Ukraine, which was the reason for the EU and the US to impose sanctions on Russia. Furthermore, Kyiv's decision to suspend trade with Moscow was a counter-move to Russia's announcement for a food embargo against Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin described as due to “extraordinary circumstances affecting the interests and economic security...making Russia exports to Ukraine less competitive", as an alleged result of Ukraine's free trade pact with the EU. Read similar cases claiming that the US has recognised Euromaidan as a coup controlled by US officials and that Ukrainian government lost its legitimacy after 2014 coup, and that the Western-backed coup in Ukraine has torn the country asunder.