Disinfo: Rebellion in Crimea and Donbas against Nazis ruined NATO plans for a military base in Crimea

Summary

The rebellion by the Russian people of Crimea and Donbas was in full accordance with the UN principles and international law norms. As a civilised country, Russia had to protect its brothers who faced the threat of Russophobic genocide.

The collective West does not wish to take this into account for one simple reason: the rebellion of Russian people in Crimea and Donbas against Nazism ruined the plans to turn the Crimean peninsula into the NATO military base and to make it a Russophobic ram and an anti-Russian military springboard out of Ukraine.

Instead, Washington and Brussels introduced sanctions against Russia as they dislike Russia’s return of the world superpower status.

Disproof

This is a mixture of conspiracy theories which are consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about 2014 Ukraine's coup d'état, Fascist / Nazi Ukraine, the persecution of the Russian language speakers, and belligerent West planning to use Ukraine in its anti-Russian policies. It also seriously misrepresents the ongoing acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine referring to the alleged "rebellion of Russian people in Crimea and Donbas against Nazism."

The claim about Ukrainian authorities plan to organise a Russophobic genocide is absolutely groundless and is aimed to discredit Ukraine and legitimise aggressive Russian actions in Ukraine.

Russia's annexation of Crimea went contrary to Ukrainian and international law norms and Russia's aggressive actions in eastern Ukraine are well-established and thoroughly documented. When it comes to yet another conspiracy about NATO plans to set up a military base in Crimea, it was addressed by NATO's official website, which says that the idea to base ships and missiles in Crimea "has never been proposed, suggested or discussed within NATO."

The actual reason behind the EU and US sanctions are a blatant violation of international law by Russia. The first round of EU sanctions against Russia was introduced on 17 March 2014, against persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity followed Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.

See our earlier analyses of Ukraine-related disinformation and propaganda campaign: Denigrating Ukraine With Disinformation, and Ukraine Under Information Fire.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 163
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/08/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: West, Anti-Russian, Genocide, Crimea, NATO, Donbas, Russophobia
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The Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the WWII

The Munich Agreement (1938) is the culmination of the helplessness of European diplomacy in front of the Nazi threat. This Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the largest war in history. UK and France did not want to form an anti-Nazi alliance with the USSR, which forced Moscow to take maintain peace on its territory with its own forces.

Disproof

This is a pro-Kremlin conspiracy narrative about the WWII. The Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938), indeed, permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland, in western Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler was heavily criticized in Europe and proved to be a disastrous move. World War II began in Europe on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany on 3 September. A week before Germany attacked Poland, Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact, also known as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (23 August 1939). The deal was accompanied by a secret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR. Soviet Union attacked Poland on September 17, forcing the Polish army to fight on two fronts. Poland was divided according to the agreements of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. USSR later attacked Finland and annexed the Baltic states, all along the agreements with Nazi Germany. USSR and Germany engaged in an intensive trade program, where Soviet Union provided Germany with grain and strategic raw material. More on the trade between Moscow and Berlin 1939 – 1941 here. The war between the U.S.S.R. and Germany began on 22 June 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union joined forces with the Allied Powers immediately after the German attack.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact did not trigger World War II. Russia was threatened by Germany

Supporters of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as a “conspiracy of two dictators” deliberately forget to mention the role of the 1938 Munich Agreement, the culmination of the helplessness of European diplomacy in the face of the Nazi threat.

The Munich Agreement forced Moscow to be an outside observer of the entire European adventure. Russia could finally give up the illusions regarding the anti-German intentions of England and France, which skillfully pushed the German aggression to the East, to the Soviet borders.

Moscow draw the simple conclusion; the time had come when only their own forces could keep peace on their territory.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 1939. Its secret protocols divided Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact directly caused the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in complete occupation of the country by Germany and the USSR. The Treaty enabled the Soviet Union to invade and annex the Baltic States. The Soviets also annexed Romania's provinces of Bessarabia (today's Moldova) and northern Bukovina (now in Ukraine) and the Czechoslovak territory of Carpathian Ruthenia (now also part of Ukraine). Throughout the territories it occupied, the Soviet Union carried out harsh political reprisals, including mass executions and deportations.

Crimea's peaceful return to Russia is one of Putin's successes

Crimea has returned to Russia through a peaceful referendum where a large majority of citizens declared that they want to live in Russia. The referendum was directly prompted by the coup in Kyiv, but it has been a long-term wish of the local population to rejoin Russia and making that happen is one of Vladimir Putin’s successes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum. Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine). Following the covert invasion by “little green men,” the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. The oft-cited figure of 97% participation in the referendum has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum, of which some 50-60% favoured secession. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. For similar disinformation cases about Euromaidan protests being a “coup”, see here and here. For disinformation about the referendum and “legal annexation” of Crimea, see similar cases here, here, here andhere.