Reconnecting Donbas with Ukraine is unrealistic

Summary

The people of Donbas has drawn a line against the regime in Kyiv. You cannot work with a country whose army shelled you. The people of Donbas has shown the will to live in the Russian world.

The war has made a comeback to Ukraine unlikely, no offence to the new President Zelenskyy.

The Russian army has never occupied Donbas. As Russia grants citizenship to the inhabitants of the region, it will now be populated by Russian citizens. What appears to be a provocation of the Kremlin for Western capitals will perhaps become a factor of pacification of the region.

Disproof

Distributing Russian citizenship to the inhabitants of Donbas is a violation of the international law and such citizenship won't be recognised by the international community, as it was prior the case with the inhabitants of Georgia to whom Russia started "passportisation", or Crimea.

The EU condemns "passportisation" and estimates it as a step which aims to destabilise Ukraine further, as it was stated by the Spokesperson of the EU External Action:  "The signature by President Putin of a decree entitling, inter alia, people who permanently reside in certain areas of Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions to apply for Russian citizenship in a simplified manner, is another attack on Ukraine's sovereignty by Russia. The timing of such a decision immediately after Ukraine’s Presidential election, which demonstrated Ukraine's strong attachment to democracy and the rule of law, shows Russia’s intention to further destabilise Ukraine and to exacerbate the conflict. We expect Russia to refrain from actions that are against the Minsk agreements and impede the full reintegration of the non-Government controlled areas into Ukraine". Reed full statement here.

The United States condemned the decision by President Putin to provide expedited Russian citizenship to Ukrainians living in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine. "Russia, through this highly provocative action, is intensifying its assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Putin’s decision creates a serious obstacle to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the reintegration of the Donbas region. The Minsk agreements, signed by Russia, call for the full restoration of Ukrainian government control over eastern Ukraine", one can read in the US government's statement.

The impossibility to reconnect the Russia-controlled regions to Ukraine because of anti-Ukrainian views of its population is speculation. By 2016, 1 870 000 people moved as refugees from Donetsk and Luhansk occupied regions, as well as from Crimea to the rest of Ukraine and about 800 000 to 1 million moved to Russia.

The residents of Donbas enroll in Ukrainian universities without exams and lacking Ukrainian documents, that are impossible to obtain in "Donetsk/ Luhansk people's republics". A measure introduced in order to avoid the necessity of multiple crossing of the front line, considered dangerous for the remaining residents of Donbas. In 2016-2018, thousands have been enrolled in Ukrainian universities.

Despite difficulties, occupied Donbas' residents also receive pensions from the Ukrainian side.

See previous debunks on "civil war in Ukraine".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 157
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Donbas
  • Outlet: Sputnik France time 27:06 - 28:07, 29:49 - 30:07
see more

The Porton Down Laboratory denied that the poison used against Sergey Skripal was produced in Russia

The Porton Down Laboratory denied UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s allegations that the poison used against Sergey Skripal and his daughter was produced in Russia. 

Disproof

One of the many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the Skripal poisoning.

Earlier, pro-Kremlin media claimed that Porton Down might have manufactured Novichok, or that Porton Down laboratory was responsible for the Amesbury poisoning.

The US is deploying launch systems that are prohibited by the INF Treaty

In military sites in Romania and Poland, the US is deploying launch systems that are capable of launching cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk, which is prohibited by the INF Treaty.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its noncompliance with the Treaty in several areas.

The US government has issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US non-compliance with the INF Treaty. As has been explained in detail by the US government, the MK-41 launcher used at the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defence system deployed in Romania [to be deployed also in Poland] is only capable of launching defensive interceptor missiles. The Aegis Ashore system lacks the software, fire control hardware, support equipment, and other infrastructure needed to launch offensive ballistic or cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk. The Aegis Ashore system has never been tested for, nor is it capable of, launching a Tomahawk cruise missile, and therefore complies with the INF Treaty.

The West engineered the anti-Russian protests in Georgia

The Russophobic protests in Georgia, which erupted in the wake of a Russian lawmaker’s visit to Tbilisi, are a result of geopolitical engineering performed by Western politicians.

By orchestrating the riots, the West is trying to rip apart the ties and common history between Russians and Georgians.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative alleging the undue influence of Western governments in the post-Soviet space; painting all manifestations of popular discontent in the region as manufactured elsewhere, and painting entire nations as pathologically Russophobic.

The article states that the Tbilisi protests were "engineered" by Western politicians in advance, only to admit in the following paragraph that the riots were spontaneously caused by the controversial appearance in Georgian parliament of a Russian State Duma deputy. Only the latter claim is supported by evidence.