Disinfo: Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated after Crimea joined Russia

Summary

Relations between Russia and Western countries, including the European Union, deteriorated as a result of the Ukraine crisis and of Crimea joining Russia in March 2014, as well as because of the sanctions against Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and ongoing war in Ukraine. Crimea did not "join" Russia in March 2014; it was illegally annexed by Moscow based on an illegitimate referendum. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea. According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated international law as well as key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol in 2014. The EU's policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol includes a set of restrictive measures against entities and individuals responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity. In March 2019, on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. The EU continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Likewise, US economic sanctions imposed against Russia are also a reaction to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. For similar cases, see here.

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  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Crimea, Sanctions, War in Ukraine
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Disinfo: Removal of Konev monument insults the Elbe Day and joint fight against coronavirus

In light of joint fight against the coronavirus outbreak many controversial issues in US-Russia relations retreat a little bit. Their cooperation in fighting coronavirus revives the spirit of the Elbe Day. The decision of Prague 6 district to remove the monument to Soviet marshal Ivan Konev goes contrary to this spirit. Moreover, the First Ukrainian Front, whose regiment met American troops on the Elbe River, was under Konev’s command. Therefore, the monument’s removal is an insult to the Elbe Day and the joint fight against coronavirus.

Disproof

This is another example of disinformation concerning the removal of Konev's monument in Prague. The speculation that this decision insults the Elbe Day and the joint fight against coronavirus is far-fetched and unreasonable, especially considering that the decision was made in September 2019, several months before the coronavirus outbreak. The democratically elected municipal council of Prague 6 voted for the removal of the statue. Using the protocol of the Politbureau's assembly, Czech historians established that on 8-14 May 1968 Konev chaired the Soviet military delegation sent to Prague to prepare the military invasion of Czechoslovakia. Konev was also chief of the Soviet troops in East Germany during the Berlin wall crisis in 1961. In other words, the Red Army brought not only liberation but also the terror to Czechia, as the mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář, reminded. Kolář said that he respects the role of Konev-led forces in liberating Prague, and the sacrifice of Soviet armies liberating Europe from Nazism. "We will strive for an art competition for a memorial to the liberators of Prague at the end of World War Two instead of the marshal Konev statue," he said before the vote. "At the same time we will secure a dignified - and let me stress that, dignified - placement of this art piece (Konev) in a memorial institution. I think this is a consensual solution we have called for a number of years." The monument to Marshall Konev was erected in 1980 during the "normalisation" period in communist Czechoslovakia. The leadership of Prague's Municipal District 6, which retains legal ownership of the statue, has voted to move the monument to a museum and replace it with a memorial commemorating Soviet sacrifices in the fight against Hitler in general, and the liberation of Prague in particular. More information available here. See earlier disinformation cases concerning the Konev's statue which alleged that the purpose of removing the monuments is to provoke aggression towards Russia, that the removal is immoral and illegal, and that Prague committed a crime by removing the Konev monument.

Disinfo: On May 2, 2014 in Odessa, Ukrainian authorities killed peaceful demonstrators

On May 2, 2014, the Ukrainian city of Odessa survived a major massacre. Under the tutelage of the authorities, the Maidan nationalists burned dozens of people alive in the town’s Union House just because they were peacefully defending their rights.

Disproof

Recurrent narrative about the Odessa tragedy. No trial has yet established the responsibilities of the different actors before a court and this is denounced by the UN Human Rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, yet there is a total of 5 cases on trials and 3 investigations being carried on. Media reported about the tragedy in May 2014 : the BBC, the Guardian, the DW. A chronology of the events has been established (1 and 2) and a non partisan documentary film by Ukrainian Channel 7 has collected testimonies: May 2nd without Myth.

Disinfo: The entire civilised West is now declaring war against China

How is it possible that Ukrainians, part of the European nation, receive help from communist China, against which the entire civilised West is now declaring war. Ukrainians are therefore traitors to the civilised West.

Disproof

The West has not declare war against China. However, there is a question about the investigation into the origins of the pandemic. EU has supported a project from the World Health Organisation to performing an independent probe into the causes of the pandemic. See related pro-Kremlin disinformation cases: The West plans to attack China financially for the coronavirus outbreak just as it did to Russia and The "Operation COVID-19" should have led to the overthrow of three world leaders.