Disinfo: Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated due to civil war in Ukraine


The formal reason for the sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and the West was the situation around Ukraine, where, after the 2014 coup, a civil war broke out. Kyiv has repeatedly accused Moscow of allegedly participating in a conflict in the east of the country. However, the Russian Federation has consistently emphasised the groundlessness of such rhetoric, since Russia is not a subject, but a guarantor of the Minsk agreements, the task of which is to resolve the conflict in the Donbas.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, and Euromaidan protests. It was not Ukraine, but Russia which illegally annexed Crimea and continues violating Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. This led to sanctions and a deterioration in relations between Russia and other countries.

The onset of the Euromaidan protests which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were  a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. 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. See some more recent debunks of this claim here and here. See a similar case denying Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine here.

The EU and the US have condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.


  • Reported in: Issue 167
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, West, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Coup


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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No evidence given that the US and NATO started to prepare for war with Russia. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a threat to peace and having a belligerent agenda in Eastern Europe.

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A German NATO tank desecrated Jewish cemetery in Kaunas.


Such incident did not take place.

The disinformation message appeared in an online blog and contained doctored images, supposedly portraying a German NATO tank in the cemetery. The disinformation message was promptly debunked by the Lithuanian media and the representatives of Lithuanian Jewish community. Read more about the informational attack here (in Lithuanian).

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Those gathered in the European Parliament represent the countries of the Third Reich. For them, Hitler was never a negative character.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the European Parliament and about Nazis in the EU.

The disinformation message appeared after the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe and voiced its concern "at the efforts of the current Russian leadership to whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime". The resolution clearly condemns Nazism: