Disinfo: Russia did not violate the Budapest memorandum

Summary

The Budapest memorandum does not work and it is Ukraine’s own fault, Ukraine has allowed a civil war on its territory. Russia did not violate this treaty because it did not use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that there is a civil war in Ukraine. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

The mentioned Budapest Memorandum is a diplomatic document that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons, which Ukraine received after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The arsenal Ukraine was left with was the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, including intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. On 24 October 1991, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement on the country's nuclear-free status. Three years later, Ukraine actually joined the nuclear non-proliferation treaties. In exchange, the leaders of the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom signed the Budapest memorandum with guarantees of the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

The Budapest memorandum says that not one of the countries that signed the document has the right to apply any kind of aggressive policy towards Ukraine. The second paragraph states that the signatories "reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine." That is, through the Budapest memorandum Russia pledged not to use any weapon against Ukraine, not just nuclear.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Civil war, Nuclear issues, Budapest memorandum, War in Ukraine
  • Outlet: RT Russian
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Euromaidan was a coup fomented by Victoria Nuland

Maidan was a coup fomented by Victoria Nuland.

Disproof

No supportive evidence is given to this recurrent conspiracy narrative on the coup in Ukraine in 2014, fomented by the West, Georges Soros or Victoria Nuland in person, often also portrayed as a "Nazi coup".

There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was the people's reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Victor Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

Western politicians and the media embrace Browder’s story about Magnitsky without even checking it first

Browder’s Justice for Magnitsky campaign could be presumed to personal revenge against Russia. A campaign that uses the deadly fate of the auditor to punish the country that sued him. Why did Western politicians and the media embrace Browder’s story so easily without even checking it first? Probably because his story is in perfect harmony with the disastrous image of Russia in the West.

Disproof

This case is part of the pro-Kremlin media's ongoing disinformation campaign against Magnitsky sanctions and their chief proponent, Bill Browder accusing him and the West of Russophobia - a disinformation tactic commonly used by pro-Kremlin outlets to deflect criticism about Moscow's policies by painting Russia as the innocent victim of Western antipathy.

As the CEO of Hermitage Capital, once the largest investment firm in Russia, Bill Browder fell afoul of the Russian government in 2005 after exposing the details of a vast $230-million corruption scheme involving several high-ranking Russian officials. While investigating the corruption scheme, Hermitage Capital’s tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was arrested. During his 11-month imprisonment, he was tortured, denied medical care, and ultimately left to die. A Russian investigation concluded that Magnitsky had died of natural causes; the case was then closed and Magnitsky was posthumously convicted of tax evasion. To commemorate Magnitsky, Bill Browder launched a campaign to sanction the individuals involved in his mistreatment and death. This campaign has led the United States and several other countries (the UK, Canada, and the Baltic States) to adopt so-called 'Magnitsky sanctions' that restrict the travel and freeze the assets of individuals who have been involved in human rights abuses and mass corruption.

72.5% of Ukrainians support a compromise between Ukraine and Russia at all costs in order to achieve peace in Donbas

There is a fresh poll of Ukrainians, which shows the following. To the question: “Do you think it is necessary to compromise with Russia and the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics, to achieve peace?” 72.5% of Ukrainians answer yes.

Disproof

Manipulation of the poll results. It is designed to create the narrative that most Ukrainians support achieving peace in Donbas at any cost.

A nationwide public opinion survey was conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation by Ilko Kucheriv in collaboration with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology from 4-19 November 2019. According to it, only 14% of Ukrainians believe that for the sake of peace it is worth agreeing on any compromises. Another 58.5% believe that for the sake of peace it is worth agreeing on compromises, but not all. This position - "compromise, but not all" - is prevalent in all regions of Ukraine.