Disinfo: Russia did its utmost to save the INF treaty

Summary

Russia did its utmost to save the INF Treaty. Russia was completely open with its US counterparts and showed what is was doing, but did not receive any response.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its noncompliance in several areas. The US government issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US noncompliance with INF (see previous euvsdisinfo cases). Moreover, the US government and NATO have raised serious concerns that the Russian 9M729 missile is in breach of INF Treaty obligations. In a joint statement released after the meeting held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th December 2018, NATO Foreign Ministers stated that they “strongly support the finding ...that Russia is in material breach of its obligations under the INF Treaty.” In a statement released on the 1st of February 2019, the North Atlantic Council noted that Russia had “taken no demonstrable steps toward returning to full and verifiable compliance” and that “Russia will bear sole responsibility for the end of the Treaty.” For more disinformation cases on the INF treaty can be found here, here, here and here:

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 137
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/02/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Russia
  • Keywords: Missile defence system, Nuclear issues
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Ukraine is puppet of the West in the geopolitical game against Russia

The West is not interested in the welfare of the Ukrainian people. Kyiv serves as a puppet in the geopolitical game against Russia.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation about the relationship between the West and Ukraine. Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. UNGA Resolution 68/262 also affirmed the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. The EU is helping Ukraine through various concrete means. Above all, the entry into force of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine on 1st of January 2016 offers duty free (for most products) access to the largest market in the world to Ukrainian companies; secondly, the EU has granted cheap and long term loans to Ukraine to help the country to stabilised its economy: 2,2 bn € have been disbursed already; the EU (whose Member States represent altogether the largest IMF shareholder) is strongly supporting the IMF loans and programmes which have helped to stabilise the economic situation in Ukraine and will continue to help the country to reform its economy. The EU is providing substantial budget support, technical assistance and loans to the businesses through the EIB.

OSCE confirms that there are no Russian soldiers in Donbas

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (SMM) has rejected the allegations made by the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Nations about the alleged presence of Russian soldiers in the disputed Ukrainian region of Donbass. There had been information that someone had seen people in military uniforms who allegedly claimed to come from Russia and other countries and to be mercenaries. Someone also saw a transport device with Russian flags. However, it is not known which origin it is.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about no Russian soldiers in Ukraine. The claims are based on a manipulative interpretation of the OSCE report. The Chief of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine told the UN Security Council that: "there has been cases where we have reported in the past people in uniforms, claiming to be from the Russian Federation and other countries as well as mercenaries. SMM has reported observations of vehicles bearing Russian flags, but did not observe the origin. I have to say in order to avoid many misunderstandings, in these reports there has been no reference to militaries". The video of the statement here [2:45:00 - 2:45:47]. This is not the first time OSCE statements are misquoted or taken out of context.

The Avakov plan aims to purge the Donbas of people undesirable to Kyiv

Arsen Avakov’s “Small Steps Mechanism” to de-occupy the Donbas, which was developed under guidance from the US State Department, is a plan designed to purge the region of people who are undesirable to the Ukrainian government.

Disproof

Avakov's plan to restore the integrity of Ukraine and de-occupy the Donbas, originally published in June 2018, proposes a "small steps mechanism" as an alternative to the Minsk format. Nothing in the plan suggests any intention to carry out mass expulsions of people from the Donbas. On the contrary, the plan calls for an Amnesty Law to protect "the majority of people living in the occupied territory and involved in the conflict". While people "who have 'blood on their hands'" would be exempted from the amnesty measure and prosecuted under Ukrainian law, there is no mention of any plan to forcibly remove or "purge" these people from the territory. Additionally, there is no evidence that the US actively contributed to the development of the plan.