Disinfo: Russia has never initiated a military conflict

Summary

Russia does not threaten “any country in the world” and has never initiated a military conflict. Russia always acts as a peacemaker in solving complicated international problems.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about peaceful Russia that contains disinformation about the war in Ukraine and war in Georgia.

Since 1991 Russia was involved in several international conflicts, including intervention in neighboring states, such as Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.

Many international organizations condemned the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the OSCE statements here and here and European Parliament's declaration. More information to Russian invasion in Georgia is provided here.

It was also Russia that provoked a war in Ukraine. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted military presence of Russia in Ukraine in 2015.

In 2014 Russia also annexed a part of Ukrainian territory - Crimean peninsula. The so-called referendum on the peninsula was organised in a matter of weeks by a self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings. The EU does not recognise it. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262, adopted on 27 March 2014 and supported by 100 states, clearly says that Russia's actions in Crimea as well as the referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea violate international law. Any decision relating to Ukraine's sovereignty or sovereign choices can only be taken without undue external pressure.

 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue136
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/02/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: Russo-Georgian War, War in Ukraine, Referendum, Crimea

Disclaimer

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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Ukraine plans to destabilise Belarus through its TV channel

One of Ukraine’s foreign policy objectives is identical to the West’s, i.e. to democratise Belarus, to overthrow Alexander Lukashenko, to impose Euro-Atlantic integration on Belarus and to rip it off Russia. With this aim, Kyiv has been attempting to broadcast its UATV channel on Belorussian TV to spread its content in the country. Furthermore, Ukraine tolerates arms trafficking to the territory of Belarus. Therefore, whereas Belarus plays the role of security donor for Ukraine, Ukraine undermines Belarus’ security.

Disproof

No evidence given for the EU's or Ukraine's plans to destabilise Belarus or to change its political regime. Neither the EU nor Ukraine have such foreign policy objectives. As for the alleged arms trafficking from Ukraine to Belarus, in late 2018, the heads of the Ukrainian and Belarusian state border committee  publicly acknowledged that no organised channels of arms trafficking exist.

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the threat of Ukraine's TV channel to Belarus, Maidan protests ignited by the West and about Western attempts to instigate colour revolutions in the EU neighbourhood and to organise Ukraine-like Maidan protests in Belarus.

Terrorists preparing a chemical attack in Idlib supported by the White Helmets

Around the 26th of January the al-Nusra terrorist organisation, supported by the White Helmets, transported several containers of chlorine gas to the southern part of the Idlib province in Syria. The containers, placed in the Khan-Sheikhun depots, are meant to be used against civilians, either in this area or in another location.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the involvement of the White Helmets in planning chemical attacks, in cooperation with the al Nusra group, against civilians in Idlib in order to blame the Syrian government for such attacks.

The White Helmets, a search-and-rescue organisation based in opposition-held areas in Syria, have been one of the main target of disinformation campaigns orchestrated by the Kremlin.

Americans plan a military operation to fight for the Kerch Strait

The US Senate demanded to conduct a military operation to liberate the Kerch Strait. A US Senate resolution calls for it. Washington openly demonstrates its role in the escalation of the conflict.

Disproof

The resolution mentioned was submitted to the US Senate on January 24, 2019, and 66 senators supported the document. It contains no elements about conducting a military operation to liberate the Kerch Strait.

The text states that the US Senate “calls upon the President to work with US allies to promptly lead a robust multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea to help demonstrate support for internationally recognized borders, bilateral agreements, and safe passage through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov and push back against excessive Russian Federation claims of sovereignty".