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: Issue 136
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/02/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia
  • Keywords: Russo-Georgian War, Crimea, Referendum, War in Ukraine
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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". In addition, the senators called to enhance allied maritime presence and capabilities of the NATO and allies, to enhance the capability of the Ukrainian military, to deny Russian Navy vessels access to US allies and partners's ports to resupply and refuel. Read more disinfo stories on the West's role in the Kerch strait incident here and here.

Czech Republic recognises Juan Guaido despite EU doubts

The government of the Czech Republic recognises Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed “president” of Venezuela, despite the doubts of EU member states about this move and the precedent it sets.

Disproof

The Czech Republic's support for Juan Guaido was not a unilateral decision but rather a coordinated move with 10 other EU member states: Austria, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. The move followed the expiration of an ultimatum for Nicolas Maduro to call a new election. This is another example of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and the pro-Western opposition leader Juan Guaido.

US pushes Belarusian authorities towards talks over split from Russian Orthodox Church

Alyaksandr Lukashenka instructed Belarusian foreign minister Uladzimir Makey to start talks with the Patriarch of Constantinople over a possible split from the Russian Orthodox Church. This is a condition voiced by American diplomats for further progress in Belarus’ relations with the West and IMF. Such a move would be political suicide for Alyaksandr Lukashenka. However, it is supported by a pro-Catholic clan in the Belarus’ ruling elite and by pro-western Foreign Minister, Uladzimir Makey, who is ready to replace Lukashenka.

Disproof

No proof given. Western countries and institutions, including the above mentioned IMF, do not give any preconditions for cooperation with Belarus linked to the status of its Orthodox Church. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on alleged western plans tear away Belarus from Russia.