Disinfo: Russia has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country

Summary

Russia has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country. Neither the EU countries, nor any other country in the world and do not want to interfere. This is our most important difference to the USA and its allies, who, for example, supported the overthrow in Ukraine in February 2014.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative attempting to portray Russia as peaceful and reusing well-known disinformation stories about Euromaidan and the war in Ukraine. Since 1991 Russia was involved in several international conflicts, including intervention in neighbouring states, such as Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. Many international organisations condemned Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the OSCE statements here and here and European Parliament's declaration. It was also Russia that interfered in Ukraine. In 2014 Russia annexed a part of Ukrainian territory - the 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. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea see here. 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. Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted military presence of Russia in Ukraine in 2015. Moreover, numerous investigations have provided convincing evidence of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum and in elections across Europe and in the US - see more information here, here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 157
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/07/2019
  • Outlet language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: election meddling, West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Russophobia, War in Ukraine
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Ukraine is a buffer state for NATO without membership prospects

At present, NATO does not want to accept Ukraine and, probably, will never accept it. For the West, Ukraine is nothing more than a buffer zone, which separates Europe from its geopolitical rival – Russia – and its role is to put pressure on it.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine and its cooperation with NATO. Ukraine is a strategic partner for NATO in many areas. Since the 1990s, relations between NATO and Ukraine have developed into one of NATO’s most influential partnerships. Relations were strengthened with the signing of the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). The Declaration of 2009 to Complement the NATO-Ukraine Charter mandated the NUC, through Ukraine’s Annual National Programme, to underpin Ukraine’s efforts to take forward reforms aimed at implementing Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. NATO's door remains open to any European country in a position to undertake the commitments and obligations of membership and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Currently, four partner countries have declared their aspirations to NATO membership: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia and Ukraine, according to NATO’s statement. In February 2019, the Parliament of Ukraine amended the Constitution and cemented Ukraine's course to the EU and NATO.

In Ukraine, the nationalists continue to violate the rights of the Russian-speaking population

Ukraine continues to violate the rights of the Russian-speaking population: nationalist ideas continue to dominate the country’s state policy, and the new President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cannot solve the problem with aggressive radicals and repeal the nationalist law, which forces Ukrainian citizens to speak only Ukrainian.

Disproof

This is another example of Russian disinformation about the law on the state language in Ukraine. Russia insists that the so-called "language law" violates the country's constitution and the rights of the Russian-speaking population. This is a constant narrative of Russian propaganda that the rights of Russians are violated in Ukraine, and the country's leadership is radically nationalist.

The US didn’t provide any proof that Russia violated the INF treaty

In October 2018, US President Donald Trump stated that the US would withdraw from the INF treaty due to Moscow’s violations of its commitments. However, the US didn’t provide any proof to support this claim.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty, and that Russia was fully compliant with it. In July 2014, President Obama officially accused Russia of testing an intermediate-range land-launched missile in violation of the INF. Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on 4 December 2018. NATO allies share the US government’s assessment that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security. The US gathered detailed information on Russia’s flight-testing of the 9M792 missile to distances well over 500 kilometers, in violation of the INF, and provided Moscow with evidence about the 9M729’s violations, including geographic coordinates and dates for the tests. Russia has continually denied any wrongdoing. In a statement released on 1 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.” In February 2019, the US suspended its participation in the INF Treaty, stressing that nearly 6 years of diplomacy and more than 30 meetings have failed to convince Russia to return to compliance with the INF Treaty. On 3 July 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law on the suspension of the INF Treaty. On 5 July 2019, the Russia-NATO Council was held, following which Secretary-General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said that NATO and the Kremlin have fundamental differences in this matter. More disinformation cases on the INF treaty can be found here.