Disinfo: Russia has no soldiers in Ukraine but NATO sends arms to Kyiv


NATO keeps sending weapons in Ukraine which Kyiv will use in Donbas. This feeds tensions in the country. At the same time, it is wrong to accuse Russia of having its soldiers in the Donbas region as this is not true.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO and Ukraine.

There is no evidence that NATO is secretly supplying armaments to Kyiv. NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. Ukraine is not yet a member of NATO but a candidate country and as such is entitled to military and technical assistance, especially in capability development and capacity-building.

Unlike the Ukrainian Armed Forces, who receive foreign military and technical aid transparently, the Kremlin-backed separatists in Donbas get Russian weapons and other military equipment in a clandestine manner. Russia refutes accusations that it sends armaments to its proxies in Donbas but there is plenty of evidence of it and of Russia’s direct involvement in the war on the side of the anti-Ukrainian separatists (read here and here).

As for the recent tensions in Eastern Ukraine, Russia is seen by the international community as responsible for this escalation. On 12 April 2021, the G7 Foreign Ministers and the EU High Representative stated that large-scale troop movements, without prior notification, represent threatening and destabilising activities”. On 22 April 2021, Russia started withdrawing its troops from the Ukrainian border. However, this didn't stop clashes in Donbas, and 80.000 Russian troops and significant parts of the Russian military equipment remain in the region.

Read more disinformation stories about Ukraine’s alleged preparations for an offensive in Donbas.


  • Reported in: Issue 249
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/06/2021
  • Article language(s) Greek
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Donbas, Crimea, NATO, Black Sea, OSCE
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Disinfo: Sea Breeze exercise is a provocative NATO attack on Russia in the Black Sea region

The Sea Breeze exercise is not the only provocative attack of NATO on Russia in the Black Sea region. Moscow is confident that in addition to checking the combat readiness of the troops, the Pentagon is pursuing other, hidden goals.

The formal goal is to establish interaction between the Ukrainian army and NATO troops. According to the scenario, the coalition group will be involved in "stabilising the crisis situation" caused by the activities of "illegal armed groups", to which "the authorities of the neighbouring country are providing all-round support." You don't need to be a political scientist to understand that the "illegal formations" are units of the People's Militia of the DPR and LPR.

All this cannot but worry Moscow, because the active phase of the exercises will take place in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders. Moreover, NATO, under the guise of maneuvers, plans to deliver modern weapons, ammunition and material property for Ukrainian troops to Ukraine. In previous years, all this will be directed to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalist formations stationed near the districts not controlled by Kyiv in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.


Recurring disinformation narrative about NATO and its military exercises.

Sea Breeze is a multinational military exercise that has been held in Ukraine since 1997 in line with the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in Defense and Military Relations between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The exercises are co-organised by Ukraine and the United States.

Disinfo: US conceals facts of colossal importance concerning MH17

The United States conceals facts of colossal importance (regarding the MH17 plane disaster) by refusing to provide satellite images taken on 17 July 2014.

The Russian side provided the Netherlands with data from Russian radars and documents but the Dutch investigators ignored this information.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial which restarted in June 2021 and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

The repeated Russian accusation that the United States refused to provide satellite images is false.

Disinfo: More than half of the Ukrainian population don’t want their country to join NATO

At least 50% of the inhabitants of Ukraine do not want their country to join NATO. This rejection is due to the fact that the Ukrainians do not want to be in the firing line, they do not want to be a bargaining chip or cannon fodder.


The claim is false. According to a survey carried out by the sociological platform LibertyReport.ai in all Ukraine in March, reviewed by Bloomberg, an overall 57 per cent of Ukrainians support joining NATO. The figure rises to 72 per cent among respondents aged 18-29, those who weren’t raised in the Soviet educational system and who would be the bulk of conscripts in case of a major armed conflict.

This is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative against NATO. See other examples in our database, such as claims that NATO is using Sea Breeze exercises to secretly send arms to Donbas, that it is preparing for an offensive operation in Crimea, that its strategic bombers are testing options for strikes on Belarus and Russia, or that NATO would collapse if it abandoned the concept of the “Russian threat”.