Disinfo: Russia has not started a single war in the last 50 years

Summary

The Americans have, in the last 50 years, started around 70 wars in pursuit of cheap petrol. Show us just one war which Russia started [in that period], at least one. Nothing of the sort ever happened.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting Russia as a benign, non-interfering state on the one hand, and various Western governments as jingoistic on the other. Soviet Russia engaged in military aggression at several occasions; against Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Afghanistan in 1979.

Even assuming modern-day Russia to be a separate political entity from the USSR, the country has been involved in several interstate wars over the past decades, most recently in Ukraine, but also in Moldova and Georgia. Russia has illegally annexed a part of sovereign Ukrainian territory and waged an undeclared armed conflict in the east of the country which has resulted in over 13,000 civilian deaths to date.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 218
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Afghanistan, US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Military, War crimes, Chechnya, Warmongering
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British intelligence is an initiator of the Nagorno-Karabakh war

The main initiators of the conflict are Turkey and British intelligence. This operation is directed against Russia, and partly Iran. That is why Russia’s actions in this region should be dictated, first of all, by the strategic interests of Russia itself, and not at all by the desire to resolve the territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Instead of responding appropriately to the new challenge from Turkey and its sponsors in London and NATO, Russian elites have employed the well-known narrative that “they are trying to drag our country into war in Turkey, and we must not succumb to this provocation.”

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no proof presented to support any of the claims, mixing several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about an aggressive West and Russia as the ultimate target of international events. There is no evidence that foreign powers had anything to do with the 2020 military escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, much less with the purpose of benefitting from a confrontation between Russia and Turkey.

See other examples in our database, such as claims the escalation in the Caucasus is directed against Russia, because someone wants to divert Moscow’s attention from Belarus and Syria; that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is a cover up operation, as was the 1956 Hungarian Revolution; that Ukraine is sending weapons and nationalist fighters to this war theatre; that the US embassy in Armenia is a mini-Pentagon escalating tension in the region and the Middle East; or that the US is encircling Russia with biological labs for a future attack and is ready to carry out a false flag operation in Alaska to blame Russia.

The "colour revolution" in Belarus aimed to disrupt the integration of the Union state

An attempt to overthrow the Belarusian authorities was made with the political and financial support of the West. Among other things, this was done in order to disrupt the integration process within the Union State, to divide Russian-Belarusian relations.

By means of the “colour revolution” technique, the United States is purposefully stirring up tension in a number of countries and undermining the internal political situation. This violates international law and ignores the interests of sovereign states.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing popular protests as Western-backed 'colour revolutions', part of a campaign to portray massive mobilisations in Belarus as a destabilisation effort orchestrated from abroad, particularly from the US. There is no evidence that the protests in Belarus are funded and organised by the US or any Western country.

Contrary to the claim about colour revolutions, protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a large part of the Belarusian society. Further mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actors, opposition politicians, and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement.

West-supported protests and coups in Ukraine causes economic recession in a cyclical fashion

Before the 2014 coup, in which the nationalists seized power in the country, division had always been a chronic feature of all Ukrainian elections, as the pro-Western and pro-Russian parts were roughly equal, which led to a political path that always revolved in a vicious circle. Usually, after the nationalists come to power, the new government tries to cut economic ties with Russia, leading to an economic recession and a deterioration in living standards in the country.

In the following elections, the disaffected population would vote out the nationalists in favour of the pro-Russian party, and then economic recovery takes place, which is in turn followed by protests and coups backed by the West, and the pro-Western nationalists return to power, cutting ties with Russia again, the standard of living decreases, and so forth.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against Ukraine, containing multiple disinformation narratives regarding the Ukrainian economy and Ukrainian statehood. It promotes a narrative about the belligerent West and its interference in the politics of Ukraine, stating that the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests resulted in an illegal coup; painting Ukraine as a failing state incapable of making its own foreign policy choices; and painting the West as the puppet-master of Ukrainian politics.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.