Disinfo: Russia has nothing to do with the parties involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine

Summary

Russia has nothing to do with the parties involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is not even mentioned in the Minsk agreements -an agreement signed on September 5, 2014 by the representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the People's Republic of Donetsk and of the Lugansk People's Republic to end the war in eastern Ukraine. This agreement names the parties to the conflict, and Russia has nothing to do with the parties to the conflict. We must therefore not say unfounded things, we must always refer to these agreements.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying any involvement of Russia in the Donbas conflict.

The war in Ukraine is not a civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement 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".

According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip, and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow. On top of that, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

NATO Summit Communiqué issued by the Heads of State and Government in June 2021, stated:

"We reiterate our support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, Georgia, and the Republic of Moldova within their internationally recognised borders. In accordance with its international commitments, we call on Russia to withdraw the forces it has stationed in all three countries without their consent. We strongly condemn and will not recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, and denounce its temporary occupation.
We are also stepping up our support to Ukraine. We call for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements by all sides... Russia, as a signatory of the Minsk Agreements, bears significant responsibility in this regard. We call on Russia to stop fuelling the conflict by providing financial and military support to the armed formations it backs in eastern Ukraine."

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised on 17 April 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion." Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before even the Maidan protests culminated. Thus, the previous claim by Putin and Russia that Russia did not control the "little Green Men" and later that they responded to human rights violations etc. proved to be false.

The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. On 21 June 2021, the EU renewed sanctions for a further year until 23 June 2022.

In October 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine created the Crimean Platform. Its aim is to keep the occupation of Crimea in the focus of constant international attention. The Crimean Platform will become a foreign policy instrument of the de-occupation strategy. This flexible international format is aimed at consolidating international efforts and achieving synergy of intergovernmental, parliamentary, and expert levels.

See related disinformation claims alleging that After coup, Kyiv Nazis fight Donbas civilians while Russia is not a warring side, Russia cannot ensure full truce in Donbas because it is not party to conflict, The US has become one of the warring sides in the Ukrainian conflict.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 255
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/08/2021
  • Article language(s) French
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: LNR, DNR, Civil war, Eastern Ukraine
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Disinfo: The EU supported oppositional plotters, so Lukashenka stopped protecting the European border

Does the KGB kidnap people from Iraq or Afghanistan and bring them to the border by force? Or maybe it pays for their transport and accommodation, and then these people are sent on a “mission” to cross the border with Poland?

The truth is very simple, but it is difficult to accept. After the introduction of the EU sanctions on Belarus, President Lukashenka publicly announced the “désintéressement” in the protection of the EU border by Belarusian border services. During recent years, the Belarusian authorities, in consultation with partners in the West, tried to control this route, preventing the movement of potential migrants to the EU. After the EU did everything possible to support the oppositional plotters, Lukashenka stated that he would not help Europe anymore. Why would he help it at all? Moreover, the May sanctions against Belarusian aviation forced Belavia to look for new markets, so it turned out that the immigrants wanted to use these new routes.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the ongoing migration crisis on the eastern border of the EU directly inspired by the Belarusian authorities.

There is numerous evidence that the Belarusian authorities have taken a direct part in the organisation of the ongoing “migration crisis” in Lithuania, Poland and Latvia. Lukashenka’s regime is using refugees from Middle Eastern countries as a “political and hybrid” weapon against Lithuania and the whole EU. Read more about the direct participation of the Belarusian security services in the “migration crisis” here.

Disinfo: People of Crimea legally decided their fate in 2014

The people of Crimea, decided their fate clearly and legitimately in 2014, following all legal rules.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea, claiming that it voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

Crimea is an internationally recognised part of Ukraine. Іn 1997, by signing the Friendship Agreement with Ukraine, Russia also recognised that Crimea belongs to Ukraine.

Disinfo: Ukraine wants to take away Crimea from Russia with the support of Russophobes

Russophobes support the Ukrainian plan to take away Crimea from Russia. This happens during the Crimea Platform summit, in which a great part of Western leaders refused to participate. Delegations from 44 countries, including Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, participated In the Crimea Platform meeting. Mentioned countries are well-known for their anti-Russian position and Russophobic statements.

Crimea became a part of Russia in 2014 after the referendum. 96.77 per cent of inhabitants of Crimea and 95.6 per cent of inhabitants of Sevastopol supported the decision to join Russia.

Disproof

Recurring narratives about Russophobia in the context of the illegal annexation of Crimea and summit of Crimea Platform.

The so-called incorporation of Crimea into Russia was not recognised. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.