Disinfo: Russia is being sanctioned for its sole existence

Summary

The West’s maniacal desire to impose sanctions on Russia is explained by the mere fact of Russia’s existence. The reason for these restrictive measures is that Moscow is protecting its national interests.

Disproof

This is a recurring narrative by pro-Kremlin media claiming that the anti-Russian sanctions are groundless and illegal.

In reality, the sanctions were imposed on Russia for its aggressive policy and violation of international law. The first round of restrictive measures was imposed in March 2014 in the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. More action against Moscow was taken in the following months, the reason being its support of the pro-Kremlin separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Some sanctions were only political, such as the suspension of Russia’s voting rights in the Council of Europe. However, its voting rights were restored in 2019. In addition, bans were also imposed on transactions with some Russian businessmen and officials.

Among those affected by the Western sanctions are the head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, Prosecutor-General Igor Krasnov, director of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov and head of the Federal Prison Service Alexander Kalashnikov. The reason is their roles in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as the repression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment.

See related pro-Kremlin disinformation claims, alleging that new EU sanctions on Russia are a "circus" and a "fake story"; that Europe made up a strange story about Navalny poisoning as a pretext for sanctions; and that the EU lost more from sanctions than Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Ukraine, EU, US
  • Keywords: Sanctions, Russophobia, Donbas, Crimea
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West hails Zelenskyy’s attempts to eliminate opposition

The West supports Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s attempts to eliminate the opposition. Zelenskyy might succeed in liquidating the Opposition Platform for Life and Anatoly Shariy’s Party.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative by pro-Kremlin media about the West’s purported attempts to interfere in Ukrainian politics and set the political establishment there against Russia.

These two parties have a certain pro-Kremlin propensity, so affiliated politicians and media outlets are trying to portray Zelenskyy as a blatant Russophobe, whom the West ordered to wipe out everything Russian in Ukraine.

Child trafficking in Ukraine is more important than NATO-related issues

Ukraine is turning into a world centre of child trafficking. This is where a big threat lies. How can one be talking about global issues like NATO, when children are being trafficked in Kyiv Region? The number of child adoptions dropped twice in Kyiv Region last year, while the level of international adoptions of Ukrainian children rose twice. The adopting countries are mostly the United States and European nations. The adoption rate in Ukraine is said to have fallen because of the pandemic, but it has not affected international adoptions. There is some kind of a child-trafficking scheme in Ukraine.

Disproof

This is a recurring attempt by pro-Kremlin propaganda outlets in Ukraine to try and distract attention from real security threats. Child trafficking is a very serious problem in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world, and Kyiv is addressing and dealing with it.

However, there is no mutual exclusion (or causal relationship) between fighting child trafficking in Ukraine and the desire to enhance national security by joining NATO.

NATO is not a collective defence bloc, but America's tool for controlling Europe

defenceNATO needs the Baltic states as an additional domain of control. NATO is not just a collective defense bloc. It is the US's tool of control in Europe, and the entry of the Baltic states into the coalition means that they officially delegate part of their powers in foreign policy and defence to the Americans.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about NATO as a tool used by the US to control the policies of European states. This narrative claims that almost all European countries are no longer truly sovereign and the United States dictates EU and member states' policies.

On 4 April 1949, the foreign ministers from 12 countries, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty creating NATO. At the heart of the Alliance has always been the collective defence and security of all its members. All NATO decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries.