Disinfo: Russia is not an aggressor or occupier in Donbas, Syria, South Ossetia

Summary

For example, the authors accuse the "Putin regime" of involving Russia in numerous conflicts, "both near its borders and abroad, South Ossetia (2008), Donetsk region (2015), Syria (2017)".

This accusation is downright ridiculous, and when it comes from admirers of the US system, it is even pure demagogy. Because unlike the dozens of current wars and war-like operations of the US and the Western community of values around the world, Russia is not the aggressor or occupier in any of these cases mentioned in the report! On the contrary, everything is in accordance with international law.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine and Russia's involvement in the War in Syria, and the Georgian region of South Ossetia, claiming that for the case of Ukraine - Russia is not part of the conflict in Donbas and that Russia has nothing to do with the war in Eastern Ukraine.

The claim that 'everything is done according to international law' is grossly false. On Syria: There is ample evidence that the Syrian leadership (supported by Russian armed forces) is responsible for numerous massacres, bombings and chemical attacks on civilians in Syria. Russian airstrikes on hospitals, water treatment plants and mosques [causing hundreds of civilian deaths] have also been well documented.

On Ukraine, Donbas: There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine, in the Donbas. The EU condemns the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

The so-called People's republics DNR and LNR receive humanitarian, financial and military backing from Russia. An InformNapalm study shows that thirty-one weapons systems found in the Donbas entered service with the Russian military between 2004 and 2015 and have never been produced in, or sold to, Ukraine. In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine and (proudly) informed of his early planning for seizure of Crimea.

On the Georgian Region of South Ossetia: A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative trying to deny any role for Russia'war of 2008 which resulted in the further occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by additional military forces from Russia; a clear violation of Georgia's sovereignty. Many international organisations condemned the further occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see for example the European Parliament's declaration.

The EU's independent investigative commission into the 2008 Russia-Georgian war confirmed that Russia had been provoking Georgia for a long time and "Much of the Russian military action went far beyond the reasonable limits of defence.

Russia continues its military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement, mediated by the European Union.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 235
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/03/2021
  • Article language(s) German
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia, Syria, Georgian region of South Ossetia
  • Keywords: Syrian War, War in Ukraine, South Ossetia
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Normandy format decides nothing, only direct talks between Russia and the US can change the situation

The Normandy format does not decide anything. Only direct talks between Russia and the US can change the situation. The US, who sponsors Ukraine’s leaders, needs a long-standing conflict. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is successfully implementing this instruction. Fewer and fewer chances are left for a quick, one-or-two-year-long settlement of the conflict. The Americans are unlikely to agree to any compromises. The Donbas conflict will last a long time, and what is important in this situation is to avoid new bombings and casualties.

Disproof

Recurring propaganda narratives claiming that the Normandy format is useless and that Ukraine is controlled by the US. The Normandy format could be an effective tool for the settlement of the Donbas crisis. The reality is that Russia continues to insist that Ukraine comply with the Minsk Agreements, which were signed in the Belarussian capital in 2014 with a view to ending the conflict while Russia fail to honor its commitment incl. withdrawing military forces and stopping supplying weapons and ammunitions.

Regarding the claim about the US, it does play an important part in the process. Both former president Donald Trump and now president Joe Biden, have been making efforts to end the war.

The funds from NATO countries are being looted in Syria

A Syrian militant revealed that the funds that NATO countries allocate to supply armed terrorist groups under their control in Syria are being systematically looted by field commanders and US army officers who are in the country and control the militants' activities.

Disproof

No evidence is given on this matter.

Furthermore, this narrative fits a recurring narrative targetting NATO, while forgetting to mention that there are no NATO troops on the ground in Syria.

The US and EU organized a coup in Ukraine to overthrow legally elected government

Washington and Brussels directly violated the Helsinki Accords by organizing a coup in Kyiv and the overthrow of the legally elected government in Ukraine in 2013-2014.

Disproof

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests, depicting the 2013-14 revolution as a coup d'état and laying responsibility for the ensuing Russian aggression on the US and EU.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was not provoked from outside, rather, it was a reaction from several segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013, after pressure from Russia.