Disinfo: Donbas conflict: internal Ukrainian conflict


  • Reported in: Issue 173
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Donbas
  • Outlet: Vremya Pokazhet @ Channel One TV Video from 21:10
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Crimea became Russian after its residents voted for reunification with Russia

Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum held there in March 2014, where most residents spoke out in favour of reunification with Russia.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

No international body has recognised the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014, which was organised by self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings.

NATO is like a “zombie” that eats its member states

Obsolete, superfluous, sounds downright cute. It’s as if the NATO states only had to stop paying and then leave the alliance cheerfully and without any obligation. But already on the way to the alleged end of NATO, the zombie eats the people alive: the undead demands two percent of the gross domestic product so that he can continue to threaten the world. In Germany alone, that would be 60 billion euros. That eats schools, roads, hospitals and ultimately the patients themselves. NATO is the highest expression of dying capitalism, a system that makes its profits from war and the threat of war. A system that eats up its states alive. A system that risks the atomic destruction of the earth to cement its own rule until the end of the capitalist horror film.


This disinformation message is aimed at undermining the image of NATO, trying to portray NATO as a totalitarian dysfunctional military alliance that oppresses and humiliates its member states. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on member states' subordination to NATO and NATO's belligerent agenda.

When it comes to NATO's decisions, they are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among member countries. Indeed, NATO respects the right of every country to choose its own security arrangements. In fact, Article 13 of the Washington Treaty specifically gives Allies the right to leave. Over the past 65 years, 29 countries have chosen freely, and in accordance with their domestic democratic processes, to join NATO. Not one has asked to leave. This is their sovereign choice.

Hitler’s Nazi officials are not less Belarusian heroes than Kalinowski

Some people name Kalinowski a Belarusian national hero. Recently Belarusian foreign minister Uladzimir Makei said that Kalinowski belongs to Belarusian history and that he is a figure in Lithuanian and Polish history as well. This is an awful logic. It implies that fascist collaborators are Belarusian heroes too, just as Wilhelm Kube [Nazi senior official in the occupying government of the Soviet Union with the rank of Generalkommissar for Weissruthenien], a Hitler’s executioner of the Belarusian people in the WWII. A sacramental question to the foreign minister is the following: Won’t the participation of Belarusian delegation in the reburial ceremony of Kalinowski remnants be a justification of Polish gentry activities to turn Belarusian lands into the eastern part of Poland?


This publication puts forward an absurd parallel between Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish national hero Kalinowski and Wilhelm Kube, the head of the Nazi occupational body in Belarus during the WWII, aimed to discredit Belarusian history. It is consistent with the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Western aggressive activities towards Belarus and its history.

Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski, also known as Kastuś Kalinoŭski was a 19th-century writer, lawyer and revolutionary. As one of the leaders of the Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish national revival and the leader of the 1863-1864 uprising (also known as January uprising) against Imperial Russia, Kalinowski is considered a national hero in Belarus, Lithuania and Poland. The monument to Kalinowski in the Belarusian town of Svislach where Kalinowski graduated from a local school was established in 1958.