DISINFO: Russia only supports the legitimate rights of the Donbas people
Donbas War in Ukraine Ukrainian statehood Eastern Ukraine

DISINFO: Russia only supports the legitimate rights of the Donbas people


Russia does not threaten anyone, and it does not intend to attack Ukraine or threaten any of its neighbours in any way. All that Russia wants is to preserve the security of its lands and citizens, and to support the legitimate rights of the people of the Donbas region, including 700,000 citizens with Russian citizenship, to preserve their culture, language and belonging to the Russian world, without any infringement on Ukrainian sovereignty, and without even support for the separatist tendencies of those republics.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine implying that Russia is not part of the conflict in Donbas and that Russia has nothing to do with the war in Eastern Ukraine.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in the Donbas.

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.

Furthermore, Russian-speaking populations are not in need of protection and do not face any existential threats like is often portrayed in pro-Kremlin media. Ukraine is committed to a peaceful settlement in Crimea and Donbas and acts strictly in compliance with the 2014 Minsk Agreements. It is the Moscow-backed separatists who systematically violate basic human rights in the region.

In 2019, Russia started a massive passportisation campaign in the occupied territories of Ukrainian Donbas, with the aim of repeating a Crimea-like scenario, when it portrayed the bearers of Russian passports as purported victims of aggression, so it had to interfere and save them from Ukrainian 'nationalists'.

On 21 February 2022, in violation of international law, President Putin recognised the independence of two breakaway regions of Ukraine and ordered Russian forces to perform so-called 'peacekeeping' functions: in fact another invasion of Ukraine. Several countries, including the EU, have introduced sanctions against Russia in response to the move.

Read related stories: Russia is not an aggressor or occupier in Donbas, Syria, South Ossetia; Russia is not an aggressor in case of Crimea; Ukraine started the war in Donbas, it is an aggressor.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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