Disinfo: Russia restored its relations with the West by doing everything contrary to the latter’s will

Summary

Over the last few years, Russia has improved its position in world politics because it did not follow the others’ rules and orders. This was risky, but the strategy of compliance with the West’s instructions would definitely run Russia into a catastrophe. Many of the “Kremlin’s adventures” such as counter-sanctions, the military operation in Syria, import substitutions, construction of pipelines which the West initially ridiculed, have brought fruits and consequently contributed to the restoration of relations with the Western countries.

Disproof

The claim about Western plans to run Russian into a catastrophe is consistent with a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the West's deliberate anti-Russian activities. It misinterprets the dynamics of Russian-Western relations by alleging that they improved as a result of Russian activities in military and economic fields such as the introduction of counter-sanctions or assisting Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.

In fact, the EU has unanimously voted for continuation of the sanctions against Russia since they were introduced in 2014 and the US made sanctions against Russia stricter in August 2019. Therefore, Russian-Western relations have hardly been restored due to Russian military and economic measures as the articles claim.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Washington is likely to launch a war against Russia, that the EU suffers from its own sanctions more than Russia, EU sanctions against Russia are not democratic, and that European Council sanctions are irrational and unjustified.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 175
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: West, Anti-Russian, Syrian War, Conspiracy, Sanctions
  • Outlet: RIA Novosti Sputnik Belarus
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The war in Ukraine and in Afghanistan follow a similar pattern: the West ignores Russian or Soviet interests

The war in Ukraine and in Afghanistan follow a similar pattern: The West ignores Russian or Soviet interests directly in the country’s neighbourhood.

The conflict over Ukraine and Crimea for more than five years seems to follow a similar pattern to that over Afghanistan 40 years ago: Western activities deliberately ignore Soviet or Russian interests directly in the country’s neighbourhood. When Moscow can no longer ignore this, and reacts to it, it is accused of exactly that, in both cases first and foremost by the USA. This is followed by one-sided blame, distraction from one’s own role and interests, and sanctions.

[Context: The conflict over Crimea was a consequence of the coup in Kyiv in February 2014.]

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Western belligerence towards Russia, Western attempts to encircle Russia, its involvement in the war in Ukraine, stating that the 2013-2014 Euromaidan protests resulted in an illegal coup; painting Ukraine and other states as failing states incapable of making its own policy choices and painting the West as the puppet-master of their politics.

The Euromaidan was not organised by the West but was the sovereign choice of Ukrainians for pro-European development. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine.

Crimea and Sevastopol are irreversibly Russian

Crimea became part of Russia again after the March 2014 referendum, with 96.77 percent of voters in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol’s people voting in favour of joining Russia. This was after the overthrow of the regime in Ukraine in February 2014.

The Russian leadership has stated many times that the people of Crimea have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia, in a democratic process that fully complies with the requirements of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. According to President Vladimir Putin, the Crimea issue is complete and irreversibly closed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Crimea and Sevastopol.

Crimea is part of Ukraine that was illegally annexed by Russia. Following the covert invasion by “little green men”, the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpointbarring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. Therefore, no international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.

Previous government was sabotaging prisoner exchanges in Donbas due to anti-Russian hysteria and Russophobia

If there was a clear decision to exchange all prisoners, then it could be implemented. It will take a short period of time. This could have been done under Poroshenko, but he didn’t want it, intentionally, because he didn’t need any territory or these people, he needed a policy of anti-Russian hysteria and Russophobia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the War in Ukraine and the Minsk agreements.

In the last five years, numerous talks on the exchange of the prisoners have been held in the Minsk format (in the Trilateral Contact Group). As a result, hundreds of prisoners have been exchanged during 2014-2017. In general, 4 prisoner swaps have taken place: on 26-27 December 2014, 26-27 August 2015, 2 August 2017, and 27 December 2017.