Disinfo: Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine did not violate the Budapest Memorandum


The Budapest Memorandum automatically ceased to be legally binding after the Republic of Crimea joined the Russian Federation in 2014.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that is aimed at justifying Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in February 2014.

The mentioned Budapest Memorandum is a diplomatic document that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Under the Memorandum, Ukraine agreed to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons. In return, the US, the UK and Russia signed the Memorandum with guarantees of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. According to the document, all signatory countries have to respect Ukraine's sovereign rights for its territories.

Notable is the second paragraph of the Memorandum which states that the signatories "reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine." That is, through the Budapest Memorandum, Russia pledged not to use any weapons against Ukraine.

In this regard, Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the Kremlin's support towards separatists in eastern Ukraine are a clear violation of the international memorandum.

Pro-Kremlin media outlets have repeatedly tried to downgrade the significance of the Budapest Memorandum. See an earlier case here, claiming that the document is merely a political statement.


  • Reported in: Issue 240
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/04/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian, Hungarian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, UK, US, Russia
  • Keywords: Budapest memorandum, Crimea, Eastern Ukraine
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Disinfo: Ukrainian Armed Forces seek to provoke a full-scale armed conflict in Donbas

When negotiations fail, the troops start moving. Then Ukraine says that the forcible seizure of Donbas is the only way. This leads to an armed conflict.

Kyiv has taken a dangerous position. It has an intention to launch an offensive in Donbas and refuses to have a dialogue with DNR and LNR. In addition, the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine increase the intensity of the shelling, as a result of which civilians die.


Multiple recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives alleging Ukraine is violating the Minsk agreements and ceasefire regime in Donbas.

In December 2020 and early April 2021, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has recorded more ceasefire violations than in previous months since the ceasefire went into force in July 2020.

Disinfo: Zelenskyy tries to seize power by force to please foreign sponsors

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is trying to seize power by force in order to satisfy the wishes of foreign sponsors as soon as possible. To this end, Zelenskyy is closing TV channels and persecuting opposition parties.


This is a recurring propaganda narrative from pro-Kremlin media outlets, claiming that the West has ordered Ukraine to suppress political dissent and close opposition TV channels and that Ukrainian authorities act at the nod of foreign countries with the sole aim to please the alleged Western sponsors and cater for their needs.

In reality, Ukraine’s Western partners have not ordered it to suppress the freedom of expression and persecute opposition. Moreover, the EU expressed concern when three TV channels -- 112 Ukraina, ZIK and NewsOne -- were taken off the air on 2 February 2021. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement that "any measures taken should be proportional to the aim" and that Brussels would be in touch with Ukrainian authorities to receive more information on the issue.

Disinfo: Nobody wanted a war in Ukraine, but it was inevitable

It is beyond doubt that the US will deliberately antagonise Russia and trigger a military escalation in Donbas. The ultimate aim of sparking this new war is to gain information about Russia’s military strategy, how its army would operate in a large-scale conflict, and the technology it would use. To achieve its goal, the US will gladly sacrifice Ukraine, its armed forces and its citizens. The Ukrainian military will start an offensive against Donbas around 20 April 2021, but only after NATO satellites and drones are in place to record the conflict and collect data. A positive outcome of the war is possible only if Russia achieves a quick and definite victory as this would discourage the US from waging a global war for world domination.


Recurring pro-Russian disinformation narratives claiming that Ukraine is controlled by outside forces and that the war in Ukraine is deliberately instigated by the West in order to subdue Russia and increase its international influence.

No evidence was presented to support the claim that the US is directing Ukraine to trigger a direct confrontation with Russia by attacking Donbas. The Ukrainian President has stressed that implementation of the Minsk Agreement from 2015 remains one of his key priorities and that peace must be achieved through diplomatic means.