Disinfo: Russo-Georgian war was between Georgia and South Ossetia

Summary

Russia recognized 11 years ago the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which had been part of the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and were seeking independence even before the disintegration of the Soviet Union. This occurred after a five-day war between Georgia and South Ossetia in August 2008, which killed 1,692 people and injured about 1,500 civilians in South Ossetia.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative trying to deny any role for Russia in the Russo-Georgian 2008 war, and presenting it instead as a conflict between South Ossetia and Georgia. South Ossetia and Abkhazia did not claim independence from Georgia but were occupied by Russia.

Currently, Russia occupies 20% of Georgia's territory, about 11 years after the Russo-Georgian War, and continues to breach its international obligations by consolidating its control in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Many international organisations condemned Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the OSCE statements here and here and European Parliament's declaration.

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 163
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/08/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Georgia, Russia
  • Keywords: Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Russo-Georgian War
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Ukrainian children learn how to make war in the Baltic States

The Lithuanian Rifle Union teaches guerrilla warfare to children of Ukrainian soldiers. In the Baltic states children are being prepared for war, as if to replace their fathers. It’s not normal. And the authorities of the Baltic countries and Ukraine continue to call Russia the aggressor.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Russia as being encircled by enemies. Established in 1919, the Lithuanian Riflemen's Union is a state-supported volunteer paramilitary public organization, with over 11,000 members. It seeks to develop self-confident, creative, motivated and disciplined citizens of the Republic of Lithuania ready to defend their homeland and help others in case of need. The organisation traditionally hosts education and cultural summer camps for young people from different countries. In August 2019, such a camp was held for Ukrainian and Lithuanian children. 10 children came from the Luhansk region, another 20 were children of the soldiers from the 30th Brigade of the Ukrainian army, according to the press release. The camp was not preparing children for war. Rather they engaged in educational activities, trips to major cities of Lithuania, visited adventure and amusement parks. See more cases about the alleged militarism of the Baltic States.

Ukraine does not pay fees to the CIS and is in no hurry to leave the Commonwealth

Since 2014, Ukraine has not paid contributions to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and does not have a representative there, but at the same time retains a number of agreements and participates in the work of industry cooperation bodies. Representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry declared that the debt of Ukraine to the CIS exceeds 300 million rubles. Kyiv has not yet decided whether to repay the debt.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In the legal sense, Ukraine is not a member state of the community, since it did not sign the CIS Statute in 1993, but has the status of a founding state and a CIS participant state. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denied the statement of debt. In February 2019, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus, Igor Kizim, announced that Ukraine had completed the process of withdrawing from the CIS coordinating bodies and was working to end its participation in agreements concluded within the Commonwealth.

The high school media literacy course in Moldova aims to remove all Russian information from the information space of the country

The problem is that there are too many similar initiatives in our country that […] have only one goal: to suppress all the information coming from Russia from the information field and replace it with their own, to make people consume only one information product and build their understanding of the world only in accordance with it.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narratives claiming that in many states, including countries of the former Soviet Union, Russian media are restricted and discriminated against, which is a violation of freedom of speech, and that every initiative to promote media pluralism or media literacy is directed against Russian media. Similar cases can be seen here. The curriculum for Media Education (optional subject for upper secondary education, grades X-XI), approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of Moldova on 20 August 2019, was developed by the Independent Center of Journalism with the support of Internews. This school subject exists in many European countries, such as Germany, Sweden, France etc., according to EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of EU). The media education course referred to aims to teach students about the role and power of the media in a democratic society, to ”decode” media messages, to analyse media content critically, to be aware of the dangers online by adopting responsible behavior and to become responsible media creators, as is mentioned in the Curriculum for VII-VIII degree, adopted in 2018 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova. The media literacy course as an optional subject has been taught in the Republic of Moldova since 2017 (primary and lower secondary school).