Disinfo: Russophobia has become a normal thing in Ukraine

Summary

Russophobia has become a normal thing in Ukraine, even outside of politics. Cultural and educational exchanges, as well as contacts between relatives, have almost been forbidden.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia in Ukraine. Ukraine is not a fascist, Russophobic country as often claimed by the Kremlin media. It had to react to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas. However, Ukraine has not forbidden contacts between citizens of Ukraine and Russia, as well as sports, cultural, scientific or other exchange. The borders [with Russia] are open. It still has direct bus and train connections with Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. 1.464 million Russian citizens visited Ukraine in 2017, placing Russia in third place behind Moldova and Belarus. The majority of Russian citizens came to Ukraine on private trips. 31,140 of Russians came as part of cultural, scientific, and educational exchanges. Ukrainians are also visiting Russia. In 2017, 4.4 million Ukrainian citizens crossed the border with the Russian Federation.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 159
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/07/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Anti-Russian, Russophobia
see more

The incident in the Kerch Strait was a planned provocation by Poroshenko

The incident in the Kerch Strait was a planned provocation by (Petro) Poroshenko. The former president Poroshenko brought about this provocation purposefully in the course of the election campaign. He knew that the voters in the east and south of the country would not support him, and used this provocation to aggravate the situation, to introduce the state of emergency. He either wanted to introduce the state of emergency throughout the country or perhaps to postpone the elections. They wanted to keep power at all costs.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and Azov Sea saying that Petro Poroshenko instigated the provocation in Kerch Strait to extend his power. On November 25, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004 governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov. The agreement states this stretch to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. On May 25, 2019, the United Nations Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release Ukrainian sailors and allow them to return to Ukraine. The EU has also urged Russia to release the captured crew. The construction of the Kerch Bridge took place without Ukraine's consent and constitutes a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It has led, in parallel with the militarisation of the Azov Sea, to tougher controls on naval traffic in the strait. The European Union stated that it expects Russia to stop the inspections. For more disinformation cases on the Kerch incident see here, here and here.

We have Nazis in Ukraine, not in Russia

A television link-up was planned between viewers in Minsk (sic) and Moscow, which caused an absolute phenomenal wave of panic in Ukraine, since it is unthinkable to allow Ukrainians to talk with Russians, simple people, to find out that they have a lot of things in common. They have the same roots and talk about the same things. Except that in Russia it is much better than in Ukraine. In Russia, there is no Hitler, and in Ukraine there are Neo-Nazis.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Russophobia and Nazism in Ukraine that have been repeated since the outbreak of the Euromaidan pro-democratic and anti-corruption protests. The link-up between TV channels in Moscow and Kiev (not Minsk) was indeed planned and then cancelled by the Ukrainian channel because of the negative reaction of the civil society and the authorities. The program was broadcast on Russian Channel 1 (its broadcasting is banned in Ukraine by law since 2014). In the program, artists and directors from Moscow talked about how they love Ukraine and how they suffer from the fact that they cannot go there. The words "Crimea" or "Donbas" were not mentioned at all during 2 hour-long program. There are no Nazis in Ukraine’s government or parliament. Moreover, all manifestations of Nazism are banned in Ukraine. The Verkhovna Rada, at its meeting on 9 April 2015, adopted the law “On the Condemnation of the Communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and the prohibition of propaganda of their symbols”. The document recognises that communist and national socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes in Ukraine are criminal and prohibits the public use and propaganda of their symbols. The Nazi totalitarian regime at legislative level is recognised in Ukraine as pursuing a policy of state terror.