Disinfo: Russia sanctions kill livestock in Finland


Sanctions against Russia announced by Finland are the cause of the farmers’ crisis. Russia sanctions are killing Finnish livestock.

It is false to state that Crimea was annexed. It was a democratic and geopolitical reaction by the autonomous Crimean administration to the coup d’état in Kyiv, which forced Ukraine’s Russian population to respond to the anti-Russian security threat.


No evidence given.

It was Russia that banned the import of most of the food products from the EU, US, and other countries after Western countries introduced sanctions in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and its deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine. Farmers in Finland are indeed facing economic problems, but the food import ban by Russia is only one of the reasons. The producer price for milk has decreased at the same time as energy and fertiliser prices have gone up.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that "the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation".  This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian government. The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation." Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015.

Human rights missions that travelled to Ukraine in 2014 did not find any evidence that the Russian minority was in danger:

1. The Advisory Committee’s Ad-hoc Report on the situation of national minorities in Ukraine, adopted on 1 April 2014, Council of Europe;

2. Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 15 June 2014;

3. Statement by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities on her Recent Visit to Ukraine, 4 April 2014.

MV-lehti's editor-in-chief resided for years in occupied Donetsk and founded another media outlet there. In the "About" section of the website the war in Ukraine is described as a "civil war", which is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation. See the archived version of the web page here.


  • Reported in: Issue154
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Finnish
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, Finland
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Anti-Russian, Coup, Sanctions, Crimea, Ethnic Russians


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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President Trump cannot resume dialogue with Russia because of the “deep state”

President Trump appears to be under the influence of a certain hidden system of power, which the Americans call the “deep state” or “shadow government” (they are responsible for all key political decisions in the United States). There have been repeated cases when Trump had to withdraw his initiatives under the influence of these forces – for example, the conservative elites controlling the “deep state” stand against the statements of Trump to resume the dialogue with Russia.


This message presents a classical conspiracy theory that the “deep state” and “shadow government” control the work of democratic institutions in the United States. Here are some other examples of this narrative: “Deep state” fighting with Trump (here and here); “Deep state” shaping the US foreign policy (here).

No reputable political scientists and researchers confirm the existence of a “deep state” in the United States.

The Ukrainian authorities would burn Donbas residents at the stake if it were acceptable

The Ukrainian army and authorities purposefully make the lives of Donbas residents unbearable. For instance, the army destroys water towers and power-relay stations.

Kyiv hates that Moscow has offered Russian citizenship to residents of the unrecognised Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The Ukrainian authorities want the residents of these territories to suffer and their children to hide underground. Kyiv created the conditions for Donbas residents to die in torment from shelling, hunger, cold, and infections. However, they were saved by Russian humanitarian assistance.

In reality, Ukrainian authorities are only interested in the residents of Donbas as subjects of repression and judicial processes with charges of treason. If it were acceptable to burn them at the stake, the Ukrainian authorities would do it.



This case is an extreme variation of typical pro-Kremlin disinformation messages about Ukraine's alleged aggression and intimidation, particularly against Russian speakers living within its borders. It presents completely speculative and unfounded claims about Kyiv's policies concerning the Donetsk and Luhansk territories in order to discredit the Ukrainian authorities and army. There is no evidence that Kyiv is pursuing the harmful and violent policies against civilians described in the article.

The article turns the history of the Donbas conflict upside down, claiming that Russia is providing humanitarian assistance, when in fact Russia is responsible for the military conflict in the first place. Ukraine has repeatedly provided evidence of Russia's role in the war in the east of the country. In January 2017, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Kyiv filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice of the United Nations with the aim of bringing Russia to account for committing acts of terrorism and discrimination, which are the result of its illegal aggression against Ukraine. The lawsuit contains all the facts of Russian aggression against Ukraine, evidence of the illegal annexation of the Crimea, and the occupation of Donbas.

DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine

The DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine and are now fighting a civil war against the Ukrainian armed forces controlled by Kyiv, which are supported by the West.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

Donetsk and Luhansk are part of Ukraine and controlled by Russia-backed armed formations. Not a single country has recognised them as independent. The war in Ukraine was provoked by Russia - it is not a civil war.