Disinfo: Terrorist acts in Ukraine are signs of a new Maidan

Summary

Two people have recently taken hostages in Ukraine. One took a hostage on a bus and another took a police officer. Both acts prove that Ukrainian society is angered by economic and political crisis dominating the country.

The majority of the population hates the regime and Zelenskyy is not a president with full authority. The real dictators are the US, British, Canadian and Polish secret services, which murdered their opponents in 2014. Many people in Ukraine are threatened openly and they are afraid of standing up to anything. Thus, societal dissatisfaction finds a way to materialize, for instance in the form of terrorist acts.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation about socio-economic situation in UkraineEuromaidan and Ukrainian governance.

The Euromaidan demonstrations started in Kyiv in November 2013. They emerged organically as a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn on the highly anticipated EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which had been under negotiation for seven years. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

Ukraine is a sovereign country. Ukraine's allies are focused on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous and free Ukraine, more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. Russia is, in fact, violating territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine with continuous acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

According to World Bank data, the Ukrainian economy grew steadily between 2016 and 2019. Ukrstat states that average monthly income has also increased gradually in past years. The unemployment rate is also down from 10.1% in Q1 2017 to 8.5% in Q1 2020. While the ruling party's popularity is down to 30.7% according to Europe Elects, it is still by far the most popular political force in the country. Thus, nothing suggests that there would be widespread popular discontent in the country that would lead to a series of terrorist acts and a new "Maidan".

The two events discussed in the News Front article did indeed take place. A gunman took 13 hostages on a bus in Lutsk and only let the hostages go once President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a video on Facebook endorsing a 2005 animal rights documentary. In another, unrelated case, a crime suspect took a police officer captive with a grenade. However, these do not indicate that a new Maidan would be coming.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 207
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Hungarian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian disintegration, Euromaidan, Ukrainian statehood

Disclaimer

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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The US financed the 2013-2014 “colour revolution” and ouster of former Ukrainian president Yanukovych

The United States invested a lot of money in order to promote a “colour revolution” in Ukraine in 2013-2014 and to oust former Ukrainian President Yanukovych. This is clearly proved by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s leaked phone call.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat that was artificially orchestrated by US intelligence.

The claim is in the line with the disinformation narrative claiming that the United States supports so-called "colour revolutions" around the world. This narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, especially in the former Soviet republics, as Western-funded "colour revolutions", including the Revolution of Dignity (Euromaidan) in Ukraine, which began in 2013 without any outside influence. Ukrainians spontaneously united against the actions of President Viktor Yanukovych after his government refused to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union, which had taken seven years to negotiate, due to pressure from Russia. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence.

White helmets splashed children with something to stage chemical attacks

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Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative on white helmets.

The White Helmets movement originated in Syria in 2012. The organisation, which is made up of 3,400 volunteers including teachers, engineers, tailors and firefighters, states that it has no affiliation to any political or military actor and is committed to rendering services to anyone in need. Volunteers save people from the rubble after bombings, despite the danger of dying themselves as a result of repeated airstrikes.