Disinfo: Conflict in Southeast Ukraine began between the federal government and Donetsk and Luhansk

Summary

The conflict in southeast Ukraine began in April 2014 between the federal government and the self-proclaimed Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, after the political crisis that resulted in the overthrow of the government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, claiming that Russia is not part of the conflict in Donbas, that Russia has nothing to do with the war in eastern Ukraine and presenting the conflict as a “civil war” in Donbas.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded Russia to stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine.

See similar disinformation cases alleging that Donbas rebelled because Russians in Ukraine were subjected to ethnocide, that after Euromaidan Ukraine lost its sovereignty and is falling apart, that the Euromaidan coup led to civil war in Donbas, or that Ukraine committed a crime by attacking its citizens in Donbas in 2014.

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  • Reported in: Issue 225
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/12/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk, Donbas, War in Ukraine
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Crimea reunited with Russia after a referendum and Russia is not part of the conflict in Ukraine

Relations between Moscow and the West have deteriorated due to the situation in Ukraine and around Crimea, which was reunited with Russia after a referendum on the peninsula. Moscow was accused of interfering and sanctions against it were imposed. Russia retaliated, embarking on a course of import substitution. Also, the authorities have repeatedly noted that it is counterproductive to talk with Moscow in the language of sanctions. Russia has repeatedly stressed that it does not participate in the conflict in Ukraine and is not a subject of the Minsk settlement agreements.

Disproof

Several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, the war in Ukraine, and the ineffectiveness of sanctions against Russia.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

EU sanctions exist because of the conflict in Donbas and Crimea joining Russia

The European Union imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 against the subsequent accession of Crimea to Russia and the armed conflict in Donbas.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea willingly joining Russia and portraying the war in Donbas as an internal armed conflict.

The war in Eastern Ukraine is a well-documented act of ongoing aggression by Russian armed forces, since February 2014.

Europe attacks Russia in "vaccines' war"

Russia is following the traditional way to produce its anti-COVID vaccines, initially Sputnik V and now the EpiVacCorona, while Western pharmaceuticals are using a new, genetic type methodology which influences and changes human RNA. This justifies why Russian vaccines do not cause any side effects. However, bureaucrats and officials from European countries and the EU are trying to discredit the Russian vaccines, saying that there are attempts by the Russian mafia to steal the secrets of Western vaccines and even laying the ground for sanctions against Russia.

Disproof

This is a mix of several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about alleged anti-Russian bias in the West and plots against Russia’s greatness.

There is credible evidence that the Russian government pressed Russian scientists and researchers to be the first to find a vaccine against COVID-19, and did everything at hand to shorten the process, raising concerns about the safety and efficiency of the Sputnik V vaccine.