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
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas

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 militarisation of Crimea is protection of Russian land

The discussion [about the militarisation of Crimea] revolves around Russian sovereign territories, where the Russian Federation has the right, within the framework of international law and within the framework of international obligations, to do everything necessary to ensure its security.

Crimea’s belonging to Russia became a foregone conclusion when the people of the Crimean peninsula voted in favour of restoring its Russian identity and returning it to the embrace of the [Russian] homeland.

 

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The EU does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and continues to condemn this violation of international law by sanctions. Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (A/RES/68/262).

Western media accuse Russian agents of “alleged” Navalny poisoning

Certain Western media present “claims” that an elite unit of the Russian Federal Security Agency (FSB) was following Alexey Navalny and his wife for months and in August 2020 attempted to assassinate him with Novichok. However, no poison was found in Navalny’s blood samples in Russia and when later he was transferred in Germany, the German authorities have concluded that Novichok was used, although no evidence is shared with Moscow.

Disproof

This report follows the recurring disinformation narrative concerning the poisoning of a prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

As it is well known by now, Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. He was initially hospitalised in Omsk, but shortly afterwards, at the request of his family, he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin, where clinical findings indicated that he was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests provided unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in the blood samples of Navalny. Additionally, Navalny's poisoning with a Novichok-type agent had been solidly established and later independently corroborated by labs in France and Sweden, and finally confirmed by the OPCW.

Joe Biden was the chief curator of the 2014 coup d’état

Since Ukraine is under strong external control, any decisions on a new offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Donbas will be made overseas. The whole world expects a change of power in the United States. Everything is heading towards the fact that Joe Biden, who is a “great friend of Ukraine” and the main curator of the 2014 coup, will become the president. The fact that he can start a new round of violence in the Donbas is beyond doubt.

Disproof

This article has several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives: the claim that the Euromaidan was a coup, that Ukraine is under external control by the US and a disinformation narrative about Joe Biden.

There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former president Viktor Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.