Disinfo: The coup in Ukraine resulted in destroyed economy

Summary

During the last six years, Ukraine has not only rolled back economically, the country managed to lose competence in a number of industries, lost millions of workers, accumulated debts and perhaps even passed the point of no return in the economic sense. Economic catastrophe as a result of a coup and reorientation of the economy to the West is fully confirmed by the whole set of economic indicators.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative to undermine Ukraine's economy. Also consistent with the narrative depicting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup d’état orchestrated by the West.

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine. The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a spontaneous and endogenous reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden withdrawal from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The protesters’ demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, the formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

Regarding the claim about Ukraine's economy being disastrous, according to the World Bank, the GDP of Ukraine grew by 3.5% in the first half of 2019, compared to 3.3% in 2018. The solid growth was driven by a strong agricultural harvest, as well as sectors dependent on domestic demand, including services (domestic trade, transport, and the financial sector) and construction. In 2019, the GDP of Ukraine was US$130.832 billion. Thirty years ago it was $82.709 billion, an increase of over 50 percent.

You can find similar cases of the Kremlin trying to undermine Ukraine's economy here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: economy, Euromaidan
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Coronavirus epidemic turned into an information warfare tool

Using the coronavirus epidemic as an information weapon is not only an element of the external, but also of the internal political struggle of Western partners. This problem is directly related to Russia, as Russia is part of the global economy. American and European politicians are now mainly engaged in rescuing stock markets and finding the culprits, rather than fighting the infection.

Disproof

Fear over the coronavirus has indeed affected China's stock markets, but suggesting that the virus has been weaponised by Western states or governments is part of the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on secret labs and biological weapons. It is also consistent with the narrative that the spread of coronavirus is in the interest of the US to weaken China and Russia economically. Stock markets globally have been impacted by the virus, not just in China.

There is no evidence to suggest that the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV is used as a weapon against other states. Many countries have so far been affected by the new virus.

Suppression of media freedom is the norm in the Baltic States

Suppression of media freedom and violation of the rights of national minorities have become a norm in the Baltic States. Extremist parties, movements and groups that spread the ideology of Nazism, racial superiority, discrimination and xenophobia are feeling more and more at ease.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Baltic States. Consistent with the narrative that the West is dominated by fascist/ Nazi groups and ideology.

Estonia ranks 11th in the World Press Freedom Index, 2019. Latvia and Lithuania rank 24th and 30th accordingly. Russia currently ranks 149th out of 180 countries, one place down since the last year.

The West collectively develops a hostile attitude towards Russia

Russia, along with China, is still considered a rival, if not an enemy. Russia is still accused of all kinds of invented, unproven sins, from interference in internal affairs and elections to assassinations.

There has been no qualitative change in the collective West’s attitude towards Russia. The hostile attitude of the collective West towards Russia obviously refutes the ‘Westlessness’ thesis. The West appears united here. While dollar bills have “In God We Trust” written on them, the West could sum up its attitude towards Russia in the words: “In hostility towards Russia we unite”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia and about Western belligerence towards Russia.

While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the West is trying to keep open channels of communications and cooperation with Russia. For instance, NATO as the Western organisation created cooperation bodies – the Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Russia Council – to embody its relationship with Russia. It also invited Russia to cooperate on missile defence. The Warsaw Summit Communique 2016 describes NATO's official policy towards Russia: "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot, and will not, compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest."