Disinfo: The Euromaidan coup caused the breakout of civil war in Eastern Ukraine


On November 21, 2013, an event began that radically changed the life of almost every Ukrainian. In the overwhelming majority of cases, these changes were for the worse. Especially in the East of Ukraine, where a civil war soon began, which continues to this day. […] A coup d’etat took place, and Western henchmen came to power.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests as a violent coup d'etat, and the war in Ukraine's Donbas region as an internal conflict.

The Euromaidan was not a coup but a nationwide popular protest against the Yanukovych administration's sudden refusal to sign the EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here.

The article falsely claims that the war in Donbas is a domestic one. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court 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. In turn, the active phase of the Donbas war was triggered with the 12 April 2014 assault on the city of Slovyans'k, led by Russian intelligence officer Igor Girkin. By September that year, Russia had sent up to 15,000 regular troops into the region.

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

After the 2020 EU-Ukraine Summit HR/VP Josep Borrell said: "We fully support the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. We will not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and we call on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements."


  • Reported in: Issue 221
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Coup, Donbas, Euromaidan


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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