Disinfo: The goal of Ukraine-NATO military exercise is to kill Russians

Summary

The immediate goal of Ukraine’s military preparations, together with the US and NATO, is to kill the Russians of Donbas. They don’t even hide it.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on NATO, the Alliance's alleged Russophobia and the war in Ukraine.

In 2021, eight joint exercises with NATO troops are planned in Ukraine. None of the exercises is to "kill the Russians" in Donbas.

The purpose of the joint exercises is "to increase compatibility between the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the military of the United States, NATO countries and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program."

See other examples of similar disinformation: NATO's alleged goals in Crimea and its intentions to introduce a fleet to the Azov Sea, provocations against Russia in the Black Sea or the dangers created by the Alliance’s activities in those waters, or the EU plans to destabilise the Caucasus and about US and NATO actions to escalate tensions in the Caucasus.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 229
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/01/2021
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, Military exercise, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, Donbas, NATO, 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 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine instructs on how to report Russian-speaking citizens

The Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff has drawn up instructions on how to report citizens, speaking Russian.

Disproof

This is a pro-Kremlin narrative that Ukrainians allegedly reject the Russian language and are anti-Russian.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have not developed instructions on reporting Russian-speaking citizens. On their official Facebook page, they posted the directions to ensure that Article 30 of the Law of Ukraine "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language" is upheld, and the actions that should be followed if the law is violated.

Western leaders made calls for an escalation of violence in Russia

[The protests] were characterized by underwhelming attendance, claims of grandeur and awkward attempts at spreading violence. Protests were immediately endorsed by the Washington establishment. Notably, the United States Embassy in Moscow published detailed times and locations of unsanctioned rallies. Some Western leaders have made direct calls for an escalation of violence.

Disproof

Unfounded claims on the protests in Russia in late January 2021. No Western leaders have “called for an escalation of violence”. EU Foreign Affairs Council - the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU Member States - has condemned the mass detentions and the police brutality against the countrywide, peaceful manifestations in Russia.

The 2021 Russian protests began on 23 January 2021 in support of the arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and as a reaction to the investigation Putin's Palace. The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. More than 3,300 people were arrested in protests spanning nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia.

US citizens, like the citizens of North Korea, have no influence on the country’s decision making

There is no democracy in the United States of America. The only difference between the United States and any of the most oppressive regimes in the world is that thanks to its theft of the whole world, it has become richer, and thus the contradictions in American society until recently remained hidden to the extent that the main political news on television was about a cat that is afraid of getting off the tree, and the political programmes of the rival presidential candidates were almost carbon copy. Therefore, there was no need for the army to control the citizens. The propaganda and the absence of alternative media (such as RT) were sufficient. Moreover, the citizens of the United States of America have the same influence over decision making as the citizens of North Korea.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, which seeks to discredit the United States and liberal democracies by claiming that liberal societies are totalitarian systems and that liberal democracies, like 20th-century totalitarian dictatorships, practice repression against the population.

Although the US and other Western democracies today face multiple and serious domestic and foreign threats, it is not true that liberal democracies are obsolete, have collapsed or are being replaced with dictatorships. Reports of the death of liberal democracy have been greatly exaggerated. Moreover, the article’s attempt to equate the West’s liberal societies to totalitarian regimes is an obvious falsification of reality. According to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, which is based on a large number of objective criteria, places the US is in 45th place out of 180 countries, whereas North Korea is in the last 180th rank.