Disinfo: OSCE has never recorded the presence of Russian military in Donbas

Summary

Over the years of working in Donbas, the special monitoring mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has never recorded the presence of Russian military in the conflict zone.

Disproof

This is a recurring Kremlin narrative that there is a civil war in Ukraine. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. In 2015, during an inspection of the storage sites of heavy weapons of “DNR” militants, OSCE SMM observers saw the Russian military guarding one of the sites. At the same time, the OSCE noted that the Russian military did not have any insignia. In 2016, the deputy chairman of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, Alexander Hug, confirmed to Ukrainian journalists that the OSCE SMM has information that there are Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. In addition, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine systematically records cases of the transfer of both military and weapons from Russia to the occupied territory of Donbas. OSCE has repeatedly emphasised that Russian-separatist forces in eastern Ukraine often use temporarily declared ceasefire in order to receive supplies with arms and ammunition from Russia under the guise of humanitarian aid.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/02/2020
  • Outlet language(s)
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: OSCE, Donbas, War in Ukraine
see more

The OPCW has become a tool for the US and its Western allies

The UN-affiliated OPCW has become fatally compromised as a political tool for the US and its Western allies. Its reports on Syria in particular are discredited, attributing blame to the wrong parties while whitewashing the real culprits – the jihadist militants and their media agents in the White Helmets. What’s more, an organization which is supposed to be dedicated to upholding international security is actually allowing itself to be used for propaganda purposes leading to aggression.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative deflecting blame for chemical attacks away from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists, and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The OPCW is an independent inter-governmental international organisation with 193 member states - including Russia.

Pro-Kremlin outlets began portraying the OPCW as a pawn in Western geopolitical designs around mid-2018, when the organisation was being granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks, especially in the Syrian Douma. In a joint statement, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to the unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW.

Moscow returned Russian identity to Crimea

Moscow agreed to return the Russian identity to the Crimea in 2014.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Moscow did not "return" the Russian identity to Crimea, but was rather illegally annexed. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated 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.

Russia agreed to restore Crimea's Russian identity

Washington and its European allies imposed restrictions on dealings with Russia after Moscow agreed to restore the Russian identity of the Crimea in 2014.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea trying to portray it as a "return" to Russia.

Crimea is not Russian but was illegally annexed by Moscow based on an illegitimate referendum. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated 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.