Disinfo: The population of non-government controlled areas in Ukraine don’t see themselves as part of it any more


The population of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk republics has turned away from Ukraine, the people don’t see themselves as part of it any more.


A manipulative claim, part of a Pro-Kremlin narrative about the impossibility to reconnect the Russia-controlled regions to Ukraine.

According to a survey held by the Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in 2017, more than half (56%) of the population of so-called self-proclaimed "republics" (LNR and DNR) see their future as part of Ukraine.



  • Reported in: Issue 160
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, Donbas


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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Belarusian opposition treats Belarusian people as cannon fodder for American missiles

The Belarusian opposition supports pro-Western propaganda and blames Lukashenko and Putin for everything. It misrepresents the situation alleging that American missiles in Poland are directed against Lukashenko and Putin personally. Hence, it calls people to take part in protests and to overthrow the dictatorship, otherwise the missiles will strike ordinary people. This is slave’s rhetoric because the missiles are targeting all, including opposition members.

Instead of protesting against it, the opposition asks for more American missiles against own people. The opposition treats the Belarusian people as cannon fodder and disrespects it to the extent that this can provoke a global war. Even in case of real military actions, the opposition will be vehemently arguing that the West is good while Russia is bad. Belarusian independent media will support any American military provocation launched from the Polish territory.


A collection of conspiracies and ungrounded claims aimed to discredit the US and the West and the democratic Belarusian opposition.

The disinformation message is consistent with pro-Kremlin narratives about subservient Belarusian opposition and independent media, alleged plans of the Belarusian opposition to stage a coup in Belarus with US military assistance, Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and belligerent West.

2014 Ukrainian coup led to civil war, Crimea referendum

Following the 2014 Western-backed coup in Kyiv, a civil war broke out in east Ukraine and the residents of Crimea held a referendum to rejoin Russia.


This concise claim combines no fewer than three key narratives of Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine: that the 2014 Euromaidan revolution was a Western-backed coup; that Crimea "rejoined" Russia in a democratic "referendum"; and that the bloody conflict in east Ukraine is a civil war. By implication, the claim also paints Ukraine as a helpless non-entity caught between the meddling of Western governments and the incompetence of its own leaders.

The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here. See some more recent debunks of this claim here and here.

Ukraine will not secure itself by becoming a member of NATO

Ukraine will not secure itself by becoming a member of NATO.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative trying to discredit the existence of NATO as well as statehood of Ukraine. Previous cases on NATO can be found here.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a political and military alliance, that was founded in 1949 and is a group of 29 countries from Europe and North America that exists to protect the people and territory of its members. As stated in the Brussels Summit Declaration from 11 July 2018, NATO is a defensive Alliance. Its greatest responsibility is to protect and defend the territories and populations of all member countries against attack. Therefore, Ukraine does indeed have a lot to gain from a security point of view from its membership of the Alliance. For this reason, since 2014, in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has been intensified in critical areas. Newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited NATO Headquarters on 4 June 2019 to discuss the security situation in Ukraine and NATO’s continued support for Ukraine, expressing his eagerness to give new impetus to his country’s engagement with NATO. Unsurprisingly, the topic of Ukraine and NATO cooperation is the frequent target of disinformation attempts with outlets often making contradicting statements, for example, that it is impossible for Ukraine to join NATO and at the same time claiming that the accession will mean "inevitable" war between Russia and the West.