Disinfo: War in Donbas is a consequence of USSR’s break-up and ban against Russian language


The war in Donbas is a consequence of the USSR’s dissolution. The war originates from the ban on speaking Russian, which was impossible in the Ukrainian Soviet Social Republic, but it happened in Ukraine. The Belarusian and Ukrainian societies have to finally realise that the Russian language is native to Belarus and Ukraine, just as it is to Russia. It belongs to all three branches of Russian people: Great Russians, Little Russians, and Belarusians, this is our common heritage.


This case misinterprets the reasons behind the war in Donbas and puts forward propagandistic narratives about the all-Russian nation and Russian World/civilization. It presents the war in Donbas as a result of USSR's break-up and the alleged ban on the Russian language, thus disregarding the actual sequence of events and extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas. The law on regional languages was repealed by the parliament of Ukraine on February 23, 2014. However, the decree was not signed then. The law officially expired only on February 28, 2018, when the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the law unconstitutional. The EU condemns the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. The publication uses a derogatory term 'Little Russians' to identify Ukrainians, which derives from imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Ukrainians and undermining Ukraine's sovereignty. Belarusians and Ukrainians are not part of Russian people as alleged, Belarus and Ukraine are well-defined nation-states with a long history, which preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods. See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West is targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine are three Russian political nations, and that the Eastern Partnership is about external control and disintegration, whereas Belarus is part of the Russian World.


  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus
  • Keywords: Historical revisionism, Russian language, Russian expansionism, War in Ukraine, Russian world


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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OPCW falsified and manipulated Douma evidence to blame the Assad government

An internal OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) e-mail message sent by an OPCW inspector reveals that the organisation’s management falsified and manipulated the evidence gathered by the organisation’s inspectors sent to Douma in order to blame the Assad government for the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018, and to justify the military raids on Syria launched afterwards by the US, France and the UK. The email message confirms that the final OPCW report, issued in March 2019, was based on the manipulation of evidence gathered by the FFM, falsely accused the Assad government for the Douma attack, and provided the indispensable justification for the US, UK and French bombings and missile attacks against Syria.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative seeking to absolve the Assad regime of responsibility for chemical attacks perpetrated in the course of the Syrian civil war, as well as to undermine the credibility and independence of the OPCW. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the Douma chemical attacks were staged by Western actors in order to justify military action against the Assad regime. The internal OPCW e-mail message published by Wikileaks, sent on June 22 2018 by an unidentified member of OPCW’s Fact Finding Mission (FFM), does not accuse the OPCW management of deliberately manipulating and suppressing evidence gathered by the FFM in order to blame the Assad government for the Douma attack and to justify Western military intervention against Syria. For example, the management's draft said that chlorine or another reactive chlorine-containing chemical was "likely" to have been released from two cylinders found at the scene. The email argues, instead, that while the cylinders might have been the sources of the suspected chemical there was "insufficient evidence to affirm this". The e-mail message actually refers to a draft OPCW interim report, not to the final report published in March 2019. The interim report published in July 2018 was basically a progress report which described the FFM’s activities until that date. The final OPCW report actually accepts the points made by the FFM member in the internal e-mail. For a related case about an alleged OPCW "never-before-seen-report" that sought to deflect blame for chemical attacks from the Assad regime, read here and here. For further background on chemical weapons attacks in Syria see the Syrian Archive’s Chemical Weapons Database.

Red Army entering Poland did not plan to seize this country

When the Red Army was entering Poland, there was no talk about the seizing of Poland by the USSR after the end of WWII. This situation was changed only at the conferences of the Big Three (USSR, USA, UK) at Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam. It was Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill who took decisions on the post-war order – the Red Army soldiers did not decide that Poland should be in the sphere of Soviet interests. We cannot say that the soldiers fallen in the fight with Hitler died in order to establish Communism in Poland. The refusal to accept the fact that the Red Army soldiers liberated Poland from the German occupation is the denial of history, which is immoral.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – Russia keeps denying the fact of military and political occupation of Poland by the USSR at the end of WWII (switching the responsibility for this situation on Roosevelt and Churchill).

The claim that the Soviet authorities did not plan to occupy Poland in the moment of the Red Army’s entering into this country goes against historical facts. First of all, immediately after the entering of the Red Army on the present-day territory of Poland (July 1944), the Soviet authorities established the so-called Polish Committee of National Liberation (PKWN), which was formed of Polish communists and appeared under full control of the USSR. In December 1944, this Committee was turned into the Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland, which started to be perceived by the USSR as legitimate Polish authorities since January 1945. In this way, at the very beginning of Red Army’s entrance to Poland, the USSR established its own “puppet” authorities, which became the Government of Communist Poland.

Russian athletes face sanctions because of Western Russophobia and Russia’s compliance

Why Russian athletes remain hostages of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which continues its flagrant Russophobia? Just because the WADA can afford to do it. In contrast to diplomatic, economic, military, energy spheres and others, Russian sport chose not to argue with the WADA, the International Association of Athletics Federations, etc. This is largely because the degree of globalisation and unipolarism is higher in sport than in the above mentioned spheres. Russian sport organisations have fulfilled all requirements in hope that this would solve the problems. These hopes were dashed. And this speaks for itself how right Russia was in all other spheres where it did not follow the West’s instructions. This story proves that Russia will be punished by the West simply because the latter can do so, not for Russia’s alleged wrongdoings.

This is an illustrative example of the recurring pro-Kremlin propagandistic narrative about ubiquitous Russophobia in the Western countries and international organisations, targeting WADA in this particular instance. For background, read our analysis: The “Russophobia” Myth: Appealing to the Lowest Feelings and look at earlier disinformation cases alleging that there is no evidence that Russian athletes used doping and that banning Russia from the Olympics is a modern form of racism.

On 25 November 2019 one of WADA's key committees has recommended that Russia face a four-year ban from global sports and new restrictions on its athletes and teams at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, subject to WADA's board review in December. WADA reinstated Russia’s antidoping agency in 2018 but reserved the right to issue stronger punishments if Russia did not provide athletes’ testing data from the Moscow laboratory. Earlier the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 due to the systemic manipulation of anti-doping rules during the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Individual athletes from Russia competed under the Olympic flag. "Three years ago, Russia was caught running one of the most sophisticated doping programs in sports history," New York Times writes.