Disinfo: The West organised the Maidan coup to make Ukraine an anti-Russian state

Summary

Those forces in the West that made the Maidan coup possible are still in important positions. Through the military industrial complex, party bureaucracies, NGOs, think tanks and the media, they continue to exert great influence on government decisions; so even with frequent cabinet changes, politics remains constant. In some capitals, such as Berlin, the Maidan supporters are still in power. These forces want to see Ukraine as a mono-ethnic country with EU and US affiliations and a nationalistic ideology influenced by Western Ukraine. In this scenario, the country should ideally be de-russified down to the last corner by bending and breaking.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the belligerent West and its involvement in the war in Ukraine, stating that the 2013-14 Euromaidan protests resulted in an illegal coup; painting Ukraine as a failing state incapable of making its own policy choices and painting the West as the puppet-master of Ukrainian politics and Ukraine as an anti-Russian project. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was not provoked from outside. The demonstrations were an organic reaction by 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 of this disinformation claim here. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world. The EU and the US work closely with Ukraine. Their relations are not oriented against Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: West, Anti-Russian, European Union, Ukrainian statehood, Euromaidan, Coup
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Serbian media uncritically repeat false Western media reports on Russia

Western media, starting with Reuters, have misrepresented the results of regional elections in Russia. Reuters contemplated a possible “beginning of the end” for Vladimir Putin, speculated on Putin’s downfall in the 2024 presidential elections and made an unwarranted comparison to Erdoğan’s election losses in Ankara and Istanbul. The media in Serbia have uncritically repeated these conclusions, misinforming the public about the real state of affairs in Russia. That is bad and dangerous for Serbia, because marginal figures are getting media coverage, instead of those who really influence Russia’s policy, including that towards the Balkans.

Disproof

These false claims were spread across two complementary reports of Sputnik Serbia, published on September 14th (“How Putin “lost” the elections in Moscow”) and September 15th (“The West is rejoicing Putin’s decline, but what really happened”). The claim that Serbian media have “blindly reprinted Western disinformation” is diametrically opposed to what actually happened. Reuters’ report on the results of regional elections in Russia, published on September 9th, does not mention Putin’s “downfall”, nor did Reuters compare Putin to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in this, or any other report on the results of the regional elections held on September 8th in Russia. Reuters also didn’t focus only on United Russia’s loss of seats in Moscow. The report states that the party “retained its majority in the Moscow assembly following Sunday’s nationwide local elections, and its candidates for regional governor appeared to have won in St Petersburg and in 15 other parts of the vast country.” The same point is reiterated in the video clip embedded in the article. The video report provides a statement of Alexei Navalny, but also that of Andrey Turchak, the chairman of United Russia, who said that the party’s overall result was “more than positive” and “has exceeded our most optimistic forecasts”. A number of media in the Balkans used Reuters’ report on the regional elections in Russia and added sensationalist headlines about “Putin’s downfall” and speculation about who will form the new majority in Moscow city assembly. Reuters, however, was clear on the fact that United Russia, whose candidates were “rebranded” as independents for the regional elections, will keep a majority in Moscow city assembly with 25 out of 40 seats. This claim falsely attributes these statements to Reuters, which has never published them (see a fact-check in local language here).

Saying that the USSR occupied Estonia after WWII, means that Estonia was an ally of Nazi Germany

The statement of the Estonian President that WWII ended for Estonia only in 1994, when the last Russian soldiers left this country, has no sense. If someone states that Estonia was occupied by the USSR, it means that Estonia was an ally of Nazi Germany.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it tries to promote the idea that there was no Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not cause the division of East and Central Europe between the USSR and Nazi Germany, causing WWII. See similar cases on the Baltic states and the Soviet occupation here and here. The claim that Estonia could not have been occupied by the USSR unless it was an ally of Nazi Germany is illogical. As a result of WWII, the USSR de facto occupied not only former German allies such as Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, but also several countries, which were neutral (Baltic states) or faced direct German aggression (Poland, Czechoslovakia). On the 23rd of August, 1939, Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression (Molotov-Ribbentrop) pact, whose secret protocols divided the territories belonging to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Romania into Soviet and Nazi spheres of influence. Contrary to the claims of the pro-Kremlin media, the re-capturing of the Baltic States did not bring freedom, but Soviet repressions and occupation, which lasted for 50 years. The estimated war and occupation deaths are at 90,000 in Estonia, 180,000 in Latvia, and 250,000 in Lithuania. Furthermore, It has been estimated that between 1946 and 1953 deportations and guerrilla deaths reached 95,000 in Estonia, 125,000 in Latvia, and 310,000 in Lithuania.

A true flourishing of Estonian culture, science and industry took place under the Soviet rule – it does not look like an occupation

A true flourishing of Estonian culture, science, education, and industry took place under the Soviet rule. How can Estonians speak about “greatness” of their country before WWII, if it did not even have its national choir? The first thing which was realized by this “Asian satanic horde” was to establish the first Estonian people’s choir in history – it does not look like occupation.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it tries to promote the idea that there was no Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not cause the division of East and Central Europe between the USSR and Nazi Germany, leading to WWII. See similar cases on the Baltic states and the Soviet occupation here and here. The statement that "Estonia did not have its own culture or a national choir" before being occupied by the USSR is a cynical historical manipulation. As a result of massive Soviet repressions, Estonia lost large part of its cultural elite, which was replaced by new elites loyal to Moscow. The White Book on the losses inflicted on the Estonian nation by occupation regimes (1940-1991) prepared by the Estonian State Commission on Examination of the Policies of Repression presents a well-documented list of the Soviet repressions aimed at destruction of independent Estonian science, culture, and education. These repressions resulted in murders and deportations of thousands of prominent Estonian artists, professors, teachers, scientists, poets, and writers. In terms of the economic development of Estonia before WWII, this country had quite a high level of economic development throughout 1920s and 1930s. According to The Cambridge Economic History of Modern Europe, in 1929, the GDP per capita of Estonia was the highest among the countries of Central and Southern Europe (with the exception of Czech Republic and Italy). In 1938, after this indicator, Estonia overtook such countries as Austria, Italy, and Ireland. Thus, throughout 1920s and 1930s, the level of development of Estonian economy was similar to Western European states.