Disinfo: The West wants to oust Ukraine’s billionaires and impose full control over it

Summary

Important, rich and power-wielding people meddle in the way the G7 countries are controlling Ukraine. Reforms in Ukraine rather look like an occupation. No-one should be left after them except gauleiters, who will be doing all they are told. Since the end of the Second World War, the International Monetary Fund has been acting in all countries on the same pattern. Local powerful people must be gone so that external managers take over their administrative functions. Not only Ukrainian business tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky will be targeted. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will have to stand up to each oligarch or be a pariah for the G7 embassies. The Kolomoisky case is a public flogging. The West will watch it, egging Zelenskyy on. What the West requires from Zelenskyy is obedience.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative by pro-Kremlin media, claiming that the West is controlling Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy, its economy and virtually all other spheres of life. Since the overthrow of the manifestly pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Ukraine has been trying to get rid of Russian influence. Western institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank provide Kyiv with financial aid and consultancy.

Corruption still permeates many facets of life in Ukraine. It is essential to overcome it in order to achieve stability and raise living standards. Financial tycoons known in Ukraine as oligarchs often stand in the way, sometimes defending their own financial interests and unwilling to lose clout.

The claim is made in the context in which Ihor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs, has recently come under criticism from the United States. The US State Department imposed sanctions on him on 5 March 2021 for “significant corruption”. The businessman is now in Ukraine and his assets abroad are likely to be impacted. Ukraine’s Constitution forbids the extradition of its nationals, but Kolomoisky has several passports and there is theoretical speculation that he could be treated as a foreign citizen.

Read more pro-Kremlin propaganda claims about Ukraine’s alleged loss of statehood and turning into a colony.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 235
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, EU, US
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, IMF, World Bank, Ukrainian statehood, economy
see more

ECHR's Navalny ruling is an attempt to meddle in Russian affairs

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)’s demand that Moscow immediately release Alexei Navalny is an attempt to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs and exert pressure on Russian courts.

On 2 February, a Moscow court ruled that Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves-Rocher embezzlement case be converted to a real prison term of two years and six months. The claim that Navalny is a victim of repression has already been refuted by the ECHR itself; the latter found no evidence of political persecution in the Yves-Rocher case.

Disproof

The claim is part of an ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign targeting Russian activist Alexei Navalny.

The story grossly misrepresents the ECHR’s interim ruling concerning Navalny’s arrest. The Court is not seeking a reversal of Navalny’s conviction, but merely imploring Russia to respect the defendant’s rights under the Convention. The ECHR press release summarising the above-mentioned ruling reads:

No evidence Russia waged disinformation campaign targeting Western coronavirus vaccines

By accusing Moscow of spreading disinformation about Covid-19 vaccines, US propagandists that spread the original ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy are doing it again, stoking fear and hatred and projecting amid a pandemic.

Disproof

The claim advances a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine casting Russia as the spearhead of the global race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19 and to promote the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. The claim that the West is trying to discredit the Sputnik V vaccine is unfounded.

Experts' reports conclude that Russia has perceived the development of a coronavirus vaccine in terms of geopolitical and economic gain.

The ECHR refuted that Navalny is being persecuted for his political activity

By defending Alexei Navalny, Josep Borrell doesn’t even respect the resolutions of the Court in Strasbourg. The claims that Navalny is persecuted for his political activity were refuted by the European Court of Human Rights, which didn’t find any political intrigue in the case open against him after the denunciation of the company Yves Rocher.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Alexei Navalny.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that sentences handed down by Russian courts against Alexei Navalny and his brother on financial charges were “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable”. In a second rulling in 2019, the ECHR determined that Russia had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by placing Navalny under house arrest and said it was "apparent that he had been treated in that way in order to curtail his public activities." Given these precedents, in February 2021 the ECHR demanded that Russia release Navalny.