Disinfo: There is a civil war in Eastern Ukraine


We are talking about the president of a country with an ongoing civil war, where an army takes part in an internal conflict, where people are killed, and where peaceful citizens continue to die.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, attempting to portray it as a civil war. It disregards the extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas.  Prior debunks of this narrative can be found here and here.

The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but an act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, that continue since February 2014.



  • Reported in: Issue158
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/07/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Civil war, War in Ukraine


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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Kyiv is dissatisfied with the fact that many in Ukraine consider the Crimea Russian

Verkhovna Rada proposed to introduce criminal punishment for not recognising Crimea as part of Ukraine. The emergence of such an initiative may appear because in Ukraine a huge number of people consider Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

Ukrainians acknowledge this fact and treat it with understanding. In this regard, the Ukrainian authorities, despite five years of brainwashing their people, despite the anti-Russian rhetoric, could not overcome absolute reality.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and recognition of Crimea as Russian territory. 

Only 4% of Ukrainians admit that Crimea is Russian, according to a survey by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Razumkov Centre's Sociological Service.

Trump and Biden see NATO as an instrument worn on the finger of the United States

Donald Trump and Joe Biden treat NATO as an instrument worn on the finger of the United States. Only Biden really wants to return to the situation of Obama, making NATO a totalitarian pig that completely follows the United States and does what the United States wants.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a dependent organisation, a threat to peace, and having a belligerent agenda.

All decisions in NATO are taken by consensus, which means that any decision can only be taken if every single Ally accepts it. Equally, the decision for any country to take part in NATO-led operations falls to that country alone, according to its legal procedures. No member of the Alliance can decide on the deployment of any other Ally's forces.

There is no border between Russia and Ukraine

There is no border between Russia and Ukraine after the latter pulled out of the treaty with Russia.


The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation established the principle of strategic partnership, recognition of the inviolability of existing borders, respect for territorial integrity and mutual obligations not to use their territory to the detriment of each other’s security. The agreement was signed in Kyiv on 31 May 1997 by the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, and the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin.

In fact, the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the military intervention in Donbas violated this agreement both politically and practically.