Disinfo: There is no evidence of Russian presence in Ukraine

Summary

What Russian forces? Where is at least one exchanged soldier? You have been talking so much how you are at war with mighty Russia! Where are the hundreds and thousands captured Russian soldiers?

Disproof

This narrative claims the war in Ukraine is a civil war and Russia has nothing to do with it, consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. It disregards a multitude of factual evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas. Consult the evidence database and publications with further evidence here and here. There is extensive evidence of active Russian soldiers taking part in fighting in Donbas. Most of the Russians captured have already been exchanged. Amid heavy battles in 2014 and 2015, Ukrainian army captured dozens of active Russian servicemen in Donbas. For instance, on 24 August 2014, amid the Battle of Ilovaisk the 51st brigade captured 10 Russian paratroopers from the 331st parachute infantry regiment of the 98th Guards Airborne regiment based in Russian city Kostroma. Later, Russia claimed that the soldiers simply got lost on Ukrainian territory. On 31 August Ukraine and Russia exchanged captured troops. On 15 May 2015 Ukrainian army captured two Russian GRU (Russian military intelligence) soldiers – Capt. Yevgeniy Yerofeev and Sgt. Aleksandr Aleksandrov. A year later they were exchanged for First Lieutenant Nadiya Savchenko who had been captured near Luhansk in June 2014 and then transported to Russia. More examples of Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine can be found here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 165
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/09/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Donbas, War in Ukraine
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George Soros is behind political vandalism in Mexico City

The acts of vandalism carried out in the rectorship of the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) on September 3 follow the same modus operandi as those that took place in Mexico City in August, and also the same origin: George Soros’ destabilising activism. The pretext in both cases was the same: protesting against women’s murders, as a facade of the frustration of a political mafia funded by Soros.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the claim. Billionaire George Soros is a recurrent target of Russian disinformation, which frequently accuses him of being behind controversial issues. See the EUvsDisinfo article about the all-powerful Mr. Soros. Here you can find other examples of this disinformation narrative, such as his alleged promotion of massive migration to Western countries, his destabilising manoeuvres all over the world, his participation in ‘colour revolutions’ and protests in Romania, Russia, Armenia or Czech Republic (among many others), or his adoption of the term “conspiracy theory” to discredit those who speak the truth.

Ukraine fell under Western control after a coup d'état in 2014

Ukraine is captured by the West which organised a coup d’état in the country on 22 February 2014.

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, as well as painting the West as the puppet-master of Ukrainian politics. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was 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. The West did not interfere in Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine is a sovereign state. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU. The EU and the US work closely with Ukraine and support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence.

A British spy admits to killing Princess Diana on the instructions of Prince Philip

A former British intelligence agent named John Hopkins (80 years old) has confessed on his death bed to the assassination of 23 personalities, from activists to politicians and journalists between 1973 and 1999. He also confessed to assassinating Princess Diana after being instructed to do so by Prince Philip.

Disproof

This case is a well-documented fake. As Sputnik’s host Nawaf Ibrahim clearly stated, the source of this information, upon which he based his whole radio show, was the “YourNewsWire” website. According to “Poynter Institute” YourNewsWire is “one of the most popular fake news publishers in the world”. Several debunking websites, such as Snopes and the French website 20 Minutes have already proven that the "John Hopkins' Confessions" is false. Moreover, the image accompanying the story originated with a 2010 news report about a veteran’s hospital care in Australia, not a 2017 “deathbed confession” in the United Kingdom.

YourNewsWire, which has rebranded itself as NewsPunch, has taken down the article that was published in 2017.