There is no evidence of Russia’s presence in Donbas

Summary

If there were any evidence of Russia’s presence in Donbas, it would be all over the world’s media and monstrous sanctions would have followed, yet OSCE says there are no Russian troops there.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, claiming that Russia is not part of the conflict in Donbas, that Russia has nothing to do with the war in eastern Ukraine and that there is a “civil war” in Donbas.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. 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 European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and demanded Russia to stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and from the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded Russia complies with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine.

Forensic Architecture, a London-based research group, has collected and catalogued evidence of Russian military involvement in the battle of Ilovaysk in August 2014, including the presence of a model of tank used only by the Russian armed forces at that time.

Russian media often claimed that OSCE denies Russian presence in Donbas. Claims that the OSCE did not find evidence of Russian presence in eastern Ukraine goes against statements of the former First Deputy Chief Monitor to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Alexander Hug. It is not the first time that such claims have been made 

In an interview, delivered in Autumn 2018, Hug mentions that the Mission has been recording the instances of Russia's involvement in the war in Donbas (in Eastern Ukraine). "We have been seeing at least in six instances convoys leaving and entering Ukraine, which we have been documenting, which have been driving towards the unsecured border with the Russian Federation in the middle of the night, on dirt roads, and have been seen at the border in areas where there is no official border crossing," Hug said.  

See here for more information about Russian forces in Ukraine. 

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 175
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, Donbas, OSCE, Sanctions
  • Outlet: 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 time 32:50-33:20
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Disproof

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Disproof

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Disproof

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