Disinfo: There were no and are no Russian troops in Donbas


There were and at the moment are no Russian troops in Donbas, but the Russian army has information from the border regions.


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.


  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Serbian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas


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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Russophobic and Nazi Ukraine will be destroyed by Russia

Following the 2014 coup and finding itself under complete control of the West, Ukraine started disrupting all economic ties with Russia as was ordered by the West. In accordance with the Association Agreement with the EU, Ukraine opened its markets for the EU products but faced EU’s closed markets or minimal import quotas. As a result, many Ukrainian branches of the economy started stagnating. After the 2014 coup, Ukraine essentially ended being a state and turned into a former country. Historically Ukrainian territories were part of Rus’, then Russian empire, and then USSR, which is a big Russia. Since 2014 the West, a global Russian enemy succeeded in reformatting Russia’s former part, non-country Ukraine, into Anti-Russia.

In a new Anti-Russian Banderstadt, less than 2 percent of the population, which holds Nazi and neo-fascist views, keeps under control the rest of the population, zombieing them with Russophobia and pushing for war with Russia. Even Volodymyr Zelenskyy cannot deal with them. In other words, Ukraine has turned into a weapon of the vicious enemy and a hostile arena towards Russia and all Russian people. The Anti-Russia existence close to Russia’s borders is wrong and strategically harmful for Russia. Russia will not tolerate it and, sooner or later, this hostile springboard will be destroyed. Russians of Novorossiya, Malorossiya (‘Little Russia’), and other historic regions will not leave to Russophobic Ukraine any territories.


This publication contains a nearly complete collection of most popular anti-Ukrainian pro-Kremlin propagandistic claims about Ukraine under external control, the Nazis/Fascists in Ukraine, coup d'etat in Ukraine, West-staged colour revolutions, and West's attempts to tear Ukraine apart from Russia and to make it anti-Russian. It also repeats recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives undermining the statehood of Ukraine and misrepresenting EU relations with Ukraine, and paints the war in Donbas as a result of Ukraine's aggressive actions, thus disregarding the actual sequence of events and extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas.

Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality, language and with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The claims that Ukraine is under complete Western control is groundless. The US and the European Union continue to support Ukraine, its territorial integrity, and sovereignty against Russian aggression. The Ukrainian Statistical Service informs that the EU accounts for 43% of Ukrainian exports. In 2017, Ukraine exported 17.5 bln USD worth of goods to the EU. The negative trade balance decreased from 10 bln USD to 3 bln USD. See here for further information about the DCFTA and the cooperation between the EU and Ukraine. Ukraine is the largest recipient of the EU’s macro-financial aid among all non-EU countries.

NATO has created “spy affair” to disrupt Russia-Serbia relations

NATO has created a “spy affair” to disrupt Russia-Serbia relations. The affair was put into circulation through a Bulgarian journalist, a contributor to Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council of Bulgaria, which is the NATO Institute for spreading anti-Russian propaganda and spins around the world.


Conspiracy theory, there is no evidence that NATO created a "spy affair" to disrupt Russia-Serbia relations. The controversy centres around a video showing a purported Russian spy handing a bag of cash to another man uploaded to YouTube by an anonymous user on 17 November 2019. The video shows the Russian diplomat giving the Serbian agent (whose face is blurred) a bag during a meeting in Belgrade. Serbia’s state television reported that Serbia’s intelligence agency has confirmed the authenticity of the video.

This was even mentioned by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in an official statement: "The video showing a Russian intelligence officer handing over money to one allegedly highly positioned official of Serbia was not made by our agency." He added that the video recording was made on 24 December 2018 and that it shows the meeting between the Russian Lt. Col. Georgy Kleban with the retired Lt. Col of the Serbian Armed Forces whose initials are Z.K.

The EU wants Belarus to lose its independence

Belarusian democratic opposition prevents Belarus’ rapprochement with Europe by insisting on the introduction of EU sanctions. When the Belarusian authorities have a thaw with the EU, the opposition does its best to cast a shadow over it. It also starts organizing protest actions and rallies. They do everything to tarnish the reputation of the country in the field of human rights. Until Belarusian opposition exists, Belarusians will not become a part of the European community.

European politicians are not interested in a better relationship with Belarus either. It seems their plan is to give the Belarusian government hope for it and then to overthrow the authorities by the hands of the opposition. Hence Minsk should not believe any of the EU’s promises. Games with the EU pose a risk of losing independence; this is what numerous EU programs aim to do. [Europe] does not need an independent and integral Belarus, but a poor, easily manipulated anti-Russian country. Integration with Russia is the only right political course and the only way to secure Belarus’ well-being.


This is a conspiracy theory which is consistent with recurring Belarus-related pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about a subservient Belarusian opposition, and Western attempts to organise a colour revolution in Belarus and disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

In recent years, relations between the European Union and Belarus have gone through a number of stages. The Belarusian authorities' December 2010 post-election crackdown and their imprisonment of opposition leaders led to a number of restrictive measures being applied by the European Union, as well as a wider policy of critical engagement.