Disinfo: The US is sending Nazi militants of the Azov Battalion to Hong Kong protests

Summary

After images of Ukrainian Nazis posing with demonstrators in Hong Kong emerged on social media, the question of who is paying their flight and accommodation is rhetorical: it seems that the period of bringing extremists to Hong Kong from all over the country to take part in the US-promoted protests is over, now they are being brought from all over the world.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No proof is provided to support the claim. The story is based on a post published on a Russian blog. There is no evidence that the US is paying for the travel expenses of these members of the Ukrainian far-right, who publicised their trip on social media, and their presence seems to have been rejected by many voices in the Hong Kong protest movement. This is part of several different recurrent Russian disinformation narratives to portray the US and the West as a supporter of extremism for its geopolitical interests, Ukraine as a Nazi state and the Hong Kong protests as illegitimate. You can see other examples in our database, such as alleged NATO plans to launch an Azov Battalion-led offensive in Donbass, the training of Ukrainian agents by CIA and MI6 to perform terror acts in Donbas, the "all Neo-Nazi candidates" in Ukraine's elections, the presence of Ukrainian 'advisors' in Hong Kong to share their experience with demonstrators or the protests in the former British colony as a Western revenge against China for refusing to take part in the coming war with Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 177
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: China, US, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Azov Battalion, Nazi/Fascist
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International Tribunal will consider Ukrainian provocation in the Kerch Strait

The Ukrainian provocation in the Kerch Strait in 2018 will be considered at an international tribunal. The initiator of this was the representation of Crimea in Brussels.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Ukrainian ships aggressively violated Russian borders in 2018 and thatit was a provocation of the fifth president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. There is no official representation of annexed Crimea in Brussels. The Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine emphasised that the organisation is self-proclaimed and that the EU is not going to cooperate with accomplices of the occupying authorities of the Ukrainian peninsula. "The European Union fully supports the independence of Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Therefore, our position on such news is very clear: we will never recognise the self-proclaimed representations, institutions or the power of the annexed Crimea. We have no desire to cooperate with them, in any way or in any format," said David Stulik, press officer of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. Also, there are no other formal legal proceedings between Ukraine and Russia other than the case in the UN International Court of the Law of the Sea. At ameeting in Hamburg on 25 May 2019, the UN Court ordered Russia toimmediately release 24 captured Ukrainian sailors, as well as return the Berdyansk, Nikopol, and Yany-Kapu warships to Ukraine.

Europe is losing its values and former power

There were times when European countries were developing very quickly, both economically and culturally, but now Europe is losing its values and former power.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative undermining the EU, claiming that the EU is fundamentally broken and disintegrating - also consistent with the narrative of the EU's imminent collapse. No evidence is given to support the claim that Europe is losing its values and former power. The European Parliament’s Spring 2019 Eurobarometer, measuring public attitudes to the EU three months ahead of the European elections, reveals that despite the various internal and external challenges to the EU of the past years, the European sense of togetherness does not seem to have weakened. Continued support for EU membership goes with a strong belief (68%) that EU countries overall have benefited from being part of the EU - equalling the highest level recorded since 1983. In addition, 61% of respondents say their country’s EU membership is a good thing.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the European Union expanded 1.30 percent in the third quarter of 2019 compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

Crimea and Sevastopol are irreversibly Russian

Crimea became part of Russia again after the March 2014 referendum, with 96.77 percent of voters in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol’s people voting in favour of joining Russia. This was after the overthrow of the regime in Ukraine in February 2014.

The Russian leadership has stated many times that the people of Crimea have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia, in a democratic process that fully complies with the requirements of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. According to President Vladimir Putin, the Crimea issue is complete and irreversibly closed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Crimea and Sevastopol.

Crimea is part of Ukraine that was illegally annexed by Russia. Following the covert invasion by “little green men”, the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. Therefore, no international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.