Disinfo: Ukraine acts on behalf of the US and NATO to escalate the situation at the Azov Sea


The construction of a Ukrainian naval base in the Azov Sea is an indirect attempt by the West to artificially create a new international problem and an area of military tension near the Russian borders. The Ukrainian navy is acting on behalf of the U.S. and NATO to escalate a problem on the unilateral militarization of the Azov Sea.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on Ukraine and the Azov Sea, the aggressive West, NATO encircling Russia and NATO belligerence. This is consistent with the narratives challenging Ukrainian statehood and painting the US and NATO as the puppet-masters of Ukrainian politics.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. Neither the US, nor NATO, control Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity continue to be violated by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. Despite NATO having refuted such claims many times,  pro Kremlin propaganda systematically states that NATO planned to create military bases on the territory of Ukraine: in Crimea, Donbass, and now in the Sea of Azov. A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. A treaty stipulates that agreement from each of the two littoral countries is required for warships from any other country to enter the internal sea.

It is worth recalling, that on November 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tugboat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members. As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated: "Now, Russia is attempting to use Crimea to expand its influence. And control the Sea of Azov."




  • Reported in: Issue 194
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/04/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Encircling Russia, War in Ukraine, NATO


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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