Disinfo: Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan have never been independent states

Summary

The main mechanism why Armenia and Azerbaijan are failing (in politics) is that they are not independent states. They have no history, neither Ukraine.

Disproof

This is an example of a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Russian world applied to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. The narrative also represents the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan are sovereign countries and are well-defined nation-states with a long history; all 3 nations preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods.

Azerbaijan was fought over by Russian, Persian and Ottoman forces for centuries. After the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, Azerbaijan briefly became an independent state that was de facto recognised by the Allies in January 1920, only to have independence terminated when the Red Army arrived in April of that year. After decades of Soviet occupation, in 1991, Azerbaijan regained its state independence.

Between the 4th and the 19th centuries, Armenia was conquered and ruled by, among others, Persians, Arabs, Byzantines, Mongols and Turks. For a brief period from 1918 to 1920, Armenia became an independent republic. In late 1920, local communists came to power following an invasion of Armenia by the Soviet Red Army. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 created an opportunity for Armenia to gain independence.

Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. A fully independent Ukraine emerged only late in 1991, after long periods of successive domination by Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the U.S.S.R.

Ukraine’s, Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world.

See earlier disinformation cases claiming that the war in Donbas is a consequence of USSR’s break-up and ban against the Russian language, that the West destroyed the USSR and is currently targeting the Union State between Belarus and Russia, that the West destabilises Belarus to destroy Russian civilisation, an alternative route of human development, and that Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was staged by third parties to divert Russia from Belarus and Syria.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine
  • Keywords: USSR, Historical revisionism, Russian world, Ethnic Russians

Disclaimer

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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The aim of the Konev Monument removal is to humiliate Russia and damage its prestige

Due to the several important events of the past six months, the barbaric act of the authorities of the municipality of Prague 6 somehow faded. With the demolition of the Konev monument, Kolář and Co. pursued the goal of provoking the Russians into violent retaliatory actions.

The aim of the provocative action of the Prague authorities is to humiliate Russia and damage its prestige and authority. This event is from the same series as the decision of the European Parliament to equate the USSR and Hitler’s Germany, or as the statement by Polish President Andrzej Duda about Stalin and Hitler as equally important culprits in the outbreak of World War II. These are all links of the same chain.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague. It is also consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and the supposedly hostile anti-Russian intentions of the West, based on which Russia can cast itself as the victim.

The democratically elected municipal council of Prague 6 voted for the removal of the statue. Basing on the protocol of the Politbureau's assembly, Czech historians established that on 8-14 May 1968, Konev chaired the Soviet military delegation sent to Prague to prepare the military invasion of Czechoslovakia. Konev was also chief of the Soviet troops in East Germany during the Berlin wall crisis in 1961. In other words, the Red Army brought not only liberation but also terror to Czechia, as the mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář reminded.

Ukraine became the main importer of Crimean agricultural products

Ukraine has become the largest buyer of agricultural products produced in Crimea. This is evidenced by the data of the Ministry of Agriculture of Crimea. This year, products manufactured in Crimea were exported to 12 countries of the world, but 61% of the total volume was imported by Ukraine. It is worth more than 8 million US dollars since the beginning of 2020.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea.

There is no evidence that Ukraine is importing agricultural products from the occupied Crimea.

Navalny’s suspicious poisoning looks like a publicity campaign to take him out of oblivion

While the alleged poisoning of the Russian opposition member Alexei Navalny still creates more questions than answers, its coverage in Western media reminds an information war or a well-planned publicity campaign. It seems that its goal has been from the beginning to take out Navalny of oblivion, achieving his appearance in the Russian media, including the official ones, so he is not only a social media character anymore. The final purpose is to equate him with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a politician, so both the international and Russian audiences talk of Putin and Navalny in the same context.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation narrative on the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny not based on any evidence.

Though only 9 per cent of Russians had a positive view of Navalny’s work in 2019, saying that he was “in oblivion” is a misrepresentation of facts. According to the Levada Center, while in 2012 only 25 per cent of Russians had ever heard of Navalny, the figure had increased to 55 per cent by 2017, largely thanks to his anti-corruption and political campaigns.