Disinfo: Ukraine committed a crime by attacking its citizens in Donbas in 2014

Summary

Ukraine’s attack in Donbas is a crime against Russia. Ukraine, having started the war against Donbas in 2014, committed a crime not only against its citizens but also against Russia, which had to urgently save compatriots who were in trouble.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, attempting to portray it as a civil war.

The war in eastern Ukraine is an act of aggression by the Russian armed forces, that has continued 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 and at successive summits since then, allied leaders also demanded that Russia refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.

According to the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Russian special forces and troops operated to mobilise, lead, equip and support separatist militias in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine from spring 2014 to the present, although their presence was denied by Moscow.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: DNR, Eastern Ukraine, Civil war, War in Ukraine, Donbas

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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Ukrainians were never unequal while in the Russian Empire

There was not a single moment in Ukrainian history during the Russian Empire, when Ukrainians were unequal, circumvented or oppressed.

Ukraine has no understanding of sacred power, the sacredness of the country. Ukrainians do not understand anything about the country, nor about the state, nor about the people.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative designed to denigrate the history of Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood and its independence.

When Ukrainian lands became part of the Russian Empire, they formally lost all traces of their national distinctiveness. The territories were reorganised into regular Russian provinces administered by governors appointed from St. Petersburg. In religious policy, the Tsarist regime promoted the elimination of Ukrainian peculiarities. Although the largely Polish Roman Catholic Church was allowed to continue, Catherine launched a program of administrative conversion of Ukrainians from the Uniate Church. The anti-Uniate campaign was partially reversed by her immediate successors but was renewed with vigour by Nicholas I.

Kyiv broke bilingualism that was promised

Over the years of independence, the Ukrainian authorities have consistently violated the promises made to the people, which were indicated in the Declaration on State Sovereignty, upon secession from the USSR. According to it, the decision to withdraw Ukraine from the USSR was made because it was supposed to introduce bilingualism and the country’s neutral status.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the status of the Russian language in Ukraine.

One of the main reasons stated by the then Ukrainian Soviet Republic for declaring independence was the "mortal danger surrounding Ukraine in connection with the state coup in the USSR on 19 August 1991."

Crimea’s return to Russia is not the reason for bad Russian-Ukrainian relations

A coup and a seizure of power took place in Ukraine, and only after that, and from that moment onwards, Russian views and methods became completely contradictory to the Ukrainian leadership .

After that, Crimea returned to Russia, not the other way around. Therefore, the deterioration of Russian relations with Ukraine has nothing to do with Crimea.

Disproof

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction from several segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013, as a result of pressure from Russia.