Disinfo: Ukraine declared war against Donetsk and Luhansk after the 2014 coup

Summary

In April of 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, which both declared their independence unilaterally as an expression of their opposition to the coup in Ukraine in February of the same year.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, aiming to portray the conflict as Ukraine's civil war.

The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

Moreover, there was no coup d'etat in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim.

See further the claim that Russia is not a part of the conflict in Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 179
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 29/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Donbas, LPR, DPR, War in Ukraine
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Disinfo: EU pursues policy of demonisation of Russia

The so called historical resolution of the European Parliament has no connection to history whatsoever. It’s a pure provocation, which is consistent with the current EU policy towards Russia – demonisation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU and the resolution of the European Parliament on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe. Also see previous disinformation cases accusing others of provocations. The current legal basis for EU-Russia relations is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) which came into force in 1997, initially for 10 years. Since 2007 it has been renewed annually. It established a political framework for regular consultation between the EU and Russia, based on the principles of respect for democracy and human rights, political and economic freedom, and commitment to international peace and security. Furthermore, the PCA is complemented by sectorial agreements covering a wide range of policy areas, including political dialogue, trade, science and technology, education, energy and environment, transport, and prevention of illegal activities. Some of these dialogues and consultations have been suspended following the annexation of Crimea. Read more here. On 18 September, the European Parliament adopted a resolution, with which:

MEPs voice concern at the efforts of the current Russian leadership to whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime and see them as a “dangerous component of the information war waged against democratic Europe”. They also condemn extremist and xenophobic political forces and organisations in Europe for distorting historical facts, and employing the symbolism and rhetoric of totalitarian propaganda, including racism, anti-Semitism and hatred towards sexual and other minorities.

Read more about the resolution here.

Disinfo: There are no lies coming from Sputnik

I would like to add that, as far as I know, Sputnik Estonia has never been accused of lying. As for claiming that Sputnik Estonia is a mouthpiece of Russian propaganda, I have to say that all our [Estonian] biggest newspapers, radio and TV channels are mouthpieces of Estonian propaganda. The main question is whether the propaganda is based on truth or lie or deliberate lie. I repeat, I have not heard of a lie coming from Sputnik. The Estonian authorities are not accusing Sputnik [Estonia] of lying.

Disproof

Sputnik was created by a Presidential decree with the aim to “report on the state policy of Russia abroad”. Numerous reports have described how top managers from all the large government-controlled outlets and some influential private media attend the weekly meetings where "media managers receive guidelines that “help” them not to overstep the Kremlin’s so-called “double white lines”". The EU vs Disinfo team has found 49 different Sputnik websites from all over the world and 31 of them are in the Disinfrormation cases database, meaning those outlets have been publishing disinformation. Sputnik Estonia is represented in that database both in Estonian and in Russian languages. The Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said "Sputnik does not constitute journalism as it is understood in the free world in my eyes and in the eyes of many institutions. It is a propaganda institution." According to the minister, the money laundering data bureau is exercising European Union financial sanctions based on Estonian legislation, following the logic that Dmitri Kiselyov, head of Russian media group Rossiya Segodnya, has been among the central propagandists in vindicating Russian aggression in Ukraine. Sputnik Estonia is a branch of that media organization. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also emphasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted." Estonia is ranked as the 11th freest country in the world for press by Reporters Without Borders. In 2016 Latvia's domain registry shut the website of Sputnik Latvia after receiving a letter of concern from the Latvian Foreign Ministry, which drew attention to Sputnik's coverage of Ukraine and routine denial of the embattled nation's territorial integrity. In July 2019, Latvian authorities blocked access to the online portal baltnews.lv, owned by Rossiya Segodnya. In mid-2019 a court in Vilnius ruled on blocking Sputnik Lithuania over copyright issues.

Disinfo: EU and NATO view Christianity as a force that needs to be overcome

For the no-less-godless successors of the commissars now ruling most of Europe through the twin bureaucracies of NATO and the European Union, religion – or at least Christianity – remains a retrograde force that needs to be overcome. They are helped by the fact that in western Europe (and increasingly in the United States) consumerism, feminism, LGBT, multiculturalism, and other materialistic post-modern alternatives have proved to be far more corrosive of Christianity than dynamite, bullets, concentration camps, and punitive psychiatric hospitals.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory; no evidence given. This claim involves the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the West threatens and undermines traditional Christian values. Related cases where the US is accused of attacking traditional values in Europe via "sects" can be found here, here, and here.