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
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, DPR, LPR, 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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There is no freedom of speech in Estonia

The only thing we are guilty of is the fact that we are journalists working for an outlet independent of any government. While we fight for the right to continue our work, we also fight for the rights of readers in Estonia and abroad to access the full spectrum of information.

This is called freedom of speech, that, sadly, is missing in Estonia today, despite the fact that according to Reporters without borders, our country is fit for 11th place in the Press freedom index.

Disproof

As for the freedom of speech, Estonia is indeed on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. It's important to note that Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website, as it is accessible and operational. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has 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."

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”".

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.

NATO needs Macedonia and Montenegro to test radioactive ammunition

Macedonia’s political elite accepted the humiliation of joining NATO, who tries to use its territory to test radioactive ammunition. NATO is rushing to complete its expansion campaign in the Balkans, and from a geostrategic point of view this goes far beyond Montenegro and Macedonia because global security doesn’t depend on those former Yugoslav republics. This is done under the banner of fighting the Russians and terrorism and in the name of democracy, but in fact NATO is looking to test poisonous and radioactive projectiles.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the claim.

This is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to portray NATO as an aggressive, evil power which disregards rights of even its closest allies. It also fits in the long-term Russian opposition to Balkan countries joining the Atlantic Alliance. North Macedonia and other Balkan countries expressed their own will to join the Euro-Atlantic community and have been working towards the membership of NATO (and the EU) ever since.