Disinfo: Ukraine deflects attention away from COVID failure by mounting escalation in Donbas


Ukraine’s escalation in Donbas is a diversion to deflect attention away from the defeat on the COVID front and from impoverishment.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin propaganda, trying to find a non-existing link between Kyiv’s military preparations against a possible Russian attack in Donbas and its poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In reality, Kyiv is forced to build up its military presence in the east due to the growing threat of Russian invasion, and it has nothing to do with its grip on the coronavirus situationSecurity has deteriorated sharply in Donbas over the past several weeks in April 2021 because of Russia’s mounting pressure on Ukrainian troops and continual shellings, while the Ukrainian side is adhering to the ceasefire.

The economic situation in Ukraine is a concern, and to a great extent because of hostilities, which drain a lot of financial and economic resources. Whenever Ukraine has to reinforce its positions on the eastern front, as it is now, it takes more effort, political attention and money. It is the mounting escalation on the front which contribute to making the economic situation worse, not that Ukraine is beefing up its troops in the east to disguise economic troubles.

Read here more disinformation narratives about the coronavirus situation in Ukraine.


  • Reported in: Issue 240
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/04/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Donbas, War in Ukraine, Military, coronavirus, Economic difficulties
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Disinfo: US bio labs in Ukraine and Georgia conduct dangerous and non-transparent research

American biological laboratories in Ukraine and Georgia conduct dangerous and non-transparent research.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative advancing conspiracy theories about clandestine US laboratories in the post-Soviet countries. See also here.

The United States embassy in Ukraine issued a statement, in which it dispelled “disinformation spreading in some circles in Ukraine that mirrors Russian disinformation regarding the strong U.S.-Ukrainian partnership to reduce biological threats’’. It said the US really cooperates with Ukraine “to consolidate and secure pathogens and toxins of security concern in Ukrainian government facilities, while allowing for peaceful research and vaccine development”. In the case of Georgia, reports about secret US biological laboratories were also debunked.

Disinfo: Ukraine does not respect the Minsk agreements

Ukraine does not respect the Minsk agreements.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Kyiv does not adhere to the 2014 Minsk Agreements.

In reality, Moscow-backed separatists have been mounting tensions in Donbas over recent weeks, since March-April 2021, under the pretext that Ukrainian troops are planning an offensive. Four Ukrainian soldiers were killed on 26 March 2021, which is the largest daily death toll for government troops since the fragile truce that took effect last July. Nonetheless, Moscow and its proxies in Donbas keep on accusing Kyiv of continually breaking the truce and preparing for a full-scale attack.

Disinfo: Lithuanian authorities buy guns instead of vaccines

Lithuanian Defence ministry buys guns amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.

The programmes of vaccination in Lithuania, as well as in the EU in general, are slow and ineffective. In this context, the decision to buy guns and old armed vehicles looks like a very irresponsible decision of Lithuanian authorities.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attacking Lithuania in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purchases of vaccines and military spending are not connected. Lithuania is not buying COVID-19 vaccines individually. The purchase of COVID-19 vaccines in the EU is centralised and is being implemented by the European Commission (EC). The EC has secured up to 2.6 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far and negotiations are underway for additional doses. Lithuania should get more than 7 million doses of vaccines (the population of Lithuania is 2.7 million people).