Disinfo: Ukraine demonstrates readiness to take republics in Donbas by storm with the US and NATO support


The situation in Donbas is difficult. The shelling of the territories of the DPR and LPR is underway. Peaceful people are dying. The Ukrainian authorities are demonstrating that they are ready to take the republics by storm, and they are supported by the US and NATO leaderships. They are doing this in order to provoke Russia to provide assistance to the citizens of Russia who live there. And then present Russia as an aggressor, as they did in August 2008.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Ukraine is performing subversive activities in Donbas with the support of the US and NATO and provoking Russia and the Moscow-backed separatists into action in order to present Russia as an aggressor.

In reality, Russia is amassing its troop buildup along Ukraine’s border and the anti-Ukrainian separatists are increasing gunfire in Donbas to supposedly prompt Ukraine into backfire, get a casus belli and stage a large-scale attack. It appears that Russia seeks in Ukraine not peace but a frozen conflict similar to the one between Moldova and its breakaway region of Transnistria.

The systematic issuing of Russian passports to citizens in Donetsk and Luhansk, (to more than 400.000 persons by April 2021) is now also used as a pretext to claim the right to influence and perhaps intervene militarily. Russia is also reported to be using the occupied territories as a testing ground for new weapons. Despite all this Russia officially denies its military presence in Donbas and accuses the West of encouraging Ukraine to start a military conflict with Russia.

Kyiv’s military preparations in and around Donbas are purely defensive and aimed at repelling a possible Russian attack. A NATO delegation has recently visited Ukraine to discuss, among other things, mutual cooperation, but not plans for a Ukrainian offensive. Kyiv’s stance on the recent developments is that its troops are not going to attack the enemy unless there is a threat or attack by the enemy.

The US has supported Ukraine, demanding that Russia put an end to its military build-up close to the Ukrainian borders. In a telephone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 2 April, his US counterpart Joe Biden “affirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea." This does not mean that Washington is supporting Kyiv for war or ordering it to launch an offensive.

The disinformation narrative also aims to present the Russo-Georgian war in 2008 as "Georgian aggression" and the Western-backed provocation against Russia.

In fact, the EU's independent investigative commission into the 2008 Russia-Georgian war confirmed that Russia had been provoking Georgia for a long time and "Much of the Russian military action went far beyond the reasonable limits of defence."

Currently, Russia occupies 20% of Georgia's territory, about 13 years after the Russo-Georgian War, and continues to breach its international obligations by consolidating its control in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

According to the EU, Russian military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia continues in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement.


  • Reported in: Issue 240
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/04/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia
  • Keywords: NATO, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Provocation, Russo-Georgian War
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Disinfo: Oxford study: Pfizer and Moderna vaccines cause 30 times more cases of blood clots than AstraZeneca’s

Amid fears of blood clots as a possible secondary effect of vaccination against the coronavirus, scientists of the Oxford University tried to calculate which are the real risks of developing a thrombosis due to the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines from available data. Scientists concluded that the chances of suffering a cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) are 8 times higher after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine and 10 times higher for those vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna. Besides, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines cause 30 times more cases of portal vein thrombosis (PVT) than AstraZeneca’s.

The developers of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V asked health regulators all over the world to thoroughly examine the Oxford study on the correlation of rare cases of blood coagulation and the different types of vaccines against Covid-19, which shows that the risk of PVT seems to be 30 times higher with the mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) than with AstraZeneca’s, and that the risk of CVT, one of the reasons why many regulators recommended to suspend the use of vaccines produced by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, seem to be very similar for the AstraZeneca vaccine and for the mRNA Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.


By framing the Pfizer (BioNTech/Pfizer) and Moderna vaccines as riskier than AstraZeneca’s, this disinformation message wants to capitalise on the alarm created about the latter after some countries temporarily suspended its use. These disinformation articles appeared amid a wave of false affirmations made by the developers of the Sputnik V vaccine aiming to discredit competitors (see here for a detailed analysis and debunk of those false claims), part of a long-term pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign about global vaccination.

The claims are a deliberate distortion of the original study of the Oxford University quoted as the source. The study specifically focused on estimating “the absolute risk of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) and portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in the two weeks following a diagnosis of COVID-19, and to assess the relative risks (RR) compared to influenza or the administration of an mRNA vaccine against COVID-19”, given that “one key component of the risk-benefit calculation is currently unknown: the absolute risk of CVT following a diagnosis of COVID-19”. It also warned that its authors “could not make a direct comparison with rates after the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (“Oxford-AstraZeneca”) vaccine because this has not been used in the USA”.

Disinfo: Russia needs to eliminate Russophobic junta in Ukraine and contribute to the creation of Kharkiv Popular Republic

Ukraine is a part of Rus, Russian people live there. Russia needs to intensify its efforts to eliminate the Russophobic pro-western regime in Ukraine. Avakov and Zelenskyy are junta members, and it is chaired by unknown officers of the American special services. In response to [western] sanctions, Russia needs to adopt harsh measures aimed at bringing Ukrainian territories under political models amicable to Russia. As a response to sanctions, Russia could launch an Orthodox TV channel broadcasting over Ukraine, to accelerate issuance of Russian passports, and to create Kharkiv-related structures in order to have Kharkiv Popular Republic established which will later reunite with Russia.


This audio comment contains recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about Ukraine is under external control, the Russian world/civilisation and Ukrainian disintegration. Kharkiv is a major cultural, educational, and industrial centre of Ukraine, the second-largest Ukrainian city. It was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from December 1919 to January 1934, after which the capital relocated to Kyiv.

Presenting Ukraine as US-controlled junta is conspiracy aimed to discredit Ukrainian statehood. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. Ukraine is not controlled by the US or any other foreign government or organisation.

Disinfo: The anti-Russian agenda for Defender Europe 2021 is clear

According to a press release posted on the official website of the US Ground Forces in Europe, the exercise "aims to enhance strategic and operational readiness and interaction between the US, allies and NATO partners." It is emphasized that the maneuvers do not pose a threat to third countries.

However, the anti-Russian agenda for Defender Europe 2021 is clear.

Thus, the speaker of Ukraine in the trilateral contact group, Oleksiy Arestovich, said bluntly: the point is to work out the war with Russia on the territory between the Baltic and the Black Sea.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO and encircled Russia.

NATO does not prepare for the war against Russia (or against any other country). The military exercises “Defender Europe 2021” are “defensive in nature and focused on responding to crisis if necessary”. Neither Defender Europe 2021 nor its other military exercises are directed against Russia.