Disinfo: Ukraine does not need Donetsk nor Luhansk

Summary

There is almost no doubt that the Kyiv authorities will try to resolve the “Donbas question” by force, starting a full-scale war. However, Kyiv does not need Donetsk nor Luhansk… Because these are millions of people with whom they are at war. It is dangerous to include them back in Ukraine’s border for a huge number of reasons.

The entire West with the help of Ukraine is at war with Russia through the Donbas.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government has mentioned numerous times that Ukraine is not seeking war in Donbas and prefers to settle the conflict by peaceful political means. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine believes that the Minsk agreements are the only option to end the war in Donbas. On 9 March, Zelenskyy vowed to convene the Normandy Four peace summit to discuss ending war in the Donbas, “no matter what it takes”.

Ukraine is not at war with millions of people from Donetsk and Luhansk as pro-Kremlin disinformation often likes to present it. The aim of these messages is to present the situation in Eastern Ukraine as an internal conflict, ignoring irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in the region. These claims intentionally misrepresent the reality of Russia's direct and crucial support to separatist militant groups in Eastern Ukraine.

According to the US Defence 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. On top of that, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine in 2015. Beyond arms supplies, Russia supports the anti-Ukraine fighters financially, wages propaganda warfare and tries to enforce a peace solution on its own terms.

In addition to the above, it has been reported that since the start of 2021, Russia’s attacks on Ukraine have intensified: “According to Russian proxies, they are opening fire to prevent a Ukrainian attack. These statements were denied by Danilov [secretary of the National Security and Defence Council] and there’s currently no indication that Ukraine is prepared to enact a military operation to regain control of the Russian-occupied territory.”

Read similar cases claiming that War in Donbas is a way of existence for Ukraine, that the conflict in Ukraine has no relation to Russia, or that Donbass is part of “Greater Russia”.

These articles also included claims that Ukraine sold itself to external control and that the West declared Russia as its strategic enemy.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 235
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Donbas, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine
see more

Russia is being sanctioned for its sole existence

The West’s maniacal desire to impose sanctions on Russia is explained by the mere fact of Russia’s existence. The reason for these restrictive measures is that Moscow is protecting its national interests.

Disproof

This is a recurring narrative by pro-Kremlin media claiming that the anti-Russian sanctions are groundless and illegal.

In reality, the sanctions were imposed on Russia for its aggressive policy and violation of international law. The first round of restrictive measures was imposed in March 2014 in the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. More action against Moscow was taken in the following months, the reason being its support of the pro-Kremlin separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Some sanctions were only political, such as the suspension of Russia’s voting rights in the Council of Europe. However, its voting rights were restored in 2019. In addition, bans were also imposed on transactions with some Russian businessmen and officials.

The UK uses an anti-Russian rhetoric as a cover, it aims at weakening the EU

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently visited the Baltic states and expressed his support to them in the face of the Russian threat. In fact, London uses an anti-Russian rhetoric as a cover-up in its foreign policy doctrine known as “Global Britain”. It wants to use the Baltic states and Ukraine as expendables to weaken the EU and, in particular, the German-French alliance.

Disproof

Disinformation aimed to discredit UK foreign policy and portray it as insidious and anti-EU as well as to question solidarity between the UK and EU member states.

Global Britain is a foreign policy concept used by UK officials. The September 2019 article, authored by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, reads:

Kyiv ready to launch offensive in Donbas with Biden’s approval

Kyiv is ready to launch an offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas with US President Joe Biden’s approval. Sources in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office say that the White House has already approved the military scenario, although it has ordered to wait for a signal.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media outlets aiming at deflecting attention away from Russia's direct engagement in the conflict in Ukraine.

The US provides Ukraine with military equipment and trains its soldiers, but does not issue military orders. Since the outbreak of Moscow’s aggression against Kyiv in 2014, the US has supported Ukraine, but there is no direct military US involvement in the Donbas war. The European Union also supports Ukraine, with no direct military assistance.