Disinfo: Ukraine has been ruled by a US-funded client regime since 1991


Since Ukraine declared independence in 1991, Washington has invested billions of dollars in creating and propping up a client regime in Kiev simply because it saw the country as a bulwark against Russia.


The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative painting Ukraine as a crumbling, artificial country, too weak and divided to make its own strategic choices and thus forced to accept external governance.

As a large and politically diverse country, independent Ukraine has elected six presidents since 1991, each with his own set of domestic and geopolitical priorities. Thus, the tenure of both Leonid Kravchuk (1991-1994) and his successor Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005) were periods of "multi-vector" balancing between Russia and the West; the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko (2005-2010) was succeeded by pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2014) who, upon his flight in disgrace from Ukrainian politics (and from Ukraine), was replaced by Petro Poroshenko. The latter was elected on a firm pro-EU platform and anti-Kremlin rhetoric during a period of large-scale military aggression by Russia. Since May 2019 the 6th President of Ukraine is Volodymyr Zelensky.

There is nothing indicating that Ukraine's irregular foreign-policy record since 1991 constitutes an uninterrupted US effort to transform Ukraine into a "bulwark" against Russia. Consequently, there is nothing to support the claim that Ukraine is a client regime. See here for more cases on Ukraine being under external control.


  • Reported in: Issue 167
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: US presence in Europe, Ukrainian disintegration, Ukrainian statehood


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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