Disinfo: Ukraine intends to commit genocide in the Donbas

Summary

The aim of a potential Ukrainian military operation in the Donbas would not merely be to establish territorial control. Such an operation would likely lead to a genocide of Russians, who have the status of Russian citizens. Could Russia remain passive while the Ukrainians commit genocide in the middle of Europe? Of course not.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Donbas conflict.

Ever since the conflict broke out in 2014, pro-Kremlin coverage of this issue has been characterised by the liberal use of the term "genocide," taken to mean the Ukrainian government's alleged treatment of the separatist areas in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.

Reports by the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the OHCHR found no evidence that the Russian minority in Eastern Ukraine was at risk of persecution by the Ukrainian authorities. These are bodies where Russia itself is a member.

The recent dramatic increase in Russian state media and pro-Kremlin outlets' bellicose rhetoric seems indented to create a casus belli for renewed military offensives against Ukraine. One such element is to de-humanise the opponent: in this case the Ukrainian authorities.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 239
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/04/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Donbas, War in Ukraine, Ethnic Russians, ethnic cleansing, Genocide, Military, War crimes

Belarus

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Kyiv is hysterical and has practically declared war on Moscow with Washington's encouragement

Washington is implicating Kyiv in a war against Russia that it is unlikely to involve itself in, despite the loud statements.

In Europe, they are loudly talking of an impending war, for the first time since the war in Yugoslavia. The aggravation of the situation in Donbas, the hysteria of Kyiv, which has practically declared war on Moscow, and the US declarations that it will "not leave Ukraine" alone in its confrontation with Russia, prompt a serious consideration of military options to solve the Donbas conflict.

Disproof

This disinformation claim combines a few pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the war in Ukraine.

First is that Ukraine is the aggressor in the conflict in Donbas and that Russia is never the aggressor. There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Donbas. Since 2014, Russia has been actively involved in violating Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by financially and militarily backing the separation of Donetsk and Luhansk. An InformNapalm study shows that thirty-one weapons systems found in the Donbas entered service with the Russian military between 2004 and 2015 and have never been produced in, or sold to, Ukraine. In 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine.

Russia to intervene in Donbas if Ukraine boosts conflict

A ramping-up of the conflict would lead to the end of Ukraine, with the Kremlin forced to stand up for its citizens living on the territory of Donbas. In recent years, Moscow has made it much simpler for those living in Ukraine to get a Russian passport, and many have taken up the offer. Everything depends on what the scale of fighting will be. If there is, as Putin says, a Srebrenica, Russia will be forced to stand up for its citizens.

Disproof

This is a reappearing disinformation message accompanying the current Russia’s military build-up near borders of Ukraine and on occupied Crimea.

Russia will be forced to intervene to defend its citizens if Ukraine launches an offensive in Donbas, according to a recent statement by Dmitry Kozak, Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff. These words echo a 2019 statement by Putin, in which he compared this possibility with a massacre similar to that in Srebrenica in 1995. Bosnian Serb troops killed 8,000 Muslim men and boys back then in what is considered to be the worst massacre in Europe since World War II. Putin said that if Ukraine got control of the border between its breakaway region and Russia, local residents might be persecuted because they had been offered no security guarantees. The Russian may have forgotten, or ignores, the fact that Russia was the only member of the UN Security Council to veto the resolution in 2015 that would have described the Srebrenica massacre as "genocide".

EU made a mistake abandoning Sputnik-V

The European Union made a mistake in its assessment of abandoning the Russian vaccine, "Sputnik V". European countries dealt coldly with the importance of the Russian vaccine and were not enthusiastic about it because it is Russian, without taking into account the laboratory results and this also applies to the Norwegian government.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin echoed disinformation about the EU, vaccination and the current EMA rolling review of Sputnik V, trying to link the Sputnik V authorisation process to Russophobia.

From 4 March 2021, Sputnik V vaccine is under the rolling review of the European Medicines Agency, and the decision will be fully decided on a scientific not a political basis.

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