Disinfo: Ukraine is preparing a military attack on Donbas

Summary

Moscow is aware of the military preparations by Ukraine to possibly attack Donbas and of support it receives from the United States and other countries for this.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media, claiming that Kyiv is planning a military attack in Donbas with the assistance of the West and more specifically the United States.

Ukraine is not preparing military provocations in Donbas. Kyiv has repeatedly stated that it is not interested in escalation and that it prefers a peaceful solution. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Minsk agreements are the only option to end the war in Donbas.

Contrary to pro-Kremlin disinformation reports, it is rather the Moscow-backed separatists who are constantly breaking the truce, which results in more intensified military escalation in Donbas. It is not in Kyiv’s interest to escalate the conflict. More than 13,000 have been killed in the hostilities, and the Donbas war is a heavy burden on the Ukrainian economy.

For more stories on Russian disinformation on Ukraine trying to provoke a new conflict in Donbas see here and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Greek
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia, US
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, War preparation, Military
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Disinfo: Sanctions are beneficial to Russia so the West should recognise Crimea as Russian

Instead of making gratuitous statements about the so-called "annexation" of Crimea, the French authorities would do better to recognise it as an integral part of Russia.

Russia has benefited from Western sanctions imposed on it after the peninsula was attached. Sanctions are not beneficial to the West. Sanctions are beneficial to Russia.

Crimea, offered to Ukraine within the USSR by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, was reattached to Russia following the referendum held in March 2014, following the coup d'état in Ukraine in February of the same year. Kyiv continues to regard Crimea as Ukrainian territory.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea and sanctions against Russia.

The impact of sanctions needs to be evaluated in the long run. However, primarily assessments show a significant and negative impact on the Russian economy.

Disinfo: There is democracy in Russia, since there are a lot of participants in the Duma elections

There is democracy in Russia, since there are a lot of participants in the Russian parliamentary elections.

Disproof

A large number of candidates does not guarantee that the whole electoral process meets the high standard of democracy. Many candidates were denied the right to register.

The OSCE was unable to observe and evaluate the electoral parliamentary elections of 17-19 September 2021 due to major limitations imposed by Russian Authorities.

Disinfo: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visits the US which asked him to split the Orthodox world

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is paying a visit to the United States. This should come as no surprise as it was the United States and the West which forced him to grant autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine, thus splitting the Orthodox World.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets frequently attack the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian church. The Constantinople Patriarchy, not the US, decided to grant the autocephaly to the Ukrainian church. The final decision was made in January 2019, when all members of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate signed off the Tomos of autocephaly. The signing of the Tomos happened after months of careful preparation and consideration by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Synod.

For more information and analysis on pro-Kremlin disinformation against the Church of Ukraine see here.