Disinfo: Ukraine is under external control

Summary

No one doubts that Ukraine is under foreign control. The current government has handed over its sovereignty to the West [the EU and the United States]. Now, they decide what reforms we should have, who should be our friends, what are our priorities. At the same time, they do not help us to build a strong, independent state, they use Ukraine in their own interests.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood. Ukraine is a sovereign state. EU and US are not controlling Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world but violated by Russia. Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU. In June 2014, EU and Ukraine signed An Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which promotes deeper political ties, stronger economic links and the respect for common values. Find more about EU - Ukraine relations. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. The US recognised Ukraine as an independent state on December 25, 1991. U.S. policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. Democratic elections were held in Ukraine in 2014 and recognised by the world community. Consult more cases on Ukraine are here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 141
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/03/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Ukraine
  • Keywords: European Union, Abandoned Ukraine, Ukrainian disintegration, Economic difficulties, Ukrainian statehood, War in Ukraine

Belarus

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Sweden attempts to diminish Russian military capacity to please NATO

Sweden is about to join NATO and wants to please its future masters. A report from the Swedish Defence Research Institute claims that Russia is unable to keep up with Western military technology. These claims reflect Sweden’s position as a junior partner of NATO.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on Swedish neutrality. Sweden is mainlining a policy of non-alignment, cooperates with NATO, but has no plans to join the alliance. See here for more information on NATO-Sweden relations.

Europe may cancel visa-free regime due to measles epidemic in Ukraine

The President of the Association of Psychiatrists of Ukraine, Semen Gluzman, states that the massive failure of Ukrainian parents to vaccinate their children led to a large-scale problem with infectious diseases, in particular, measles. He believes that a measles outbreak threatens Ukraine with the loss of a visa-free regime from a number of EU countries.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about the EU planning to revoke the visa waiver for Ukraine. On December 19, 2018, the European Commission published the second report on the implementation of visa-free regime requirements by eight countries in Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans, in particular, Ukraine. The document states that all countries fulfil these requirements, but should take additional measures to combat corruption and irregular migration. The report does not mention the situation with measles or another infectious disease, and that this may affect the termination of the visa-free regime. Regarding Ukraine, the European Commission notes that the criteria for visa liberalization continue to be met, but some of the recommendations from the first report have not been fulfilled, therefore immediate action is required

There is no evidence of Russian attempts to influence the 2019 EU elections

There is no evidence of Russian attempts to influence the EU parliamentary elections in May 2019. The European establishment needs fake news about “external interference” in order to draw voters’ attention to the upcoming elections and mobilise them. With such advance declarations, the mainstream media tries to justify a possible defeat and the victory of the Eurosceptics. The latter could actually claim the formation of a strong group in the future European Parliament. If that happens, the elites will need someone to blame. Russia is already identified as the culprit.

Disproof

Disinformation produced and/or spread by Russian sources has been reported in the context of several elections and referenda in the EU, as noted in the EU's action plan against disinformation.Ahead of the European elections, Microsoft registered cyberattacks targeting think tanks and non-profit organizations working on topics related to democracy, electoral integrity, and public policy and that are often in contact with government officials. Microsoft continues to investigate the sources of these attacks, but is confident that many of them originated from a group called Strontium, also known as APT 28 or Fancy Bear – which is believed to be associated with Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. Read more here.

According to the latest annual threat assessment by the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, NBC News reports, "Russian intelligence services will continue the extensive cyber-espionage campaign against the West that they have pursued for years, with the military intelligence service, called the GRU, and Russia's spy agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB) directing most operations". The Director General of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service, Mikk Marran, says that Russia will target the European parliamentary elections in May with a likely focus on the larger member states — Germany, France and Italy. A report by the European Council for International Relations assesses it is highly likely that Moscow will attempt to manipulate the European elections, given Russia's interference in recent national elections in Europe. Also, the Financial Times points out that Russia-linked hackers have sharply stepped up a campaign to disrupt EU elections in May, leaving EU officials and tech companies scrambling to muster a response.

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