Disinfo: Ukraine launched a military operation against Donetsk and Luhansk

In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, which declared their independence unilaterally, as an expression of their opposition to the coup in Ukraine in February of the same year. According to the latest United Nations statistics, the number of victims of the conflict has exceeded 13,000 civilians.

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, aiming to portray the conflict as a Ukrainian civil war.

The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

Moreover, there was no coup d'etat in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim.

See further the claim that Russia is not a part of the conflict in Ukraine.


  • Reported in: Issue186
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, Donbas


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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Crimea became Russian again after a referendum

After a referendum on 16 March 2014 in the Crimea and Sevastopol, the territory of the Crimea became Russian again. The majority voted in favor of secession from Ukraine and a return to Russia, where 96.77% of voters in Crimea voted to become part of the Russian Federation, while 95.6% of the population of Sevastopol voted in favor of the same.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea trying to portray it as a "return" to Russia.

Crimea is not Russian but was illegally annexed by Moscow based on an illegitimate referendum. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Protests in Novi Sanzhary are a symbol of the Maidan in Ukraine

Deep condolences to Ukrainian people  on the 6th anniversary of a state coup. It is a monstrous catastrophe when secret services of the US, Canada, UK and Poland toppled legitimate authorities and installed illegitimate regime. Novi Sanzhary is a symbol of the Maidan in Ukraine. This was what they wanted to achieve. For 6 years there has been ongoing propaganda of hatred and dehumanization, people hate each other and are ready to kill. In Ukrainian regions that want to be with Russia, people are ready to welcome the evacuees from Wuhan, and we need to save them.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan. 

The demonstrations that began in Kyiv in November 2013, called "Maidan" or "Euromaidan", emerged organically as a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn on the highly anticipated EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which had been under negotiation for seven years. The protests were followed by Presidential and parliamentary elections.

Ukraine enslaved to Europe because of the Maidan

This week was the sixth anniversary of the coup d’état from which Ukraine expected European values, freedom and manna from heaven, but instead got European slavery, corruption, debts and constant changes of power. Even with the new president, nothing changed. It seems that was the initial aim of the Maidan. Put the oligarchs in power and fix them there. The Western puppeteers stood behind all of this. Ukraine is a useful instrument for resolving their more important tasks.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup orchestrated by the West and alleging that Russia's armed aggression in east Ukraine is a civil war. It is also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the statehood of Ukraine. The message also repeats disinformation narratives about the EU and US relations with Ukraine.

Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality, language and with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and the US support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence.