Disinfo: Ukraine launched a military operation against Donetsk and Luhansk


In April 2014, the Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the inhabitants of the two republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which declared their independence unilaterally in protest against the coup in Ukraine in February of the same year. According to the latest UN statistics, the number of victims of this conflict has exceeded 13,000.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about war in Ukraine, aiming to portray the conflict as Ukraine's 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.

There was no coup d'état 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: Issue174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, 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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The Eastern Partnership programme is directed against Russia

The European Union uses the Eastern Partnership Programme to tear the post-Soviet countries from Russia. Under the brand of economic integration and development of EU economic contacts with the Eastern Partners, political and military expansion is taking place. 


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU Eastern Partnership. 

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership initiative is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU if they choose to do so. The EU does not demand any of its partners to make a choice between the EU or any other country. The Eastern Partnership stands for good neighbourly relations and respects the individual aspirations and ambitions of each partner country. Read more about the Eastern Partnership and its priorities here.

The US creates a belt of instability around their geopolitical adversary – Russia

The United States definitely has far-reaching goals in Georgia. They are connected with the intention of creating a belt of instability around Russia, their main geopolitical adversary. Do you need a situation in which thousands of protesters take to the streets? Easily! Therefore, the Americans will continue to do everything possible to “overlay” Russia with zones of instability.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative alleging the undue influence of the US in the post-Soviet space; painting all manifestations of popular discontent in the region as manufactured elsewhere, portraying entire nations as pathologically Russophobic, presenting colour revolutions as attempts by the West to encircle Russia and create instability around all Russian border.

The narrative has been applied, among others, to report about protests in Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus, as well as to portray the West as an aggressive actor constantly preparing new coups.

See earlier disinformation cases alleging that the West destroyed the USSR, that the Hong Kong protests are the West’s revenge on China for not waging war against Russia, that the goal of the US global “Anaconda” strategy is to limit the living space of geopolitical opponents, and that the West's objective is to encircle Russia entirely thanks to the "Anaconda ring" and "Great Turan" doctrines.

Oppression of the Russian language provoked war in Donbas

Language is what provoked the war [in Donbas]. When this happened, why did they adopt the law banning the Russian language when we have an 85% to 90% Russian-speaking population?


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, the Euromaidan and the status of the Russian language in Ukraine.

The war in Eastern Ukraine was provoked by the pro-Russian separatists and the mercenaries funded and supported directly by Russia. There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. The international community, including the European Union, recognises and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014 when Russia intervened in Crimea and annexed the Ukrainian peninsula on March 16, 2014.