Disinfo: Ukraine may use the war in Nagorno-Karabakh as a prerequisite for new hostilities in Donbas

Summary

The resumption of hostilities in the NKR [Nagorno-Karabakh Republic] significantly increases the threat of the activation of Ukrainian armed formations in Donbas on the demarcation line.

Kyiv is being pushed to this suicidal attack by its American masters, who are trying to encircle Russia in a ring of instability and bloody conflicts: in Belarus, Transcaucasia, and Donbas. In the context of what is happening, it can be expected that Central Asia is next.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory with no proof presented to support any of the claims, mixing several recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the recent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the war in Ukraine, and Russia being encircled by an aggressive West.

There is no link between the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the war in Ukraine. The recent escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is a continuation of the decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, while the war in Eastern Ukraine is a well-documented act of ongoing aggression by Russian armed forces, since February 2014.

In Donbas, a truce was established in July 2020. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated multiple times that the achievement of a full, comprehensive, and long-lasting ceasefire is one of the key priorities of the Ukrainian government.

There is no evidence that foreign powers had anything to do with the September 2020 military escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, that the escalation is meant to destabilise Russia or that they are trying to encircle Russia in a ring of instability and bloody conflicts.

See other recent disinformation cases on the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region: that the escalation between Armenia and Azerbajan is directed against Russia, that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict favours US interests, and someone wants to divert Russia from Belarus and Syria, or that the US has planned the turmoil in Belarus and the rise of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh a year ago.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 214
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Nagorno-Karabakh, Encircling Russia, War in Ukraine

Disclaimer

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 US is introducing extremists in the protests in Belarus

The US Department of State is introducing extremists into the protests in Belarus, using dirty methods to destabilise the situation in the country, according to Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). By working with the Belarusian opposition, the US is trying to increase the activity of radical nationalists. The “fighters for a renewed Belarus” – extremists, that is – are being trained in Poland, Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries with the help of CIA and Pentagon instructors affiliated with US NGOs.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Belarus, colour revolutions and the US presence in Europe. 

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the same lack of democracy and repression is present in EU countries that criticize them in Minsk; , and that the Ukrainian secret services may have planned terrorist attacks in Belarusian territory; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; or that Belarusians, Ukrainians and Russians are one single nation.

The US is trying to divide Orthodox and Catholics in Belarus

According to the information gathered by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the US is interfering in the religious matters of Belarus, aiming to antagonize the representatives of the Orthodox to those of Catholic branches of Christianity. It is making calls to the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church to openly criticize Belarusian authorities and use religious events, including sermons, prayers and processions to carry out political propaganda for the opposition among believers.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory based on recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about protests in Belarus and the US presence in Europe.  There is no evidence to support any of these claims.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation claims about the Belarus, alleging that the US has planned the turmoil in Belarus and the rise of tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh a year ago;  that Washington uses vassals Poland and Lithuania to organize a color revolution in Belarus; that the United States is behind the protests in Belarus. 

Belarus protests were prepared in advance by the US and other western countries

A western track is evident in the events in Belarus. Protests were well organised from the very beginning and are coordinated from abroad. According to information gathered by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the US plays a key role in these events. The West started preparing these anti-governmental protests in Belarus much before the presidential election. The SVR has data showing that in 2019 and early 2020, the US allocated 20 million dollars for these preparations, that were used to create a network of ‘independent bloggers’ and information accounts in social media, and also to prepare activists that would take place in street demonstrations. The most promising activists travelled abroad, specifically to Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, where they were trained by US trainers experts in “non-violent protests”.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing popular protests as Western-backed colour revolutions.

Contrary to the claim, protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a big part of the Belarusian society. On 19 August 2020 the European Council called Belarus's elections neither free nor fair. Mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actors, opposition politicians and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement.