Disinfo: Ukraine responsible for humanitarian catastrophe in Crimea

Summary

Ukraine is responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Crimea, which reunited with Russia in 2014. Kyiv cut the water supplies from the peninsula, which left thousands of people without fresh water.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media outlets, claiming that Ukrainian authorities are to blame for the sharp deterioration of the ecological situation in Crimea.

It is true that Crimea has been suffering from environmental problems since Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014. Ukraine cut off water and electricity supplies from the occupied territories. Ukraine is not obliged to supply water to Crimea because this responsibility is, under international law, borne by the occupier, that is by the Russian Federation. Water shortages have led to land degradation, drought, and a decrease in agricultural production. However, Moscow’s claims about Kyiv’s responsibility for these problems are unsubstantiated. Before the annexation, the Ukrainian peninsula had been receiving 85 per cent of its fresh water through a canal from the mainland. All responsibility for these problems in Crimea falls on Russia because its 2014 invasion led to these consequences.

Contrary to Moscow’s official position claiming that Crimea reunited with Russia in the wake of a legal and democratic referendum, the United Nations and other international organisations do not recognise the annexation. The UN issued a resolution on 27 March 2014, which backed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and declared the Crimea referendum invalid. The European Union does not recognise the annexation and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.

Read more disinformation narratives claiming that Ukraine must resume water supplies to Crimea.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 255
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/07/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Belarus
  • Keywords: Russophobia, ECHR, Crimea
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Disinfo: An OPCW document refutes the West’s allegations about the poisoning of Navalny

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has published a document that raises serious questions about the West's account of the alleged poisoning of the Russian dissident, Alexei Navalny.

On its tenth page, it was stated that the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW dispatched on 20 August 2020, at the request of Germany, a team to conduct a special visit to provide technical assistance, on the occasion of an "alleged poisoning incident of a Russian citizen."

This document raises serious questions about the chronology of events and refutes the West’s allegations about the poisoning of the Russian opposition activist. On August 20 a plane in which Navalny was traveling made an emergency landing in the Russian Siberian city of Omsk due to his deteriorating health, and only two days later, on August 22, Navalny was transferred to Berlin with the consent of the Russian authorities, which means that the OPCW team had been dispatched to provide "technical assistance" to Germany before the story emerged about Navalny's poisoning.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative trying to deflect the blame for Navalny's poisoning from Russian actors. This narrative is also consistent with multiple previous attempts at discrediting the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

In fact, mentioning 20 August as the date when the OPCW secretariat deployed a technical assistance team was simply a mistake in the draft report of the Ninety-Seventh Session of the OPCW's Executive Council, as explained by the spokesman of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rainer Breul. The mistake was later fixed in an updated version of the report.

Disinfo: Ukraine produces new 'initiatives' while not abiding by Minsk; Germany and France play along

Ukraine is producing new 'initiatives' regarding the Donbas war to deflect attention away from its failure to abide by the Minsk agreements. Germany and France are playing along.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets, claiming that the blame for the non-implementation of the Minsk agreements falls on Ukraine while also accusing Germany and France of ignoring this fact.

In reality, one of the basic pre-conditions for a peace settlement in Donbas is a ceasefire, which the Moscow-backed separatists have been continually breaking since these agreements were signed. The positions of Germany and France, which are sponsors of the peace process, are in full accord with Ukraine's, where the strict implementation of these agreements is concerned. The European Council said in its conclusions on external relations issued on 24 June 2021:

Disinfo: Europe, US turn Ukraine into bridgehead for attacks on Russia

Europe and the United States have turned Ukraine into a bridgehead for attacks on Russia over the past seven years. Now it is not the Ukraine we remember. They have held a lot of military drills there aimed against Russia, including ones with the use of nuclear weapons. The Southern Ukrainian cities of Odesa, Ochakiv and Mykolaiv are turning into NATO bases. There are no Russian national interests in Ukraine now. There will be no Russian national interests in Ukraine until the Russian army strikes Ukraine’s Nazi leadership.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative claiming the West is using Ukraine as a tool for military confrontation against Russia. In reality, cooperation between Ukraine and the West is multifaceted and not limited to military issues alone.

Kyiv and the European Union signed the Association Agreement in 2014, which paved the way for more comprehensive bilateral interaction in many spheres. This agreement is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together, promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. Ukraine receives financial aid from the West to stabilise its economy and help it overcome corruption.