Disinfo: Ukraine will either be part of Russian civilization, or a decaying anti-Russia emanating terrorist threats

Summary

Whatever policies Volodymyr Zelenskyy undertakes, Russia needs a serious comprehensive program of returning Ukraine, or Little Russia, into the space of Russian civilization. Otherwise, Ukraine will turn not only into a degrading, decaying country but a real anti-Russia full of Russophobia, a source of constant terrorist threat for both Russia and Belarus.

Disproof

This message presents a classic false dichotomy, as well as speculation without evidence, to misrepresent an issue. The claim is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin messaging about disintegrating Ukraine, claiming that the country is resigned to a bleak future and imminent collapse without Russia's control. This message also contains typical claims about Ukraine being 'anti-Russian' and Russophobic. The term 'Little Russia' is derogatory and derives from imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Ukrainians and undermining Ukraine's sovereignty. The European Union continues to support Ukraine, its territorial integrity, and sovereignty against Russian aggression. For similar cases, see here, here, and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 162
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/08/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian superiority, Anti-Russian, Ukrainian disintegration, Russian world
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The Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the WWII

The Munich Agreement (1938) is the culmination of the helplessness of European diplomacy in front of the Nazi threat. This Munich conspiracy of European powers launched the largest war in history. UK and France did not want to form an anti-Nazi alliance with the USSR, which forced Moscow to take maintain peace on its territory with its own forces.

Disproof

This is a pro-Kremlin conspiracy narrative about the WWII. The Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938), indeed, permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland, in western Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler was heavily criticized in Europe and proved to be a disastrous move. World War II began in Europe on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. Great Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany on 3 September. A week before Germany attacked Poland, Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact, also known as the "Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact" (23 August 1939). The deal was accompanied by a secret supplementary protocol on the delimitation of areas of mutual interest in Eastern Europe. In particular, Hitler and Stalin agreed to divide Poland. The agreement also indicated that the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as well as Bessarabia and Finland, also belonged to the respective areas of interest of Germany and the USSR. Soviet Union attacked Poland on September 17, forcing the Polish army to fight on two fronts. Poland was divided according to the agreements of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. USSR later attacked Finland and annexed the Baltic states, all along the agreements with Nazi Germany. USSR and Germany engaged in an intensive trade program, where Soviet Union provided Germany with grain and strategic raw material. More on the trade between Moscow and Berlin 1939 – 1941 here. The war between the U.S.S.R. and Germany began on 22 June 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union joined forces with the Allied Powers immediately after the German attack.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact did not trigger World War II. Russia was threatened by Germany

Supporters of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as a “conspiracy of two dictators” deliberately forget to mention the role of the 1938 Munich Agreement, the culmination of the helplessness of European diplomacy in the face of the Nazi threat.

The Munich Agreement forced Moscow to be an outside observer of the entire European adventure. Russia could finally give up the illusions regarding the anti-German intentions of England and France, which skillfully pushed the German aggression to the East, to the Soviet borders.

Moscow draw the simple conclusion; the time had come when only their own forces could keep peace on their territory.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was signed on August 23, 1939. Its secret protocols divided Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact directly caused the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in complete occupation of the country by Germany and the USSR. The Treaty enabled the Soviet Union to invade and annex the Baltic States. The Soviets also annexed Romania's provinces of Bessarabia (today's Moldova) and northern Bukovina (now in Ukraine) and the Czechoslovak territory of Carpathian Ruthenia (now also part of Ukraine). Throughout the territories it occupied, the Soviet Union carried out harsh political reprisals, including mass executions and deportations.

Crimea's peaceful return to Russia is one of Putin's successes

Crimea has returned to Russia through a peaceful referendum where a large majority of citizens declared that they want to live in Russia. The referendum was directly prompted by the coup in Kyiv, but it has been a long-term wish of the local population to rejoin Russia and making that happen is one of Vladimir Putin’s successes.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum. Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine). Following the covert invasion by “little green men,” the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. The oft-cited figure of 97% participation in the referendum has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum, of which some 50-60% favoured secession. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. For similar disinformation cases about Euromaidan protests being a “coup”, see here and here. For disinformation about the referendum and “legal annexation” of Crimea, see similar cases here, here, here andhere.