Ukraine’s foreign relations since 2014 are built around the myth of Russian aggression in Donbas

Summary

Ukraine’s whole diplomatic strategy since 2014 has been built around the mythology of war with Russia. The Ukrainian idea is to increase external pressure on Russia to bring it to the negotiating table and to abandon talks about bringing special status to Ukraine’s eastern regions.

The real goal behind Zelenskyy’s recent visits to Germany and France was not to present a new plan of peaceful resolution of the Donbas conflict, because such a plan does not exist. The visits were intended to find out if Western partners are still ready to assist Ukraine in the international legalisation of the Donbas conflict as ‘Russian aggression.’

Disproof

This claim is a conspiracy consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the war in Ukraine - claiming that Russia is not responsible for it - and ungrounded anti-Russian actions by Western countries. It disregards the extensive factual evidence confirming ongoing Russian military presence in Donbas. Prior debunks of this narrative can be found here and here.

Concerning Zelenskyy's visits to Germany and France, the sides have agreed on the need to restart peace efforts, including the so-called Normandy format, which brings together Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France. Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Angela Merkel were in agreement "that until progress has been made, sanctions on Russia cannot be lifted," stressed the German Chancellor.

Western countries' policy towards Russia is a consequence of Russia's annexation of Crimea and Russia-backed armed formations in Donbas, which violate international law. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia in response to its territorial violations against Ukraine. More on EU’s restrictive measures against Russia is available here.

See an earlier disinformation case alleging that the rumours about Russian military presence in Donbas come from linguistic misunderstanding.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 156
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: Belarus
  • Country: Russia, The West, Ukraine, Germany, France
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Eastern Ukraine, Anti-Russian, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
  • Outlet: Sputnik Belarus
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Lavrov says Georgia is the result of the West’s geopolitical games

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Georgia is a textbook example of the consequences of the West’s geopolitical games. The top Russian diplomat claimed that “Georgia is where its Western mentors are capable of turning a blind eye to the ultra-nationalists’ riots and Russophobia.”

Lavrov added that Ukraine is now on the same path as Georgia because it is blindly following advise coming from abroad. Thus – says Lavrov – Ukraine, which has immense potential, is now a weak country that is constantly asking for foreign aid.

Earlier, writes the articles, anti-Russian demonstrations started in Georgia, and now cinemas in Tbilisi do not broadcast movies in Russian and in some Georgian cafes the owners indicated that they would raise prices but only for Russian tourists.

Disproof

There is no proof that the either the Georgian or the Ukrainian government/authorities are following Western orders, it is recurring Russian disinformation that pro-Western countries in the region are in fact controlled by Russia's geopolitical opponents.

It seems to be true two cinema companies (Cavea and Amirani) have stopped screening Russian-language movies temporarily in light of the Georgian protests against a Russian politician speaking in the Georgian Parliament. bit.ly/2xkt7VX, However, there is no proof that cafes wanted to raise the prices for Russian tourists.

Ukrainian troops leave their positions on the demarcation line due to poor provision and living conditions

Ukrainian military began to leave positions at the demarcation line with the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, due to poor provision and living conditions. The Ukrainian generals are trying to reason with the officers, but they still don’t want to fight in Donbas.

 

Disproof

The withdrawal of troops from the line of demarcation in the Luhansk region is not related to reasons mentioned by the representative of "LPR".  The Ukrainian army is implementing the Framework Decision of the Trilateral Contact Group on the disengagement of forces and military hardware in the Donbas, which was signed in 2016.

According to the OSCE, the situation is calm and stable.

German media are Russophobic

German media are Russophobic.

A frequent guest at top-level German-Russian events highlighted the difference between the rather Russophobic media in Germany and generally positive public opinion about Russia.

Disproof

No evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia.

German media, like that in other pluralist democracies, represent a wide range of political opinions and do not have a single editorial policy for any country or topic.