Disinfo: 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, Ukraine, Germany, France
  • Keywords: Volodymyr Zelensky, Eastern Ukraine, West, Anti-Russian, War in Ukraine, Donbas, Conspiracy, Ukrainian statehood
  • Outlet: Sputnik Belarus
see more

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.

Mainstream Polish media not interested in the fate of Mateusz Piskorski

Mainstream Polish media have not published a single interview with Mateusz Piskorski, accused of spying for Russia in 2016. Moreover, they are not interested in his fate, his life in prison or his life after his release on bail.

Disproof

This message presents the narrative of a corrupt and fraudulent mainstream media controlled by political elites and promoting their agenda to society, see examples here and here.

The story of Mateusz Piskorski has been a hot topic for all the mainstream Polish media since 2016 as were quite a few Polish citizens arrested with the accusation of spying for Russia. There are hundreds of articles and TV reports on this person (his arrest, background, charges, legal case). Moreover, two major Polish newspapers quoted parts of his letters sent from prison (here and here) - in these letters Piskorski defended himself from the accusations in espionage. According to words of Piskorski, he is accused of manipulation with public opinion and promotion of messages close to Russian narratives - from his point of view, these actions cannot be perceived as espionage.