Disinfo: Ukrainian civil war caused by Western-backed 2014 coup in Kyiv

Summary

Russia’s involvement in Ukraine is limited to acting as a mediator in the country’s half-decade old civil war, brought on by a Western-backed coup in Kyiv in 2014.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup orchestrated by the West, and alleging that Russia's armed aggression in east Ukraine is a civil war. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Civil war, Euromaidan, Coup, War in Ukraine
see more

Poland is losing its independence

The Polish government is submissive not only to its main ally (or even a hegemon) – the United States but also to much smaller countries such as Israel. The evidence for this statement is the recent anti-Iranian conference in Warsaw, which was in reality organized by the USA and Israel. Polish independence is weakening, or it has already been completely liquidated.

Disproof

A common pro-Kremlin narrative on the “lost sovereignty” - in the case of Poland, this country is often presented as a “puppet-state” of the United States. The statement that Poland is submissive to the will of the United States or other countries (Israel) is a conspiracy theory. Poland is a sovereign state, which shapes its own foreign and domestic policies. The Middle East conference in Warsaw took place on February 13-14, 2019 - it was officially organized by Poland and the United States. This event united 43 official delegations (mainly, from the countries of the European Union, Middle East, Middle Asia and North Africa). The main official issues of this conference were terrorism and extremism, missile development and proliferation, maritime trade and security, and threats posed by proxy groups across the Middle East. Read similar cases alleging that Polish policy towards Ukraine is shaped by the Americans and that the US keeps Poland on an anti-Russian leash.

A ruthless US doesn't allow Argentina to put an end to hunger

The US responded to the newly elected president of Argentina with a threat. Alberto Fernández’s plan ‘Argentina without hunger’, which includes the renegotiation of the debt with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a strategy, found a ruthless answer from the US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Disproof

This is a deliberate misinterpretation of Steven Mnuchin's statements, whose exact words were that Argentina had a commitment to the IMF and the US expected the new government to uphold it. However, he didn’t close the door to a renegotiation, only pointing out that if Argentina wanted this, they have to present a plan to the IMF for review, as with any other country. Besides, by directly linking Mnuchin’s alleged inflexibility to the hunger reduction programmes, this narrative tries to present the US as responsible for the suffering of the Argentinian people, in line with recurrent Russian disinformation about an evil US to be blamed for many of the world's problems, such as missile proliferation, Europe's disintegration, the promotion of coups and destabilisation all over the world (from Bolivia to Hong Kong, Russia, Syria, Venezuela or Hungary), the downing of Malaysian airlines flights, the sponsorship of religious destabilising movements and terrorism, the ignition of wars and the corruption of human rights.

Kyiv refuses to clear up its mines in Donbas

Ukraine is refusing to clear up mines in Donbas and therefore Finland will have to do it. After Kyiv refused to finance the clearing of mines left by Ukrainian soldiers, Finland has taken on the task.

Disproof

Another narrative attempting to portray Ukraine as a failing state. See recent EUvsDisinfo article Ukraine is attacked again. And again. Ukraine has never refused to clear mines in the Donbas war zone. Mine clearance is conducted simultaneously by Ukraine’s Armed Forces, the State Special Transport Service and the Emergency Situation Service. In addition, since 2016 several international organisations have been helping with mine clearance in Ukraine such as the Halo Trust, the Danish Demining Group, and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action. In 2005, Ukraine became a signatory to the Ottawa Convention or the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty and since 2012 has continued to dispose of prohibited explosive devices. In January 2019, a new law on mine safety and clearance came into force. The law states that anti-mine and clearance programmes will be financed through the state budget along with donor funds. Finland’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed that they are ready to allocate 600,000 euros for mine clearing in Donbas. In addition to Finland, over the last year Great Britain, Germany, NATO and others have provided financial assistance for mine clearing programs in Ukraine. Debunk by StopFake.