Disinfo: Ukrainian government lost independence, it must obey orders from Washington and Brussels

Summary

It’s time for Ukraine to understand that the country has been under external control. The Ukrainian government does not have an independent policy but must obey the “orders” from Washington and Brussels. Ukrainian officials have regular consultations with European and American partners on various political and economic issues.

Disproof

Conspiracy with no evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine, which is often claimed to be under external control from the US, NATO, the EU, or IMF. Ukraine is an independent, sovereign state, it does not receive orders from any foreign government. The EU has stated, on many occasions, that Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU. It supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for its citizens and is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Association Agreement (AA), including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) signed in 2014, is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together, promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. The relations between the US and Ukraine are bilateral relations between two independent countries. The US recognised Ukraine as an independent state on 25 December 1991. Since then, Washington has been working closely with Ukraine, directing its assistance to support the democratic development of the country and helping Ukraine to withstand Russian aggression. U.S. policy has since been centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. See similar disinformation cases alleging that according to a US plan, Ukraine must become an agraran state with widespread poverty, that the West deprived Ukraine and Baltic states of their sovereignty, that US destroys Ukrainian identity, or that IMF destroys Ukrainian economy and brings Ukraine under external control.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 217
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/10/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: EU, US, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Ukrainian statehood, Conspiracy theory
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It is unclear, who really poisoned Sergei and Yuliya Skripal

Sergei and Yuliya Skripal were found unconscious in Salisbury, UK, on 4 March 2018 and were taken to hospital with symptoms of poisoning. It is still unclear by whom, and under what circumstances, the former Russian-British double agent and his daughter were really poisoned.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Salisbury poisoning. After a hearing in the Court of Protection, British High Court Justice David Williams issued an approved judgement about what had happened to the Skripals around three weeks after their poisoning in March 2018. The British Police have presented a solid chain of evidence on the Skripal case, with pictures, connecting the suspects to the locations in the case. Some of the material has been released to the public. The evidence was sufficient to charge two Russian nationals, Anatoliy Chepiga and Aleksandr Mishkin with the attack on the Skripals, both Russian military intelligence operatives from the GRU, who travelled to the UK using fake names and documents. Following this attack, the United Kingdom notified the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), invited them to confirm the identity of the substance involved, and briefed members of the Security Council. The OPCW’s independent expert laboratories confirmed the UK’s identification of the Russian produced Novichok nerve agent, specifically the purity of the toxin while emphasising that the OPCW team “worked independently and was not involved in the national investigation by the UK authorities", to ensure the integrity of the examinations and investigations. The pro-Kremlin narrative also claims that the Skripal story "starts to be forgotten". In fact, the UK's official assessment of the incident was supported by 28 other countries which responded similarly. Altogether, an unprecedented number of 153 Russian diplomats were expelled around the world. See more disinformation cases on the Skripals' Salisbury poisoning.

The US aims to take Russia out of the post-Soviet space following a RAND corporation plan

Those who believe that the latest events in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Nagorno-Karabakh and possibly upcoming tensions in Moldova are the mere result of popular discontent and infighting among clans and elites or among regions are wrong. It is all due to a ruthless geopolitical, geoeconomic, ideological and informative struggle carefully planned since long ago by US strategists and set in motion to liberate the post-Soviet space from Russia’s influence. For Washington and its unconditional satellite Brussels, creating around Russia as much instability focus, tension and local conflicts as possible, would lead its government to despair in its impossible attempt to fill all the holes, and to the weakening of Vladimir Putin’s government, which wouldn’t have time to support Syria, Venezuela, Iran and Libya. More than one year ago, the think tank Rand Corporation published a report where it analyses Russia’s anxieties and vulnerabilities and advises on how to exploit them. According to Rand’s analysts “the US main task is to weaken, outbalance, overextend and take Russia out of the post-Soviet space”. Some of the points of the report have been implemented, such as destabilisation in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan and others. It is significant that two of its proposals, related to sanctions against Russian energy projects and the deployment of a “western information campaign” on the anti-corruption fight, are implemented in the media campaign related to the “poisoning” of Alexei Navalny. Another revealing chapter is devoted to “geopolitical measures” against Russian influence: given the recent events in the post-Soviet space, the same list of measures looks like a scenario that is implemented in front of our eyes.

Disproof

This is a deliberate misrepresentation of the content of the original report of the Rand Corporation, in order to support recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russia as the ultimate target of international events, the West as an aggressive evil power aiming to encircle Russia, popular protests as Western-led colour revolutions and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny as a set up framing Russia. Though the report is openly oriented to “define areas where the United States can compete [with Russia] to its own advantage” in the framework of “great-power competition with Russia”, there is no evidence that it is related at all to events in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyzstan or the Navalny case. Contrary to the claim, the report never states that “the US main task is to weaken, outbalance, overextend and take Russia out of the post-Soviet space”. The measures it proposes towards the Caucasus are promoting a closer NATO relationship with Georgia and Azerbaijan and to try to induce Armenia to break with Russia, not to escalate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Regarding Central Asia, it suggests increasing trade and technical agreements and further engagement with the Eurasian Economic Union, not a colour revolution in Kyrgyzstan. And though it examines the potential benefits for the US of regime change in Belarus, it talks about “helping the opposition parties reach the end state of being a free and democratic Belarus”, not about engineering unrest. See other examples of these disinformation narratives, such as claims that clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh are part of an Anaconda Ring plan against Russia, that events in Belarus are part of a hybrid war organised from abroad, that Moscow prevented a colour revolution in Kyrgyzstan, that extremists and Nazis are being trained in Ukraine to act in Belarus, or that Angela Merkel is the handler of Belarusian and Russian opposition leaders Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny.

Following US orders, Germany disguised Navalny’s low blood sugar as action of a “nerve agent”

In cahoots with France, Germany disguised the low blood sugar levels of Alexei Navalny as the action of a “nerve agent”, dragging the whole EU in their crusade. The sanctions against Russia are masterminded by the US, which can only lead to conclude that Brussels closely follows every order from Washington. In this way, Germany has some kind of Stockholm syndrome towards the US, because every blow that Washington launches against the Nord Stream 2 is a direct hit to the economy and energy security of Germany.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The claim that Navalny suffered “low blood sugar levels” is false, since the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against the Russian dissident has been established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. This is merged with a recurrent disinformation narrative portraying the EU as a puppet of the US. The campaign is following the same playbook as the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that it is the US, and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the US wanted to use it to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations on Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko.