Ukrainian ships aggressively violated the Russian borders in 2018

Summary

We appreciate the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, but there are some issues. The Ukrainian sailors, who are war criminals, were kindly released by Russia, but have officially confirmed that are ready to go through the Kerch Strait again. It was an aggressive violation of Russian borders.

Disproof

This is a part of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the Kerch incident. 

On 25 November 2018 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members.

Russia argued that they were in Russian waters. However, a bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty is considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine.

On 25 May 2019, the United Nations Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ordered Russia to immediately release Ukrainian sailors and allow them to return to Ukraine. The EU urged Russia to release the captured crew.

Twenty-four military sailors returned to Ukraine on 7 September as part of a mutual release of detainees by Ukraine and Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Azov sea, Kerch, Black Sea
  • Outlet: 60 Minut @ Rossiya 1 time 0:29-0:50
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Ukraine is not an independent state

Trump might punish Zelenskyy for not fulfilling his demands by several means, including taking the IMF money back. Thus, Ukraine is not an independent state since its president is a hostage to American domestic politics.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. EU and US are not controlling Ukraine. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world but is violated by Russia. The relations between the US and Ukraine represent bilateral cooperation between two independent countries. The US recognised Ukraine as an independent state on December 25, 1991. U.S. policy is centred on realising and strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. The US also released $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.

The West has a genetic fear of Russia’s strengthening and thereby provokes one conflict after another

The biggest danger to Europe is the restoration of the USSR. Preventing this is the priority of German, French, American and other political forces. Western countries have a genetic fear of Russia’s strengthening and thereby provoke one conflict after another.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Western Russophobiaaggressive anti-Russian western activities and belligerent West's attempts to encircle Russia.

The accussation that the Western countries of provoking conflicts  against Russia is unfounded. All the existing conflicts where Russia is involved were prokoved by Russia itself (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova).

The West is trying to keep refugees outside of Syria in order to influence their vote

About 1.5 million refugees have returned to Syria since the start of the conflict in 2011 and, hence, allegations that the Syrian government is not providing necessary conditions for their return are politically biased. The West is not helping Syrian refugees to return home as it channels large sums of money, like 7 billion euros allocated at the Brussels conference on supporting Syrian refugees, to refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. By doing so the West is trying to keep as many refugees as possible in camps outside Syria in order to influence how they vote in elections.

Disproof

No official data backs this claim. UNCHR has been counting the number of self-organized Syrian refugee returns. According to the latest estimates (as of June 30, 2019), up to 180 000 Syrian refugees have returned to Syria since 2016.

The cover photo of the article creates an impression as if the refugees are returning to the country. In fact, the photo was taken back in 2015 depicting a woman and a boy fleeing Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk on the outskirts of Damascus.