Disinfo: UN Security Council held honest dialogue with Russia about Crimea

Summary

At the initiative of Russia, the UN Security Council discussed the issue of Crimea. It was an honest dialogue, the first time the UN heard honest data about Crimea. The delegation from the Crimea debunked all the fakes on the peninsula.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea. The article refers to “honest dialogue” during an informal meeting of the UN Security Council, however it fails to mention that during the video conference Western countries reaffirmed their commitment to reject the Russian illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories. The article also ignores the criticism of Russia's actions that were voiced. The so-called “Arria formula” meetings are often used at the UN - these are informal negotiations that allow members of the organisation to be informed on international security issues. In the Crimean issue, Council members have used this format since March 2014. Meetings are usually organised jointly by France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other members of the Security Council in partnership with Ukraine. On 21 May, Russia decided to convene its own conference on the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea; however, Ukraine, the USA, Great Britain and Estonia refused to take part. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting, initiated by Russia, was held by video conference. In addition to Russia, representatives of China, France, Belgium, Indonesia, Germany, the European Union and Czechia participated. However, most countries refuse to accept any “facts” provided by the Kremlin about the situation in Crimea, emphasising they do not recognise the illegal Russian annexation of the peninsula and continue to strongly condemn the Kremlin’s violation of international law. “We regret that Russia is calling an Arria-formula meeting in a futile attempt to legitimise the illegal annexation and we underline that Russia's action, and our participation here, cannot be interpreted as a recognition of any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.” The EU representative stated during the conference (01:06:36-01:11:41). The last time issues of the occupied Crimea were discussed in the UN Security Council was in March this year, where a meeting was held on Russia's violation of human rights on the peninsula. That event was organised by the permanent missions of Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the UK and the USA to the UN in partnership with Ukraine. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and the head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York, Ilse Brands Kehris spoke about the flagrant violations of human rights by Russia in Crimea, which include: restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, movement, religion, illegal call-ups of Crimeans to the Russian army, as well as the detention, abduction and murder of residents of the peninsula.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, UK, France, US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: United Nations, security threat, War crimes, Occupation, UN, Crimean Tatars, Crimea
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Sabotage, imitation and profanity - what Ukraine is doing in the Donbas peace negotiation process

Sabotage, imitation, profanity, and absurd new ideas from Kyiv – this is how things turn out on the negotiating platform on the Donbas issue. Meanwhile, the ongoing shelling of settlements in the Donbas led the head of the DPR to increase the combat readiness of all units.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine, casting Ukraine as the sole responsible party for the implementation of the Minsk agreements. At the end of April 2020, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the Ukrainian side in the Trilateral Contact Group offered to hold negotiations in a video format so that negotiations could continue. “At the beginning of each week, we have a Minsk video-call. We want to move forward. Because it is the only thing that brings us closer to solving this issue globally," the Ukrainian President emphasised. Meanwhile, the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE recorded every day a different number of ceasefire violations from both sides on Donbas. Since 2014, negotiations with Russia to resolve the conflict in the Donbas have been held within the framework of the Normandy Format and the Minsk process. A special Trilateral contact group is working on a peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas. Three parties are involved in this process: representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. Unofficially, representatives of the "LDNR" factions are also present. The second set of measures to implement the Minsk agreements was signed on 12 February 2015. The first paragraph of the document relates to an immediate ceasefire. Next, it is necessary to withdraw heavy weapons, ensure OSCE monitoring, release prisoners, grant Donbas special status and hold local elections, provide amnesty to the parties involved in the conflict and restore control over the Ukrainian-Russian border in the conflict zone. You can read other similar cases claiming that Ukraine does not fulfil key point of Minsk agreements on negotiation with the "LDNR" or that Ukraine broke the Minsk agreements by allowing the National Police on the contact line.

Kyiv considers Crimea “its own” contrary to all international standards

Zelenskyy has to work out what his “masters” tell him, including on the Kerch provocation. He was told that there were no clues, that everyone understood the meaning of this provocation, based on the fact that Kyiv considers Crimea “its own”, contrary to all international standards, and they were still obliged to complain about Russia. Allegedly it was Russia, and not Ukraine, that violated the law of the sea. This is done in order to raise the anti-Russian wave, again and again, and to support Ukraine on the world agenda, although in reality neither this country nor its problems are interesting to anyone in the world and cause only irritation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February 2014 and held less than three weeks later. A part of this article also repeats the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative 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 a tugboat 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. In addition, the EU urged Russia to release the captured crew. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. Read the EU statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea's annexation.

NATO prepares a large scale military conflict in the Black sea region

The growing operational activity of the US/NATO naval and air forces in the Black Sea region provokes an adequate reaction from the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Navy. The destroyers of the 6th fleet of the US Navy in the Black Sea regularly display the star-spangled banner and Tomahawk cruise missiles. In Bulgaria and Romania, military infrastructure and materiel stocks are created. More, the Romanian air base Câmpia Turzii has become a platform for the deployment of US strategic offensive weapons. According to Russian military leaders, the manoeuvre scenarios testify to NATO’s targeted preparation for a large-scale military conflict.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on NATO belligerence towards Russia and on Russophobia. NATO's exercises and military deployments in the Black Sea are not directed against Russia – or any other country. Exercises are designed to ensure that NATO forces are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently, transparently and publicly over the past 29 years. The allegation about NATO's plans to wage a war against Russia was addressed on NATO's official website: "Any claims that NATO is preparing an attack on Russia are absurd." NATO is a defensive alliance and does not pose a threat to Russia. Its purpose is to protect its member states. Every country that joins NATO undertakes to uphold its principles and policies, and this includes the commitment that "the Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia," as reaffirmed at the Brussels Summit. For more information about NATO-Russia relations and disinformation narratives about NATO, see here and here. Here you can see other examples of disinformation on NATO alleged goals in Crimea and its intentions to introduce a fleet to the Azov Sea, provocations against Russia in the Black Sea or the dangers created by the Alliance’s activities in those waters, preparations for big war, NATO provokes Russia in the Black Sea region.