Disinfo: The US sold patrol boats to Ukraine because it wants revenge in Crimea

Summary

The US sold 16 Mark VI patrol boats to Ukraine to reinforce the defence capabilities of the country. However, while both countries try to hide their intentions, it is clear that they both want revenge in Crimea. Washington is willing to help Ukraine to fight Russia in the sea. The US wants to undermine Russia’s national security with the sale of these boats. The US is helping Ukraine to increase its naval fleet in the Azov Sea in order to challenge Russia’s presence in Crimea. According to the Pentagon, this sale will reinforce Ukraine’s capabilities “to repeal current and future threats”, which doubtlessly is a reference to Russia. However, it has been Ukraine who threatened Crimea’s security in the last years.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Crimea and Ukraine, accusing other countries of taking aggressive actions in order to divert attention from its own violations of international law in the region. The sale of 16 Mark VI patrol boats was approved in the frame of the US support strategy to improve the security of Ukraine, and on the understanding that this equipment doesn’t alter the basic military balance in the region. The boats are not designed for sea combat, but for force protection and supporting maritime intercept, search and seizure operations, among other tasks. This is an attempt to portray Ukraine and the US as the aggressors in Crimea when it was actually Russia’s illegal takeover of the territory in 2014 that triggered the current conflict. See other examples of these disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that the US turned against Russia alarmed about its resurgence after Crimea’s reincorporation, which prevented the peninsula from becoming a US protectorate; that Ukrainian agents may be preparing acts of sabotage in the territory; that a British Member of the Parliament told Ukraine to forget about Crimea; that the UN are fabricating human rights violations in the peninsula; or that Russia was expelled from G8 for no real reason.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/07/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Azov sea, Anti-Russian, Crimea, Warmongering
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The West controls Ukrainian economy and pumps out its resources

The West is quite satisfied with the possibility of control over the Ukrainian economy, with the ability to freely pump out raw materials like wood and other resources from Ukraine. It controls the enterprises it needs and eliminates unnecessary ones, for example, engineering.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine, which is often claimed to be under external control from the US, NATO, the EU or IMF. Neither the US, the EU nor any other state controls Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign and independent state with a democratically-elected president and parliament. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, confirmed by the resolutions of the United Nations, but violated by Russia. Ukraine exports both industrial and agricultural products. The top exported goods to the US are iron and steel, iron and steel products, electrical machinery, animal and vegetable fats and oils. The EU imports from Ukraine iron, steel, mining and agricultural products, chemical products and machinery. Since 2016, there has been a steady increase in the export of products such as machinery, appliances and transport equipment, while the number of companies exporting to the EU has increased from 11,700 companies in 2015 to more than 14,500 companies in 2019. See here for more information. See similar claims alleging that the EU Association Agreement destroyed the Ukrainian economy and that Ukraine and its economy became a Western colony.

International observers praised Russian vote in Crimea

Dozens of international observers watched the all-Russian voting on the law on amendments to the Russian constitution, which took place in the neighboring country from 25 June to 1 July. An EU delegation has even arrived in Crimea to observe the voting process. International observers praised the legitimate vote in Crimea.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to portray a gradual acceptance of Crimea's position within Russia, especially by the West. Members of the European Parliament who visited the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea did not represent the EU and did not constitute an observation mission of the European Parliament, the press service of the EР said. “We know that some members of the European Parliament and other citizens act as so-called observers in the Crimea when voting on Russian constitutional amendments. They are not EU official representatives, they are not an official EU delegation and they are not an observation mission of the European Parliament,” said Peter Stano, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to Ukrainian media. The EU also condemned the vote, which took place in the temporarily occupied Crimea in violation of international law.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated after a coup in Kyiv

Relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated after a coup in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv back in 2014. The new Ukrainian authority banned all forms of cooperation with Russia. And Russia was forced to implement its trade embargo on countries that have joined the US embargo on Russia, including Ukraine.

Disproof

There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests depicting the 2013-14 revolution as a coup d'état and about international sanctions against Russia. Ukrainians spontaneously united against the actions of President Viktor Yanukovych after his government, due to pressure from Russia, refused to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union, which had taken seven years to negotiate. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. It was Russia that annexed Crimea and continues to destabilise Ukraine, which was the reason for the EU and the US to impose sanctions on Russia. Furthermore, Kyiv's decision to suspend trade with Moscow was a counter-move to Russia's announcement for a food embargo against Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin described as due to “extraordinary circumstances affecting the interests and economic security...making Russia exports to Ukraine less competitive", as an alleged result of Ukraine's free trade pact with the EU. Read similar cases claiming that the US has recognised Euromaidan as a coup controlled by US officials and that Ukrainian government lost its legitimacy after 2014 coup, and that the Western-backed coup in Ukraine has torn the country asunder.