Disinfo: Washington uses the topic of fighting corruption as an instrument to control Ukraine

Summary

The United States is helping Ukraine, which is at war with its people. Residents of Donbas do not want to live under the rule of Kyiv, they do not agree with the results of the coup, so they tried to defend constitutional order in the country. The fact that the United States is allocating funds to Ukraine demonstrates the fact of intervention in this conflict, as well as support for actions that violate the law and international law. Such assistance will be used by the Kyiv authorities in armed actions against the residents of Donbas. At the same time, Washington uses the topic of fighting corruption as a lever to pressure the Ukrainian authorities. Corruption is a very convenient reason that the United States uses in a controlled country if it needs to be put under pressure. Undoubtedly, the level of corruption in today’s Ukraine is outrageous. But in this case, Washington uses this pretext to put its people in key positions, strengthen its influence on the Ukrainian government from the outside and blur the notion of state sovereignty.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives painting the war in Ukraine as something that was artificially orchestrated by the US as well as a recurring disinformation narrative questioning Ukrainian statehood. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a Western-driven civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014. US aid to Ukraine is designed to help Ukraine fight corruption, not control the country. In the similar manner, the EU also provides continuous financial support for Ukraine, with strong conditionality on continued progress of reforms. Read more here. See previous disinformation claims alleging that Ukraine has become a neocolony of the West; US interests prevent Ukraine from ending the war in Donbas; the US is eager to get Crimea.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 201
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/06/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: US, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Abandoned Ukraine, US presence in Europe, Ukrainian statehood, War in Ukraine
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Aegis Ashore missile defense system and MK-41 in Romania are an immediate threat to Russia

With the new (Defence) strategy, Romania will start acting like the Baltic States and Poland, which also shout about the Russian threat. Romania participates in anti-Russian NATO exercises and places American weapons on its territory. The US military base is operating in the country, where the Aegis Ashore missile defense system and launchers system MK-41 are installed. They can be used to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. This is an immediate threat to Russia.

Disproof

The Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System is part of the European Phased Adapted Approach, designed to protect European NATO allies, and the U.S. deployed forces in the region, against current and emerging ballistic threats from the Middle East. U.S. Naval Forces ruled out the possibility of targeting the Russian Federation with the Aegis Ashore system. In August 2019 the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defence system in Romania completed scheduled update. This update did not provide any offensive capability to the Aegis Ashore missile defence system. The MK-41 launcher used at the Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defence system deployed in Romania is only capable of launching defensive interceptor missiles. Russians have long claimed that the MK-41 VLS system allows Aegis Ashore to also launch ground-based cruise missiles. The accusation has been categorically rejected by Washington and NATO, which say the system does not have the software or the hardware needed to launch offensive ballistic or cruise missiles such as the Tomahawk, and its role is only to intercept missiles. The Romanian Defence Minister Teodor Melescanu also reiterated in February 2019 that "Aegis Ashore" was a strictly defensive system. See similar cases claiming that US deploys missiles prohibited by INF treaty in Poland and Romania or that US missile defence-bases in Romania and Poland are purposefully targeting Russia.

USA wants to divide Russian society before the constitutional referendum

The USA wants to divide Russian society before the constitutional referendum. A senior Russian security official pointed out that hostile Western actors would try to provoke “nationalist and separatist feelings” in the run-up to the national vote on the adoption of the new constitution on 1 July. The West is taking steps to “increase the informational pressure” with the aim of undermining Russia’s “spiritual, cultural, historical and moral values”. In his opinion, these alleged psychological operations are trying to reduce “feelings of national identity” in order to “divide Russian society”.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the US presence in Europe, portraying the US as meddling in Russia's internal affairs. Russia is trying to pass a constitutional reform with voting on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation from June 25 to July 1. The narrative of meddling in Russia is consistent with previous disinformation narratives that saw US-interference in the 2018 Presidential elections or deals with the alleged destabilization of Russia. See: the US is now trying to set up the colour revolutions matrix ahead of Russia’s 2018 Presidential elections and The organisers of “colour revolutions” in the CIS aim to destabilise the situation in Russia. Additionally, the recurrent narrative of "fundamental Russian values" (orthodox religion, traditional family etc.), is often presented as values opposing the "decadent" West, it does not reflect Russia's own reality and may serve as the justification of the failure of democratic processes in Russia.

George Soros funds far-left Democrat organisation aiming to oust Trump

Liberal financier George Soros has been exposed as a financial contributor to Refuse Fascism, a far-left Democrat organisation dedicated to removing Donald Trump from office. In an undercover video by Project Veritas, the head of Refuse Fascism’s Atlanta chapter reveals that the group received a “grant” from controversial billionaire Soros.

Disproof

The story advances the pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative alleging that the racial justice protests in the US are being spearheaded by violent left-wing groups which, in their turn, are financed by George Soros. Refuse Fascism is not a "Democrat" organisation. It was established following Trump's presidential victory in 2016, and espouses the principle of non-violent direct action in its activities. Crucially, the group is not affiliated with the US Democratic Party in any way. On the contrary, members of Refuse Fascism have criticised the party and expressed a "fundamental disbelief in [its] ability to stop Trump through electoral politics." Tee Stern, the member of Refuse Fascism filmed by Project Veritas, does not say that the group received a grant from Soros. In the heavily edited video, the activist says the following (2:15-2:33, brackets added by Project Veritas):

"We did apply for a grant from Soros at one point, a long time ago when I was doing more abortion rights and defending clinics. We actually did get a grant from them (Soros) around-- we started a thing called a 'National Day of Appreciation' for abortion providers."

It is not immediately clear from the statement whether the "grant" predates the establishment of Refuse Fascism, but it is certain that the funds were earmarked for an unrelated abortion-rights cause which Stern happened to be involved in. The claim that Soros' Open Society Foundation is bankrolling the demonstrators has been separately debunked by Politifact.