Disinfo: The West betrayed Georgia. EU help is a loan and the country has to pay it back

Summary

Georgia does not have an alternative other than asking Russia for help, while the grants approved by the European Union for fighting the coronavirus are actually loans that the country will have to pay.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that Russia is the only state helping others, that Russia is competent and the EU and West are incompetent actors, betraying its partners. A total of EUR 400 million was transferred from the EU and some of its member countries to Georgia to fight the pandemic in three tranches. Two Team Europe packages for Georgia are already being implemented. The first one, presented on 30 March, provided for urgent healthcare supplies and technical expertise, assistance to vulnerable groups, and wide liquidity support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including in local currency. The second package was unveiled on 8 April and included over €183 million for Georgia in support to socio-economic measures, including a contribution to bridging the financing gap. These packages have brought the total COVID-related support to Georgia to €250 million in non-reimbursable grants to date. On the 24th April 2020, the EU announced a third package, in the form of €150 million of loans on highly favourable terms to further help Georgia cover its immediate financing needs. According to a statement by Carl Hartzell, the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, the aid aims to strengthen macroeconomic stability and create an environment that would facilitate directing resources to the protection of the citizens of Georgia and mitigate the negative socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic. More about the Western help to Georgia can be read on Myth Detector.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Georgian
  • Country: EU, Georgia
  • Keywords: coronavirus
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Ukraine is in the hands of nationalists and American puppets

Odesa is occupied by an enemy. “Bandera’s ideology” is flourishing in Ukraine and the country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is only a pawn. In fact, the power in Ukraine is in the hands of nationalists, who are the “puppets” of the United States of America.

Disproof

This is a mix of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives, painting Ukrainian politics as dominated by fascist/Nazi groups and Ukrainian politicians being puppets of the West. Ukraine is not controlled by any foreign government. While its sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, they were violated by Russia in 2014. The EU works closely with Ukraine and supports the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence. The US policy is focused on strengthening a stable, democratic, prosperous and free Ukraine, more closely integrated into Europe and Euro-Atlantic structures. As for the Nazis ruling Ukraine, far-right groups had a very limited presence during the Euromaidan, contrary to the Kremlin's narrative, and have suffered spectacular defeats in every national election since 2014. See similar cases: Zelenskyy is unable to handle the Ukronazis, Ukraine is run by pro-EU oligarchic Nazis supported by the US.

Russia has the right to reclaim the original Russian lands from Ukraine

There should be friendly states along the perimeter of the Russian Federation that recognise the special role of Russia in the post-Soviet space. States that pursue an anti-Russian policy must understand: Russia will not make any concessions. Russia has all the rights to reclaim the original Russian lands of southeastern Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin propaganda narrative questioning Ukrainian statehood. Ukraine is a well-defined nation-state that has preserved language, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods of time. It is a sovereign state whose borders are guaranteed by international agreements but were violated by Russia, which started a war in Ukraine in 2014. See also previous narratives claiming that there is no Ukraine, that Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians are the same nation, and that Ukrainians are Russians, not Ukrainians.

A junta took power in Ukraine after 2013-2014 revolution

These militants [Euromaidan participants] know well that without them, without their criminal actions to seize power by force, there would be no Poroshenko or Turchinov, who are correctly called the junta. They gained legitimacy later, already in a destroyed and torn country, where fascists from the streets took power. “The street” understands this perfectly. The militants have reasons to consider themselves a protected caste because they are responsible for the legitimacy of this regime, which took power after the February 2014 events.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup that brought to power a fascist regime. Ukraine is not governed by a junta. Democratic, competitive and generally well-organised presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2014 and local elections in 2015. The EU welcomed this progress. The OSCE, which observed all these elections on the ground, characterised the presidential elections as showing the "clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms." The 2019 early parliamentary elections, according to the preliminary statement of the OSCE, were efficiently run and respected fundamental freedoms. The European Parliament election observation delegation to Ukraine said in a statement that notwithstanding the fact that the elections were taking place a few months earlier than planned, one can undoubtedly say that they were competitive, well-administered and managed in an efficient way. The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last-minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU due to Russian pressure. 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. For similar cases, see here.