Disinfo: West hails Zelenskyy’s attempts to eliminate opposition

Summary

The West supports Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s attempts to eliminate the opposition. Zelenskyy might succeed in liquidating the Opposition Platform for Life and Anatoly Shariy’s Party.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative by pro-Kremlin media about the West’s purported attempts to interfere in Ukrainian politics and set the political establishment there against Russia.

These two parties have a certain pro-Kremlin propensity, so affiliated politicians and media outlets are trying to portray Zelenskyy as a blatant Russophobe, whom the West ordered to wipe out everything Russian in Ukraine.

In reality, neither pro-Kremlin parties nor politicians nor media are persecuted in Ukraine as long as they obey the law. Three Ukrainian TV channels – 112 Ukraine, ZIK and NewsOne – were taken off the air on 2 February 2021 because economic sanctions were imposed on their owner Taras Kozak. According to the Ukrainian government and president these channels were supposedly financed from the separatist region of Donbas in Eastern Ukraine and from Russia.

One of the leaders of the Opposition Platform for Life, Viktor Medvedchuk, is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader is also the godfather of Medvedchuk’s daughter. Medvedchuk often visits Russia and is considered by many observers to be including Kremlin's views in his own policies in Ukraine.

Anatoly Shariy is an opposition blogger who is residing in Spain. Living abroad, he created a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine and called it after his name (Shariy’s Party). However, it showed a modest result in last year’s local elections. In February 2021, Ukraine’s security service (SBU) declared that Shariy is suspected of committing high treason.

Read more pro-Kremlin disinformation claims portraying Ukraine as a country devoid of its own policy and completely dependent on the West.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 236
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Ukrainian statehood, Russophobia, Volodymyr Zelensky
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Fiasco and catastrophe with vaccination brought huge reputation losses to the EU

Joseph Borrell blamed Russia for COVID-19 disinformation campaign and for painting its vaccines as superior to the EU's. This is nothing more than an attempt to portray own huge problems as provocations of external enemies. Whereas in Russia most people returned to normal life and COVID-19 related restrictions are gradually put down, the EU is facing a new round of lockdown measures and mass protests against them. Solidarity among the EU counties is increasingly crumbling. Eastern European EU member states such as Czechia, Hungary, and Slovakia are turning to Russia to get Sputnik V. Poland, which is in a grave situation too but considers asking Russia for assistance unthinkable, started vaccine negotiations with China.

The current situation has proven one again - as it already was known a year ago - that the EU is helpless and incapable of dealing with such emergency situations as COVID-19. The EU’s countermeasures have been a fiasco, and the current situation with vaccination of the population is a catastrophe.

Disproof

This publication is part of a disinformation narrative asserting that Russia fights the pandemic more effectively than Western democracies, boosting the credibility of a Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine and undermining that of Western vaccines. Read more about Western vaccine vilification campaign in pro-Kremlin media in our past story "Big lies, little lies and vaccine vilifications."

The publication's claim that the current situation with vaccination in the EU is a 'catastrophe' whereas in Russia it is allegedly much better, is simply not true. Available data suggests that many EU countries either keep up with Russia in vaccination rates or outpace it. According to available data in Russia 4,6 cumulative COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered per 100 people as of March 2021. These are the corresponding rates in the four Visegrad countries which are explicitly mentioned in the publication: Czechia - 8,1, Hungary - 14,1, Poland - 10,6, Slovakia - 10,0.

World Food Programme: EU, US sanctions caused 12.4 million people to be food insecure

We have to get out of the hypocrisy about Syria. In Syria, more than 12.4 million people are food insecure because of the sanctions of the United States and the European Union, these figures had been made public by the World Food Program.

The US sanctions against Syria are in favour of famine and serve only as a pretext for many companies or banks to impose even harsher rules against the country. The European Union put an end to its shameful policy.

Those who put their hatred of Bashar al-Assad before the food, medical and health survival of the Syrian people today have blood on their hands. The situation is also destabilizing Lebanon, where more than a million Syrian refugees reside.

It is necessary to organize massive support for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees to their country.

No political model, no philosophical opinion can justify starving a population to accomplish goals. The European Union must quickly come out of the hypocrisy in Syria and campaign for an end to the sanctions that only encourage the Islamist militias in Idlib to continue their fight.

To defend these millions of children, these millions of families, the EU must stop these sanctions.

Europeans are hypocrites : they claim that medical products are exempt from sanctions, when it is not the case. Financial transactions being blocked for the Syrians, they cannot buy anything: neither drugs, nor medical equipment, even if Europeans are ready to sell it.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Syrian war that aims to discredit the EU's humanitarian aid to Syria with accusations of hypocrisy.

The world food program of the UN alerted on 12 February 2021 that :

Polish and Lithuanian mercenaries return to Donbas

Kyiv regularly involves foreign mercenaries and military instructors from NATO, which complicates the peace process in Donbas. According to intelligence, a group of foreign servicemen have arrived in the region. These mercenaries serve in the Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade. They took an active part in punitive actions in Donbas in 2014 and 2015. Their task is to train snipers and stage provocations, which the Ukrainian command has planned for this spring.

Disproof

This is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about war in Ukraine.

NATO countries are not sending mercenaries to Ukraine. Relations between NATO and Ukraine date back to the early 1990s and have since developed into one of the most substantial of NATO’s partnerships. Since 2014 the cooperation has been intensified in critical areas. NATO has reinforced its support for capability development and capacity-building in Ukraine. The Allies continue to condemn Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and its destabilising and aggressive activities in eastern Ukraine and the Black Sea region. NATO has increased its presence in the Black Sea and stepped up maritime cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia.