Disinfo: Zelenskyy to create “death camps” in Donbas


Volodymyr Zelenskyy is going to create “death camps” in Donbas.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Ukraine and the war in Donbas.

The draft law "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Concerning the Regulation of Issues Related to Prisoners of War and Internees in a Special Period" № 4327 was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. It defines the powers and tasks of state bodies regarding the treatment of prisoners of war and internees during a special period in accordance with the requirements of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.

See similar disinformation cases alleging that Ukraine is preparing a plan for the deportation of Donbas residents, that residents of Donbas will be forcibly relocated to Lviv for re-education, or that Ukraine's government planned to build concentration camps for Donbas residents, that Kyiv shows what fate it has planned for Donbas-repressions, camps and no production, that Kyiv promises Donbas filtration camps after punitively clearing the area.


  • Reported in: Issue 221
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, Donbas


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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A coup is being prepared in Ukraine due to Biden’s victory

The “old guard” will soon return to power in the US, encouraging Petro Poroshenko’s supporters to act, as they are dreaming about old times. It is no longer in fashion to hold fair elections, the current Western democratic rulebook says that one simply needs to take power in his or her own hands. Manually controlled media and other mass information tools will make sure to legitimise the results among the electorate. Poroshenko wants to make somebody else president, rewrite the constitution to increase the power of the prime minister, and then become the prime minister himself. Biden’s victory made him more confident and he is only waiting for the right moment to ask the next US president for his help.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about fraudulent elections and Ukraine.

There is no evidence that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is planning a coup against the incumbent president. The former head of state remains a key opposition politician in the country. There is no proof either that US President-elect Joe Biden would in any way agree with a coup by Poroshenko.

Gorbachev was promised that NATO would not “expand eastwards”

Gorbachev was promised that NATO would not “go east”. Where is NATO now? In West Germany, there was NATO. East Germany was not a part of NATO. They promised in words, and then what?


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that NATO had promised Russia it would not expand to the East.

NATO allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any decision taken by NATO about putting a halt to enlargement to the East. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus and do not constitute formal NATO agreements. Moreover, at the time of the alleged promise, the Warsaw Pact still existed, which by definition precluded any member of the Pact from joining NATO. Its members did not agree on its dissolution until 1991. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev himself in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines:

NATO is not an alliance of states that defend themselves

NATO is not an alliance of states that defend themselves. Today, NATO is shamelessly lying and “rolling up” to the Russian borders on its German “Leopards” – these are tanks of a new generation. NATO bases are along with Russia’s borders, NATO countries have enormous defence expenditures and have a look at that NATO army… And they say that they are afraid of Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO.

NATO is in no way directed against Russia nor any other state. NATO’s objectives are set out in the 1949 Washington Treaty which forms the legal basis of the alliance. The treaty states that parties “are resolved to unite their efforts for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security”.