This week, pro-Kremlin propagandists wrapped themselves in red tape. Significant paper work is needed to dig into the details: it’s all about official documents and agreements.
The first target of the disinformation stream was Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s proposal for peacekeepers that would cover the whole of eastern Ukraine including the border with Russia. So, we heard from the Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov that deploying a UN peacekeeping mission at the Russian-Ukrainian border in Donbas would contradict the Minsk agreements.
In fact, the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements does not mention peacekeeping missions. Instead, it states that full Ukrainian government control has to be restored over the state border.
Another narrative – directly contradicting this one – was that the peacekeepers are not needed, as the border between Ukraine and Russia is “a zone of peace and tranquillity”. Take a look at the figures concerning the civilian death during the war in Ukraine to know that that is disinformation.
The topic also enabled the evocation of some of the most popular false narratives about “Ukraine being run by a terrorist junta that destroys the Russian language” and that the US and the European countries brought both Hitler and Poroshenko to power.
No evidence needed
The second target of the past week was the recent report on Crimea by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. According to the UN, the human rights situation in Crimea has significantly deteriorated under Russian occupation. “Grave human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution were documented”, the report says.
But apparently the report is based on lies, or that was the simple pro-Kremlin answer. The argument went as follows: the UN experts haven’t been to Crimea, so they received all the information from Ukraine and those who “haven’t visited Crimea for a long time and judge the situation based on Ukrainian TV channels.”
In fact, the Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has been collecting information throughout Ukraine, including in Crimea – where the Russian authorities provided it access only once. Part of the documentation was in the form of direct interviews and fact-finding missions at the Administrative Boundary Line between mainland Ukraine and Crimea.
Also, an attempt was made to mislead the audience about Spanish Mallorca’s appetite for independence. Sputnik claimed that not only Catalonia wants to vote for independence, but that the Balearic Islands calls for independence as well. In reality, the vote of the Mallorca Republic is just a political intention and a manifesto written by one minority nationalist party.
Finally, though, the pro-Kremlin disinformation paper mill returned to one of its most straightforward techniques: in fact there’s no need at all for any documents to support false arguments. So we heard that a Lithuanian NATO instructor had raped two girls in Donbas. The latest manifestation of this well worn theme, which we have tracked for a long time, was quickly debunked by Lithuania.
In addition, Latvia and Estonia heard that they have territorial claims over Russia, just as Poland has over Ukraine and Belarus, and Romania over Transnistria.
And we learned that during the wildfire raging in the Borjomi Gorge, the US merely helped Georgia by donating only useless shoes that are usually used for burial rituals of homeless people in the US. Check the truth here.
According to the UN report, from 16 May to 15 August 2017, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recorded 26 conflict-related civilian deaths and 135 injuries. At least 2,803 civilians have been killed, and between 7,000 and 9,000 civilians injured during the conflict overall. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57497#.WcoQOWcdiEB
“The socio-economic situation in eastern Ukraine continued to deteriorate. Hardships caused by the hostilities, measures hindering economic prosperity, and rising unemployment have led to increased levels of poverty on both sides of the contact line,” the UN Human Rights Office reported. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22049&LangID=E
Further debunking: https://www.polygraph.info/a/ukraine-russia-un-peacekeepers-fact-check/28751235.html
No evidence given to prove the theory related to the role of the US and European states in the case of Hitler; Germany brought Hitler to power. As for Petro Poroshenko, there are no Nazis in the government nor in the parliament of Ukraine. Even the far-right ‘Right Sector’ (often depicted as "fascists" or "Nazis" by pro-Kremlin outlets) gained only 1.8% of the votes, far short of the threshold needed to enter the parliament. Ukraine's electorate clearly voted for unity and moderation, not extremism or Nazism, and the composition of the parliament reflects that http://bit.ly/2dFFEdi
There are no facts that either NATO or any member of this block has unleashed an aggression against Moscow since 2013. NATO has consistently worked to build a cooperative relationship with Russia since the early 1990s: no other NATO partner has been offered a comparable relationship, nor a similarly comprehensive institutional framework: http://bit.ly/2e0TZnG. Cooperation has been suspended in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, which the Allies condemn in the strongest terms. Political and military channels of communication remain open.
Misleading. Mallorca is not about to vote for its independence soon. The article cites a document written by only one party, MÉS per Mallorca, in the Government. The vote of the Mallorca Republic is just a political intention and a manifesto written by one minority nationalist party.
The statement that Americans bury people in fire-proof boots of the kind donated to Georgia is false. The 500 pairs of boots donated by the U.S. Government were specifically requested by Georgia's Emergency Management Agency. In addition, the shoes were designed in Georgia by a former member of the Georgian Special Forces and they are based on combat specifications. These leather footgear are resistant up to 300 degrees Celsius and protect the foot from sharp debris penetration.
http://police.ge/ge/shss-s-mekhandzre-mashvelebs-amerikis-sheertebuli-shtatebis-elchis-movaleobis-shemsrulebeli-shekhvda/10960. Further debunking by Myth Detector http://mythdetector.ge/en/myth/disinformation-about-american-fire-rescue-boots.
Ukraine is governed by a democratically elected government. 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 (report here) 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." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." The OSCE characterised the 2014 parliamentary elections (report here) as "an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms".
She lies that Russia illegally annexed the Crimea, because there was a referendum in Crimea, and she lies when saying that Russia is participating directly in the war in Easter Ukraine.
The EU's Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia (IIFFMCG) did not conclude that Georgia attacked in 2008. It stated that "The shelling of Tskhinvali by the Georgian armed forces during the night of 7 to 8
August 2008 marked the beginning of the large-scale armed conflict in Georgia, yet it was
only the culminating point of a long period of increasing tensions, provocations and
incidents." and "The Mission is not in a position to consider as sufficiently substantiated the
Georgian claim concerning a large-scale Russian military incursion into South Ossetia
before 8 August 2008. However, there are a number of reports and publications,
including of Russian origin, indicating the provision by the Russian side of training and
military equipment to South Ossetian and Abkhaz forces prior to the August 2008
conflict. Additionally there seems to have been an influx of volunteers or mercenaries from
the territory of the Russian Federation to South Ossetia through the Roki tunnel and over
the Caucasus range in early August, as well as the presence of some Russian forces in
South Ossetia, other than the Russian JPKF battalion, prior to 14.30 hours on 8 August
2008. Also it seems that the Russian air force started its operations against Georgian
targets, including those outside South Ossetian administrative boundaries, already in the
morning of 8 August, i.e. prior to the time given in the Russian official information." https://web.archive.org/web/20091007030130/http://www.ceiig.ch/pdf/IIFFMCG_Volume_I.pdf
In 2014, the Russian troops forced the parliament of Crimea to organize an illegal referendum and then conducted the annexation of it that has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine) http://bit.ly/1RZGnjo. There are also numerous facts witnessing the aggression of Moscow including Russian soldiers captured by the army of Ukraine on the territory of this country or the deployment of heavy weapons and mercenaries from Russia to Donbas, Eastern Ukraine. Further details, for example, are in the following reports: http://bit.ly/1i9fChX , http://bit.ly/1JUXaQB , http://bit.ly/1RbWQU5 , http://bit.ly/1L6f6J6 , http://bit.ly/1GpWmnW
No evidence given.
Since 2015, Ukraine has been repeatedly appealing to the UN to deploy peacekeepers to Ukraine and locate them not just along the contact line between the army of Ukraine and the separatists, as Russia proposes now, but throughout all the territory of Donbas, and along the border with Russia. http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/ukraine-s-diplomatic-war-for-peace
Moreover, on September 20, at the session of the UN General Assembly, President Petro Poroshenko again called for the deployment of peacekeepers there. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-assembly-ukraine/ukraines-poroshenko-rejects-russias-hybrid-peackeeping-offer-idUSKCN1BW04Q?il=0
As for the Minsk agreements, both Kyiv and Washington - also repeatedly – have stated that only these agreements can stop the war and ensure peace in this region.
Most of the Minsk agreements measures depend above all on Russia and its proxies, including the need for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of all heavy weaponry, full monitoring access for the OSCE, and the full restoration of control of the state border to the Ukrainian government.
Conspiracy theory. No evidence given.
More information about the cooperation between the US and Russia after the Cold War: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/11/trump-putin-russia-election-nato/508496/
Nato has also consistently worked hard to build a cooperative relationship with Russia since the early 1990s, through the Partnership for Peace and creation of a NATO-Russia Council, and specific cooperation in the Western Balkans on and issues like counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism. In fact, as NATO points out, no other NATO partner has been offered a comparable relationship, nor a similarly comprehensive institutional framework: http://bit.ly/2e0TZnG. Cooperation was suspended only in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/topics_50090.htm
An old Kremlin’s myth debunked many times.
Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation state, with its own flag, nationality, language etc. Ukrainian citizens are citizens of Ukraine, not Russia. Russia has no right to claim them or to legislate for them.
The first historical state with a Slavic settlement was formed around Kyiv more than two centuries before the foundation of Moscow. Throughout the centuries, Ukrainians maintained their own cultural and linguistic identity. The distinction is apparent e.g. through the fact that in 1654, Ukraine and Russia needed translators to sign the Treaty of Pereyaslav.
In the last Ukrainian census, carried out in 2001, 8.3 million people (17.3% of the population) identified as ethnic Russians http://bit.ly/1gKrIph.
The source of the article is a satirical website http://www.gudelnews.com/2017/09/54.html.
There is currently no Commissioner for Demographic Affairs as well as no Commissioner with the name of Nikita Downing https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2014-2019_en. There is no such research presented within the Horizon 2020 programme (the 8th Framework Program).
The international community, including China and India, refused to recognize the annexation of Crimea: see UN GA Resolution A/RES/68/262 adopted on March 27, 2014, on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. China and India abstained from voting. https://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47443&Cr=ukraine&Cr1=#.Wci_xmcdiEB
The resolution states that the referendum in Crimea that led to the peninsula’s annexation by Russia “has no validity".
Beijing has not imposed sanctions on Russia, but it has also refrained from backing Russia. China has repeatedly stated since 2014 that "On the issue of Ukraine, China has adopted an objective and just position. We respect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity."
No objective figures would suggest that the current military pressure on Russia is on a par with or larger than e.g. during the WW2 or during the Cold War. Russia's military exercises in recent years have been far bigger than those of NATO: http://bit.ly/29kpLYm. Moreover, significant NATO exercises are subject to notification or open to observers http://bit.ly/2dQA71d.
In fact, the broadcast from the watchtower in question does have content in Russian, but it is prepared in Ukraine to reach Crimea. It is Ukrainian content broadcast in Russian language.
A chain of events has led to the deterioration of Russia's relationship with the United States. A turning point was year 2014 when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine and started to support the separatists in the East of Ukraine.
Further debunk: https://www.polygraph.info/a/who-is-guilty-of-destroying-us-russia-realtions-fact-check/28735904.html
Mr Vovk actually said the opposite. “For years we’ve heard sweet words from our politicians about consumer protection – as a result, electricity prices in Ukraine are the lowest in Europe. Our task is to guarantee stability and quality of service.”
According to a comparative electricity cost analysis by the European Statistical Agency Eurostat, Ukraine is in last place in terms of electricity prices. Ukrainians pay five European cents for a kilowatt hour of energy; Germans on average pay nearly thirty cents, Belgians 31 cents. The average price for electricity in Europe amounts to 17.7 cents per kilowatt hour, considerably more than what Ukrainians pay. http://www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukraine-has-the-highest-electricity-prices-in-europe/
The Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements do not mention peacekeeping missions. http://www.osce.org/ru/cio/140221?download=true
Instead, they do state that full Ukrainian government control has be restored over the state border, throughout the conflict zone. In addition, all foreign armed groups, weapons and mercenaries have to be withdrawn from Ukrainian territory under the OSCE monitoring.
Further debunk: http://theins.ru/antifake/71968
As stated in the report, the UN experts have collected information in Crimea which is, according to the international law, part of Ukraine. "Since then, HRMMU [Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine] has been
collecting and analysing information on the human rights situation throughout Ukraine,
including in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol" - the report says.
HRMMU has not been provided access to Crimea by Russian Federation authorities since its former Head of Mission accompanied the former Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, on 21-22 March 2014.
HRMMU has monitored the human rights situation in the peninsula from its presence in mainland Ukraine. HRMMU systematically collects and analyzes information gathered through direct interviews and fact-finding missions, including at the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) between mainland Ukraine and Crimea. The report only describes allegations of human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law that OHCHR could verify and corroborate in accordance with its methodology. OHCHR is committed to the protection of its sources and systematically assesses the potential risks of harm and retaliation against them. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/UA/Crimea2014_2017_EN.pdf
Disinformation, no evidence given. The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has not called for a "Euro-Atlantic jihad" against Russia.
According to the Catalan education system, Catalan is the lingua franca in the public schools of the region; a majority of the subjects (excluding language classes) are taught in Catalan. The 2017 academic curriculum established by the Catalan Government for secondary education differentiates between Catalan, Spanish and foreign languages. http://xtec.gencat.cat/ca/curriculum/eso/curriculum/.
No evidence given. This claim ignores the facts of geography. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, 1,215 kilometres, or less than one-sixteenth, face current NATO members. http://bit.ly/2sX0IFD
No evidence given. Recurring disinformation suggesting that EU Member States pose a threat to their neighbours.
No evidence given, recurring disinformation. 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 (report http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/119078?download=true) 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." According to the OSCE, the only areas where serious restrictions were reported were those controlled by separatists, who undertook "increasing attempts to derail the process." The OSCE characterised the 2014 parliamentary elections (report http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/126043) as "an amply contested election that offered voters real choice, and a general respect for fundamental freedoms".
Ukraine is not destroying Russian language. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, state language of the country is Ukrainian. Free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed. https://web.archive.org/web/20110521190059/http://www.rada.gov.ua/const/conengl.htm
Donbas is part of Ukraine. In the last Ukrainian census, carried out in 2001, 8.3 million people (17.3% of the population) identified as ethnic Russians http://bit.ly/1gKrIph.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government https://www.icc-cpi.int/iccdocs/otp/161114-otp-rep-PE_ENG.pdf.
No evidence given, recurring disinformation method. The Ukrainian Defence Attaché in Lithuania informed the media that 60 Lithuanian soldiers are deployed in Ukraine. All of them are deployed in the Central and Western parts of Ukraine and none is deployed in the south-east part of Ukraine. Further debunking: https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/medijos-karas-propaganda/prorusiski-separatistai-rado-nauja-taikini-pasakoja-kraupia-istorija-apie-lietuvos-karius.d?id=75820981