On January 20, @StateDept released a “fact sheet” (https://is.gd/QBgF3i) on the so-called Russian disinformation on Ukraine🤦‍♂️

☝️ Nothing written in that material withstands critical scrutiny.

⚡️ Here is our response to the above-mentioned “analytical” work. Hopefully, our American and NATO colleagues will make time to review it carefully.

Response to the US Department of State’s fact sheet Facts vs. Fiction: Russian Disinformation on Ukraine


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

False statements from the Putin regime blame the victim, Ukraine, for Russia’s aggression. Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, occupies Crimea, controls armed forces in the Donbass, and has now amassed more than 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine while President Putin threatens “retaliatory military-technical” measures if his demands are not met.

❗ Reality:

The blame for destabilising the situation in Ukraine lies entirely with the United States and other NATO countries, which supported the coup in February 2014, resulting in the toppling of the duly elected president and nationalists coming to power. Fearing for their own safety, residents of Crimea and Donbass chose not to live under the government of the followers of Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych. As a result, Crimea reunited with Russia, the Donetsk and Lugansk regions declared independence, and Kiev unleashed a civil war against Donbass, which continues to this day.


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

Moscow instigated the current crisis by placing more than 100,000 troops on the border of Ukraine, with no similar military activity on the Ukrainian side of the border.  Russian military and intelligence entities are targeting Ukraine with disinformation attempting to paint Ukraine and Ukrainian government officials as the aggressor in the Russia-Ukraine relationship. The Russian government is trying to trick the world into believing Ukraine’s behavior could provoke a global conflict and to convince Russian citizens of the need for Russian military action in Ukraine.  Russia blames others for its own aggression, but it is Moscow’s responsibility to end this crisis peacefully through de-escalation and diplomacy. Moscow invaded Ukraine in 2014, occupies Crimea, and continues to fuel conflict in eastern Ukraine. This follows a pattern of Russian behavior of undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries in the region – invading and occupying parts of Georgia in 2008, and failing to honour its 1999 commitment to withdraw its troops and munitions from Moldova, where they remain without the government’s consent.


The Kiev authorities and the conniving West are trying to portray Russia as a party to the conflict in Donbass. However, in Paragraph 2 of the Package of Measures, the parties recognise Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk as parties to the conflict in relation to military issues and are further mentioned with regard to all other aspects of the settlement. Russia, in conjunction with the OSCE, is acting as a mediator in the Contact Group (CG) and the Normandy format alongside Germany and France.

The United States and NATO countries are doing so in order to divert the international community from their own military deployment in Ukraine. The armed forces of Ukraine and the Alliance are building up military activity in the immediate proximity to the Russian borders and conduct large-scale multinational military exercises. There will be 10 of them this year, which is codified in the law of December 14, 2021 on the admission to Ukraine of units of foreign armed formations in 2022. The law provides for a significant scale-up of exercises. In fact, the number of participants will double, and the quantity of materiel will increase by orders of magnitude.

These actions contradict Paragraph 10 of the Package of Measures, which provides for the withdrawal of all foreign armed formations from the territory of Ukraine.

The allegation that Russia has “occupied” parts of Georgia and refuses to withdraw its troops from Moldova is a sheer lie. Abkhazia and South Ossetia gained independence as a result of the aggressive policy of Tbilisi, and Russian troops are stationed there legitimately in accordance with bilateral agreements with these countries in order to stave off Georgian aggression. The completion of the withdrawal of troops from Transnistria depends on the settlement of the conflict between Chisinau and Tiraspol, which is enshrined in OSCE documents that were adopted with the participation of the United States.


“Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

Deploying more than 100,000 Russian troops, including battle-hardened combat forces and offensive weaponry with no plausible innocuous explanation, to the borders of a country that Russia has previously invaded and still occupies in places is no mere troop rotation.  It is a clear, renewed Russian threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  The buildup is paired with active disinformation measures designed to undermine confidence in the Ukrainian government and create a pretext for further Russian incursion.

❗ Reality:

Russia regularly conducts military exercises on its territory and carries out snap inspections of troops. Meanwhile, the United States deploys its armed forces and offensive arms in the countries of Eastern Europe several thousands of miles away from its national borders, thereby undermining European security and strategic stability. By sending weapons and military advisers to Ukraine, the US is encouraging the Kiev regime’s aggressive actions against its own population in Donbass.


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

The United States and Russia are parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention.  In accordance with its obligations under that international agreement, the United States does not use chemical weapons.  However, the Russian government has twice used chemical weapons in recent years to attack and attempt to assassinate opponents, including on foreign soil. Rather than fuel conflict in eastern Ukraine as Russia has done, the United States has provided more than $351 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by Moscow’s aggression there since 2014. Russia is using statements from high-level officials as well as disinformation and propaganda outlets to intentionally spread outright falsehoods to attempt to create a pretext for military action.

❗ Reality:

We all know how the US authorities use disinformation as a pretext to invade independent states. It is enough to recall the infamous vial of Collin Powell that was used as a pretext for US aggression against Iraq. The afore-mentioned amount of US humanitarian assistance is a drop in the ocean compared to the enormous assistance rendered by the Russian Federation to the residents of Donbass.


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

There are no credible reports of any ethnic Russians or Russian speakers being under threat from the Ukrainian government. There are, however, credible reports that in Russia-occupied Crimea and in the Donbas, Ukrainians face suppression of their culture and national identity and live in an environment of severe repression and fear. In Crimea, Russia forces Ukrainians to assume Russian citizenship or lose their property, their access to healthcare, and their jobs. Those who peacefully express opposition to Russia’s occupation or control face imprisonment on baseless grounds, police raids on their homes, officially sanctioned discrimination, and in some cases torture and other abuses. Religious and ethnic minorities are investigated and prosecuted as “extremists” and “terrorists.”

❗ Reality:

Violations of the rights of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population, which numbers in the millions, have reached a horrendous scale in Ukraine. Its government passes discriminatory laws on language and education and so-called “indigenous peoples”, while ousting the Russian language from all spheres of life. In August 2021, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky went as far as to tell ethnic Russians to get out of the country in an undeniably xenophobic moment. In June 2021, Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language Taras Kremen said that those who object to the language law “can leave the territory of the country.”

One wonders why the United States, usually so devoted to the cause of human rights, is refusing to notice the open discrimination faced by Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens. Perhaps they don’t consider Russians people?

As for the human rights situation in Crimea, including the status of ethnic minorities, it has not just improved after the peninsula’s return to Russia but has changed completely. Unlike the former and current Ukrainian government, the Russian Federation is trying to preserve the unique multicultural space of the peninsula. We are convinced that the West is deliberately spreading disinformation about human rights problems in Crimea to distract the international community from Ukraine’s terrible human rights record.


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

President Biden has spoken with President Putin twice and US officials have held dozens of high-level meetings and phone calls with Russian and European counterparts as part of a comprehensive diplomatic effort to resolve this situation peacefully.

❗ Reality:

The reference to the so-called “comprehensive diplomatic effort” is hypocritical and deceptive at best. In the period since December 15, 2021 when we officially sent Washington our drafts of the treaty on security guarantees and agreement on measures ensuring the security of Russia and the NATO countries, the Americans have mostly made obvious attempts to drag out discussions of specific parameters, which Russia proposed, at different expert levels and in various formats. Instead of taking a pause and focusing on answering the substance of the issues raised in the Russian documents, the White House and its Western allies launched a very toxic information and propaganda campaign presenting Russia as an “aggressor,” “enemy of civilized Europe” and “threat” to international stability. All this was done in addition to the endless intimidation of Russia with “painful” sanctions that are designed to bleed our economy dry and entrench the systematic challenge to Russia. Even the very publication by the State Department of such “recommendations” on the eve of the talks between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Geneva can only be interpreted as an overt provocation. Mr Lavrov set forth in detail Russia’s approaches during a news conference following the talks on security guarantees (hyperlink – https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1795493).


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states.

❗ Reality:

The alliance has discredited its reputation with actions that ran counter to international law: the operation against Yugoslavia, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by NATO members, and the barbarous destruction of Libya by the allied coalition. This policy has nothing to do with “defence.”

References to the statements made by President of Russia Vladimir Putin in 2002 about NATO’s defensive character are taken out of context and relate to the period when Russia and NATO were planning to pursue cooperation. NATO’s subsequent aggressive policy towards Russia and eastward expansion have destroyed these intentions.


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

NATO never promised not to admit new members.

❗ Reality:

On February 9, 1990, during a meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, US Secretary of State James Baker issued iron-clad guarantees that “there will be no extension of NATO’s jurisdiction or NATO’s forces one inch to the East.” On February 10, 1990, German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher assured Eduard Shevardnadze that “NATO will not expand to the East.” On the same day, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl confirmed this to Mikhail Gorbachev. US Secretary of State James Baker said at a February 13, 1990 briefing, that Washington was in favour of a unified Germany and its inclusion in NATO, and stood ready to ensure that the alliance’s military presence does not move further eastward. All these assurances can be found in the transcripts of the meetings, which are available today to the general public.


❌ “Fact” cited by the US Department of State:

NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia.

❗ Reality:

Over the past 20 years, all NATO coalition forces have been concentrated precisely on the eastern flank. The Alliance’s advance to Russia’s borders goes hand-in-hand with creating and upgrading military infrastructure, developing supply chains for the rapid – including transatlantic – transfer of large military formations, and deploying US missile defence elements equipped with dual-purpose launchers in Romania. Plans for deploying missile systems in Poland are in the works. Hangars for heavy military equipment are being built in Eastern European NATO member countries. Opportunities are being provided for a foreign military presence in these countries, which comes within a hair’s breadth of violating, if not the letter, then the spirit of the Russia-NATO Founding Act of 1997.

The number of warships operated by non-regional powers entering the Black Sea has significantly increased, turning its waters into another area of instability. The previously calm and peaceful Baltic Sea has become a stage for military confrontation. The intensity of flights by NATO countries’ reconnaissance aircraft has become a threat to civil air traffic.

The Alliance constantly carries out military exercises near our borders. Last year alone, about 120 exercises were conducted, during which offensive scenarios were enacted, with the implication that Russia is the hypothetical enemy.

NATO is pursuing an extremely aggressive partnership policy and is eyeing the territories of Finland, Sweden, Ukraine and Georgia, while also making attempts to gain a foothold in Central Asia. It is also building sites in the post-Soviet space that pose potential biological hazards.


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