Mýty a fakty o Ukrajine

Už dlhšiu dobu je slovenský informačný priestor zaplavený dezinformáciami, ktorých cieľom je manipulovať verejnú mienku.

Od vypuknutia ruskej agresie voči Ukrajine vo februári 2022 sa tieto snahy stupňujú. Ministerstvo zahraničných vecí a európskych záležitostí Slovenskej republiky sa rozhodlo zozbierať najčastejšie sa objavujúce klamlivé tvrdenia a konfrontovať ich s faktami.

Ukrajine by sme nemali posielať zbrane a predlžovať tak vojnu

Updated 22.11.2022
Published 02.11.2022

The narratives criticizing the West for supplying arms to Ukraine, often presenting this as immoral, are also spread in the disinformation space. They allegedly unnecessarily become engaged in the conflict, thus only prolonging it and multiplying the suffering of the civilian inhabitants.

Facts

Pursuant to Article 51 of the UN Charter, if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations (Ukraine has been a member since 1993), nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Such support is thus in compliance with international law, unlike the Russian “special operation” – states can provide arms and other support to the unjustly attacked state so that it can defend itself. For Ukraine, the military technology from the West is of key importance in its fight. Such aid must also be coordinated and united – currently Ukraine is militarily supported by dozens of countries throughout the world. Supporting Ukraine with arms does not mean that soldiers from the West are fighting on Ukrainians battlefields.

With the supply of arms, we support Ukraine in its legitimate defence of its democratic regime, territorial integrity and independence – the values that Slovakia and the West are built on. 

Ukrajina odmieta mierové rokovania s Ruskom

Updated 22.11.2022
Published 02.11.2022

Pro-Russian disinformants often claim that Ukrainians refuse peace talks with Russia, thus prolonging the war in Ukraine on purpose.

Facts

Ukrainians want peace in their country more than anybody in the world does. However, the Russian idea of peace is unacceptable as Russia wants Ukraine to give up and surrender to Russia all the occupied territories and also accept all its further demands.

At the same time, Russia is further escalating the situation by declaring a partial mobilization and the annexation of more Ukrainian territory, thus sending a clear signal to the international community that it is ready to continue its aggressive behavior and does not plan to settle the conflict in a peaceful manner. However, the surrender of the territory would not even remotely stop the pursuit of wider military objectives by Russia, quite the reverse; it would only strengthen and encourage Russia to move ahead with further annexations. Likewise, neither did Russia give up on its objective after the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. On Russian state television itself, propagandists openly declare that Ukraine is only the beginning on the way to ensuring “the strategic security of the Russian Federation”. Such capitulation would thus have far-reaching consequences on world security and economic policy, which would directly concern not only Slovakia. Ukrainians themselves are also not interested in “peaceful” negotiations with Russia – as stated by as many as 86 % of respondents in a recent survey, which also found that they think it is necessary to continue the armed struggle if Russia does not stop shelling Ukrainians towns and cities.

As outlined by President Zelenskyi at the 77th UN General Assembly, a so-called peaceful formula includes the following 5 items: punishment of aggression, protection of life, restoration of security and territorial integrity, a guarantee of security, and the resolution to self-defense. This is peace that Russia does not want to accept.

The war will end only if Russia leaves Ukraine.

Ruská vojenská operácia je vynútenou reakciou na provokáciu zo strany Ukrajiny a Západu

Updated 22.11.2022
Published 02.11.2022

The myth that has been spread by Russia since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine is that the aggression in Ukraine is an adequate reaction to the provocation by Ukraine and the West.

Facts

And yet Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations, of which the Russian Federation is also a signatory, explicitly states that all UN members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. It also rejects the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. 

The only exception is stated in Article 51 of the UN Charter on self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations. However, the Russian Federation cannot support its actions using similar reasoning. Ukraine did not militarily attack Russia, nor did it, unlike Russia, amass military troops on its borders with the purpose of attacking. Likewise, there is no evidence that Russian speaking or ethnic Russian inhabitants of eastern Ukraine faced persecution by Ukrainian authorities. This was also confirmed by the reports published by the Council of Europe, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and OSCE.

All sovereign states including Ukraine can freely determine their own path, their foreign orientation and security policy, alliances as well as their participation in international organizations and military alliances. Last but not least, there are no political or legal NATO commitments that would pledge not to extend the alliance beyond the frontiers of a reunited Germany, which Russia claims the West has violated.

All of these claims have only one objective, which is to divert attention from Russia´s responsibility for the unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine.

Občania na okupovaných územiach Ukrajiny sa v referendách vyslovili za pripojenie k Rusku

Updated 22.11.2022
Published 02.11.2022

In September 2022, pseudo-referendums were organized in Ukraine's occupied territories, in which allegedly more than 90 percent of the responding inhabitants decided that they want to be annexed to Russia. 

Facts

A referendum is a tool for direct democracy, in which eligible voters decide whether or not to adopt or reject a law, a regulation, a proposal or a program. This is valid under the assumption that people vote freely, not under an armed threat. 

Referendums on the annexation of Ukraine´s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions (18 % of the Ukrainian territory) do not meet the conditions of a legitimate referendum. The very substance of the referendum question already grossly violates international law. The sham referendums are an interference with the sovereignty, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. By occupying territories that followed these referendums, Russia also seriously violated international agreements to which it is a signatory, including the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions and the Budapest Memorandum, which explicitly prohibits aggression against Ukraine.  

Pseudo-referendums in Ukraine were also held under the command of armed soldiers, without the presence of independent observers and without the need to identify voters. In addition, due to the war a significant part of the inhabitants fled or was displaced from these regions, and, as such, could not participate in the referendum due to objective reasons. There are moreover no independent public opinion polls in the occupied territories, while even after eight months of occupation the Russian army does not control the entire territory of all the four Ukrainians regions. A similar method was also used by Russia in 2014 in referendums followed by the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. The UN General Assembly (illegal annexation was confirmed by 143 countries in a resolution) condemned the illegitimate referendums in October.

Therefore, on no conditions can the referendums be considered as exercise of the right of self-determination.

Sankcie proti Rusku nefungujú

Updated 22.11.2022
Published 02.11.2022

Since February 2022, the EU has imposed eight sanction packages including individual sanctions, economic sanctions and diplomatic measures. These are the hardest sanctions ever and are meant to stop the attack against Ukraine via weakening the Russian economy. However, quite often there are statements that put the effectiveness of these sanctions in doubt.

Facts

Some of the sanctions have a long-term effect; therefore, we cannot see their impacts immediately. This is, for instance, an export ban on selected products to Russia such as luxury goods, cars and modern technologies. In practice, it means that their supply chain is disrupted and the problems caused by this will only deepen with time, especially with regards to spare parts. The same long-term sanction is also the partial ban on oil imports from Russia (Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary have an exception), the aim of which is to gradually decrease dependence on Russia and thus decrease Russia´s income.

One of almost immediate consequences of the sanctions was the ban of selected Russian banks from the SWIFT international banking system, which effectively blocked savings to many citizens and increased their discontent. Russian VISA and Mastercard payment cards stopped working abroad.

In May 2022, Russia´s GDP dropped by 4.3 % year-on-year and in April by 2.8 %. Gazprom production dropped by 8.6 % year-on-year in the first 6 months. Cumulatively for the 2nd quarter 2022, Gazprom decreased its production by 20 %, which has never happened since the company was founded in 1989.

Oil export in June 2022 dropped to 7.4 million barrels a day, which is the lowest level since August last year. Oil extraction within the Sachalin-1 project is facing serious problems after the exit of the Exxon company, and has already almost stopped – it decreased 22-fold from 220,000 to 10,000 barrels a day. 

Russia is also in technical default – due to sanctions, it is unable to pay its foreign commitments. For the first time in modern history, the Russian economy is entering recession at a time of high global commodity prices.

Na Ukrajine prebieha genocída rusko-jazyčného obyvateľstva

Updated 22.11.2022
Published 02.11.2022

Since the annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of war in Ukraine in 2014, there has been disinformation about genocide of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine repeatedly appearing in the conspiracy circles. This made-up assertion was also misused to justify the Russian invasion in Ukraine in February 2022.

Dead soldiers as well as civilians are victims of the war that Russia has started in Ukraine and this is a documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, which has lasted since February 2014.

Facts

Genocide is defined by the UN Convention on Genocide, which was also signed by Russia, as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such.” 

There is no evidence showing the systematic persecution of Russian-speaking citizens by Ukrainian authorities. Similarly, there are no signs of systematic killing based on national, racial, religious, and cultural or language reasons by Ukraine. This was confirmed by the Council of Europe,  Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and OSCE that has been conducting an observation mission in Donbas since 2014. Its members were also Russian observers. In no OSCE mission reports is there any mention of genocide of the Russian-speaking inhabitants.

Moreover, pursuant to Articles 10 and 11 of the Constitution of Ukraine:

“In Ukraine, the free development, use and protection of Russian, and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine, is guaranteed”, and “The State promotes the consolidation and development of the Ukrainian nation, of its historical consciousness, traditions and culture, and also the development of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine.”

Ukrajina vyrába biologické zbrane

Updated 22.11.2022
Published 02.11.2022

Part of the Russian invasion in Ukraine is also a flood of disinformation and other manipulations, the aim of which is to justify this war. Among the disinformation being spread is the statement on the alleged production of biological weapons in Ukrainian biological laboratories. 

Facts

It is true that in Ukraine there are biological laboratories, similarly as in any country, including Slovakia. However, the statements about the production and development of biological weapons do not come from an objective reality.
These allegations were also rejected by UN representatives, who concluded that they are not aware of any programs focused on the development of biological weapons within the territory of Ukraine.

This is nothing new in the arsenal of Russian propaganda and Russia has raised similar accusations against Ukraine and other former Soviet states for a longer period. However, the assertions regarding the production of biological weapons in Ukraine were revived after 2014 when Russia illegally annexed Crimean and started the war in Donbas.

This rhetoric focuses especially on Russian-speaking inhabitants to create an image of Russia surrounded by enemies and facing an existential threat, which, in their eyes, can justify the military action.