East StratCom disinformation claim:

Kiev launched a special military operation in southeast Ukraine in April 2014, after local residents refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, which came to power as a result of a coup.

Documentation for claim

Period/date: 19. February 2017

Debunk claim:

The situation in Ukraine has been under the the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court preliminary examination since 25 April 2014. In their Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2016, they conclude 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. According to Russian millitary medal “For Returning Crimea”. the operation began on 20th of February https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_%22For_the_Return_of_Crimea%22. The 2014 presidential election in Ukraine was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and respecting fundamental freedoms, despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions of the country. According to the OSCE (of which Russia is a participating State) “the people of Ukraine had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box” http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/119081. Similarly, Ukraine‚Äôs local elections in October 2015 were competitive and generally showed respect for the democratic process http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/194401.

Documentation for the debunk

Additional information

This information is reported by Promote Ukraine in Disinformation Review issue 59. The item is located at row number 41 in the report.

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