East StratCom disinformation claim:

The war in Ukraine started on Maidan square in Kiev, where the West used violence to get rid of a democraticallyelected regime in order to impose a puppet government upon the Ukrainian people. The secession of Crimea from Ukraine was neither against international law, nor violent.

Documentation for claim

Period/date: 11. July 2016

Debunk claim:

The demonstrations which began in Kiev in November 2013 – “Maidan”, “Euromaidan” – were born out of Ukrainians’ own desire for a closer relationship with the European Union, and their frustration with the corrupt regime of former President Yanukovych and with his last minute U-turn, after seven years of negotiation, to halt progress towards that goal as a result of Russian pressure (http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_111767.htm#cl403). // The 2014 presidential election in Ukraine was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and it respected fundamental freedoms, despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions of the country. According to the OSCE, “people of Ukraine had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box” (http://www.osce.org/node/119081). Similarly, Ukraine’s local elections in October 2015 were competitive and generally showed respect for the democratic process (http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/ukraine/194401). // Any decision relating to Ukraine’s sovereignty or sovereign choices can only be taken without undue external pressure. The socalled referendum on

Documentation for the debunk

Additional information

This information is reported by Mark Wittfoth, student, University of Amsterdam in Disinformation Review issue 35. The item is located at row number 30 in the report.

Click to view the source material, or here to view all reports from issue 35.