East StratCom disinformation claim:
There are no Russian troops in Ukraine, but even if they were there, their withdrawal from Ukraine would not lead to the removal of anti-Russian sanctions by the West.
Documentation for claim
Period/date: 23. November 2016
President Putin himself admitted to the presence of Russian “people there, who deal with certain matters, including in the military area” [aka soldiers] in December 2015 http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50971 and again in October 2016 http://www.interpretermag.com/day-968/. He even awarded medals to Russian soldiers who fought in Donbass http://bit.ly/2dsPbWN. And Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Shoygu awarded a medal to a Russian soldier for fighting near Debaltseve https://citeam.org/putin-shoygu-debaltseve/. // If Russia implements the Minsk II agreements, which includes the withdrawal of their forces from Ukraine, the sanctions will be removed.
Documentation for the debunk
published by The Interpreter
published by Conflict Intelligence Team — расследования военных конфликтов
This information is reported by Pavel Spirin, former journalist in Disinformation Review issue 49. The item is located at row number 22 in the report.