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Ukraine – the truth, not fake news

Putin is citing a whole host of reasons to justify his attack on Ukraine. We have run a fact check to discover how much truth they contain.

People fleeing the war.
People fleeing the war. © dpa

Russian President Vladimir Putin is citing a whole host of different reasons to justify his attack on Ukraine. We have run a fact check to discover just how much truth they contain.

Putin claims: People in Ukraine have been “subjected to abuse and genocide for eight years”.

That is not true. “Genocide” is defined by the United Nations as a “crime committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. With Russia’s consent, Ukraine, especially eastern Ukraine, has been monitored on both sides of the “contact line” between Ukraine and the breakaway regions by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission since 2014. It documents all deaths. There is no evidence of genocide. Russia is a member of the OSCE.

Putin claims that Ukraine is being ruled by a Nazi regime and that Russia must “attempt to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine”.

That is not true: Ukraine’s government was elected in a democratic election that was monitored by the OSCE. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a Russian-speaking Jew, won the most recent presidential elections by a landslide. There is no reasonable basis for Putin’s claim.

Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defence Ministry’s spokesperson claims: “There is no threat to the civilian population”.

That is not true: The massive bomb and rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities and towns are resulting in many civilian casualties. The Ukrainian civilian population is suffering severely from the attack on its country.

Putin claims: “We have been left with no other option to defend Russia and our people”, citing Chapter 7, Article 51 of the UN Charta.

That is not true: Ukraine did not attack Russia, so Putin’s attack of Ukraine does not constitute a “defence” within the meaning of the UN Charta. The invasion of a country that is denied the right to exist can never be a “defence” as defined by the UN.

Putin claims: “Russia has done everything to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

That is not true: In 2014, Putin annexed Crimea, thereby massively violating the territorial integrity of a state for the first time in Europe since the end of the Second World War, in clear breach of international law. His war against Ukraine is directed against the entire existence of an independent and democratic state. (with dpa and Deutsche Welle)