Today is the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The United Nations General Assembly marked the occasion by overwhelmingly backing a resolution condemning Russia's invasion and calling for the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine and an end to the fighting.
There were 141 nations on the side of freedom and democracy; 32 countries abstained; 7, including Russia, voted against the resolution.
I'm commemorating Ukraine's incredible brave fight against the Russian aggression, and war crimes, by once again demolishing myths about the war that keep being sent to me by someone who clearly has bought into lies being spread about Russia's invasion by both right-wing and left-wing Putin sympathizers.
Here's a selection of this person's newest falsehoods, which were easy for me to refute. I'm going to stop correcting the person's disinformation, because while I enjoy standing up for truth, if someone doesn't care about learning the facts about Ukraine, there's little point in pointing out what they're wrong about.
The person's statements are in italics. My debunking are in regular type.
Your statement ‘Putin…invaded Ukraine for no good reason’ is not accurate. Russia is threatened by having Ukraine become a NATO member.
Totally false. Not only are there no plans for Ukraine to join NATO, there aren't even any plans for Ukraine to join the European Union anytime soon.
Missiles fired from Ukraine could destroy Moscow in minutes without warning. Everyone knows the USA is willing to use nuclear weapons.
Totally false. Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994, following a vote of 92% of Ukrainians in 1991 to become independent of the Soviet Union. Russia was one of the nations that signed the Budapest Memorandum in 1994. Russia agreed "to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine," a vow that it obviously broke when it invaded Crimea in 2014 and Ukraine in 2022.
There are no missiles in Ukraine that could strike Moscow. It is Russia's Putin who keeps threatening the use of nuclear weapons, not the United States. Putin just paused Russia's cooperation with the last nuclear arms treaty between Russia and the United States. So it is Russia that's most willing to use nuclear weapons, not the United States.
Crimea is home to Russia’s important naval port. For 20 years a friendly government was running Ukraine and Russia was not threatened by the loss of their naval port. Shortly after an unfriendly government took power, Putin decided that Crimea would again be part of Russia.
Highly misleading and false. Crimea is part of Ukraine, not Russia. So Russia never had a naval port in Crimea. It only gained that port after it invaded Crimea in 2014. The "friendly government" in Ukraine referred to here was led by a Putin-puppet who was forced to flee the country for Russia when the Ukrainian people rejected his attempts to loosen Ukraine's ties with the European Union and strengthen its ties to Russia.
It is helpful to understand that the Russians were not invading a land of strangers. People in Crimea and the Donbas region are closely tied to Russia. They speak Russian at home and in business. Many are Russians that moved to this area during Czarist and Soviet times. The Donbas region fought a successful war to separate from Ukraine that resulted in the Minsk Accords, in which Ukraine recognized their autonomy, but has broken that treaty.
Highly misleading and false. Actually it was Russia that broke the Minsk Accords, according to Wikipedia:
Amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine in early 2022, Russia officially recognised the DPR and LPR on 21 February 2022. Following that decision, on 22 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the Minsk agreements "no longer existed", and that Ukraine, not Russia, was to blame for their collapse. Russia then invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
And most people in the Donbas region want to remain Ukrainians.
With renewed negotiations to end the conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region on the horizon, the views of those people most affected by the war – the residents of eastern Ukraine – should be taken into account. Russia insists that the people living in areas of the Donbas currently controlled by separatists, who it supports, do not want to reintegrate with Ukraine.
But two surveys I carried out in the Donbas in 2016 and 2019, revealed that a majority of those we surveyed in areas not controlled by the government would prefer to be part of the Ukranian state.
Strong evidence of the close ties between Russia and the Donbas is where the refugees are going. Over a million refugees have fled to Russia. What other invading country has had over a million refugees flee to the invading country? The French didn’t flee to Germany during WWI or II.
Totally false. It's well known that after its invasion, Russia prevented people in eastern Ukraine from fleeing west into areas controlled by the Ukrainian government. Instead, they were forced to go to Russia, often after being put through "filtration" camps.
Q2: Why and how are Ukrainians going to Russia?
A2: Since the invasion, 2,772,010 Ukrainian refugees have been recorded crossing the border into Russia. Some report voluntarily moving through Russia as a means of eventually reaching the European Union. However, there are more troubling reports of forcible transfers of Ukrainians to Russia or Russian-occupied regions as Moscow tries to rid eastern Ukraine of people sympathetic to Kyiv.
Long feared as a tactic of war Putin’s Russia would be willing to deploy, more concrete allegations were made public during a UN Security Council meeting in September, during which U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated that between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainians had been “interrogated, detained and forcibly deported” to Russia.
Many of these people are from eastern Ukraine, specifically the Mariupol and Kharkiv regions near the Russian border. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield went on to say that “there is mounting and credible evidence that those considered threatening to Russian control because of perceived pro-Ukrainian leanings are ‘disappeared’ or further detained.”
A recent Human Rights Watch report provides such credible evidence, showing that Ukrainians are being rounded up by Russian authorities before being forced to go through an intense screening process referred to as “filtration,” during which they are subjected to body searches, biometric data collection, interrogation about their political views, and at times, beatings.
Those deemed to have connections to the Ukrainian military or nationalist groups are reportedly taken into detention centers in Russian-controlled territory. The rest are put onto buses to Russia—despite some Russian officers lying about the buses being destined for other parts of Ukraine. These victims of state-sponsored forced transfer—which constitutes war crimes and potentially crimes against humanity—have been sent as far as Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in the far eastern reaches of Russia.
Many Ukrainians who fled or were forcibly transferred into Russia have faced difficulties returning to Ukraine. For example, those traveling with undocumented family members (including newborns) or without accepted documentation (or only electronic documentation, commonly used and accepted in Ukraine) have been unable to leave Russia.
Many of those who went through the filtration and forced transfer have had their identity documents confiscated or were forced to sign papers renouncing Ukraine, tactics which have made it more difficult for these people to leave Russia and return home.