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The Economist's 5 Myths about Russia’s Role in the Ukrainian crisis


This post first appeared on Russia Insider

The Economist published an article on the Ukrainian crisis in early September. The Economist is well known for its anti-Russia rhetoric.  In this article it reproduces 5 myths about Russian policy towards Ukraine. 

Here is why they are wrong:


1.    “Russia was unprovoked”. Russia was repeatedly provoked throughout the Ukrainian crisis.  Just consider

   (1)   The Western-backed coup that overthrew Ukraine’s legitimately elected constitutional President Viktor Yanukovich simply because he wanted to postpone signing an association agreement with the EU to allow time for negotiations with Russia;

   (2)   The shelling of ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine by the Kiev government;

   (3)   The threat of Ukraine joining NATO.

2.    “Putin’s decision, even after flight MH17 was shot down by his proxies, was to send in more tanks and troops” – There is no confirmed evidence that Russian tanks and army are in Ukraine, nor that the pro-Russian fighters shot down MH17.

3.    “Putin’s first choice was to suborn Ukraine without invading it” – Putin stated from the start that he wanted a neutral Ukraine on good terms with both the EU and Russia.

4.    “Putin wants Ukraine to be weak” – a struggling Ukraine is not in Russia’s interest.  It creates instability on Russia's border and increases the number of refugees fleeing to Russia.

5.    “The idea that Putin’s adventurism will end in the Donbas is naïve” – Putin is not looking to expand and re-create the Soviet Union and does not want to conquer Ukraine. There is no evidence that he was looking to take back Crimea or any other territory in Ukraine before the crisis began. Nor is there any anything that suggests Russia wants to invade any other territory in the future.




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