Fact vs. Fiction: Russian Disinformation on Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

U.S. Department of State: Fact Sheet: Office of the Spokesperson …. Below are examples of Russian lies about the current crisis and its causes – and the truth […]

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U.S., Allies Again Warn Russia Of ‘Grave Consequences’ Over Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The meeting of allies comes a day before Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Geneva for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Biden’s Sanctions Threats ‘Destabilizing,’ Kremlin Says” – Moscow Times

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jan. 20, 2022) The Kremlin warned Thursday that U.S. President Joe Biden’s threats of sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine destabilize European security. “All these statements can contribute to the destabilization of the situation,” Interfax quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov as telling reporters. “We believe that they don’t contribute in any way to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The guns of January; As war looms larger, what are Russia’s military options in Ukraine?” – The Economist

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“The Kremlin’s aim would probably be to shatter Ukrainian military power and dictate terms.” “… Even with [various] advantages, Russia would struggle to occupy [Kyiv], let alone … Ukraine, … as large and populous as Afghanistan. … [O]ver 300,000 Ukrainians have gained … military experience … [M]ost have access to firearms. … [T]he Pentagon and CIA [reportedly] would both support […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia denies looking for pretext to invade Ukraine” – AP

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

According to the White House, U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia has deployed operatives to rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine to carry out acts of sabotage and blame them on Ukraine, in a ‘false-flag operation’ to create a pretext for possible invasion […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Says Still Waiting on Western Response to Security Demands” – Moscow Times

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jan. 18, 2022) Russia is still awaiting the U.S. and NATO’s response to its sweeping demands for a new security settlement in Europe, Russia’s top diplomat said Tuesday as tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine continue to mount. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a series of high-level talks last week that the […]

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RUSSIALINK: “A Week of Russia-West Diplomacy Ends in Deadlock” – Moscow Times

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The latest round of talks concluded, there is some disagreement about whether Putin’s December threat of a “military-technical solution” to the Ukraine crisis is probable or even inevitable […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “No Ukraine breakthrough, but NATO and Russia eye more talks” – AP/ Lorne Cook

File Photo of Wendy Sherman and Sergei Ryabkov Standing In Front of U.S. and Russian Flags, adapted from image at state.gov

“The United States and NATO [at the NATO-Russia Council’s first meeting in over two years] rejected key Russian security demands for easing tensions over Ukraine but left open … the possibility of future talks with Moscow on arms control, missile deployments and ways to prevent military incidents …. That Russia’s delegation did not walk out … and remained open to […]

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State Department Press Briefing – Jan. 11, 2022 [excerpt with Victoria Nuland]

State Department Building and U.S. Flag

(U.S. Department of State Press Briefing –  excerpt with Victoria Nuland – WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 11, 2022) MR PRICE:  Good afternoon.  Very sorry for the delay, but as you can see, we have a special guest joining us today for the second time, at least in this current iteration.  She is no stranger to all of you.  Victoria Nuland, the Under Secretary of State […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Donetsk counts conflict cost as Russia, U.S. to meet” – AP

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“While Russia and the U.S. are preparing to meet for critical strategic talks over Ukraine, residents in the rebel-controlled Ukrainian city of Donetsk claim the Ukrainian army started heavy firing on New Year’s Eve.” “… A 2015 peace agreement brokered by France and Germany ended large-scale battles, but frequent skirmishes have continued. The [OSCE] … has reported an increasing number […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Rebuilt NATO to Face Down Russia. Putin Scrambled Those Plans” – WSJ

NATO Meeting File Photo

“Kremlin tests the alliance by undermining former Soviet republics, sowing disinformation and exploiting divisions.” “The U.S. and other NATO members have deployed thousands of troops and invested heavily in weaponry to rebuild the alliance’s front line facing Russia. Moscow has parried that strategy by opening up new fronts just beyond NATO’s reach. … Rather than confront NATO head-on … Putin […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why The Kremlin Lies: Understanding Its Loose Relationship With the Truth” – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Tower and Building Inside Kremlin

Russian leaders have used deception for strategic ends in ways that shed light on their geopolitical goals […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Thinks America Is Bluffing” – Foreign Affairs

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

To Deter a Ukraine Invasion, Washington’s Threats Need to Be Tougher […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin: Russia-U.S. talks inspire no significant optimism” – AP

Wendy Sherman file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“The Kremlin said Tuesday it saw ‘no significant reason for optimism’ …. The talks aimed at defusing tensions over Ukraine took place in Geneva on Monday and offered no sign of immediate progress. Moscow went in insisting on guarantees to halt NATO’s eastward expansion and even roll back the military alliance’s deployments in Eastern Europe — demands that Washington had […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How to Get What We Want From Putin” – Politico.com

Map of Europe, adapted from image at loc.gov

Talks on European security underway between the U.S. and Russia will be difficult because the two countries don’t trust one another, not even a little […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why the Russians Aren’t Coming!” – iAffairs Canada/ Egor Evsikov

Kremlin and River

“… Imagery of Russian forces assembling near the [Ukrainian] border is just one of … several indicators to consider …. Russia is … a semi-authoritarian ‘managed democracy’ …. The Russian population does not live in a constant state of war readiness. A significant state-controlled media effort would be required to prepare the population and ensure public support for the invasion […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Putin Seizes on Crises to Assert Control Over Former Soviet Republics” – WSJ

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

“In tightening grip over neighbors, president seeks to signal that his country is a superpower to be both feared and respected.” “… The [Russian-led CSTO] venture into Kazakhstan, at the request of the country’s leader, follows nearly 15 years of Russian interventionism in Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine and elsewhere aimed at pulling [them] even closer to Russia … propping up [Kremlin-aligned] […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia Hold High-Stakes Talks on Ukraine” – AFP

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… [H]igh-stakes negotiations come amid fears of a Russian invasion of … pro-Western … Ukraine … with Moscow demanding wide-ranging concessions from Washington and … NATO …. Monday’s [Geneva] talks … launch[ed] a week of diplomacy … after Moscow amassed tens of thousands of troops at the Ukrainian border …. RIA Novosti on Monday quoted [Sergei] Ryabkov saying he feared […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia hold talks amid tensions linked to Ukraine” – AP

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… U.S. and Russian officials launched special talks Monday aimed at defusing tensions over a Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine, part of a flurry of diplomatic activity in Europe …. No major breakthrough was immediately in sight. … Russia has said it wants the issue resolved this month, but NATO is wary that Putin might be looking […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia rules out concessions at Ukraine talks with U.S.” – Moscow Times

Wendy Sherman file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, meeting foreign ministers of the alliance on Friday, said there remained real risks of a Russian invasion […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Biden wants to turn Ukraine into a porcupine” – Washington Post

File Photo of Soldier Firing Javelin Shoulder-Mounted Anti-Tank Missile

“…. Russia is heading to Geneva with what amounts to an ultimatum: Unless … Putin gets security guarantees from the West, he’s prepared to invade. Biden administration officials say they want a diplomatic solution, but they’ve also been delivering warnings through public and private channels that an invasion would be bloody, protracted and extremely damaging for Russia. … The Air […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Keep calm and carry on; Ukrainians are peculiarly relaxed about Russia’s troop build-up; Many have grown inured to a risk they can do nothing about” – The Economist

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… Ukraine is deeply wary of threats to its independence, so one might expect widespread alarm … [over] 100,000 or so Russian troops at the border, and … [Putin] muttering … about ‘military-technical’ action. … [But] Ukrainians have weathered eight years of war against troops backed by Russia in … Donetsk and Luhansk, which have claimed 13,000 lives. … [T]hey […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: In Kazakhstan, Putin Again Seizes on Unrest to Try to Expand Influence” – New York Times

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

“But a series of revolts against a pro-Russian strongman could also plant the seeds of rebellion at home, analysts say.” “… The arrival in Kazakhstan of 2,500 troops from a Russian-led military alliance amid … violent protest was the fourth time in … two years … Moscow has flexed its muscle in neighboring states — Belarus, Armenia and Ukraine being […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Toast of Emerging Markets in 2021, Russia Gives Pause” – Bloomberg

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… For all the gains [Russia’s] assets … made in the past 12 months, a military incursion into Ukraine [reportedly] would transform the narrative instantly …. Unprecedented U.S. and European sanctions would leave Russia off-limits to many investors, rendering the benefits of rising commodity prices, record international reserves and the central bank’s hawkish turn all but irrelevant. … [T]ensions with […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. pushes unity on Ukraine ahead of key Russia meetings” – AP

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Yet the severity of the response hinges largely on Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and a diplomatic heavyweight within the 27-nation EU […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s Military Buildup Near Ukraine Is an Open Secret” – WSJ

Artist's Depiction of Spy Satellite in Orbit, With Stylized Depictions of Lines of Site and Data Points, adapted from image at iarpa.gov

Satellite images, social media posts and flight-tracking data allow private analysts to track details governments once classified […]

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Amid Rumblings About A Russian Invasion, ‘No Hysteria’ In Ukraine

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Amidst provocative comments from Putin targeting Kyiv, and Kremlin demands that Ukraine be kept out of NATO forever, U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence agencies have warned that Russia has been preparing for a possible military offensive […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “No time for war: Russians see no chance of conflict” – BBC

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The build-up of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border has led to fears of an invasion and all-out war. For most Russians there is little interest […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “More than 10,000 Russian troops returning to bases after drills near Ukraine – Interfax” – Reuters

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Citing the Russian military, Russian news agency Interfax states that more than 10,000 Russian troops have been returning to permanent bases after month-long drills near Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Joe Biden threatens Vladimir Putin with gas embargo over Ukraine” – The Times (UK)

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Don’t dare try another Crimea, he warns Russian president.” “… Biden has warned … Putin that the West will target Russian gas exports and deploy more troops to eastern Europe if [Putin] orders an invasion of Ukraine. … [T]he U.S. national security adviser[] said … this … likely … include[d] stopping … gas … through … Nord Stream 2 …. […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin and Biden Speak: What They Discussed” – Moscow Times

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The Russian and U.S. leaders talked about rising tensions for two hours, but the path forward for both sides, and Ukraine, remains unclear […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why Putin Won’t Invade Ukraine” – Forbes/ Loren Thompson

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“… Risk aversion. … Putin[‘s] operating style more closely resembles the behavior of … the cunning peasant who plays a weak hand well. … You break it, you own it. An invasion … would require Russia to occupy … a restive developing nation … recovering from … war. … [a costly] burden … persist[ing] indefinitely …. Galvanizing NATO. [pushing Western […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “CIA Chief Says Intelligence Agencies Haven’t Concluded Russia Will Invade Ukraine” – WSJ

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Russian President Putin is assembling a potent military force and may see a chance to act this winter, William Burns says […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. intelligence-sharing convinces allies of Russian threat to Ukraine” – Financial Times

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Skeptical capitals including Berlin persuaded of the need to draw up threat of robust sanctions […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine’s soldiers wait in the trenches for Moscow’s next move” – The Times (UK)

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… The Biden administration has said Russian troops are massing near the Ukrainian border and is reported to be considering the dispatch of new weaponry as well as advisers to Kiev. Ukraine is already using U.S. anti-tank missiles and Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones. The supply of more such advanced weaponry would dramatically increase Russian losses in the event of a […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Life under siege: residents fear new surge of war in rebel-held east Ukraine” – Reuters

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“… On the edge of Horlivka, … controlled by … separatists since 2014, … neighbors are trapped between the two warring sides in a conflict that the Ukrainian government says has killed more than 14,000 people. Russia has accused Ukraine of preparing to try to recapture the breakaway eastern regions by force …. Ukraine fears Russia might use that as […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia and Ukraine both step up military alert with combat drills” – Reuters

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

“Russia staged military drills in the Black Sea, south of Ukraine, … and said it needed to sharpen the combat-readiness of its conventional and nuclear forces because of heightened NATO activity near its borders. Ukraine, which with its ally the United States has said it believes Russia may be preparing an invasion, staged exercises of its own near the border […]

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Why There Won’t Be a People’s Republic of Left-Bank Ukraine Just Yet

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Simon Saradzhyan – Nov. 23, 2021) Simon Saradzhyan is the founding director of the Russia Matters Project. Evidence of recently resumed movements of Russian troops in the vicinity of Russia’s border with Ukraine (as well as farther afield) have reignited the debate about Kremlin intentions to order another military intervention on its neighbor’s territory, with […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia’s SVR: Allegations regarding concentration of forces in Russia for invading Ukraine ‘absolutely false'” – Interfax

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) – The allegations that Russia has concentrated substantial forces to launch a military invasion of Ukraine are “absolutely false,” the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) said on Monday. “The press office of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service states that Washington-based officials have lately been actively scaring the international community with Russia’s alleged preparations for ‘aggression’ against […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin Slams U.S. ‘Hysteria’ Over Ukraine Conflict” – Moscow Times

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Peskov’s comments come after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken … declined to say whether U.S. intelligence believed … Putin was aiming to seize land from Ukraine […]

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Why the U.S. Should Rethink Its Russia-centric Ukraine Policy

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nicolai N. Petro – Sept. 9, 2021) Nicolai N. Petro is a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, specializing in Ukraine and Russia. His latest book, “Ukraine in Crisis,” was published by Routledge in 2017. Ahead of this month’s visit to Washington, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave a sense of his […]

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Russia Says Ukraine Organized Gas Pipeline Attack In Crimea

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Oilprice.com – Charles Kennedy – Sept. 7, 2021) Russia accused on Tuesday Ukraine’s military intelligence of having organized an attack on a natural gas pipeline in Crimea at the end of last month, in another escalation of tensions between Moscow and Kyiv. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine back in 2014, straining the bilateral relations between one of Europe’s key natural […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ukraine feels the chill of Biden’s foreign policy” – Financial Times

File Photo of Joe Biden at Podium in Front of U.S. and State Department Flags, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

“Afghanistan withdrawal heightens Zelensky’s fears of dwindling support from Washington” “… Ukraine has fought an eight-year war against Russia and Russian-backed militants …. Yet even before the chaotic pullout from Kabul, alarm was spreading … over fears … [that] Biden wanted to focus more on other foreign policy issues, especially … China. The first warning sign … came … when […]

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West Using Ukraine to Undermine Russian National Identity and Dismember Russia, Markov Says

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

(Paul Goble – Window On Eurasia – Staunton, July 15, 2021) “Putin’s main mistake,” Sergey Markov says, was not introducing Russian military forces into Ukraine in the spring of 2014, a failure that has led to the rise of “an occupation regime” there and the formation of an “anti-Russia.” With his new article, the Kremlin leader has laid the foundation […]

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After Seven Years Of Conflict, Ukraine’s Frontline City Is ‘Just Tired’ Of The Fighting

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

… The prospect of an invasion, unimaginable for most Europeans, has for the past seven years hung like a specter over this industrial port city located just 100 kilometers from Russian territory […]

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Russians Evenly Split on Whether Attacking Ukraine would Help or Hurt Putin, Lev Gudkov Says

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

The head of the Levada Center … says that 43 to 44 percent of Russians think another invasion would boost Putin’s ratings, but 40 percent say that it would have precisely the opposite effect and spark mass dissatisfaction and protests […]

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