On May 22, 2019, Sputnik Abkhazia published an article where a Russian analyst, Deputy Director of the Institute of Strategic Research and Predictions at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Pavel Feldman, stated that the United States, unlike European countries, is not interested in establishing peace in Donbass region.
Feldman commented on the last telephone conversation between Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin and considers the Chancellor of Germany to be a pragmatic, cooperation-oriented leader that wants to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and to establish peace in Donbass region. According to him, it is preferable that “Ukraine leave the U.S.’ orbit and yet, move towards Europe”.
Pavel Feldman: “Europe, unlike the U.S., is vitally interested in establishing peace in Donbass, as this is a European, civilizational, geographic, and political space and there is no need for a military conflict here… With the aim of resolving the pressing issues, it is desirable that Kyiv leave the American political orbit and move towards Europe.”
Feldman’s claim that the United States is not interested in establishing peace in Donbass region, is a lie. The United States has allocated more than USD 1.3 billion to Ukraine since 2014. A significant part of the aid aims to increase the security of Ukraine, strengthen democratic institutions, and develop the economy. It is the actions of Russia that hinder peace process in Ukraine.
1. U.S. has allocated more than USD 1.3 billion to support peace and stability in Ukraine
The aid allocated by the United States to Ukraine since the start of the War in Donbass in 2014 amounts to more than USD 1.3 billion. The aid of the United States aims to strengthen democratic institutions and civil society, stimulating economic growth, and increasing defense and security capabilities.
Moreover, the U.S. government has already allocated more than USD 112 million to aid the victims of the Donbass Conflict. This humanitarian aid includes construction of shelters, providing vital products, ensuring the security of the elderly and the children, and psycho-social support for those affected by the conflict, as well as reparation of drinking water infrastructure and creation of temporary jobs for the internally displaced persons.
According to the International Crisis Group, among the Western partners of Ukraine, it was the efforts of the United States, namely the negotiations of its special representative Kurt Volker with Vladislav Surkov, an aide to the President of Russia, that represented the most active attempts of the West to support the peace process in Donbass.
According to the United States’ mission to the OSCE, Washington welcomes the Minsk Agreement, as a mechanism for peaceful regulation of the armed conflict in the Eastern Ukraine and calls upon Moscow to make effective steps. According to the U.S. government, the sanctions imposed by the U.S. upon Russia will be upheld until Russia fully meets the responsibilities envisaged by the Minsk Agreement.
2. Actions of Russia hinder the peace process in Ukraine
There are several evidence on the participation of Russian Federation in the War in Donbass and an investigation by Bellingcat confirms it, too. The investigation showed that in 2014-2016, the rise in the armed activity in Donbass is in precise correlation with an increase in the number of Medals "For Distinction in Military Service" (Медаль «За отличие в воинской службе») given out by the Russian Federation in the same period and vice-versa. The Armed Forces of Russia issued nearly 10,000 of such medals, while the total number of Russian soldiers that fought in Donbass without getting a medal is, probably, much higher.
In March 2019, Ukraine blamed the Russian Federation of violating the Minsk II Agreement on 561 occasions in the last three months and submitted a respective 68-page document with photographic evidences to the OSCE.
It should also be noted that it is exactly Moscow’s recent actions in the Donbass region that undermine the peace process, namely the issuing of Russian passports. After 2002, such steps were also taken with regards to Georgia’s conflict regions which resulted in a military intervention by Russia in 2008 and the occupation of nearly 20% of Georgia’s territory.
Prepared by Nika Azikuri
Myth Detector Lab