On February 15th, 2022, the news portal “Info Analytical” published an article authored by Irakli Jankarashvili with the following headline: “The Ukrainian crisis initially began with ‘Biden’s lies.’ The article claimed that the escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia is the result of steps taken by the Biden administration and U.S. intelligence. According to the author, the Biden administration artificially aggravated the situation by making statements about the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine. The article also quotes American politician Ron Paul saying that Biden lied about the possibility of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The claim that the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine was triggered by the statements made by the Biden administration is disinformation. In fact, the escalation began in the spring of 2021 with the resumption of clashes with separatists in eastern Ukraine, and the mobilization of Russian troops and military equipment along the Ukrainian border has been observed since October 2021. The Biden administration made the first statements about the possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in early December 2021, when hundreds of thousands of Russian troops were already mobilized along the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The re-escalation of tensions between Ukraine and Russia began in March and April 2021, when several clashes took place in eastern Ukraine between separatists and the Ukrainian military, resulting in the death of 4 Ukrainian soldiers. At the same time, in April 2021, the Russian military began mobilizing towards the Russian-Ukrainian border. According to the Russian side, the movement of military forces to the west was part of the regular spring inspections and exercises of the Russian army, although the Ukrainian government was sceptical of the size of the Russian troops and armaments gathered at the border. On April 20th, the Ukrainian side announced that between 100,000 and 120,000 Russian troops had been mobilized along their borders, a large-scale concentration that had not taken place since the 2014 Crimean War. At the same time, military exercises and mobilizations were taking place in the annexed Crimean territory. Part of the Russian fleet also started moving towards Crimea.
In the context of possible Russian aggression, the Biden administration has expressed support for Ukraine. President Biden stated that the United States supported Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In early May 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also visited Ukraine, after which Russia soon began the partial withdrawal of troops from the border region.
The resumption of mobilization of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine began in October 2021. The Russian side asserted that the deployment of the troops near Ukraine was a response to NATO’s aggression against Russia. On November 13th, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that 100,000 Russian soldiers were stationed at the Ukrainian border. In response to the renewed deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine, the U.S. President’s administration has resumed talks with European partners to ensure Ukraine’s security.
In December 2021, the Russian Foreign Ministry introduced its own conditions for the de-escalation of the situation along the Ukrainian border, one of which was a ban on Ukraine joining the North Atlantic Alliance. After NATO rejected the request, Russia continued to mobilize its troops on the Ukrainian border. In January 2022, more than 120,000 Russian troops were allocated on the border between Ukraine and Belarus. Statements and steps in support of Ukraine from the Biden administration and European partners were made against the background of the mobilization of Russian troops and the impending military aggression.
Negotiations between the United States, European partners and Russia are still in progress as of February 2022, and the situation along the Ukrainian border remains tense. On February 11th, the White House stated that Russia would be fully prepared to invade Ukraine by February 16th, although U.S. officials said they still did not know whether Vladimir Putin had decided to invade Ukraine. According to the American side, the White House is ready for any step by Russia.
The narrative, as if the tensions between Ukraine and Russia are artificially created by the West, is widespread in the Russian propaganda media. Russia sought to cultivate a similar message during the annexation of Crimea in 2014, with the aim of imposing responsibility for the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine on the West. For more information on the Ukraine crisis of 2021-2022 and the misinformation spread during the 2014 war, see the following materials:
- All Roads Lead to Ukraine: How Russia Uses Disinformation to Support Its Efforts on the Ground
- The myth that the West Provoked the Military Conflict in Ukraine is Misleading
About the Source
The website “InfoAnalytical.ge” publishes articles and opinions of Irakli Jankarashvili, a supporter of the Kremlin’s policy and the pro-Russian party “Alliance of Patriots” regarding the Ukraine crisis, the U.S. administration, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia and Georgian politics since February 12th, 2022. The website contains anti-U.S. publications, claiming that Washington is pursuing an ideological occupation of Georgia. At the same time, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia is referred to as a depraved representative of the “American occupation regime”.
Notably, until February 12th, 2022, the website published articles in English with entirely different content related to healthy lifestyle, sports, recreation, etc. The website stopped publishing articles of similar content on January 25th, 2021. Irakli Jankarashvili’s articles have been appearing on the site since February 12th.
A page with an identical name was created on Facebook, which was created on February 2nd, 2022, and shares articles published on “info analytical” and “tvalsazrisi.ge”- another site run by Irakli Jankarashvili.
According to the Facebook Ad Library, the Facebook page “infoanalytical.ge” currently has one sponsored post. The post in support of the pro-Kremlin “Alliance of Patriots” position on military neutrality of Georgia was sponsored on Facebook on February 15th, 2022.
Irakli Jankarashvili, the author of the materials published on “infoanalytical.ge,” disseminates anti-Western, pro-governmental materials simultaneously through the website “tvalsazrisi.ge” and several social network accounts. Jankarashvili supports the pro-Kremlin “Alliance of Patriots” and its leader Irma Inashvili. On October 27th, Jankarashvili published a post in which he wrote that he had a positive attitude only towards Irma Inashvili and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
For more about Irakli Jankarashvili, See:
- What do Иракли Иракли, Antiliberal Doctrine, News Front and Tvalsazrisi.ge have in Common?
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