Photo: Printscreen from the video
It is not true that NATO is instigating war and that its goal is to fight Russia at the expense of Ukrainian citizens. Such a narrative is part of the Russian propaganda that wants to present Ukraine as a vassal of the Western countries by accepting to go to war against Russia and sacrifice its citizens to fulfill NATO’s goals. Russia undertook an unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine, a country that has a legitimate right to defend itself, using all available resources from its friends. If Ukraine would not do so, it will have to face even greater territorial claims by Russia
We are fact-checking a post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) sharing a video about the assistance in weapons sent to Ukraine in the counter-offensive against Russia. The description of the post says:
NATO is instigating a war to the last of the Ukrainians.
The video is assessing Ukraine’s counter-offensive as unsuccessful and is taking stock of the weaponry provided as assistance from Western countries.
\It is actually a “forecast” that the counter-offensive will end up unsuccessfully. On the other hand, the narrative in the post’s description is disinformation and a pro-Russian narrative. The goal is to present Russia’s military invasion as a war in which NATO is involved, which is not true and has been officially explained by NATO itself on several occasions.
It is not true that NATO is instigating war and that aims to fight Russia at the expense of the Ukrainian citizens. Such a narrative is part of a propaganda aiming to present Ukraine as a country which is neither sovereign nor democratic, without democratically elected authorities and without the right to decide about its own future in the international context, but as a vassal to the Western countries. In other words, as if Ukraine accepted to go to war against Russia and sacrifice its own citizens to accomplish NATO goals. The truth, however, is that Russia was the side that performed an unprovoked military invasion in Ukraine on 24th February 2022. To expect Ukraine to do nothing would mean that the Ukrainian citizens agree to be occupied and its territory taken over by Russia, which is not the case.
NATO neither initiated the military invasion, nor it has troops in Ukraine now. Russia was the side that attacked Ukraine in February 2022, while Ukraine, as an independent country, has the right to defend itself and use all available resources acquired from its friends. NATO is sending military aid to Ukraine without becoming a party in the war.
The post manipulates, by claiming that Ukraine is a puppet in the hands of NATO, although it is clear that the war could end immediately if Russia pulls out from the territory of Ukraine. NATO is a defense alliance whose main purpose is to protect its members. NATO’s official policy is non-confrontational and does not present a threat to the Russian Federation. NATO was not the one that undertook an invasion in Georgia, nor in Ukraine, but Russia. NATO is constantly addressing Russia in the last 30 years.
Together we worked on issues such as confronting drug trafficking and antiterrorism, all the way to submarine rescue missions, even in the period of NATO enlargement. In 2014, however, as a response to Russian aggressive action against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia. We do not seek confrontation, but we cannot ignore the fact that Russia is violating international rules, undermining our stability and security, states NATO’s website.
NATO is not а party in the war
NATO condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s brutal and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine – which is an independent, peaceful and democratic country and a close NATO partner. NATO and Allies continue to provide Ukraine with unprecedented levels of support, helping to uphold its fundamental right to self-defenсe, specifies the website of NATO.
Ukraine is not a NATO Member-State, but a partner country, which means that it cooperates closely with NATO, although it is not covered by the security guarantees of the founding Treaty of the Alliance.
The website of NATO debunks several myths spread by Kremlin propaganda’s sources. The first myth is exactly the comment of the post we are fact-checking – that NATO “is fighting against Russia in Ukraine” at the expense of Ukrainian victims.
NATO is not at war with Russia and we do not seek confrontation with Russia. What NATO does is support Ukraine in its right to self-defense, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Over the past months, we have taken strictly defensive measures to increase the presence of NATO troops in the Eastern part of the Alliance.
This ensures that there is no room for misunderstanding in Moscow about our readiness to protect and defend all Allies. Our core task is to keep our thirty nations safe. We have a responsibility to ensure the conflict does not escalate and spread beyond Ukraine, because that would be even more devastating and more dangerous, states the website of NATO.
On several occasions since the beginning of the aggressive Russian military invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin propaganda has been trying to twist the theses and to put forward a series of justifications for its attacks. Ukraine as an independent state with territorial integrity and sovereignty has the right to defend itself and to use all available assistance from its friends. If Ukraine does not do that, then it would have to face even greater territorial claims by Russia.
The narrative in this Facebook post is in line with the barrage of pro-Russian narratives aiming to present the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy as a puppet in the hands of the Western countries. NATO Alliance is responsible to ensure that the war does not escalate and spread beyond Ukraine, because that would be even more devastating and more dangerous. If NATO was to close the Ukrainian sky, that would put NATO in direct conflict with Russia, it would escalate the war and bring about even bigger sufferings and destruction for all involved countries. In addition, Russia was called upon many times to withdraw from Ukrainian territory, but to no avail.
Russia must stop this atrocious war immediately. The European Union will stand by Ukraine with its steadfast support for as long as it takes, specify the Conclusions of the European Commission dated 9th February 2023.
The European Union believes that Ukraine has the right to choose its own future and destiny and congratulated the Ukrainians on their bravery in defending their country. According to the post we are fact-checking, the Ukrainian troops defending their motherland should all be manipulated by the West, without their own opinion and without even a shred of patriotism to fight for foreign interests. However, that is not the case. In fact, an enormous number of soldiers showed that they did not agree with being occupied by Russia and decided to fight.
On several occasions, EU leaders demanded that Russia immediately cease its military actions, unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from Ukraine and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. But that did not happen. If NATO wanted to be at war with Russia, it would not have called for peace constantly, which, due to Russia’s lack of cooperation, cannot be achieved.
At the NATO Summit in Lithuania, USA President Joe Biden said that Ukraine was not ready for NATO membership and that the war must end first.
I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment, in the middle of a war. If the war is going on, then we all will go to war, an official war with Russia, if that were the case, Biden said.
Zelenskyy is leading the nation in its struggle to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Ukraine receives aid from the EU and NATO countries, but that does not make Zelenskyy a puppet in the hands of the USA and EU, bearing in mind that Ukraine is defending itself and is not willing to surrender. It is also not true that NATO realized that it cannot win in a war against Russia – NATO is not at war with Russia and does not want to start a war with Russia. Concerning the ultimate results of the counter-offensive, Pentagon made a statement that it was too early to judge the final outcome. Neither the positive, nor the negative outcome of that counter-offensive will not make NATO an instigator of the war in Ukraine, because that war was initiated by Russia.
Due to all of the above-noted facts the post fact-checked is assessed as untrue.