Scores of pro-Kremlin media reported essentially true news but with a fake and manipulative headline, — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants foreign troops in Ukraine. President Zelensky was referring to a regular legislative procedure admitting foreign troops for annual joint military exercises and not calling for foreign troops to deploy to Ukraine.
Some Russian media even claimed that Zelensky wants foreign troops at the border with Crimea and has asked the Ukrainian parliament to permit such a deployment.
At the heart of these fake claims are annual military exercises that take place in Ukraine with the participation of troops from partner countries. President Zelensky introduced a draft law to parliament to authorize such foreign military participation, marking the legislation as a priority.
Ukrainian law requires that legislative permission admitting armed forces from other countries onto Ukrainian territory for exercises be renewed annually.
This year Ukraine will host several international military exercises, the US-Ukrainian Rapid Trident 2020 exercises, Ukrainian-Moldovan South-2020 maneuvers, Sea Breeze 2020 international exercises, Ukrainian-Rumanian Riverine 2020 military drills and the Ukrainian-British Warrior Watcher 2020 exercises.
The oldest international military drills held in Ukraine are the multinational Sea Breeze exercises, which have been held annually since 1997. The drill is a multinational maritime exercise with land, sea and air components intended to “build combined capability and capacity to ensure maritime regional security and foster stronger friendships among partnering nations”.