Russian propagandist site Life.ru has published yet another fake claiming the United States is preparing a new colored revolution in Ukraine. Presenting Ukraine as a passive pawn incapable of deciding its own future is an oft repeated Kremlin trope. Life’s article is filled with falsehoods and unrelated snippets of bizarre claims.
A series of unsubstantiated and very subjective claims about US and European controls over Ukraine’s political life, the Life.ru article is a dismissive overview of US and European aid programs, from human rights and free media support to infrastructure improvement. The actual text of the article does not really deal with any colored revolutions despite the claim in the blaring headline.
The author, Yevgeniy Yemelianov repeats tired Russian disinformation claims aimed at creating an image of Ukraine as a pawn in the hands of the world’s main players. The West decides Ukraine’s role in the world, Ukraine is funded by foreign sponsors who are molding new civil society structures and creating loyal media, right now Washington has several scenarios for changing the political configuration in Ukraine, Yemelianov writes. Current president Petro Poroshenko’s opponents will seek to gain the imprimatur of Washington to change the composition of the ruling coalition, he claims.
Washington’s hand, according to Life.ru manifests itself in USAID programs supporting free media, civil society development in Ukraine, anti-corruption efforts at the grassroots level and public oversight of security forces.
The US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor did announce some of the grants that Life.ru obsesses about, but this is not a first. Similar programs have been underway in Ukraine and other post-Communist countries for years. To claim that such programs are preparations for colored revolutions is a pathological misrepresentation of international aid and just patently ridiculous.
Life.ru makes reference to the European Union report Human rights in Ukraine and the EU response to claim that the EU is also “playing its game in Ukraine in support of freedom and human rights”. The EU report cites a Freedom House assessment which states that Ukraine made progress in 2014-2015 and is currently in the partly free category.
The article also claims that Ukrainian authorities are using the cover of war to commit human rights violations and accuses the Ukrainian government of violating the rights of internally displaced persons.
Life.ru and its author Yemelianov conveniently ignore the fact that it was Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its separatist war in the eastern regions of Ukraine that gave rise to more than 1.5 million Ukrainians being driven from their homes, something the EU Human rights report emphasized clearly and succinctly. The EU report clearly states that Ukrainians in the occupied territories in Donbas are living under conditions that can be described as war dictatorship and that after the annexation of Crimea, Russian authorities ruthlessly suppressed dissent and created an atmosphere of great fear and hostility.