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Manipulation The West confirmed that residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions do not want to live as part of Ukraine

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports say that the West allegedly confirmed that the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions do not want to live as part of Ukraine. At the same time, the authors of the messages refer to the material of The Spectator, the British edition. This is manipulation.

The case was noticed by VoxCheck fact-checkers, who found out that the British edition of The Spectator did indeed publish an author’s column by Owen Matthews with the title “One  year on: how will the Ukraine war end?”. As fact-checkers say, the material itself contains factual errors and numerous manipulations. In addition, the author's column does not show the attitude of Western politicians to the issue of the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, because the author gives his own thoughts.

One of the key factors by which the author “determined” the so-called unwillingness of the inhabitants of Donbas and the Luhansk region not to live as part of Ukraine is his own observations, not supported by any facts. In the column, he wrote that his post-2014 reports in the Donbas showed that “those who remained were more or less uniformly anti-Ukrainian”. And then he writes that the locals will perceive the de-occupation of these territories by Ukraine as a “coercive war of conquest.”

As fact-checkers say, there are no independent sociological surveys that would reliably show the correlation of political views in the region and the level of local support for Ukraine in order to conclude that the majority are pro-Russian.

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