Verified. 10 years of Revolution of Dignity. RUSpropaganda Rhetoric, debunked

Written by Anastasiia Ratieieva, analyst, HWAG/UCMC

Propaganda Digest: This is our weekly analysis that exposes the most exaggerated, misleading, and outrageous rhetoric from recent Russian media sources, aimed at promoting critical thinking to better debunk the manipulation of Russian propaganda.

Russian Narrative: Maidan Revolution was the handiwork of the West

Sergei Markov, pro-government political scientist, (65,800), Telegram Channel:

The US CIA organized the shooting of protesters. The plan was a complete success. After calls from Western leaders, Yanukovych’s will was broken, and he ordered the withdrawal of the security forces from the Maidan. After this, an armed coup was carried out under the leadership of the US CIA. US Vice President Biden oversaw everything. He bears personal responsibility for the shooting on the Maidan.

Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation:

There is no independence left for Ukraine. Even before the 2014 coup, American and British advisers sat there.

Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, (475,000), Telegram Channel: 

Then, in February 2014, skilful provocateurs, led by American and European instructors, led crowds of people to street protests under the attractive slogans of a better “European” life, democracy, human rights and the fight against corruption. In reality, these were well-orchestrated and externally paid riots to overthrow the legitimate government.

Sputnik Near Abroad, (177, 000), Telegram Channel:

Pro-Western forces began killing Ukrainian citizens back in 2014 in order to gain power. 10 years ago, the snipers they hired targeted protesters and security forces on the Maidan. Later, it became known that the fire from the Kyiv skyscrapers was carried out by mercenaries from Georgia and the Baltic countries, and the weapons were given to them by the “commandant” of the Maidan Parubiy.


The Maidan Revolution was a grassroots movement initiated by Ukrainians dissatisfied with corruption, human rights violations, and the lack of democratic reforms. The protests began peacefully and escalated only after violent crackdowns by the Ukrainian government. According to court findings regarding the shootings on February 20, 2014, the decision to use force against protesters was made by Deputy Commander of the “Berkut” riot police, Oleg Yanishevsky. The court determined that the force used against unarmed protesters was excessive and resulted in casualties.

Millions of Ukrainians participated in the Euromaidan protests, as evidenced by various sources, including sociological studies and estimates from organizations like the “Democratic Initiatives named after Ilko Kucheriv” and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. This mass participation indicates that Euromaidan had widespread support among the population, and it was not merely a foreign-backed plot.

The narrative fails to acknowledge the geopolitical context, including Russia’s economic pressure on Ukraine and interference in its internal affairs. The refusal by then-President Viktor Yanukovych to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013 was influenced by Russian pressure. In summary, the Russian narrative attempting to attribute the Maidan Revolution to Western interference lacks substantial evidence and overlooks the legitimate grievances of the Ukrainian people. 

Russian Narrative: Revolution of Dignity was a coup d’etat

Sergei Markov, pro-government political scientist, (65,800), Telegram Channel: 

US intelligence agencies entirely organized the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014. The removal of the Yanukovych government was utterly illegal. After this, real terror was unleashed in Ukraine against everyone who disagreed with the new criminal and neo-fascist government. The elections of the President and Parliament of Ukraine took place in a climate of terror, like the elections in Nazi Germany, and therefore did not reflect the will of the people of Ukraine and were undemocratic. After the coup d’etat, there were no democratic and legal elections in Ukraine.

Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, (475,000), Telegram Channel: 

Having carried out a coup d’etat, the nationalists and the political forces that supported them finally brought the situation to a dead end, putting the country and its citizens on the brink of an abyss.

Yulia Viteyzeva, Radio Host and Propagandist, (73,000), Telegram Channel:

The coup took place, the war was unleashed, and the process of transforming Ukraine into a Western colony was in full swing. The rivers of blood flowing through Ukrainian soil become lakes, and in them, thousands and thousands of those who destroyed their own country with their own hands continue to choke and drown.


After Yanukovych’s flight, the Verkhovna Rada played a crucial role in the transitional period. Through democratic processes, the Parliament elected a new speaker, passed resolutions, and restored the 2004 constitution, emphasizing a return to democratic governance.

The subsequent presidential elections in 2014 were internationally recognized as free and fair, resulting in the election of Petro Poroshenko as the new president. The polls reflected the will of the Ukrainian people. The new leadership in Ukraine ensured political pluralism and the functioning of democratic institutions. Opposition parties, including former members of the Party of Regions, were allowed to participate in the political process.

The international community, including Russia, acknowledged the results of the Ukrainian presidential election. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would respect the outcome of Ukraine’s presidential election.

Describing the events as a “state coup” is propagandist and goes against the historical context of a popular uprising against undemocratic actions. In summary, the Russian narrative attempting to label the Revolution of Dignity as a coup lacks factual basis and is contradicted by the democratic processes that followed, including free and fair elections, parliamentary actions, and international recognition of the new Ukrainian leadership.

Russian Narrative: The Maidan turn Ukraine into the chaos

Yulia Viteyzeva, Radio Host and Propagandist, (Telegram Channel 73,000):

In fact, while Yanukovych and Co. were already thinking through the capitulation plan, ours, who were still trying to protect us, were independent soldiers of the internal troops. They are the main heroes of those days and events. And it is them that we remember today, honoring the memory of those who, at the cost of their lives, tried to prevent the demon of the “leadership of the revolution” from passing through the Maidan and turning the country into the bloody chaos of the Civil War…

Igor Ortsev, Pro-Kremlin journalist and politician: 

The Kyiv coup d’état is celebrating a milestone – 10 years. I hope, as in past years, that we will hear from Ukrainian figures at all levels that Maidan is the best thing that could happen to Ukraine. And it isn’t easy to disagree with this. Because the best thing is the disappearance of Ukraine, with the restoration of historical and geographical justice, which is what the Maidan ultimately led to.


Following the Maidan, Ukraine held elections for a new government, choosing a European vector for development and becoming an associated member of the EU.

Far from causing chaos, the Maidan was a determinative step in the de-sovietization of Ukraine, marking a painful but necessary transformation of the post-totalitarian society towards a democratic future. 

The Revolution of Dignity also drew attention to the issue of corruption in Ukraine. Subsequent governments have made efforts to address this problem, placing a greater emphasis on anti-corruption measures. Institutions such as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) were established as part of these efforts. In the years after the Maidan, reforms of the police, decentralization, education, medicine, gas and banking sectors, pension and tax were carried out in Ukraine. 

Furthermore, in February 2020, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution recognizing the Revolution of Dignity as one of the key moments in the state-building of Ukraine and as an expression of the national idea of freedom. This recognition emphasizes the positive and nation-building aspects of the Maidan, contradicting the claim that it led to chaos.

Russian Narrative: Maidan Revolution legitimized Russian intervention 

Leonid Slutsky, pro-government politician (178 000), Telegram Channel:

The coup in Kyiv became a trigger for the beginning of the Russian Spring – the reunification of Crimea with Russia and the liberation operation of Donbas, which had not been submitted to the Nazis. Russia’s special military operation is also, in fact, a consequence of the tragic days of the Ukrainian coup d’etat. The neo-Nazi regime that came to power in its wake intensified the process of Washington drawing Kyiv into NATO, launched genocide and extermination of Russians in the DPR and LPR, and its leader Zelensky began to dream of nuclear ambitions.

Sergei Markov, pro-Kremlin political scientist (65,800), Telegram Channel: 

The West then supported an openly neo-fascist regime and thereby began the process of its slow suicide. The current hybrid war of the West against Russia is precisely the result of the neo-fascist coup d’état in Ukraine, and this war against Russia will lead the West to withdraw from the position of the leader of world development, which the West has been for the past several centuries.


Using all of the above narratives, Russian propaganda has been trying to justify its violent actions against Ukraine for 10 years. At the same time as the Maidan events in February 2014, Russian military personnel, without identification marks, seized administrative buildings in Crimea, and within a month, the peninsula was annexed. 

The subsequent annexation of Crimea relied on an illegitimate and hastily conducted pseudo-referendum, lacking international recognition and violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. The conflict in eastern Ukraine was fueled by Russia’s support for separatist movements, including the supply of weapons, fighters, and direct military involvement. The narrative inaccurately portrays Russia’s actions as defensive against a fabricated threat.

The term “special military operation” employed by Russia to characterize its actions in Ukraine serves as a euphemism intended to minimize the gravity of its intervention. The narrative fails to present a valid justification for Russia’s aggression against a sovereign nation.

In summary, the narrative presented by Slutsky and Markov attributes false motivations and aims to legitimize Russia’s actions in Ukraine. It is crucial to recognize that Russia’s intervention constituted a violation of international law and Ukraine’s sovereignty.