The post disinforms that NATO is pushing Ukraine to fight to the last Ukrainian. This narrative undermines thousands of soldiers in Ukraine, including patriotic defence actions carried out to defend themselves from Russian aggression. It is not true that no more men are left so Zelenskyy is “sending women to be killed on the front”. Women voluntarily serve and their number has increased after the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, writes Truthmeter.mk.
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We fact-checked a post published on the social network Facebook, that states:
We know that NATO is pushing Kyiv to “fight to the last Ukrainian”. Are they running out of men? Zelenskyy’s latest diamond: Sending young women into the trenches on the front lines to be shot and possibly killed. Or maybe they serve as morale boosters?
A video was shared of women dressed in military uniforms with the Ukrainian flag on a bus singing a song. The post also shared disinformation that NATO was pushing Kyiv to fight to the last Ukrainian.
In fact, this is not the first time such a thing was said. For example, a few months ago such thing stated Sergey Kiriyenko, a senior political official in Russia (10.08.2020). This rhetoric was officially disseminated by politicians in Russia, including Vladimir Putin himself, in the attempt to find justification for the Russian military aggression.
NATO is not party in a conflict and did not push Ukraine to fight
Ukraine was invaded by Russia on 24th February 2022. Russia’s brutal invasion caused the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. Eight million Ukrainians were internally displaced in May 2022, and by then 8 million already flee the country.
The military invasion was preceded by the deployment of Russian military troops on the Russian-Ukraine border, specifically, and on the border between Russia and Belarus (that started in the beginning of 2021), when Russia submitted a request to legally ban Ukraine to join NATO. In the days before the Invasion, Russia recognized the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, followed by the invasion of Russian armed forces of Donbas in Eastern Ukraine. The next day, the Council of the Russian Federation authorized the President of the State to resort to military force beyond the borders of the Russian Federation.
Russia started the war, Ukraine defended itself
NATO is a defense alliance whose purpose is to protect its members. According to the official policies, NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to the Russian Federation. NATO didn’t invade Georgia; NATO didn’t invade Ukraine. Russia did. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently and publicly over the past 30 years.
We worked together on issues ranging from counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism to submarine rescue and civil emergency planning – even during periods of NATO enlargement. However, in 2014, in response to Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia. We do not seek confrontation, but we can’t ignore Russia breaking international rules, undermining our stability and security, states the official website of NATO.
In response to Russia’s use of military force against Ukraine, NATO deployed four multinational battlegroups to the Baltic States and Poland in 2016. Before Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, there were no Allied troops in the Eastern part of the Alliance.
In response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, NATO has significantly reinforced its deterrence and defence posture, including with four new battlegroups in the Eastern part of the Alliance. At the NATO Summit in Madrid, Allies agreed that Russia is the most significant and direct threat to their security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. Allies, also agreed to further strengthen NATO’s posture. However, Allies are remain willing to keep open channels of communication with Moscow to prevent escalations.
NATO enlargement is not a threat to Russia
NATO is a defense alliance aiming to protect its member-states. Every country that joins NATO undertakes to uphold its principles and policies. This includes the commitment that NATO does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia, as affirmed at the Brussels Summit this year.
NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia
Every sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security, one that Russia has also subscribed to and should respect. In fact, after the end of the Cold War, Russia committed to building an inclusive European security architecture, including through the Charter of Paris, the establishment of OSCE, and the NATO-Russia Founding Act, states the website of NATO.
Such an agreement was never made. NATO’s door has been open to new members since it was founded in 1949 – and that has never changed. Any European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the “North Atlantic” can apply for membership.
Ukraine and Georgia have the right to choose their own alliances, and Russia has, by its own repeated agreement, no right to dictate that choice. We reject any idea of spheres of influence in Europe – they are part of history and should remain part of history, say from NATO.
NATO’s military infrastructure outside the territory of the Allies is limited to areas in which the Alliance is conducting operations. NATO has military facilities in Kosovo, for instance for the KFOR peacekeeping mission. NATO has civilian liaison offices in partner countries such as Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. These cannot be considered as “military bases”.
NATO is not at war with Russia in Ukraine
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-defence, as enshrined in the UN 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 that the conflict does not escalate and spread beyond Ukraine, because that would be even more devastating and more dangerous, states the website of NATO where myths and other facts are debunked.
As for women in the Ukrainian army, they voluntarily join the service to defend their country against the Russian aggression. The Ukrainian Army has a large number of women in its ranks and they themselves decide to go into service.
In September 2022, Al Jazeera reported that 50,000 women serve in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in various roles.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the number of women who have voluntarily joined the Ukrainian military has surged. There are about 50,000 women serving in the Ukrainian armed forces in combat and non-combat roles of which about 10,000 are currently either on the front lines of the war or in jobs that could send them to the front lines. There were about 32,000 women in the military prior to the invasion. The military service for women in Ukraine is voluntary, writes Al Jazeera.
Women who are medical professionals must register for military service, which opens the possibility to be enlisted for service. The registration itself does not necessarily mean that they will be sent to the front. For everyone else, military service is voluntary.
Due to all facts above, the fact-checked post is rated as untrue. It is not true that NATO is pushing Ukraine to fight to the last Ukrainian. This narrative undermines thousands of soldiers in Ukraine, including patriotic defence actions carried out to defend themselves from Russian aggression. It is not true that no more men are left so Zelenskyy is “sending women to be killed on the front”. Women voluntarily serve and their number has increased after the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.