The true from the false. Watch out for this map of Ukraine relayed by Elon Musk

This map released by Elon Musk shows Ukraine cut in half. The West is in pink, meaning that the Ukrainians voted mainly for the pro-European party, and the East is in blue, that is to say the majority for the pro-Russian party. This map, which therefore shows a divided country, would be proof according to the billionaire owner of Tesla and Space X that a significant part of the population prefers Russia.

>>> War in Ukraine: how Elon Musk alienated the opinion of the country in a tweet

This tweet from Elon Musk has since been taken up by Moscow, as spotted by our colleagues from 20 minutes and Liberation. This message is also widely shared on social networks.

If this map and these results are true, its dissemination is very misleading for two reasons. First, because it is not at all recent. The map shows the result of the parliamentary elections of… 2012. And ten years ago, the situation in Ukraine was totally different from today. Russia had not yet annexed Crimea, it will do so two years later, in 2014. There was no fighting in the Donbass either. Moreover, if we compare the results of the legislative elections of 2012 to the last elections of 2019, the so-called pro-Russian party is in very marked decline in the East of the country.

Beware also of the use of the term “pro-Russian” party which is the other misleading point on this map because in 2012, Ukrainian society is torn between the European Union on the one hand and the other Moscow. Except that at the time, voting for a pro-Russian party did not mean that voters wanted to secede.

“When we talk about 2012, we are talking more about business relations, we are talking more about a privileged link in the transport of hydrocarbons. We are in classic commercial and cultural issuesexplains Anna Colin Lebedev, lecturer at Paris Nanterre and specialist in Ukraine. It is in no way a separatist political movement that would be favorable, for example, to annexation by Russia.”.

Clearly, beware of an overly simplistic reading of this old and dated map which shows nothing of the state of opinion in Ukraine today.

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