Ukraines Foreign Ministry reminds Western media that the "separatists" in Temporarily Occupied Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts are also Russia

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has warned Western media against repeating Russian propagandist claims, in particular, the claim that the Ukrainian military in Donbas is fighting against "separatists" from pseudo-republics in the Temporarily Occupied Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts (ORDLO) and not the Russian army.

Oleh Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the appeal while drawing attention to a headline of a recent Agence France Presse (AFP) article.

"AFP became a victim of Russian propaganda. It egregiously calls Russia’s invading army ‘Ukrainian separatists’, presenting Russia’s war against Ukraine as an internal conflict. The Kremlin is thrilled. What next? Are the ‘Ukrainian separatists’ launching cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea?" Nikolenko said.

The AFP article uses the term "Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists" in the body of the text.

The AFP title spread to the news feeds of other publications, which did not amend it. For example, it was repeated in Al-Arabiya, Al Jazeera and Barrons.

Some publications that used the information from the AFP article, such as Deutsche Welle and Le Monde, used the terms "pro-Russian" or "Russian-supported" in their headlines, though they still called the Russian puppet regime in ORDLO "separatists" or "rebels."

In contrast, The Guardian used the term "Russian forces" in its headline for the article quoting the same official from the Russian-backed ORDLO that the original AFP article quoted.