"The term 'Donbas' has been purposefully used by the special services of the Russian Federation since 2000 and especially actively in the period of Russian aggression against Ukraine from 2014 to the present, as a tool of information warfare. The goal is to oppose and artificially single out a certain region of Ukraine as a territory that seems to have special rights and status, which gives grounds in the future to justify the creation and existence of state pseudo-entities," Danilov wrote on Facebook.
According to him, even superficial monitoring of any Russian state news sites will give a complete picture and evidence of the place of "Donbas" in the Russian information agenda: "choice of Donbas," "violation of the rights of the people of Donbas," "conversation with Donbas," "people of Donbas," "Donbas militia," "Donbas authorities."
"Therefore, using the term 'Donbas' today is constantly feeding Russian anti-Ukrainian narratives and playing to Russian propaganda," Danilov said, adding that geographical names have changed over the years, so the concept of "Donbas" cannot be considered "historically established" now.
"In the case of the name 'Donbas,' we are dealing with a relatively new definition, which historically covered the territory of the Luhansk, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions, as well as the regions of modern Russia, in particular, the Rostov region. Therefore, even taking into account this circumstance, applying the name 'Donbas' to part of the territory of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine occupied by the Russian Federation is not correct," Danilov said.
Danilov said on March 24 that it was necessary to avoid such a concept as "Donbas," which became a narrative imposed by the aggressor country.
He stressed that the word "Donbas" cannot be found in any legal document of Ukraine. "This is a definition being imposed on us by the Russian Federation – 'the people of Donbas,' 'the choice of Donbas', 'Donbas will not be brought to its knees.' We need to strictly adhere to our legal documents. […] There are clear names of the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. There is no Donbas. It is very dangerous when we start saying such things," Danilov said.