Disinfo: Ukraine says it may use HIMARS against Crimea despite having said it wouldn’t attack Russian territory

Summary

Ukraine affirmed that it may use HIMARS rocket systems to attack Crimea. The spokesperson of the General Directory of Intelligence of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence declared that Crimea is one of the targets to attack to guarantee the security of the country. But those statements take place after the Ukrainian Minister of Defence Alexei Reznikov said that Kyiv had promised not to use HIMARS systems against the territory of Russia.

Disproof

In this disinformation story, two pieces of factual information are presented together in a distorted way to suggest that Crimea is part of Russia’s territory and therefore Ukraine may be violating its own promises if it attacks it.

In reality, Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014 and remains an integral part of Ukraine. No international body has recognised the so-called Crimea referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the EU has adopted a variety of restrictive measures targetting Russia.

See our guide to deciphering pro-Kremlin disinformation around Putin's war.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that Crimea vote to secede after the coup in Kyiv, that Crimea is officially part of Russia, that the West recognized that Crimea belongs to Russia, or that joining Russia saved Crimeans from bloodshed.