Disinfo: 2014 coup in Kyiv led to Crimea referendum, Donbas war

Summary

In 2014, Ukraine was rocked by mass rallies and experienced a coup d’état in Kiev which forced president Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country. In the wake of this, Crimea rejoined Russia following a March referendum on the peninsula, with 96 percent voting for reunification, while Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence and refused to obey the new government in Kyiv.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan, the illegal annexation of Crimea, and the war in Ukraine. There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here. No international body has recognised the so-called Crimea referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014. Thirteen members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favour of a resolution declaring the referendum invalid. On the 27th of March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which 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 December 17, 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea. On the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the landgrab and continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The international community, including the European Union recognises and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 173
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/11/2019
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Crimea, Referendum, Euromaidan, Donbas, Coup, War in Ukraine
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Crimea became Russian after its residents voted for reunification with Russia

Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum held there in March 2014, where most residents spoke out in favour of reunification with Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body has recognised the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014, which was organised by self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings. The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government." 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 EU's policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol includes a set of restrictive measures against entities and individuals responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity. In March 2019, on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

Will Bolsonaro Be Spared From The 'South American Spring'?

The US let the genie out of the bottle through its long-running Hybrid War on Venezuela, and although it’s solidifying its newly established control over Bolivia right now, it lost control of the protest dynamics in Peru, Ecuador, and Chile, and its man in Argentina just lost reelection. It’s difficult to imagine why Brazil would be immune to this trend considering that it’s already so sharply divided and even the slightest spark might set into motion very similar events as elsewhere in the region, which is why Bolsonaro must be anxiously sweating right now praying that he won’t become the most prominent example of the US’ Hybrid War blowback in the hemisphere.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the claim. This is part of a recurrent disinformation narrative about US-led regime change operations against left wing governments in Latin America. You can see other examples of this, such as the alleged presence of a US marine in the Venezuelan barricades and the promotion of a Ukraine-style 'colour revolution', the training of Venezuelan exiles in Guyana for military operations inside the country, preparations for a military intervention after forcing Brazil to join NATO, deliberate blackouts in South America caused by the US, or the existence of plans for the secession of oil-rich regions in both Venezuela and Mexico. Also falls within the broader pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to deny the existence of genuine grass-root protests, portraying them as foreign-led efforts and fake colour revolutions.

US controls Latin American countries by organising coups

The US controls “disobedient countries” in Latin America by organising coups, bribing corrupt politicians and financing pro-American-leaning opposition groups. The Bolivian Revolution is very similar in character to the Ukrainian “Orange Revolution” and “Euromaidan” and it is clear that the US is behind it as the main creator of colour revolutions.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the claim. This is part of a disinformation narrative about US-led regime change operations against left-wing governments in Latin America. You can see other examples of this narrative in the EUvsdisinfo database, such as the alleged presence of a US marine in the Venezuelan barricades and the promotion of a Ukraine-style 'colour revolution', the training of Venezuelan exiles in Guyana for military operations inside the country, preparations for a military intervention after forcing Brazil to join NATO, deliberate blackouts in South America caused by the US, or the existence of plans for the secession of oil-rich regions in both Venezuela and Mexico. This narrative also falls within the broader pro-Kremlin disinformation efforts attempting to deny the existence of genuine grass-root protests, portraying them as foreign-led efforts and fake colour revolutions. Read the statement from the EU's High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini on the situation in Bolivia here.