Disinfo: 2014 Crimea referendum on reunification with Russia was democratic and held in compliance with international norms

Summary

In 2014, Crimean residents voted for the reunification with Russia in a democratic manner and in full compliance with the UN Charter and international law.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27th of February and held less than three weeks later. On March 27th 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. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised April 17th 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion" (Interfax). Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. See here for the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 142
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/03/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, Russian expansionism, Crimea
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Washington confused Crimea with Ukraine when listed human rights violations in the peninsula

The US State Department has published a list of human rights violations in Crimea. It is obvious that the Americans have confused Crimea with Ukraine. In Crimea, just as anywhere else in Russia, citizens’ rights and the freedom of expression are respected.The claims about human rights violations in Crimea is just a fantasy.

Disproof

The US State Department's Ukraine 2018 Human Rights Report was published on 13 March 2019. It covers human rights violations in Ukraine mostly, but includes a section listing abuses in Russian-occupied Crimea. The report clearly listed violations in Crimea: disappearances, torture, harsh prison conditions and removing prisoners to Russia, political prisoners, pervasive interference with privacy, severe restrictions on freedom of expression and the media (including closing outlets and violence against journalists), severe restriction of freedom of association, including barring the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, systemic discrimination against Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians. “Russian-installed authorities took few steps to investigate or prosecute officials or individuals who committed human rights abuses, creating an atmosphere of impunity and lawlessness. Occupation and local “self-defense” forces often did not wear insignia and committed abuses with impunity”, the report said. The United Nations General Assembly on 22 of December, 2018, passed a resolution calling Russia to stop violating human rights in Crimea. The resolution was passed by 65 votes in favour, with 70 nations abstaining and 27 voting against it.

The nationalist sentiments of Kyiv are beneficial to Washington

Washington favours nationalist sentiment in Ukraine. Therefore, no sanctions in connection with human rights violations will follow. Washington even benefits from the existence of powerful neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine as they implant a radically anti-Russian ideology.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Nazi Ukraine and foreign involvement in Ukrainian internal affairs. The article of RT refers to the 2018 Human Rights Report dedicated to Ukraine where human rights violations are listed. The report was prepared by the State Department, and it doesn’t, in any way, claim the existence of nationalist groups in Ukraine as something beneficial. The document is quoting the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: “the failure of police and prosecutors to prevent these acts of violence (by nationalist groups), properly classify them as hate crimes, and effectively investigate and prosecute them created an environment of impunity and lack of justice for victims”. Radical groups that must not be tolerated were mentioned in the previous reports of the US on Ukraine.

White Helmets linked to Al-Qaeda fake chemical attacks evidence

There is a huge scam with the white helmets in Syria who are agents of Al-Qaeda. We know they are Al-Qaeda agents because, for example, their head was the famous mayor of Aleppo, who was not a mayor at all. He was the leader of a neighbourhood held by terrorists in Aleppo. We know that the White Helmets are a fake NGO. They staged the chemical attacks. There were allegedly people hit by very dangerous chemical arms and the White Helmets came without any protection and they touched everything and were perfectly healthy. The United States and the United Kingdom continued to support the White Helmets despite the fact that the illegal actions of this group were no longer a secret for anybody.

Disproof

No evidence given of White Helmets connection to Al-Qaeda. Ever since the search-and-rescue organisation has been documenting some of the worst atrocities carried out by the Syrian government and the Russian military, Russian media have been trying to portray them as “terrorists”. This article debunks attempts to associate the White Helmets with chemical attacks in Idlib, a pro-Kremlin narrative which began to circulate in early 2018. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the involvement of the White Helmets in planning chemical attacks in order to blame the Syrian government for such attacks. Recurreing disinformation on staged chemical attacks evidence in Syria. The OPCW's final report on Douma's incident in 2018 does not leave any doubts on the detection of chlorine on Douma: "based on the levels of chlorinated organic derivatives, detected in several environmental samples gathered at the sites of alleged use of toxic chemicals, which are not naturally present in the environment, the FFM concludes that the objects from which the samples were taken at both locations had been in contact with one or more substances containing reactive chlorine" (page 3 of the report). See more disinformation cases on White Helmets here.