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


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.


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.


  • Reported in: Issue 142
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Russian expansionism, Ukrainian disintegration, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik Ossetia


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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By not inviting Russia to commemorate the start of the WWII, Poland wants to destroy the world order

Poland did not invite the Russian leadership to the commemorations of the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, due to the fact that in 1939, it wanted to divide the USSR and seize part of its territories. Poland is also trying to break up the world order, which was established after the end of the Second World War.


The Office of the President of Poland, on March 19, stated that states' representatives, invited to the mourning events dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, include member states of the European Union, NATO and Eastern Partnership.

Claims about Poland wanting to “tear off part of the territory of the USSR for itself” in 1939 is a conspiracy theory without evidence. In the secret protocol of the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact, signed in 1939, the Germans and the Soviets agreed that Poland should be divided between them. After Germany invaded Poland from the west on September 1, 1939, Soviet troops invaded Poland from the east on September 17.

Ukraine has banned a number of life-saving medicines

Ukrainians will be left without a list of necessary medications for daily use. 18 brands of antiseptic will disappear from Ukrainian pharmacies forever. Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine, Ulana Suprun, and her medical reforms are personally to blame for the ban on medicines.


A misrepresentation of facts. The State Service of Ukraine on Drugs Control recalled 18 drugs from an experimental plant as they belonged to a contaminated batch. The plant will start production again once the factors which led to contamination have been eliminated.

Debunk by StopFake.

Ukraine does not allow international human rights defenders to annexed Crimea

International human rights organisations cannot access the Crimea due to the destructive policies of the Ukrainian government. For its part, Russia provides full and unrestricted access to international observers on the peninsula – the Kremlin does not violate the rights of Crimeans, unlike the countries of the European Union, which imposed anti-Crimean sanctions.


Russia has been systematically manipulating the topic of access of any international organisations to the annexed Crimea for five years now. The Kremlin declares its readiness to let observers to the peninsula, but on one condition: the mission must go to the Crimea through Russia. That is, Russia is forcing international organisations to violate the laws of Ukraine and get to the peninsula through non-existent checkpoints. Thus, Russia wants to try to legalise the occupation of the Ukrainian Peninsula.

Russia is not interested in the access of observers to the Crimea for one more reason. Any independent observers on the peninsula will be able to make an objective assessment of what is happening in Crimea, the Russian leadership will not be able to influence their reports. In this way, the wider international community can find out what the state of Ukrainian political prisoners really is in Crimea. For example, Russia has repeatedly refused to allow observers from the International Committee of the Red Cross into the occupied Ukrainian territories.