2014 Kyiv coup led to Crimea referendum and Donbas war

Summary

Crimea carried out a referendum in 2014 after clashes in the Ukrainian capital which resulted in a violent coup d’état. The people of the peninsula voted to leave Ukraine and subsequently rejoined Russia. Later that spring, Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence and refused to obey the illegal interim 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 recognizes 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 167
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, Manipulated elections/referendum, War in Ukraine, Coup, Donbas, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik News
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Ukraine has been ruled by a US-funded client regime since 1991

Since Ukraine declared independence in 1991, Washington has invested billions of dollars in creating and propping up a client regime in Kiev simply because it saw the country as a bulwark against Russia.

Disproof

The story advances a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative painting Ukraine as a crumbling, artificial country, too weak and divided to make its own strategic choices and thus forced to accept external governance.

As a large and politically diverse country, independent Ukraine has elected six presidents since 1991, each with his own set of domestic and geopolitical priorities. Thus, the tenure of both Leonid Kravchuk (1991-1994) and his successor Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005) were periods of "multi-vector" balancing between Russia and the West; the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko (2005-2010) was succeeded by pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2014) who, upon his flight in disgrace from Ukrainian politics (and from Ukraine), was replaced by Petro Poroshenko. The latter was elected on a firm pro-EU platform and anti-Kremlin rhetoric during a period of large-scale military aggression by Russia. Since May 2019 the 6th President of Ukraine is Volodymyr Zelensky.

Russia is the global champion of free speech

Russia is the global champion of free speech. There, citizens and journalists enjoy an unlimited freedom to speak their minds.

In this regard, Russia has largely swapped places with the West, where freedom of speech is progressively disappearing. In Russia, one is free to say “I like Putin” or “I don’t like Putin”; one can say “I like gays” or “I don’t like gays.” In America, however, saying “I like Putin but I don’t like gays” would amount to suicide.

Disproof

The 2019 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) puts Russia in 149th place out of 180 countries ranked for media freedom. The organization attributes this ranking to website blocking, marginalization of independent media outlets, pollution of the information space with government propaganda, and deployment of "draconian media legislation".

In the US, all speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, "unless it is intended and likely to incite imminent violence."

The resolution of the European Parliament shows that Europe has become insolent

The resolution of the European Parliament, which equates the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany, shows that Europe has become insolent.

Europe keeps forgetting the signing of the Munich agreement between Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and France in 1938. Also, before the beginning of the World War II, the non-aggression pact with Germany was signed by England, France, Lithuania, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia, but it seems that such an agreement existed only between Germany and the USSR.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by stating that other European countries signed various international agreements with Germany after 1934. See other examples referring to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact herehere and here.

It is a proven historical fact that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact contained the Secret Supplementary Protocol, which assumed the division of Poland and other Eastern European countries between the USSR and Germany. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact directly caused the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in complete occupation of this country by Germany and USSR.