Disinfo: 96 percent of Crimeans voted to rejoin Russia in democratic referendum


Crimea reunited with Russia after nearly 96 percent of voters supported the move in a March 2014 referendum. Moscow has repeatedly stated that Crimea’s residents decided to rejoin Russia through a democratic procedure, and that the referendum was conducted in compliance with international law.


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.

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 illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. EU continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.




  • Reported in: Issue 170
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Territorial dispute, illegal annexation, West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Crimean Tatars, Referendum, Crimea


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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US Congress members, Macron accuse Sputnik and RT of election interference with no evidence

Several politicians, such as US Congress members and French President Emmanuel Macron, have accused Sputnik and RT of interfering in the elections in the USA and France. However, no evidence has been presented.


Recurring disinformation narrative claiming that there is no proof of Russian interference in the elections in Western countries and the US - see examples here and here.

There is evidence linking Russian state actors with interfering in electoral processes.

Maria Butina’s case is fabricated

Maria Butina was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for spying, there is something wrong here. If one is a spy, then the punishment must be well over 1.5 years in prison. If one is not a spy, why are they convicted?

Her jokes with a long-time friend living in Russia were portrayed as an attempt to infiltrate into an American organization.

The justice system in America does not exist. Racism flourishes. If Butina was of another nationality, no one would have even looked at her. But she was Russian.


Maria Butina plead guilty and was convicted for working as a non registered lobby agent of a foreign government, not for espionage. Staying in the US with a student visa, she tried to install "back channels" between the Kremlin and conservative political circles in the US, before and after the presidential election in 2016 , in order to improve Russia-US relations.

The FBI special agent's affidavit to the criminal complaint against Butina was based on the searches of two premises, surveillance, and examination of documents, including electronic items. In the course of surveillance, FBI agents witnessed Butina's meeting with a Russian intelligence officer who worked undercover as a diplomat while her phone contained contacts of several Russian intelligence agents.

To join NATO Georgia will have to legalize gay relationship

Jens Stoltenberg noted that NATO is not only a military but a spiritual union. He directly told Georgia that if it doesn’t legalize gay relationships, NATO won’t let it in.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the moral degradation of the West and dictate of Western values. See a recent case: Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan won't join EU and NATO unless they hold LGBT pride.

Jens Stoltenberg did not issue a statement demanding Georgia to legalize gay relationships.