Disinfo: A historical fact: Crimea is Russian

Summary

Crimea has become an integral part of Russia.

The international community will sooner or later be forced to recognise Crimea as part of Russia because it is a historical fact and a reality that must be taken into consideration.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimea has never belonged to Ukraine.

The transfer of Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine was first officially agreed on 25 January 1954 at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee. The members of the Presidium, voting for the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, took into account objective reasons: “the commonality of the economy, territorial proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR.”

On 19 February 1954, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR confirmed the need for Crimea to join Soviet Ukraine. Legally, the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine ended on 26 April 1954, on the basis of the relevant law of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine.

After the collapse of the USSR, Russia reaffirmed respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

By signing the 1997 Friendship Treaty, Russia also recognised that Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.

A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

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 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'sannexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. The EU continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process and that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine.

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The Ukrainian regime is a junta led by war criminals

The majority of Ukrainians want to live in a country where Vladimir Putin is the president. So, this is not about them, it is about the junta of war criminals and foreign agents that were put in power by foreign secret services in Ukraine. This is a regime that occupied the country.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's statehood which claims that the Euromaidan protests were organised by foreign forces. It was not Western foreign agents, but Russia that triggered the military conflict after the Euromaidan in Ukraine. Ukraine is a sovereign state. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, except for Russia, which annexed Crimea via an internationally unrecognised referendum. There is no proof that the majority of Ukrainians would like to live under President Putin. In 2018, only 7% of Ukrainians said they approved the job performance of Russian leadership, according to a Gallup poll. Another poll found in spring 2019 that only 32% of Ukrainians hold favourable views on Russia and 11% of them had confidence in Putin in world affairs.

Russia repelled Western attack on referendum

Foreign centres tried to disrupt the Russian voting for amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, using the media, cyber-attacks and paid “activists”.

Disproof

One of the disinformation narratives about the voting on the amendments to the Russian Constitution and a narrative that portrays the West as an aggressor. There was no evidence of Western interference in Russia's voting. On the contrary, different analysts claimed that Russia's Constitutional Vote came with "loaded dice" that undermined the rule of law and disputed the accuracy of the official vote tallies. For example, the independent election watchdog Golos has reported widespread instances of forcing state employees to vote, carousel voting, ballot-box stuffing, a lack of secret voting, and obstruction and non-registration of independent vote observers. On July 2, the European Union urged Moscow to investigate all allegations of election wrongdoing and issued a reminder about Russia’s international treaty responsibilities. “We expect Russia, regardless of any amendments to its constitution, to live up to its international obligations, including its obligation to execute European Court of Human Rights judgements,” wrote EU spokesman Peter Stano. According to the independent observers, their observations were that such large-scale fraud, as during the voting on constitutional amendments, has not been seen since 2011. In just six days of voting on constitutional amendments, the movement for voter rights "Golos" received 682 messages with signs of violations. Activists identified several types of violations: abuse of authority and illegal activities of election commissions, coercion to vote, illegal campaigning by election commissions, state bodies and officials, multiple voting, ballot-box stuffing and violation of voting secrecy.

MH17: Russia was found guilty without an investigation into the crash

Many Western countries led by the United States immediately blamed the militia of the republics and Russia [for the crash of the MH17]. The West used the crash of the Malaysian Boeing as a reason for introducing a new round of anti-Russian sanctions and forcing tension in the international arena over in Ukraine. In addition, Russia was declared guilty without the results of the investigation being presented.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). This claim also misrepresents the history and causes of the EU’s sanctions on Russia. The first EU sanctions against Russia were introduced on 17 March 2014, before MH17 was shot down. The first bans and asset freezes against persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity followed Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. The results of the investigation of the Joint Investigation Team are clear: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system with one missing missile, returned to the Russian Federation. On 24 May 2018, the JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation. The public hearing of the criminal trial over the downing of the flight MH17 started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service is prosecuting Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the MH17 crash and murdering all 298 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges that the four individuals cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason, they can also be held jointly accountable for downing of flight MH17. You can see other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation on the MH17 case in our database, such as claims that JIT tampered with the evidence; that the plane was not downed by a BUK missile, but rather by a Ukrainian fighter; that the plane crash was triggered by an explosion on board; that the trial in The Hague is not justice but information warfare; that Moscow-supplied radar data was rejected; or that the MH17 crash was planned by Ukrainian, American, and Dutch intelligence agencies.