Disinfo: After the coup in Kiev in 2014, Crimea reunited with Russia following a referendum


After the Kiev coup in February 2014, the authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol decided to hold a referendum on reunification with Russia. In the vote, which took place on March 16 of the same year, more than 80 percent of those eligible to vote took part. For reunification with the Russian Federation, 96.7 and 95.6% of the inhabitants of Crimea and Sevastopol voted, respectively.

On March 18, the President of Russia signed an agreement on the acceptance of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation, and on March 21, the document was ratified by the Federal Assembly. Despite the convincing results of the referendum, Kiev refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.


Recurrent narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The Euromaidan was not a coup but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

No international body recognizes the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 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 European Union does not recognise Crimea's annexation and continues to condemn it as a violation of international law. EU sanctions continue to be in place against Russia as a consequence of the annexation. See the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation here.


  • Reported in: Issue 211
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Coup, Euromaidan, 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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