Disinfo: An acute political Ukrainian crisis brought back Crimea to Russia


Crimea returned to Russia after a popular referendum organized there in March 2014, against the backdrop of an acute political crisis that led to a change of power in Ukraine.

The Russian leadership has repeatedly said that the Crimean people voted in favour of unity with Russia in a democratic manner and in accordance with international laws and the Charter of the United Nations, while Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that “the Crimean file is permanently closed”.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine.

Crimea did not "return" to Russia, but was illegally annexed by Moscow.

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.

According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated international law as well as key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol in 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.


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.

see more

Pompeo: Crimea is lost

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said (in Kiev) that Ukraine has lost Crimea and that the world’s major countries understand this. According to Pompeo, Kiev gave Crimea to Russia, from which nothing can be taken.



Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Pompeo's words were misquoted by the Ukrainian portal "New Time" - "Novoye Vremya", which referred to Emine Dzhaparova, former First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine. In the following hours, Emine Dzhaparova, who participated in the meeting as a Crimean Activist, denied any talks about the "lost Crimea" and the reports disseminated in media as unacceptable "media manipulation".

The US is not a free country and is under occupation by multinational elites

Through the collective thinking of the finest of its experts in various fields, the Kremlin settled on the fact that there is no real problem between Russia as a country and a people, and America as a country and a people. However, the problem is that America is not a free country, and its people do not decide the future of its major policies and orientations. Rather, the American state and its ruling establishment are kidnapped by a bunch of influential multinationals, and this bunch are the ones who own banks, money, and all major economic sectors through the Federal Reserve System and they use America, its strength and greatness to achieve their interests. If America is liberated from this “occupation” and thinks about its national interests and takes into account the requirements of its people, there will virtually be no problems with it.

Conspiracy theory without evidence. Claiming that the media and government are under total control by shadowy rulers is a common trope in pro-Kremlin disinformation. Discrediting the governance model of democratic states is also a pro-Kremlin strategy to counter criticism of its own authoritarianism.

While democracy is not immune to setbacks and needs to be constantly defended, the US consistently ranks as a fully democratic state. In the 2019 Global Democracy Index, the US ranked as a full democracy in the 25th place, while Russia ranked as an authoritarian regime in the 134th place.

Russian journalists are being repressed in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Germany, France and the UK

Russian journalists are being repressed in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Germany, France and the UK. We are talking about systematic deprivation of accreditation, immediate threats, including criminal prosecution, exclusion from the events. Only because these people decided to choose the Sputnik.


Sputnik was created by a Presidential decree with the aim to “report on the state policy of Russia abroad”. Numerous reports have described how top managers from all the large government-controlled outlets and some influential private media attend the weekly meetings where "media managers receive guidelines that 'help' them not to overstep the Kremlin’s so-called 'double white lines'." In all of the mentioned countries Sputnik and RT are being accused of spreading disinformation, violating copyrights, acting as a propaganda instrument. Here are some examples.

In Estonia, Sputnik is represented as a victim of unprecedented persecution. This kind of statements were debunked several times. Read here. The steps taken by Estonia are based on the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya.