Disinfo: Crimea and Sevastopol are irreversibly Russian


Crimea became part of Russia again after the March 2014 referendum, with 96.77 percent of voters in the Republic of Crimea and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol’s people voting in favour of joining Russia. This was after the overthrow of the regime in Ukraine in February 2014.

The Russian leadership has stated many times that the people of Crimea have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia, in a democratic process that fully complies with the requirements of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. According to President Vladimir Putin, the Crimea issue is complete and irreversibly closed.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about Crimea and Sevastopol.

Crimea is part of Ukraine that was illegally annexed by Russia. Following the covert invasion by “little green men”, the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. Therefore, no international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.

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 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."

A year later, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and states that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.


  • Reported in: Issue 176
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/12/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Ukraine, Manipulated elections/referendum, War in Ukraine, 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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