Disinfo: Crimea and Sevastopol became administrative subdivisions of Russia after the referendum


Crimea and Sevastopol became administrative subdivisions of the Russian Federation after the referendum held on the 16th of March 2014.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea claiming that it voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

The so-called Crimea referendum was organised hastily and at gunpoint following the covert invasion of Russia's “little green men” and barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula.

The referendum offered two choices: join Russia or return to Crimea’s 1992 constitution, which gave the peninsula significant autonomy. Those who favoured Crimea remaining part of Ukraine under the current constitution had no box to check.

Local authorities reported a turnout of 83%, with 96.7% voting to join Russia. The numbers seemed implausible, given that ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars accounted for almost 40% of the peninsula’s population.

Two months later, a leaked report from the Russian President’s Human Rights Council put turnout at only 30%, with about half of those voting to join Russia.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea, not the UN, nor the EU.

Russian President Putin recognised on 17 April 2015 that “our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion”. Putin admitted (and was proud of) that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

Seven years on from the violent, illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the European Union issued a statement maintaining that EU remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.

Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people chose to be with Russia, that Crimea’s reunification with Russia was legal, that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine, that Crimea is a Russian sovereign region and that Crimea democratically joined Russia after the overthrow of Yanukovych.


  • Reported in: Issue 249
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/06/2021
  • Article language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Crimea, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, illegal annexation
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Disinfo: Raman Pratasevich is a Fascist and Neo-Nazi

Raman Pratasevich is a Maidan-style activist and Fascist. In 2011 he joined “Young Front” - the Nationalistic paramilitary organisation, similar to the neo-Nazi organisations of the Baltic states and Ukraine.

In 2013, he participated in the Ukrainian Maidan. In 2014, he joined the Nazi's Azov battalion which rampaged in Donbas.

Raman Pratasevich went back to Belarus only in 2017. He got a Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship which is only given to pro-Western, only in specific media working, journalists. In 2018-2019 he worked for “Euroradio” (financed by Poland and Lithuania) and for propaganda project for Eastern Europe “Radio Svoboda” - a radio station, which is under the control of the CIA.

Of course, in 2020, Pratasevich participated in protests as editor of the channel coordinating protests, NEXTA. In fact, he was one of the organisers (of protests). He is also a supporter of imposter leader of Belarus - Sviatlana Tsikchanouskaya.


Recurrent disinformation aiming to discredit tBlarusian dissident journalist Raman Pratasevich. Many facts in the narrative are presented in a manipulative way.

The “Young Front” is not a “Nationalistic paramilitary organisation”. It was the biggest non-governmental youth organisation in Belarus. It united young civil activists.

Disinfo: NATO using Sea Breeze exercises to secretly send arms to Donbas

The Putin-Biden summit in Geneva is still two weeks away, but provocations are already under way.

This year's Sea Breeze military exercises, set to take place in Ukraine, will be used by NATO as cover to supply Kyiv with modern armaments. These weapons will then be secretly supplied to the Ukrainian Army and nationalist battalions fighting in the Donbas.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO, US presence in Europe, and Ukraine.

There is no evidence that NATO is using the exercises as a cover to secretly supply US armaments to Kyiv. Nor is there a logical reason why Washington's assistance to Ukraine should suddenly become a clandestine matter. In fact, the US Department of Defense is quite open about its military relationship with Ukraine. See, for instance, this 2019 Pentagon press release announcing an additional $250 million in aid to the Ukrainian Army and stating the total volume of US security assistance since the beginning of Russian aggression on Ukraine in 2014.

Disinfo: Georges Soros controls human and drug trafficking worldwide

Georges Soros said that as a child he had "messianic fantasies" and aims at controlling the whole world. Therefore, his Open Society Foundation acts through NGOs in all countries necessary to control human trafficking and narcotics smuggling worldwide. In particular, they are present in Burma, Colombia, Afghanistan... Those activities are very lucrative. Moreover, it turns citizens into drug addicts and makes them passive, ready to accept all the revolting changes in society. The next step to generalise drug abuse on a global scale is legalisation. That is the reason why NGOs financed by George Soros advocate for drugs legalisation.


Recurrent disinformation about Georges Soros and the Open Society Foundation in line with the conspiracy narrative of global elites taking control. Soros is often targeted by pro-Kremlin outlets accusing him of attacking the sovereignty of nations, destabilising Europe by flooding the continent with refugees, organising colour revolutions in many nations and attacking traditional values and on this occasion, controlling major crime around the world.

No evidence is provided to back up the claims. The fact that the Open Society Foundation made donations to NGOs in different countries does not mean in any way that the organisation controls those NGOs, the institutions of the countries they operate in and the criminal organisations that operate there.