The main obsession of European leaders has been to get Russia to pay a price for the luxury of living its own style, without consulting anyone. It is clear that if the West invests millions in information wars, it needs concrete cases to cover, to try to pit the public opinion against Russia. According to this approach, the Navalny case fills all the requirements. This is not a struggle for democracy or human rights, but a global power struggle. And it is clear that the EU will never be its main beneficiary, since its role is being reduced to be a mere instrument of the US global policy.
Crimea will forever remain with Russia.
Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 after a referendum in which the overwhelming majority of voters supported such a decision. Ukraine, the countries of the European Union and the United States refused to recognise the results of the vote, calling the reunification of the peninsula with mainland Russia an annexation.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.
No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating 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.
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised on 17 April 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion." Vladimir Putin admitted (proudly) that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before even the Maidan protests culminated. Thus, Putin contradicts earlier Russian statements suggesting that widespread attacks / human rights violations were taking place against the Russian-speaking population on Crimea and therefore they were in need of protection. No Russian Human Rights organisation had found any evidence of such attacks / violations.
The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. In June 2020, the European Council decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021.
See related disinformation claims alleging that Crimea has never been Ukraine; that Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum; that Crimea "sailed" to Russia forever and the West agrees with it.