Crimea became part of Russia after the referendum following coup d’état

Summary

Crimea has become a Russian region after a referendum which took place there in March 2014, when 96.77% of Crimea’s population and 95.6% of Sevastopol’s inhabitants voted to become part of Russia. Crimean authorities organized the referendum after the coup d’état.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Crimea’s referendum and Maidan.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on the 16 March 2014. On the 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which 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. 5 years on, the EU re-affirms its unwavering support for Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The Euromaidan protests were a spontaneous reaction among large parts of Ukrainian population, ignited by the decision of former President Yanukovych not to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. The Maidan movement resonated with a widespread discontent with corruption and mismanagement under the Yanukovych’s rule.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 148
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Coup, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik Polska
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Ukrainian ships illegally crossed the Russian border in the Kerch Strait

Ukrainian navy officers, who were detained on 25 November 2018 when the Ukrainian navy ships illegally crossed the border with Russia in the Kerch Strait, will be imprisoned until 24 July 2019.

Disproof

No evidence given for illegal border crossing. A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Kerch strait incident.

On November 25th 2018, border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and a tug boat and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen. Russia argued that they were in Russian waters.

Foreign media stage family’s “death” in Hama

Western journalists in the Syrian province of Hama conducted a staged filming of the “death” of a family, allegedly as a result of a chemical attack conducted by Assad government troops.

Disproof

The story advances recurring pro-Kremlin narratives on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the Western media's complicity in demonizing Moscow and its allies.

The report offers no details as to which correspondents were present at the site, and which Western outlets subsequently reported the "staged" death. Nor does it provide the source or any specifics of the claim that a chemical attack had been perpetrated.

White Helmets plotting false-flag chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib

The White Helmets are plotting a new false-flag chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib. The Western-backed, pseudo-humanitarian group will then pin the responsibility on the Syrian government.

Last March, the ‘civil defence’ organisation cooperated with the intelligence services of France and Belgium to stage a similar provocation in the same area. In April 2018, the group staged a chemical attack in the city of Douma.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative blaming Western governments and organizations for "false-flag attacks" in Syria, and painting the White Helmets as terrorists and war criminals.

The report provides zero proof to support the allegation. It even refers to the alleged plot as a "new" attack, alluding to Moscow's earlier and equally outlandish claims. Available evidence on chemical attacks in Syria, however, has yet to link a single incident to any other party than the Assad regime.