Disinfo: Crimea became part of Russia after the referendum, which took place after a coup


Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 after a referendum, held after the coup in Kiev. 96.77 percent of the voters of the Crimea and 95.6 percent of the residents of Sevastopol voted in favour of unification with Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that Euromaidan was a coup d’état and that Crimean citizens chose to re-join Russia through a legal referendum.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution 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. See more cases about this narrative here, here, here and here.

In order to justify the illegal annexation of Crimea and the reunification with Russia, Moscow regularly claims that Euromaidan was a coup d’état. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.



  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
  • Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia
  • Keywords: Ukraine, illegal annexation, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik Serbia, Cafe
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Ukraine’s Prosecutor General sees potential involvement of Biden in up to 15 criminal cases

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Ruslan Riabosahpka said that Hunter Biden and Burisma company may be involved in around 15 criminal cases. He stated that Burisma, Biden, oligarch Sergey Kurchenko or Burisma’s current owner Nikolai Zlochevski may be linked to at least that number of case, but that the auditing work continues and can’t affirm these are all the relevant proceedings.


The article is an intentional distortion of Prosecutor Riaboshapka's words. His actual statement was: “There are 15 cases where Zlochevsky, Kurchenko and other people and companies could be involved or could be targets for investigation”. Not only he didn't mention Hunter Biden or his father, but when he was specifically asked if the prosecutors had evidence of any wrongdoing on Hunter Biden’s part, he answered: “I have no such information”.

This is part of an emerging broader narrative to imply that Joe Biden and his son Hunter are somehow involved in corruption schemes, despite lack of evidence in this regard. Hostility towards the Biden family has been a constant feature of pro+Kremlin disinformation. You can see other examples here, such as Hunter's dubious business in Kyiv, Joe Biden's vow to prevent Vladimir Putin's reelection, his rule over Ukraine or his tight involvement in the war in Donbas or in Georgia's unrest.

Ukraine is not only anti-Russian, but also anti-European project of the US

Today’s Ukraine is not only an anti-Russian but also an anti-European project. It is obvious. The Americans have much more instruments of influence on Ukraine than Europe has.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the statehood of Ukraine. The message also repeats disinformation narratives about the EU and US relations with Ukraine.

Ukraine is recognised in international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality, language and with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and the US support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence.

Russia does not participate in the war in the Donbas and does not take prisoners

Russia does not capture Ukrainians, because the Russian military does not take part in hostilities in the Donbas. The Minsk agreements do not state that Russia is at war with somebody.


This is one of the most common disinformation narratives; that Russia has nothing to do with the war in eastern Ukraine and that there is a “civil war” in Donbas. Read more cases on this narrative here.

There is no exact data on the number of Ukrainians arrested by Russia in the occupied parts of Donbas and in the annexed Crimea. The problem is that Russia and the separatists do not recognise such people as prisoners and qualify their actions as crimes, for example, the now liberated Crimean Oleh Sentsov, who was accused by Russia of "preparing a terrorist act" and illegally sentenced to imprisonment.