Disinfo: Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum held after the coup in Kiev

Summary

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

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russia's annexation of Crimea, claiming that people chose to rejoin Russia through a legal and democratic referendum. For similar cases, see here and here. No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on 16th of March 2014. On the 27th of February 2014, when it was announced, 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. A year after the illegal annexation, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

It is also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan claiming that there was a coup d’état. There was no coup d’état in Ukraine. The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a spontaneous  and endogenous reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden withdrawal  from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Serbian
  • Country: Serbia
  • Keywords: Coup, Euromaidan, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik Serbia

Disclaimer

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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Montenegro independence referendum was illegal

Part of that strategy was the expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and from one part of BiH, the seizure of Kosovo and Metohija, the separation of Montenegro by illegal referendum, and finally the assimilation of the remaining Serb population through political engineering.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Montenegro as “occupied” country and as “weapon” of NATO and USA. The “developments” mentioned in the article refer to the approval of the law on religious communities by the Montenegro parliament, “despite street protests and a last-minute attempt in the chamber by deputies of the pro-Serb opposition to prevent the vote going ahead” as stated by Reuters. This article is conspiracy theory with no evidence given for the claim that the “developments in Montenegro are part of a broader plan to narrow down the Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans”.

This claim involves the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the referendum in Montenegro was illegal.

Montenegro developments: part of broader plan to narrow down Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans

Montenegro is an instrument of those forces that are leading their political game in the region.
The developments in Montenegro are part of a broader plan to narrow down the Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans and a tool to “encircle” Serbia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Montenegro as “occupied” country and as “weapon” of NATO and USA. The “developments” mentioned in the article refer to the approval of the law on religious communities by the Montenegro parliament, “despite street protests and a last-minute attempt in the chamber by deputies of the pro-Serb opposition to prevent the vote going ahead” as stated by Reuters. This article is conspiracy theory with no evidence given for the claim that the “developments in Montenegro are part of a broader plan to narrow down the Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans”.

This claim involves the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that the West threatens and undermines traditional Christian values. Related cases where the US is accused of attacking traditional values in Europe via "sects" can be found here, here, and here. Similar cases about Montenegro and the current happenings can bee found here and here.

NATO exercise Defender 2020 increases the danger of war in the middle of Europe

NATO exercise Defender 2020 increases the danger of war in the middle of Europe.

“Defender Europe 2020” exercise increases the danger of war in the middle of Europe, be it accidental or not. A war in Europe seems to be possible again, the consequences are devastating in an area where already in the 1980s it was agreed between East and West that the industrial and infrastructure conditions do not allow a war without insane destruction. The exercise is exactly the opposite of détente, a provocative action and at this time – the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Germany from fascism by the Red Army. What should the Russian people think: march again on their Western border and then? Nobody in this country will ever forget the 27 million dead and the immense destruction!

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020", which is not aimed or targeted at Russia.

NATO exercises "Defender 2020" do not increase the danger of war in Europe. Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe and the movement of personnel and equipment across the Atlantic to various training areas in Europe, such as Germany and Poland.