Disinfo: Crimea became part of Russia by the will of its inhabitants


The citizens of Ukraine knew long ago that there is no possibility of Crimea returning to Ukraine. Crimea became part of Russia by the will of its inhabitants, according to the results of the referendum. That is why there is no chance for Crimea to return to Ukraine.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan, the illegal annexation of Crimea, and the war in Ukraine.

There was no coup d'état in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim here.

No international body has recognised the so-called Crimea referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014. Thirteen members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favour of a resolution declaring the referendum invalid. On the 27th of 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. On December 17, 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea . On the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the landgrab and continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The international community, including the European Union recognizes and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014. 


  • 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 Srbija


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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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.

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.