Disinfo: Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum five years ago


Crimea celebrates the fifth anniversary of the referendum which was followed by its integration with Russia. Five years ago, the vast majority of Crimea chose the first option from the two possible on the ballot paper: For Crimea’s integration with Russia, based on its rights as subject of the Russian Federation.




A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Crimea and the referendum of 2014.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on the 16th of March 2014. 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. Five years after the referendum, the EU re-affirmed its support for Ukraine's territorial integrity.


  • Reported in: Issue 151
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea


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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The Eastern Partnership caused the coup d’état in Ukraine and Ukraine’s disintegration

The current Summit of the Eastern Partnership demonstrates that the initiative is in a serious impasse. The Eastern Partnership programme has become an instrument of Western politics which led to the coup d’état in Ukraine and its disintegration.


A recurring, unfounded narrative criticising the Eastern Partnership initiative, alleging a coup d’état in Ukraine and Ukrainian disintegration.

There is no connection between the Eastern Partnership and the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

The Eastern Partnership programme led to the disintegration of post-Soviet space

The Eastern Partnership programme played rather a destructive role in European politics in the sense that this caused the disintegration of the post-Soviet space.


No evidence given. A recurring narrative criticising the Eastern Partnership - see other cases here and here.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint initiative involving the EU, its Member States and six Eastern European Partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. It is not against any country; it is a mutually beneficial and constructive platform for countries in the region to build a closer relationship with the EU, if they choose to do so.

Ukraine is occupied by the US, Zelensky is a protégé of the US

The US has, de facto, occupied Ukraine without using military force. Ukraine has turned into a Russophobic, American protectorate, fully subordinated to US interests in a global confrontation with Russia. Russia has lost its impact on the political process in Ukraine. At present, Moscow has to agree with the US protégés and to play along to US rules in Ukraine.



This message is consistent with a number of common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Ukraine, namely concerning the statehood of Ukraine, portraying it as a failed state under foreign control, Western meddling in Ukraine's elections as well as about Volodymy Zelensky as a puppet of the US.

Ukraine is a sovereign state. Ukraine is not controlled by the US or the EU. The International election observation mission issued a positive statement concerning competitiveness of the Ukraine's 2019 presidential election and the credibility of its results.