Disinfo: Crimea became Russian in full compliance with international law after a referendum

Summary

In 2014, there has been a referendum in which the people of Crimea voted to unite with Russia in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter. Now the issue is definitely closed.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

On 26 February 2014 the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government. The next day a referendum was announced and a vote was held on March 16, 2014 in the Peninsula of Crimea. The territory was then controlled by Russian forces, though neither Ukrainian nor Russian election code was observed.  The European Commission for Democracy through Law, known as as the Venice Commission, declared that the referendum was illegal under both Ukrainian and Crimean Constitutions, and violated international standards and norms.

On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it 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 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The EU's policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol includes a set of restrictive measures against entities and individuals responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity. In March 2019 on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. EU continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

See more disinformation cases  about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Referendum, Crimea
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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the International Joint Investigation (JIT) into the downing of flight MH17.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) - which is comprised of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service officials and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine - has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

The coronavirus outbreak is a lie

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Disproof

Conspiracy theory claiming that some diseases are intentionally spread as a biological weapon against some states or are being invented to create panic aiming to achieve hidden goals. More cases on the coronavirus here.

No evidence given. SARS-CoV-19 coronavirus is a virus which causes respiratory disease. From its first detection in December 2019, in Wuan, China, to 7 March 2020, the global number of confirmed cases has surpassed 100 000, according to the World Health Organization. Apart from China, there are confirmed cases on all continents.

Defender 2020 is a test to invade Kaliningrad region

The main task of the “Defender of Europe” is to practice a rapid transfer of American forces to the border with Russia. Experts believe that the US is testing options for invading the territory of the Kaliningrad region. The maneuvers were a cause of serious concern in Moscow.

Disproof

This narrative is in line with the pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative of encircling Russia, claiming that US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020" is directed against Russia. Find similar cases here.

Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe, the drawing of equipment and the movement of personnel and equipment across the theatre to various training areas. The aim of the exercises is to increase strategic readiness and interoperability by exercising the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly deploy a large combat-credible force and equipment from the United States to Europe; and alongside its allies and partners, quickly respond to a potential crisis. "The joint, multinational training exercise is scheduled to take place from April to May 2020, with personnel and equipment movements occurring from February through July 2020. The exercise supports objectives defined by NATO to build readiness within the alliance and deter potential adversaries. Approximately 37,000 U.S., allied, and partner nation service members are expected to participate with roughly 20,000 Soldiers deploying from the U.S," is noted on the official web site of the exercises.