Disinfo: Crimea belongs to Russia

Summary

Crimea is ours… And why ours? Not because we came and grabbed something… What is democracy? A government of the people. And how is a government of the people validated? Through referendums, elections and so on. People in Crimea turned out for a referendum and voted… to be independent and, as a next step,… to be a part of the Russian Federation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on referendum in Crimea.

Crimea is part of Ukraine. Russia violated international law as well as key principles of the European security framework in illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.

UNGA Resolution 68/262, which condemned Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine, was supported by 100 United Nations member states. Only 10 states opposed it.

Further debunking by Polygraph.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 123
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/10/2018
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Valdai Club, War in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Crimea
  • Outlet: RIA Novosti Life.ru Mir24
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Russia is being accused without any evidence

We are accused of something, and with a high degree of probability (“highly likely”), as they say; we did this or that, intervened here, did something there. At the same time, no one considers it necessary to provide any evidence.

Disproof

RIA Novosti states that, for example, Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of trying to influence elections in different countries.

The expression "highly likely" may refer to Theresa May's statement following Skripal poisoning. The Prime Minister of the UK said in March 2018 that it is ‘highly likely’ that Moscow ordered the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal using a type of military-grade nerve agent developed in Russia.

Ukraine is likely to launch some kind of revanchist offensive ahead of March 2019 presidential elections

Ukraine is likely to launch some kind of revanchist offensive ahead of March 2019 presidential elections. The apparent danger facing the two self-declared Donbass republics is comparable to that faced by Abkhazia and South Ossetia when Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili attacked them.

Disproof

Pro-Kremlin disinformation routinely accuses Ukraine for war preparation ahead of major news events, when it was Russia itself that provoked and maintains the war in Ukraine.

Many international organizations condemned the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia, see e.g. the OSCE statements here and here and European Parliament's resolution.

US orchestrated unfair vote in Macedonian parliament on name change

The US orchestrated an “unfair vote” in the Macedonian parliament which approved the country’s name change, despite a failed popular referendum.  “The eight votes that the parliament lacked for securing the qualifying majority were received via blackmail, threats and bribes given to the opposition lawmakers… Notably, the US Ambassador [to Macedonia] was in the parliament building up to the end of the session, and this is why there is no doubt that he orchestrated the process”.

Disproof

No evidence given of any US secret operation to orchestrate the vote. The United States has openly and publicly welcomed the "decision by Macedonia’s Parliament to initiate the constitutional changes needed to implement the Prespa Agreement with Greece". [Press statement - https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/10/286799.htm] It has stated it “strongly supports the agreement’s full implementation”. https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/09/286334.htm

RT also writes that the "Macedonian parliament greenlighted the name change", which is not the case. The voting on Friday was only the first phase of the procedure to make the necessary amendments to the constitution that will lead to the implementation of the agreement on name issue with Greece.