Disinfo: Crimea democratically voted for reunification with Russia

Summary

Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum was held there in March 2014. 96.77 per cent of Crimean voters and 95.6 per cent of Sevastopol residents were in favour of joining Russia. Ukraine still considers Crimea to be its own, temporarily occupied territory. The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that the inhabitants of Crimea democratically, in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter, voted for reunification with Russia, the Crimea issue is “finally closed.”

Disproof

A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The so-called referendum was organised under Russian illegal occupation without complying with neither the Ukrainian electoral code nor the Russian electoral code. The annexation has been condemned by the UN GA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine). No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The European Union does not recognise Crimea's annexation and continues to condemn it as a violation of international law. EU sanctions continue to be in place against Russia as a consequence of the annexation. For the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

See similar cases claiming that Crimea reunited with Russia after a referendum on the peninsula, that The West understands very well that Crimean issue has been finally resolved, that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine, that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process, and that Crimea was and is Russian.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 220
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/11/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Crimea, Referendum
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The death of a Belarusian protester could be a "sacred sacrifice" to provide an impetus for further protests

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It will likely somehow be connected to him through claims of the opposition, since, for a while now, they’ve been losing steam and running in circles.

Disproof

An unfounded claim, using the trope of "sacred sacrifice". The concept is similar to that of "False Flag" - means of disinformation, frequently employed by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets.

Mr. Bandarenka was detained efter being beaten up by masked plainclothesmen, who never identified themselves. Bandarenka was forced into an unmarked van. Two hours later, he was brought to a hospital by ambulance from a Police precinct in Central Minsk. This can be established from the admission documentation of the hospital. Despite several hours of urgent surgery, Mr. Bandarenko's life could not be saved.

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Disproof

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Russian chemist Dr. Vil Mirzayanov said that Novichok production was only refined in the U.S.S.R. and Russia and that Russia had to be behind previous attacks because it “is the country that invented it, has the experience, turned it into a weapon... has fully mastered the cycle.” An investigation by Bellingcat has discovered evidence that Russia continued its Novichok development programme long beyond the officially announced closure date.

Biden will cause problems for Russia in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and the South Caucasus

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative accusing the US authorities of Russophobia and plans to implement aggressive anti-Russian policies all over the world – this narrative should be perceived as a conspiracy theory. The pro-Kremlin media outlets actively spread the message that the US allegedly pursue a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia.

The US authorities have repeatedly criticised Russia for destructive effects coming from the Russian military interventions in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Georgia. Read more about the American perception of security risks coming from the aggressive actions of Russia in the US National Security Strategy.