Disinfo: Crimea is a Russian sovereign region

Summary

The Crimean peninsula is a Russian sovereign region, where Russia is free to do everything to ensure its security.

Crimea’s belonging to Russia became a foregone conclusion when the inhabitants of the Crimea voted in favour of restoring Russian identity and returning to the embrace of the homeland.

Crimea was one of the Russian regions until the beginning of 1950s when the authorities of the Union of Soviet Republics decided to transfer their dependency to the Republic of Ukraine.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

Looking back in time, in 1783 Catherine II (the Great) annexed Crimean peninsula. After that, the rivalry between the Russians and the Turks persisted, and in the Crimean War (1853–56) it expanded into a broader European conflict.

When the Revolution of 1917 led to the collapse of the Russian Empire, the remaining Crimean Tatars declared Crimea to be an independent democratic republic. The peninsula was reorganised as the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1921. After the war, Crimea was downgraded from an autonomous republic to an oblast (region) of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, and in 1954 it was transferred to Ukraine. Further debunking by Polygraph.info

Moving toward 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then illegally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UN.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014.

Following the covert invasion by “little green men,” the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula.

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 for the annexation. For the EU statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process, that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine, that Crimea’s reunification with Russia was legal.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 224
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/12/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Eastern Ukraine, Manipulated elections/referendum, Ukrainian disintegration, Ukrainian statehood, Crimea
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Violation of freedom of speech in Central and Eastern Europe supervised by the US

The authoritarian practices in the Baltic states and Poland become more and more obvious. No one is trying to pretend anymore that freedom of speech should be respected.

The repressions against the journalists in Latvia should not come as a surprise. It is not the first case of gross violation of freedom of speech in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly against the background of discussions about the rule of law in the EU.

Many believe that there is a group of countries of Central Europe which are under a strong influence of Washington and follow its political agenda. This block includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

The political influence of the US leads to an active role of American secret services in these countries. American curators influence local authorities to clear the information sphere from all alternative sources of information. Due to the geopolitical situation, the biggest part of these alternative sources of information is Russian media.

Disproof

This article repeats two recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives: one about the oppression of the freedom of speech in Central and Eastern Europe and another about the US presence in Europe.

The statement that the Baltic states and Poland manifest “authoritarian practices” in the area of freedom of speech is a manipulative one, especially in comparison with the situation in Russia. In the “Freedom of the press 2020” ranking (by Reporters Without Borders) Estonia is on 14th place, Latvia on 22nd place, Lithuania on 28th place, Romania on 48th place, Poland on 62nd place out of 180 countries. The region is not monolithic. Estonia belongs to the group of states where the situation is evaluated as “good”, the situation in Latvia and Lithuania is “fairly good”, Poland and Romania belong to “problematic” group of countries. Russia holds in this ranking 149th position, the situation of media freedom in the country described as “bad”.

NATO membership will lead Ukraine to disintegration

Ukraine’s entry into the North Atlantic Alliance will lead to the disintegration of its own statehood. As a result, part of Ukraine’s territory will turn into a security buffer between NATO and the Russian Federation.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO and Ukraine with no evidence given. This message is an example of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine being abandoned by its Western partners and the disintegration of Ukraine.

Ukraine is a priority partner for the EU and NATO. Its sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost all the world. Neither the EU nor NATO are planning to turn Ukraine into a security buffer.

US election result was rigged by mail voting

A month has passed and the world is still waiting for the official announcement of the US presidential election results. It is difficult to understand what kind of democracy this is. However, some insist there is a winner. He was proclaimed by TV stations and NGOs. In the era of “rule of law” and “bourgeois democracy”, the verdict of American people was not decided by the ballot boxes but by the boxes of the US post offices, as minors, citizens who had never been registered to vote, and dead people voted.

Disproof

This report is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin media narrative that the US democracy is an illusion, the election was fraudulent, and thus the US has no right to lecture others about human rights or democracy.

The claims that the US Presidential elections faced an “enormous number of irregularities” and was not properly managed, especially because of mail voting, is not supported by evidence. The OSCE Observation Mission states that the 2020 Presidential elections vote was “competitive and well managed”. Read more OSCE statements on the American elections here.