Disinfo: Crimea left Ukraine as a result of a referendum after coup in Kyiv

Summary

Crimea left Ukraine as a result of a referendum, which followed coup d’etat in Kyiv. The coup happened with the encouragement from the West. EU imposed sanctions for peaceful incorporation of Crimea into Russia.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign against Ukraine, containing multiple disinformation narratives. Disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea claims that Crimea voted to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum. 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. 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 statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here. The Euromaidan was not a coup attempt but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the EU Association Agreement.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Crimea, Sanctions, Euromaidan, Coup
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Demonstrators want to continue the war in Donbas

In the centre of Kyiv, hundreds of Ukrainian neo-Nazis held the demonstration “Ukraine will resist” as part of the “No Surrender” initiative. They demanded that the Kyiv regime continue the war in Donbas, as well as ensure complete tolerance of and a lack of jurisdiction for Nazi militants.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. The action "Year of Zelenskyy - the year of revenge" took place in the centre of Kyiv on May 24. Activists were not demonstrating for the continuation of the war, but because they want to prevent the alleged legitimisation of the Russian backed groups that control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Other demands included the dismissal of the head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, the release of detained Maidan supporters, volunteers and the resumption of Ukraine's rapprochement with the EU and NATO. At the same time, there were no demands to continue the war in Donbas or ensure complete tolerance of and a lack of jurisdiction for Nazi militants.

The return of Crimea caused Western hostility against Russia

Relations between Russia and Western countries, including the United States, have deteriorated due to the Ukrainian crisis, the return of Crimea to Russia in March 2014, and sanctions against Russia. For its part, Moscow is seeking to confront this hostile Western approach and to restore normal relations with the West.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Western countries are not hostile to Russia but are responding to the violation of international law caused by the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Intimidation of population with the “Russian expansion to the West” is a part of the state ideology of Poland

The Polish political establishment is the most interested side in the talks about the increase of the NATO contingent in Poland. The intimidation of the population with the talks about the “Russian expansion to the West” is a part of the state ideology of Poland. The deployment of new NATO units in Poland is not only a desire to show muscle in front of Russia but is also an attempt to strengthen the Polish role in the EU and NATO in order to receive more kindness from Washington.

Disproof

This message is a part of the Kremlin’s widespread narrative about Russophobic Poland. The Kremlin-controlled media regularly accuses the political elites of Poland of Russophobia and the implementation of anti-Russian policies. Within this narrative, the “Russophobic” policies of Poland are often explained by the claim that the United States fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country (presenting Poland as an American “puppet-state” or a “banana republic”). The Polish authorities do not promote a policy of “intimidation with Russia”. The main current Russia-related concerns of Poland are a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's armed military aggression in Ukraine. The Polish government shows its full support to solving the Russia-Ukraine conflict and complete restoration of territorial integrity of Ukraine. The deployment of NATO troops in Poland increases the domestic security of Poland – two-thirds of the Poles have a positive opinion about NATO's activities. See other examples of similar messages claiming that constant intimidation with Russia is used to make Poland economically dependent on the USA, the Polish authorities created an insane hysteria of intimidation with Russia, used for the needs of domestic politics and the national security strategy of Poland is a manifestation of traditional Russophobia of the Polish authorities.