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


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.




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 gunpointbarring 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.


  • Reported in: Issue 200
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: EU, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Coup, Euromaidan, Sanctions, Crimea


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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World war II: Finnish invaders dropped bombs disguised as toys, killing children in the Leningrad region of USSR

During the Great Patriotic War, the German and Finnish invaders carried out monstrous atrocities against civilians in the Leningrad Region: they killed the mentally ill by injecting them with poison, and killed children by dropping toys stuffed with explosives from airplanes.

In the Leningrad region atrocities were committed not only by German, but also by Finnish invaders. Declassified documents describe how the Finnish military destroyed the civilian population of the villages of Pargolovsky district. There were no military or industrial facilities and therefore shelling and bombing from the air was aimed exclusively at the destruction of civilians – children, women, elderly people.

With sophisticated sadism, the Finnish invaders destroyed young children – toys were used for this.“Not satisfied with shelling and aerial bombardment, Finnish bastards used forms of villainous atrocities in the form of dropping children’s toys stuffed with explosives from airplanes, and when the children picked up these toys, explosions occurred, as a result of which the children died or injured and became crippled.


RIA Novosti's report refers to the archival documents declassified by the regional FSB department, "mainly special communications from state security agencies and internal affairs of the war years".

However, the published fragments of those documents, presented in the report, are not corresponding to the text of the report. Thus, no archival documents are shown as for bombs disguised as toys.

Germany accused Russia of hacking the Bundestag either to advance the NordStream 2 or as a pretext not to participate in the Victory Parade

There are two versions of the events [regarding the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoning the Russian ambassador in relation to the cyber attacks on Bundestag in 2015]. Either they have a trump card, for example a photo of S.Naryshkin [the director of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service] awarding a hacker for the attack, or the Germans really want the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, against the wishes of the other Europeans and Americans. The Germans are facing an enormous pressure and must make some kind of reverences. And the reverences to Americans are always Russia-related. […]

And then there is a second reason, and I might be mistaken but I suspect it exists: the Russian envoy to Germany was summoned the next day after it was announced that Russia will hold a Victory day parade on the 24th of June. Earlier, it was discussed in Germany that it would be represented at a very high level, possibly the Chancellor, and now they have a pretext not to come.


Unsubstantiated claims obfuscating Russia's responsibility for cyber attacks on the German Parliament in 2015.

The Germany's domestic intelligence agency said Russia was behind a series of attacks on German state computer systems, including the German parliament in 2015. According to the reports of the German media, the federal prosecutor's office has issued an international arrest warrant against Dmitriy Badin, a hacker reportedly working for the Russian military intelligence service in relation to the cyber attack.

EU institutions are a “theater” set up to fulfill the will of Paris and Berlin

Europe does not exist. Its institutions, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council are not real, they are a dream. They are a theater set up to fulfill the will of Paris and Berlin.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative asserting that EU is merely a tool controlled by Germany and France and that the Berlin-Paris axis dominates other EU members. This message is consistent with the pro-Kremlin propaganda theme about the undemocratic nature of the EU and about the EU having allegedly robbed the sovereignty of EU states.

The EU is a democratic Union of 27 Member States. The unique feature of the EU is that, although the Member States remain sovereign and independent states, they have decided to pool some of their 'sovereignty' in areas where it makes sense to work together. The decision-making structure in the EU is defined by the EU treaties. Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union ensures the principle of subsidiarity, which guarantees that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen.