Disinfo: Crimea was not annexed, but returned to the homeland as a result of a democratic referendum


The image of Crimea, shown by the Western propaganda, is drastically different than reality, said German delegation visiting Crimea.

The delegation saw joy and happiness in the eyes of Crimean citizens. This best proves that it was not annexation, but realisation of the people’s dreams to return to the homeland. All political myths have disappeared after the visit.



Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum.

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

Following the covert invasion of “little green men,” power in Crimea was vested in a makeshift executive headed by Sergey Aksenov, a former mafia enforcer. The new Crimean regime conducted the referendum hastily and at gunpoint, barred impartial observers from entering the peninsula, and instead invited dozens of fringe politicians and activists to “monitor” the procedure, most of them far-right Kremlin loyalists.

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 and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order.

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

The German delegation visiting Crimea in February 2019 was not official and it was criticised by German government as well as by the AfD party, whose members were taking part in the visit.

Further debunking by StopFake.


  • Reported in: Issue 142
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, 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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