Disinfo: Crimea rejoined Russia due to a referendum and LPR and DPR became independent after the 2014 coup in Ukraine


Crimea reacted very sensitively to the coup in Ukraine in 2014. This is the Russian region that was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR. Moreover, the Crimean authorities have shown noticeable political activity even before. They planned to raise the issue of breakup from Ukraine even before the coup. Donbas was also artificially annexed to Ukraine.

Ukraine considers Crimea as its territory, which became a Russian region following a referendum in March 2014, and is also conducting a military operation against LPR and DPR, which declared independence after the coup in Ukraine in February 2014.


This is a mix of several recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, the war in Ukraine, and the alleged anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine in 2014.

There was no coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction from several segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013, after pressure from Russia.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

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. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. In June 2020, the European Council decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021.

The international community, including the European Union recognises and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.

The involvement of Russian personnel and equipment in the creation of the DPR and LPR has been well documented already for years. The destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea has been condemned by the Council of the European Union and led to restrictive measures since 2014.


  • Reported in: Issue 245
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/05/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Coup, War in Ukraine, Eastern Ukraine, DNR, LPR, Crimea, illegal annexation, Referendum, Euromaidan, Donbas
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Disinfo: EU prepares new smear campaign against Russia, accuses it of anti-vax activities

The European Union's leadership is preparing a new slander campaign against Russia, accusing it of fuelling the anti-vaccination movement abroad. Russia is holding dialogue with the relevant European bodies and member states of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) over the use of Sputnik V which has shown good results. What is really impeding the vaccination is opposition from EU officials. The EMA continues to block the certification of the Russian vaccine, in compliance with informal instructions of high-ranking EU officials.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media outlets, claiming that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is much better and more efficacious than any foreign ones, which is why the European Union is fighting against it. In reality, there is no evidence of EU bias against the Russian vaccine or that EU officials are blocking its certification. What is more, EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke, said she hoped the Sputnik V vaccine would be approved. For that EMA is conducting a rolling review including with a visit to Russian facilities.

The EMA has certified four vaccines so far. The rolling review of Sputnik V was launched on 4 March 2021. Pro-Kremlin media often quote an article in The Lancet magazine, which showed 91.6 per cent effectiveness of Sputnik V without considerable side effects. However, there have been some doubts as to its efficacy, especially where the trial procedures are concerned (see here and here.) Recently, in the Lancet article published 12 May 2021 critical questions about the Sputnik V data for phase III clinical trial were raised.

Disinfo: Western sanctions are illegal and hostile actions

Russia perceives Western sanctions as illegal and sometimes hostile. Rejection of Western politics by Russian citizens can turn into hatred, this must be avoided.

"We perceive them (sanctions) as illegal, rather aggressive, and sometimes even hostile actions. These sanctions, of course, affect the consciousness of the population, ordinary citizens, and Russians. But how do they act? First, any threat unites the nation. Our citizens understand that this is a threat. From year to year, we have noticed an increase in rejection by Russian citizens of Western policy towards Russia. This is very significant. And it would be very bad if this rejection turned into hatred. This is what you need to beware of."


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about West's aggressive Russophobic policy of sanctions, framing them as unjustified measures against Russia.

Restrictive measures are a key tool of EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy which, by virtue of Article 29 of the Treaty of the EU, can be used to defend its strategic interests and protect its fundamental goals overseas. Other international actors have the right to impose them under international law as well under certain conditions.

Disinfo: The US needs (GUM) Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova to squeeze Moscow in a vice

In fact, the adventure launched by Kyiv, Tbilisi and Chisinau cannot be called anything other than blackmail against their European allies.

The "associated trio" - Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, will exert moral pressure on European allies in the hope that they will have mercy and accept them into the EU. The United States is another matter, which needs just such a pugnacious and fanged group of countries along the entire perimeter of the state borders of the Russian Federation. The same notorious "Anaconda loop", with the help of which Washington hopes to squeeze Moscow in a vice.

And there is little doubt that the "Associated Trio" project was literally nurtured in the offices of the administration of the current President Joe Biden.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, its actions aimed at encircling Russia, presenting every cooperation action for European integration, especially by the countries of the former Soviet Union, as actions against Russia.

The claim refers to the signing, on May 17, 2021, in Kyiv, of the Memorandum for cooperation in the field of European integration between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs from Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, also called the “Association Trio”. As announced the same day by the Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aureliu Ciocoi, the memorandum sets out a series of objectives for the cooperation of the countries associated with the EU and provides the normative basis for undertaking joint diplomatic efforts, trilateral consultations, public communication actions.