Disinfo: Crimea rejoined the embrace of Russia

Summary

Crimea rejoined the embrace of Russia.

Disproof

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

Crimea did not "return" to Russia but was illegally annexed by Moscow.

On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated 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.

According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated international law as well as key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol in 2014.

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  • Reported in: Issue186
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Eastern Ukraine, Crimea

Disclaimer

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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High rating given to Estonia by “Reporters without borders” is fiction

Such a situation is unacceptable in the European country. There is no freedom of speech in Estonia. Those high ratings given to them by “Reporters without borders” (RSF) are fictions.

Disproof

One of the methods of Kremlin disinformation is to deny the authority of international organisations and independent agencies and question their missions. Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), is a leading international non-profit and non-governmental organisation that safeguards the right to freedom of information. Its mandate is to promote free, independent and pluralistic journalism and to defend media workers.

In Estonia, Sputnik is represented as a victim of unprecedented persecution. This kind of statements were debunked several times (read more here). The steps taken by Estonia are based on the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya.

Coronavirus is an artificial virus

Indian scientists have been experimenting with new coronavirus and have discovered that it contains two types of coronavirus – bat and snake, as well as four types of HIV viral infections. In December 2019, we learned about the COVID-19 virus in China. The most interesting is that just a few months before, US President Donald Trump announced that “Unless China pulls itself together, they will be sorely regretting.”  Given the findings of Indian scientists, we come to the conclusion that this is an artificial virus.

Disproof

The statement is another example of conspiracy narratives on a plot against China, profitable to the US. See more examples of groundless statements about the coronavirus here.

A preprint scientific manuscript published Jan. 31 by a group of Indian researchers suggested that the virus, known as COVID-19, may have been deliberately engineered using the HIV. The findings, which fed conspiracy theories that the new virus might be a bioweapon, have sparked a huge controversy. The authors withdrew the paper on Feb. 2 from the bioRxiv preprint server.

2019 cyberattack against Georgia didn’t originate from Russia

The Russian Foreign Ministry denied Tbilisi’s accusations that Russia carried out cyberattacks against Georgia last year.

Disproof

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced at a special press-conference on February 20th that a massive cyber-attack on a Georgian server was carried out by Russia.

This was followed by statements from the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the US Embassy, the UK, the Kingdom of NetherlandsAustralia and Poland, condemning Russia's cyberattack on Georgia.