Disinfo: Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum


It is noteworthy that Russian-Western relations deteriorated due to the Ukrainian crisis, and the return of Crimea to Russia in March 2014, after a popular referendum.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative attempting to blame the deterioration in relations between Russia and the West exclusively on Ukraine, ignoring the reasons which led to the deterioration of these relations and the implementation of sanctions.

The West and specifically the EU has imposed restrictive measures, including sectoral sanctions, due to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russia's destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine.

Furthermore, no international body recognises the so-called “popular referendum” in Crimea, not even the UN nor the EU.

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.

Read similar claims in our database such as Crimea’s reunification with Russia was legal; or that the Western-backed coup in Ukraine has torn the country asunder; or that Crimea, Donbas separated from Ukraine after a Nazi coup in Kyiv; or that 96% of Crimean people wanted to rejoin Russia; or that only Ukraine is responsible for civil war in Donbas; or that Crimea democratically joined Russia after the overthrow of Yanukovych.


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  • Reported in: Issue 249
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/06/2021
  • Article language(s) Arabic,
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: War in Ukraine, Crimea, illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, West, Anti-Russian, Sanctions
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Disinfo: Sea Breeze exercise is a provocative NATO attack on Russia in the Black Sea region

The Sea Breeze exercise is not the only provocative attack of NATO on Russia in the Black Sea region. Moscow is confident that in addition to checking the combat readiness of the troops, the Pentagon is pursuing other, hidden goals.

The formal goal is to establish interaction between the Ukrainian army and NATO troops. According to the scenario, the coalition group will be involved in "stabilising the crisis situation" caused by the activities of "illegal armed groups", to which "the authorities of the neighbouring country are providing all-round support." You don't need to be a political scientist to understand that the "illegal formations" are units of the People's Militia of the DPR and LPR.

All this cannot but worry Moscow, because the active phase of the exercises will take place in the immediate vicinity of the Russian borders. Moreover, NATO, under the guise of maneuvers, plans to deliver modern weapons, ammunition and material property for Ukrainian troops to Ukraine. In previous years, all this will be directed to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalist formations stationed near the districts not controlled by Kyiv in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.


Recurring disinformation narrative about NATO and its military exercises.

Sea Breeze is a multinational military exercise that has been held in Ukraine since 1997 in line with the 1993 Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in Defense and Military Relations between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. The exercises are co-organised by Ukraine and the United States.

Disinfo: US conceals facts of colossal importance concerning MH17

The United States conceals facts of colossal importance (regarding the MH17 plane disaster) by refusing to provide satellite images taken on 17 July 2014.

The Russian side provided the Netherlands with data from Russian radars and documents but the Dutch investigators ignored this information.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial which restarted in June 2021 and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

The repeated Russian accusation that the United States refused to provide satellite images is false.

Disinfo: More than half of the Ukrainian population don’t want their country to join NATO

At least 50% of the inhabitants of Ukraine do not want their country to join NATO. This rejection is due to the fact that the Ukrainians do not want to be in the firing line, they do not want to be a bargaining chip or cannon fodder.


The claim is false. According to a survey carried out by the sociological platform LibertyReport.ai in all Ukraine in March, reviewed by Bloomberg, an overall 57 per cent of Ukrainians support joining NATO. The figure rises to 72 per cent among respondents aged 18-29, those who weren’t raised in the Soviet educational system and who would be the bulk of conscripts in case of a major armed conflict.

This is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative against NATO. See other examples in our database, such as claims that NATO is using Sea Breeze exercises to secretly send arms to Donbas, that it is preparing for an offensive operation in Crimea, that its strategic bombers are testing options for strikes on Belarus and Russia, or that NATO would collapse if it abandoned the concept of the “Russian threat”.