Disinfo: Crimea returned to Russia in accordance with the UN Charter

Summary

The peninsula returned to Russia after a peaceful decision. The reunification was performed in full accordance to international law and the UN Charter.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and Euromaidan.

Crimea was illegally annexed after a planned military operation, when a referendum was performed under gunpoint of Russian occupying forces.

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.

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised on 17 April 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion." 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. 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.

See related disinformation claims alleging that Crimea has never been Ukraine; that Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum; that Crimea "sailed" to Russia forever and the West agrees with it.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 235
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/03/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian, Ukrainian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Crimea, illegal annexation
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Russia is being sanctioned for its sole existence

The West’s maniacal desire to impose sanctions on Russia is explained by the mere fact of Russia’s existence. The reason for these restrictive measures is that Moscow is protecting its national interests.

Disproof

This is a recurring narrative by pro-Kremlin media claiming that the anti-Russian sanctions are groundless and illegal.

In reality, the sanctions were imposed on Russia for its aggressive policy and violation of international law. The first round of restrictive measures was imposed in March 2014 in the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. More action against Moscow was taken in the following months, the reason being its support of the pro-Kremlin separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Some sanctions were only political, such as the suspension of Russia’s voting rights in the Council of Europe. However, its voting rights were restored in 2019. In addition, bans were also imposed on transactions with some Russian businessmen and officials.

The UK uses an anti-Russian rhetoric as a cover, it aims at weakening the EU

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab recently visited the Baltic states and expressed his support to them in the face of the Russian threat. In fact, London uses an anti-Russian rhetoric as a cover-up in its foreign policy doctrine known as “Global Britain”. It wants to use the Baltic states and Ukraine as expendables to weaken the EU and, in particular, the German-French alliance.

Disproof

Disinformation aimed to discredit UK foreign policy and portray it as insidious and anti-EU as well as to question solidarity between the UK and EU member states.

Global Britain is a foreign policy concept used by UK officials. The September 2019 article, authored by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, reads:

Kyiv ready to launch offensive in Donbas with Biden’s approval

Kyiv is ready to launch an offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas with US President Joe Biden’s approval. Sources in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office say that the White House has already approved the military scenario, although it has ordered to wait for a signal.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin media outlets aiming at deflecting attention away from Russia's direct engagement in the conflict in Ukraine.

The US provides Ukraine with military equipment and trains its soldiers, but does not issue military orders. Since the outbreak of Moscow’s aggression against Kyiv in 2014, the US has supported Ukraine, but there is no direct military US involvement in the Donbas war. The European Union also supports Ukraine, with no direct military assistance.