Crimea reunited with Russia after a democratic referendum

Summary

The reunification of the Crimea with Russia took place after a referendum in March 2014. 96.77% of the citizens of the Republic of Crimea and 95.6% of the inhabitants of Sevastopol voted in favour of joining the Russian Federation.

Disproof

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

Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

Following the covert invasion by “little green men”, the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpoint, barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula. Therefore, no international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.

The oft-cited figure of 97% has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum.

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 Crimea's annexation and continues to condemn it as a violation of international law. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea see here.

For more cases on Crimea, see here and here. Also, read further debunking by StopFake.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik Deutschland
see more

9/11: The WTC7 building was blown up professionally

9/11: The WTC7 building was blown up professionally.

The study (…) does not focus on the collapse of the 400-metre-high twin towers WTC1 and WTC2, but on the case of the much lower WTC7, which was not rammed by an aircraft. Nevertheless, the 186-metre-high tower collapsed in just seven seconds. (…) The WTC7 building was most likely blown up professionally.
Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory, no evidence was presented.

It relays a recurring narrative that suggests the US government's involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 conspiracy theories have been refuted several times including by the “9-11 Commission" conducted by the US legislators.

Rasmussen suggested Georgia join NATO without Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Before joining NATO, Georgia should recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It is impossible to enter NATO with territorial disputes. Rasmussen suggested a very simple thing to Georgia – give up South Ossetia and Abkhazia, recognize their independence and then we [NATO] will be ready to discuss your membership.

Disproof

This is manipulative interpretation of the former NATO Secretary General's statements, giving the impression that Georgia should give up its occupied regions in exchange for joining NATO. This is one of many types of pro-Kremlin disinformation about the relations between Georgia and NATO.

Speaking at the 5th Tbilisi International Conference co-organized by McCain Institute and Economic Policy Research Centre, former NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said [13:07 - 15:00] that in case of Georgia’s accession to the alliance, it should be discussed internally whether Article 5 covers only the territory that is actually controlled by the Georgian government and applies to the occupied territories only after Georgia restores its jurisdiction there. As an illustration, Rasmussen brought an example of Germany, saying that West Germany joined NATO in 1955, while East Germany became a member of the alliance only in 1990, following German reunification.

Ukrainian ships aggressively violated the Russian borders in 2018

We appreciate the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, but there are some issues. The Ukrainian sailors, who are war criminals, were kindly released by Russia, but have officially confirmed that are ready to go through the Kerch Strait again. It was an aggressive violation of Russian borders.

Disproof

This is a part of recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the Kerch incident. 

On 25 November 2018 border patrol boats belonging to Russia’s FSB security service seized two small Ukrainian armoured artillery vessels and their crews after shooting at them, wounding several Ukrainian servicemen and arresting 24 members.