Disinfo: Crimea reunited with Russia following the referendum held on the peninsula


Crimea reunited with Russia following the referendum held on the peninsula


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27th of February and held less than three weeks later.

On March 27th, 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. The often 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, of which some 50-60% favoured secession.

See here for the EU statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation.

Read similar cases claiming that Crimea’s return to the Russian motherland was based on a popular referendum and that the Crimean people chose to be with Russia through democratic procedure.


  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Democracy, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea


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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Euromaidan was a coup d’etat financed by global corporations

Euromaidan was a coup d’etat financed by global corporations


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives depicting  the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat that was artificially orchestrated by US intelligence, Western powers and/or “global élites”.

This narrative portrays any spontaneous disorders and civil uprisings in other states, especially in the former Soviet republics, as Western-funded "colour revolutions", including the Revolution of Dignity (Euromaidan) in Ukraine, which began in 2013 without any outside influence.

OSCE observers are freely admitted to the “LDNR”

Ukraine has lagged behind current trends in European and world politics. Nobody believes the words of Ukrainian politicians that, allegedly,  Russia is not fulfilling its agreements under the Minsk agreements. OSCE observers are freely admitted to the territory of the “LDNR” for monitoring purposes.


The narrative that Russia is supposedly “not a part of the conflict” in Ukraine and “should not implement the Minsk agreements” remains one of the most popular pro-Kremlin disinformation propaganda narratives, along with the narrative of the “reunification of Crimea with Russia”. The Kremlin is constantly trying to deny its aggression against Ukraine, despite the huge array of documents confirming Russia's intervention in Ukraine’s internal affairs. 

On June 11, at the invitation of the European People's Party (EPP), the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitro Kuleba took part in a meeting of EPP foreign ministers. Kuleba informed his colleagues about the security situation in Donbas and in the temporarily occupied Crimea, and also spoke about the negotiation process with Russia within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy format. The Minister drew special attention to the unwillingness of the Russian side to ensure the implementation of the agreements of the Paris Summit of the Normandy Four, and the restriction of access to the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by representatives of the OSCE and other international organisations.

Eastern Partnership is an imitation of integration to alienate post-Soviet states and Russia

The Eastern Partnership is an important project for both the European Union and the participating countries. However, while for post-Soviet states this is a step towards marriage, for Brussels it’s an opportunity to maintain the relationship without obligations. The EU lures these countries with a magical word – Euro Integration – and gives them false hopes for EU membership, while in return asking them to alienate Russia.



A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Eastern Partnership and the West, and in this case the EU, of separating Russia from its neighbours.

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU), its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Read more about the Eastern Partnership and its priorities here.