Disinfo: Crimea has been revived thanks to Russia


Crimea has been revived since joining Russia. The peninsula separated from Ukraine because of the anti-Russian rhetoric of the new authorities in Kyiv.

A big international airport was refurbished in Simferopol, while the longest motorway in Europe and Russia, the Crimea Bridge, was built very rapidly. In addition, the economy and the tourism industry are growing quickly. Crimea’s international importance continues to grow.


Crimea was annexed by Russia following an illegitimate referendum on March 16, 2014 following the deployment of “little green men” across the peninsula beginning in February 2014. Read more about Crimea's annexation here.

The economic prosperity promised by the Kremlin has not arrived to Crimea. Approximately 10% of the population has fled. Local residents have not been content with prices, wages, or the number of tourists visiting the peninsula. The economy is stagnating and the rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are being violated. Crimeans have had to sacrifice their basic rights and access to Western and Russian network brands, which have avoided the peninsula due to fear of sanctions.

In addition, under Russia’s rule, Crimea has undergone a raft of new laws regulating everything from military conscription to alcohol consumption and sees continuous human rights abuse. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, covering the period from 16 November 2018 to15 February 2019, and devotes a whole chapter to the numerous human rights violations against the Crimean population by the Russian authorities: “The Russian Federation continues to apply its laws, in violation of international humanitarian law applicable to an occupying power, resulting in grave human rights violations, disproportionately affecting Crimean Tatars.” (see pp. 3, 21-24)



  • Reported in: Issue 141
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Crimean Tatars, 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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Crimean reunification with Russia prevented it from becoming a US protectorate

If Crimea’s reunification with Russia hadn’t taken place, the US would have turned it into a protectorate. It would have deployed weapon systems in the peninsula as they are doing in Romania, and thus be able to deny access to Russian vessels to the Black Sea. Ukraine would have given the Sevastopol base to NATO for military purposes.


The narrative is part of the set of arguments to defend Russian annexation of Crimea. The statement actually comes from the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security talking about the deployment of TU-22M3 strategic bombers to Crimea, allegedly as a response to the deployment of US missile defense systems in Romania. Also, Russian senator Alexei Pushkov tweeted that "the first thing Kiev would have done had Crimea not joined Russia would have been turn Sevastopol to the US or NATO".

There is no evidence that the US were planning to deploy any weapons system in Crimea, which was part of sovereign Ukraine. Unlike Romania, which is a NATO country, Ukraine is only part of the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP), which carries much less obligations and benefits from the Alliance.