DISINFO: Crimea was annexed by Russia on a legitimate basis
  • Outlet: it.sputniknews.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: May 23, 2019
  • Outlet language(s): Italian
  • Reported in: Issue 152
  • Countries / regions discussed: Ukraine, Russia
illegal annexation Manipulated elections/referendum Crimea Referendum

DISINFO: Crimea was annexed by Russia on a legitimate basis


In March 2014 Crimea was annexed by Russia after a referendum carried out in accordance with the rules of international law.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming the annexation of Crimea was the result of a legal referendum by which the inhabitants of the Ukrainian peninsula chose to join the Russian Federation. No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on 16th of March 2014. On the 27th of February 2014, when it was announced, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which 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. Later even the Kremlin admitted that the Crimea annexation plan was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. On the 5th anniversary of the so called referendum the EU, through Federica Mogherini, its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, issued a statement confirming the EU’s commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, stressing that EU does NOT recognize this referendum and continues to condemn this violation of international law.


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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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