Disinfo: Crimea was attached to Russia in 2014 by a referendum


The attachment by referendum of Crimea to Russia in 2014 is described by Russian senators as the fruit of the voluntary reunification of the region with Russia.


Recurrent disinformation about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

A referundum is is a direct and universal vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. It has to comply with strict rules during the campaign, during the vote and after the vote to establish the results. The vote was quickly organised in March 2014 under illegal Russian occupation without complying with either the Ukrainian nor  Russia electoral codes, therefore cannot be called a referundum.

The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine). No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014. 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. EU sanctions continue to be in place against Russia as a consequence of the annexation. For the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.


  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: 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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The Munich Agreement triggered World War II

The partition of Czechoslovakia was brutal and cynical. Munich destroyed even the formal, fragile guarantees that remained on the continent. It showed that mutual agreements were worthless. It was the Munich Agreement that served as a “trigger” and made the great war in Europe inevitable.


This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism which attempts to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive, to blame the West for the outbreak of World War II, to relativise and erode the disastrous historical role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union) by stating that other countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler throughout the 1930s, and to argue that it was the Munich Agreement that triggered WWII.

According to the best historical research, it was clearly the Molotov-Ribentropp Pact (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators), signed on August 23, 1939,  that triggered  World War II.  Its secret supplementary protocols  divided Eastern and Central Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. The signing of this Pact enabled the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in the occupation of this country by Germany and USSR, triggering the beginning of World War II.

MH17 trial is biased against Russia, prosecutor has no evidence

Almost six years after the Boeing MH17 disaster, the trial is still ongoing. But ordinary people cannot be deceived, and more and more people believe in the guilt of Ukraine and the bias of the European court. The Netherlands had the intention of immediately blaming Russia for everything. The Dutch scheme is such that it does not need evidence. Missing satellite photos of the United States, NATO aerial tracking equipment that did not record a missile strike, fabricated evidence from the Security Service of Ukraine. All these nuances do not worry the Netherlands. Checking is “not a royal matter”, especially when there is a reason to blame Russia. The Dutch resorted to a scheme of unsubstantiated accusations was also confirmed by the prosecutor’s speech. The prosecutor openly tries to convince the court that the defendants wanted to shoot at the plane. But he does not give any evidence for his own words. The Netherlands cannot withstand Western pressure, so the process is conducted in this way. People are convinced that the West is literally depraved to the ground, and that Dutch indulgence to the West will bring problems for the Netherlands.


Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

There is no proof that any of the evidence has been manipulated or falsified by the JIT  or Security Services of Ukraine. In order to find out the cause of the crash, the Joint Investigation Team investigated all human remains, personal belongings and wreckage of the aircraft found in the vicinity of the disaster site. The traces were secured and investigated and compared by experts. In addition, the JIT sought and heard witnesses and experts, analysed radar and satellite images, assessed large amounts of telecom data such as intercepted telephone conversations and analysed big data. Read more about the investigation here.

The results of the investigation of the Joint Investigation Team are clear: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in Eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system, with one missing missile, returned to the Russian Federation. On May 24 2018, JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation. The public hearing on the incident started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

China and Russia helped Italy in COVID-19 crisis, but not a single European country helped

In spring 2020, Italy was painfully hit by the coronavirus epidemic. European countries are known for their lack of solidarity so they didn’t provide any help, but China and Russia are known to be altruistic and therefore provided help.

But Italy remains inside the EU because China needs Italy as a bridgehead inside the EU that would justify their investments inside the country. So Italians remain inside the EU to please the Chinese power.


A recurrent narrative about the lack of solidarity inside the EU, in particular, to help Italy during the coronavirus epidemic. The narrative has been repeatedly debunked dozens of times.

The European Commission took multiple initiatives to help Italy and other member states deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including support to the economy. Read more about the common European response to coronavirus here.