Disinfo: Crimea was not annexed


It was not an ‘annexation’ of Crimea.

It is apparently a duty for every politician to include the phrase ‘annexation of the Crimea contrary to international law’ in his speech.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea, claiming that Crimea voted to rejoin 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).

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014.

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.

The oft-cited figure of 97% participation in the referendum 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.

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 for the annexation. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

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



  • Reported in: Issue156
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, 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.

see more

Russia is not involved in the arms race and does not violate the INF

Russia does not violate the INF Treaty and does not create dangerous weapons capable of carrying nuclear charges. The United States is the one violating international agreements on arms control while accusing Russia of everything in order to freely deploy missiles in Europe. NATO’s position on the INF Treaty is ridiculous since Russia will comply with the treaty, but the Alliance will not.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that the US is entirely responsible for the demise of the INF Treaty because of its non-compliance in several areas, and that Russia is fully compliant with the treaty.

The US government issued detailed refutations of Russian accusations of US non-compliance with the INF Treaty (see previous cases on the subject). In July 2014, President Obama officially accused Russia of testing an intermediate-range land-launched missile in violation of the treaty. Russia’s violations were also acknowledged by NATO Foreign Ministers in a meeting in Brussels on December 4th 2018. NATO allies share the US government’s assessment that Russia has developed and fielded a missile system, the 9M729, which violates the INF Treaty and poses significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security.

The EU no longer has confidence in the US and NATO

The United States intends to invent myths about Russia’s aggression in order to increase its influence over the EU countries, but such actions do not lead to success. The EU has long been thinking about the expediency of the existence of NATO and no longer has confidence in the North Atlantic Alliance.


The constant propaganda narrative that Russia is a peaceful country and NATO is committed to war.

The European Union and NATO are strategic partners who are constantly working to improve their cooperation. In recent years, the programme of mutual support between the EU and the Alliance has  expanded significantly.

Protests in Georgia are a Russophobic provocation

Protests in Georgia are nothing but Russophobic provocation. They are premeditate, aimed at complicating Georgia’s relations with Russia, which is interested in developing economic, cultural and tourist ties.

It is an attempt of a coup d’etat by radical extremist forces, which are coordinated from abroad and may be associated with ex-President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about provocations, Russophobia,"colour revolutions" , and the former President of Georgia Mikhaeil Saakashvili.

The protests in Georgia were triggered by the image of a deputy of the Russian Duma, Sergei Gavrilov, addressing Georgian lawmakers from the speaker’s chair on the parliament floor. Gavrilov is a member of the Russian Communist party, and has publicly recognized the Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, occupied by Russia, as separate states. The protests continue as the Georgians protest police violence and demand the resignation of the minister of interior.

The EU has urged Russia to cease occupying the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and fully respect the territorial integrity of Georgia.