Disinfo: Crimean referendum was the will of the Crimeans, while Kosovo was an outside intervention

Summary

There is a difference between the Crimean referendum and the situation in Kosovo. The Crimean referendum was the will of the Crimeans, and Kosovo is an outside intervention.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russia's annexation of Crimea, claiming that people chose to rejoin Russia through a legal and democratic referendum. For similar cases, see here and here. No international body recognises the so-called referendum and 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. A year after the illegal annexation, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

It is also pro-Kremlin disinformation about countries controlled by the West and their statehood. See similar cases here and here. There was a civil war in Kosovo, with thousands of casualties and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and which Western countries stopped. In 2008 the EU Council stressed that in view of the conflict of the 1990s and the extended period of international administration under Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo constituted a sui generis case. On February 17, 2008, ​the Kosovo Assembly unanimously (109 members present) voted to declare independence from Serbia. Serbia declared that the independence of Kosovo was illegal and Russia supported Serbia in that decision. The basis for Kosovo’s independence was the prevailing view in international law that minorities who suffer systematic discrimination have the right to secede. This provided the basis for Kosovo’s recognition by a majority of UN member states. There is no evidence given for the claim that the Kosovo case (independence) is “an outside intervention”.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 02/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Serbian
  • Country: Kosovo, Serbia
  • Keywords: Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik Serbia
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LNR and DNR declared independence after the coup in Ukraine

Relations between Moscow and Kiev became worse in 2014 after Crimea joined Russia. In addition, in the spring of that same year, Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donbas LNR and DNR, which declared independence after the coup in Ukraine.

Disproof

Recruiting pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat. The Euromaidan was not a coup but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here.

This message also is a part of narrative about the war in Ukraine, aiming to portray the conflict as Ukraine's civil war. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict, but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.

Crimea became part of Russia following a referendum held after the coup in Kiev

Crimea became part of Russia in March 2014 by a referendum held after the coup in Kiev. 96.77 percent of the voters of the Republic of Crimea and 95.6 percent of the residents of Sevastopol voted in favor of unification with Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Russia's annexation of Crimea, claiming that people chose to rejoin Russia through a legal and democratic referendum. For similar cases, see here and here. 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. A year after the illegal annexation, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

It is also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan claiming that there was a coup d’état. There was no coup d’état in Ukraine. The onset of the Euromaidan protests was a spontaneous  and endogenous reaction by numerous segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden withdrawal  from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here

Montenegro independence referendum was illegal

Part of that strategy was the expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and from one part of BiH, the seizure of Kosovo and Metohija, the separation of Montenegro by illegal referendum, and finally the assimilation of the remaining Serb population through political engineering.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying Montenegro as “occupied” country and as “weapon” of NATO and USA. The “developments” mentioned in the article refer to the approval of the law on religious communities by the Montenegro parliament, “despite street protests and a last-minute attempt in the chamber by deputies of the pro-Serb opposition to prevent the vote going ahead” as stated by Reuters. This article is conspiracy theory with no evidence given for the claim that the “developments in Montenegro are part of a broader plan to narrow down the Serbian political and cultural being in the Balkans”.

This claim involves the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that the referendum in Montenegro was illegal.