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
see more

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

NATO exercise Defender 2020 increases the danger of war in the middle of Europe

NATO exercise Defender 2020 increases the danger of war in the middle of Europe.

“Defender Europe 2020” exercise increases the danger of war in the middle of Europe, be it accidental or not. A war in Europe seems to be possible again, the consequences are devastating in an area where already in the 1980s it was agreed between East and West that the industrial and infrastructure conditions do not allow a war without insane destruction. The exercise is exactly the opposite of détente, a provocative action and at this time – the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Germany from fascism by the Red Army. What should the Russian people think: march again on their Western border and then? Nobody in this country will ever forget the 27 million dead and the immense destruction!

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West/NATO threatening or encircling Russia and the US-led military exercise "Defender-Europe 2020", which is not aimed or targeted at Russia.

NATO exercises "Defender 2020" do not increase the danger of war in Europe. Exercise Defender-Europe 2020 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe and the movement of personnel and equipment across the Atlantic to various training areas in Europe, such as Germany and Poland.