Disinfo: Crimeans chose to return to the “motherland” after a coup in Kyiv

Summary

Against the background of the coup in Kyiv, Crimea returned to Russia after a popular referendum organised on the peninsula in March 2014, through which more than 95% of the population of the peninsula voted in favour of returning to the “motherland”, but most of the world, primarily the Western states, refused to recognise the results of the referendum.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

It is not just the Western states that do not recognise the results of the so-called referendum. To date, no international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced 27th of February and held less than three weeks later.

On March 27th, 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it 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. The oft-cited figure of 95% 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. See here for the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation.

Moreover, there was no coup d'etat in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was an organic reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk of this disinformation claim.

Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process and that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine.

This disinformation claim appeared in the same article as the disinfo claim that Donetsk and Luhansk established two republics in 2014 to oppose a coup in Kyiv.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
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Disproof

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Disproof

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Disproof

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