Disinfo: Crimea’s re-unification with Russia was legal


US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt insists that Crimea’s reunification with Russia was illegal. He forgets that no illegal annexation took place and that the citizens of Crimea decided in a democratic referendum in 2014 and with huge majority to re-unite with the motherland. It was the United States which was intervening in Ukraine’s domestic affairs as evidenced by the phone call between Pyatt, who was the US Ambassador in Kiev in 2014 and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State on European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. Pyatt and Nuland were discussing the composition of the new Ukrainian government.


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

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. 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 201
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Geoffrey Pyatt, Victoria Nuland, NATO, 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

In February 2014, a violent coup d’état took place in Kyiv

In February 2014, a violent coup d’état took place in Kyiv, when the then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was forced to flee as a result of dozens of unsolved murders during the fighting between activists and police forces and violent threats by radical right-wing forces.

With their first act in power, the Maidan forces showed what they were most interested in and thereby confirmed the fears that the Maidan revolution was much more of a nationalist coup d’état than an emancipatory act.


There was no coup d’état in Kyiv in 2014; this is a longstanding pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine's Euromaidan protests.

The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction from several segments of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013, after pressure from Russia. See the full debunk The Western-backed coup in Ukraine has torn the country asunder.

Clashes in Hong Kong are financed and organised by the US in order to destabilise China

Clashes in Hong Kong are financed and organised by the US in order to destabilise China. The US, which is dominated by neoconservatives, is hostile to both China and Russia because both countries are obstacles to American hegemony.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative claiming that Hong Kong protests are supported and funded by US and/or by other Western states.  

The  pro-Kremlin media frequently use disinformation narratives about popular protests allegedly incited and  funded by the US around the world, including colour revolutions in post-Soviet states, the “Arab Spring” revolts, Euromaidan in Ukraine, protests in Catalonia and others.

Mark Zuckerberg introduced his own form of censorship against Sputnik, Xinhua and Press TV

We are the witnesses of a new war for the most important resources – dis(information), control over the Internet, rights for Internet censorship and access to the largest market in the world, where the Internet users are goods. This fight is taking place in the USA, where Trump signs a new Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, but also in Europe and all over the world. Mark Zuckerberg, whose Facebook empire is associated with a broadly understood globalist circle, introduces his own form of censorship against Russia’s Sputnik, Chinese Xinhua and Iranian Press TV.


Pro-Kremlin conspiracy theory about social media (primarily, Facebook), advancing pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about “secret elites” and the West's alleged media censorship and societal control.

This disinformation message is a reaction to recent policy changes by Facebook. On June 4, Facebook announced that it would label media outlets that are wholly or partially under the editorial control of their government. The labels are meant to bring greater transparency into these publishers because they combine the influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state. The labels have been applied to Russia's Sputnik, as well as other state-controlled media outlets, like Iran’s Press TV and China’s Xinhua News.