Disinfo: Crimea’s return to the Russian motherland was based on a popular referendum

Summary

Moscow has repeatedly indicated that the return of Crimea to the motherland of Russia was based on the results of a popular referendum organised on the peninsula in March 2014.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea. 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 97% 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 sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation.

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.

[Note: This disinformation claim appeared in the same article as the claim that Moscow did not interfere in the armed conflict in Donbas.]

Disclaimer

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

Moscow did not interfere in the armed conflict in Donbas

Moscow has repeatedly denied its involvement in the armed conflict in Donbas.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in eastern Ukraine.

While it is true that Moscow has repeatedly denied its involvement in the armed conflict in Donbas by claiming that Russia is not part of the conflict in Donbas, that Russia has nothing to do with the war in eastern Ukraine and that there is a “civil war” in Donbas, the article does not counterbalance or critically challenge such claim.

The investigations on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US elections produced no evidence of such interference

The investigations on Russiagate, the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 American electoral process against the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, ended up with nothing.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russiagate which denies Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. The message appeared on Sputnik in the context of Facebook's new policy to label state-controlled media, such as Sputnik itself.

Robert Mueller's investigation concluded that Russia did interfere in the 2016 elections. Mueller’s report  maintains that “the investigation did not establishthat members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities”. Nevertheless, it states that Russian interference activities did take place.