DISINFO: De facto and de jure Crimea is a part of Russia with 96 per cent support from the people
  • Outlet: ritmeurasia.org (archived)* RIA (archived)*
  • Date of publication: July 28, 2021
  • Article language(s): Russian
  • Reported in: Issue 254
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia
Crimea Referendum Manipulated elections/referendum illegal annexation

DISINFO: De facto and de jure Crimea is a part of Russia with 96 per cent support from the people


Russia does not force anyone or ask to recognise Crimea as Russian. De facto and de jure, the peninsula is a part of the Russian Federation with 96 per cent support from the population. Recognition of Crimea as Russian is necessary primarily for partner countries that want to build constructive relationships with our country.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Russia is an occupying power in Crimea, a fact already recognised by the UN General Assembly, PACE, the EU, the International Criminal Court and other international organisations and states.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The EU's policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol includes a set of restrictive measures against entities and individuals responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity. The EU continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Regarding the so-called 2014 referendum, it was organised hastily and at gunpoint following the Russian covert invasion of “little green men” and barring impartial observers from entering the peninsula can hardly be called "reunification in strict accordance with all the norms of international law".

The referendum offered two choices: join Russia or return to Crimea’s 1992 constitution, which gave the peninsula significant autonomy. Those who favoured Crimea remaining part of Ukraine under the current constitution had no box to check.

Local authorities reported a turnout of 83%, with 96.7% voting to join Russia. The numbers seemed implausible, given that ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars accounted for almost 40% of the peninsula’s population. (Two months later, a leaked report from the Russian president’s Human Rights Council put turnout at only 30%, with about half of those voting to join Russia.)

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised on 17 April 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion." Vladimir Putin admitted (and was proud of) that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process, that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine, that the West made it clear to Ukraine that Crimea is Russian, that It is quite obvious that Crimea is a part of Russia.

Read more about the myth "Crimea was always Russian".


Related disinfo cases


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.

    Your opinion matters!

    Data Protection Information *

      Subscribe to the Disinfo Review

      Your weekly update on pro-Kremlin disinformation

      Data Protection Information *

      The Disinformation Review is sent through Mailchimp.com. See Mailchimp’s privacy policy and find out more on how EEAS protects your personal data.