Disinfo: Double standards in Western attitudes on status of Kosovo, Crimea


There are double standards in Western attitudes on the status of Kosovo and Crimea. Why is it acceptable to recognise Kosovo but not Crimea’s reunification with Russia?


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative drawing parallels between the Kosovo independence movement and Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.

International recognition of Kosovar statehood came only after the region had been ravaged by a bloody civil war, which Western countries stopped. This was followed by a decade of international administration and status negotiations. In 2008, the EU Council stressed that, given the 1990s civil conflict and protracted international administration under Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo constituted a sui generis case. By contrast, there was no war in Ukraine until Russian military aggression (see ICC report here).

Negotiations on Kosovo's status lasted 10 years. The time period between Russia's military operation and annexation of Crimea was 20 days.

Unlike Kosovo, Crimea was annexed by a third state (Russia), following an illegitimate referendum which was held at gunpoint and featured no recognised election observers. Russian authorities actively advanced the narrative of Ukrainian far-right activists terrorizing ethnic Russians, while Russia proactively saved Crimeans from "terrorists and extremists", the minister of foreign affairs of Russia said.

Human rights missions visiting Ukraine in 2014  did not find evidence of discrimination against or danger to the Russian minority.

According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated the international law as well as key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.


  • Reported in: Issue 215
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/10/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Kosovo, Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: United Nations, illegal annexation, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Manipulated elections/referendum, 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.

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Navalny was not poisoned before the plane landed in Omsk according to a French journalist

The Navalny poisoning turned into an absurd farce, analysed a French journalist. There are three inconsistencies. First, if Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a nerve agent he would be dead or heavily disabled, he wouldn’t have recovered. Second, if Novichok was used, the collaborators who took the water bottle in the hotel would have been poisoned also. And third, if Novichok was used, the plane passengers or the crew who might have been in physical contact with Alexei Navalny would have been poisoned too. As a consequence, Alexei Navalny was not poisoned before the plane landed in Omsk.


Part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Navalny, which follows the same playbook as the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018. The case has been debunked also by The Insider (in Russian).

Cristelle Néant cannot be called a French Journalist nor does she work for a French media outlet. She is living on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic since 2015 and has the citizenship of this non recognised state since 2016. She was not a journalist before she left for Donbas and has not been in Western Europe since 2015. The press agencies DONi and Donbass Insider cannot be called independent. The website Agoravox is not a French media outlet but a citizens platform to which anybody can register and publish their own material.

Navalny works with the CIA and receives instructions from this Agency

Navalny works with the CIA and receives instructions from this Agency.


Conspiracy theory. No evidence is provided to support the article’s claims.

This message is part of the pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign about the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. It seeks to discredit Navalny by suggesting that he is an asset of the CIA and is controlled by this Agency. Pro-Kremlin disinformation often targets Russian opposition figures accusing them of being agents of Western intelligence services.

Belarus is under attack by the unilateral globalist world to indirectly destabilise Vladimir Putin

The CIA and the US state department have been financing small opposition groups in Belarus for years. They also mandate the French president to meddle in Belarus’s international affairs because the US doesn’t want to do it publicly.

Belarus and Russia are two brother countries that were together for a millennium and have been artificially separated, because of the end of the Soviet Union.

The aim of the globalist side is to attack Russia because it still resists them, but they do it indirectly, first they destabilise Belarus and neighbouring countries. Emmanuel Macron or the EU commission link the Navalny and Belarus files: it proves that this is a coordinated attack against Russia. The purpose is to take control of the Russian territory that resist their hegemony.

There is a choice to make between the unilateral globalist world and the multilateral world advocated by Vladimir Putin. OSCE cannot help in Belarus because in 2004 they destroyed the political system of Ukraine.

There cannot be new elections in Belarus, otherwise, it is the end of the legitimacy of the states. Leaders won’t be chosen by electors but appointed by the international community. This is the end of sovereignty and states.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the all-Russian nation and Russian world, and Western attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations.

Ukraine and Belarus are sovereign states. The disinformation message forwards a false dilemma about the direction of Belarus's and Ukraine's political development (union with Russia vs. an unavoidable loss of sovereignty degradation) and promotes the concept of all-Russian civilisation, an imperial Russian and Russian irredentist ideology that is a favoured pro-Kremlin narrative aimed at weakening the national identity of Belarusians and Ukrainians, as well as their sovereignty. Belarus and Ukraine are well-defined nation-states with a long history, which preserved their languages, literature and identity, despite foreign rule for long periods.