Disinfo: HMS Defender deliberately entered Russian territorial waters violating Russia’s laws


HMS Defender deliberately entered Russian territorial waters in violation of Russia's laws. The British wanted to demonstrate that these are Ukrainian waters, but this does not correspond to the facts.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the June 2021 HMS Defender warship incident and about the current status of Crimea.

On 23 June 2021, the British warship HMS Defender was in transit on a commonly followed route in the Black Sea from the port of Odesa in Ukraine to Georgia, where the destroyer was due to dock. Russia claimed that the transit of the British ship 12 miles off the Crimean coast was deliberate trespassing of its territorial waters.

It is not true that the British ship trespassed into Russian territorial waters. The allegation that the HMS entered into Russian territorial waters is a manipulation on the issue of Crimea. The HMS Defender transited 12 miles offshore in the waters of Crimea, a territory militarily occupied and forcibly annexed by Russia in 2014 in a referendum that was not recognised by the UN, nor the EU, or the UK, or any international body.

Russia has described the transit through Ukrainian waters as a violation of its territorial waters and sovereign laws, but the passage of the HMS Defender through the waters off Cape Fiolent on the Southern tip of Crimea is allowed under international law: Russia's accusation is based on the assumption that its self-asserted right over Crimean territory is recognised, but neither Ukraine nor the international community currently recognises Crimea as Russian territory.

Russia's illegitimate control over the territories of the Crimean peninsula has manifestly extended to the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, where military incidents have occurred.

Read similar cases claiming that British warship HMS Defender deliberately entered Russian territorial waters, that UK ship HMS Defender violated Russian territorial waters in Crimea and that following the results of the referendum, Crimea - peacefully and legitimately - became part of Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 258
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 26/08/2021
  • Article language(s) Italian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia, UK
  • Keywords: Crimea, Occupation, Provocation, Black Sea
see more

Disinfo: West’s support for Ukraine fosters Russophobia

Western initiatives allegedly supporting Ukraine are in reality aimed at fostering the anti-Russian component in Kyiv’s policy and continuing the anti-Russia project. The UK Embassy in Ukraine has announced the creation of a fund helping Kyiv to counter Russian influence.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that Western countries provide Ukraine with assistance with the sole aim of inflicting harm on Russia. In reality, the West is helping Kyiv both to grow economically and get rid of corruption, and to stand up against Russian aggression in the Eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Ukraine’s striving to restore its territorial integrity has nothing to do with Russophobia. Ukraine is claiming what belongs to it by law.

The fact that Russia is an aggressor is internationally recognised (see here and here). Western nations sponsored the Minsk agreements in 2014 and 2015, which Russia has been consistently disrupting with the help of the Moscow-backed separatists in Donbas. France and Germany have been making efforts within the Normandy format since its creation in 2014, which Russia also tends to obstruct. Joint efforts by the West and Ukraine concerning the Donbas crisis are not Russophobic. They only pursue settling the crisis and ending the war there.

Disinfo: The West funded the Ukrainian coup with $5 billion

In the beginning, the West allocated $5 billion in the form of "aid" to Ukraine, which went to support the coup, and as a result of this, appeared those deprived of everything, who claim that the West wants to help them.


This is a recurring narrative that Ukraine is influenced by the West, and Maidan in 2014 was a coup d'etat, planned by the West.

This claim is linked to a statement by former US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland in late 2013. Then she said that the United States has invested $5 billion in more than 20 years to develop democratic processes and reforms in Ukraine. The diplomat said that this is the total amount of assistance that Washington has allocated to Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Money was allocated for fair elections, to fight corruption and to develop the energy sector. Victoria Nuland later frequently repeated these theses, including in various interviews.

Disinfo: US State Department behind Crimean Platform which is an attempt to create an anti-Russian foothold

The [Crimean Platform] is an attempt to create some kind of anti-Russian foothold.

The Crimean Platform itself cannot do anything. This is just an attempt to increase tension, escalate the situation.

The US Department of State is behind the Crimean Platform.


Disinformation about the Crimean Platform, which is a summit of top officials from 46 countries and blocs, including from each of the 30 NATO members. The Crimean Platform is a consultative and coordination format for the de-occupation of Crimea. A total of 44 countries participated in the summit along with the representatives of the European Commission, NATO, Council of Europe, and GUAM. There is no evidence to support the claim that the US Department of State is behind the summit. In October 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine created the Crimean Platform. Its aim is to keep the occupation of Crimea in the focus of constant international attention. The Crimean Platform will become a foreign policy instrument of the de-occupation strategy. This flexible international format is aimed at consolidating international efforts and achieving synergy of intergovernmental, parliamentary, and expert levels.

European Council President Charles Michel said during a speech at the first International Crimea Platform Summit, 23 August 2021.