Disinfo: There is freedom in Crimea, whereas Ukraine is governed by criminals and terrorists

Summary

There is absolute freedom in Crimea, Russia has often invited Western delegations to Crimea to demonstrate how calm the situation is on the peninsula. Ukraine encompassing Crimea does not exist anymore. It was once free and democratic, however, nowadays a group of war criminals have taken power of the country, and they actively use state terrorism as a goal.

Disproof

According to the Freedom House, Russia used coercion to increase the participation of Crimeans in Russian elections; the Crimean Tatars are being repressed and the Mejlis - an organisation representing the Crimean Tatars - was banned; the Russian FSB use intimidation and harassment to eliminate opposition to Russian occupation; a forced Russification is ongoing (including making anything connected to Ukraine a taboo); and rights to freedom of association are severely restricted: https://bit.ly/2Op9YNH There is a regular pattern of promoting as official the visits by groups that have no official status and do not represent the government view or have their support. In June 2018, the EU prolonged the sanctions for the illegal annexation of Crimea for one year. See also the Fact Sheet on EU's non-recognition policy for Crimea. Current Ukrainian authorities have been elected in legitimate and democratic elections.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 122
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/10/2018
  • Outlet language(s) Hungarian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: Crimean Tatars, Crimea, War in Ukraine
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West's "espionage conspiracy" failed

West’s espionage conspiracy failed. The attempt of Western countries to unite against Russia, while simultaneously accusing it of secret illegal activities, does not make sense – writes The New Yorker.

Disproof

The original article say nothing about a "Western conspiracy". One of the respondents merely describes the reaction of the West as not sufficient to change Russia's aggressive behaviour: "Russia is on a clear course of more aggressive behavior toward the West. Strong statements and narrow sanctions won’t change that," said Alina Polyakova from the Brookings Institute to the New Yorker. See the full article here: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/russias-image-tanks-in-the-west-but-so-does-trumps Recurring narrative about conspiracies in the pro-Kremlin media. The Western countries recently reacted to Russia's illegal activities such as: annexation of Crimea, Skripal's poisoning and OPCW targeting.

Ukraine's guests will be obliged to write in Ukrainian

Ukraine’s guests will be obliged to write in Ukrainian when they enter country’s territory.

Disproof

People visiting Ukraine can fill in the immigration forms also in English. Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Russian language and Russophobia in Ukraine. The new law on language is still only in the phase of a draft. Yet, it specifically says that every citizen is free to choose any language in private encounters. Read more about the law here. More debunking on the fakes about the new language law by The Insider.

Crimean referendum was held when Ukraine didn't exist as a state

The referendum in Crimea on “returning to the Russian Federation” was actually held when Ukraine did not exist as a state from a legal point of view. During 20 Feb 2014 – 25 May 2014, Ukraine “de iure” did not exist due to the coup d’etat. In order to recognise the referendum results, the West would have to recognise the coup d’etat in Kiev.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about Ukrainian statehood. The 2014 presidential election in Ukraine was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and respecting fundamental freedoms, despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions of the country. According to the OSCE (of which Russia is a participating State) "the people of Ukraine had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box". The demonstrations which began in Kyiv in November 2013 – called "Maidan", or "Euromaidan" – were not provoked from outside but were a result of the Ukrainian people's frustration with former President Yanukovych's last minute U-turn when, after seven years of negotiation, he refused to sign the EU–Ukraine Association Agreement and halted progress towards Ukraine's closer relationship with the EU as a result of Russian pressure. The protesters' demands included constitutional reform, a stronger role for parliament, formation of a government of national unity, an end to corruption, early presidential elections and an end to violence. The United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 68/262, adopted on 27 March 2014 and supported by 100 states (only 10 states opposed it), clearly says that Russia's actions in the peninsula as well as the referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea violate international law.