DISINFO: Kyiv's Crimea-related accusations could become baseless
illegal annexation ECHR Human rights Crimea

DISINFO: Kyiv's Crimea-related accusations could become baseless


The European Court of Human Rights acknowledged that Crimea is under the de facto jurisdiction of Russia. The judges found that there is no evidence for Ukrainian claims that peaceful citizens died, foreign journalists were detained illegally or assets were seized unlawfully.


Recurring disinformation narrative concerning the situation in Crimea.

The European Court of Human Rights noted in its decision that it "was not called upon in the case whether Crimea's admission" into Russia "has been lawful from the standpoint of international law." It added that they first had to consider whether Russia had "jurisdiction" over Crimea from 27 February 2014. The court decided that "the alleged victims of the administrative practice complained of by the Ukrainian Government fell within the 'jurisdiction' of Russia" and thus the Court could examine the complaint.

The Court did find that the administrative practices of killing and shooting, detention of foreign journalists and nationalising the property of Ukrainian soldiers "had not amounted to a pattern of violations." The Court found that "on the whole, there was sufficient prima facie evidence" for administrative practices, such as (1) enforced disappearance; (2) ill-treatment and unlawful detention; (3) extending the application of Russian law to Crimea; (4) automatic imposition of Russian citizenship and raids of private dwellings; (5) harassment of religious leaders; (6) suppression of non-Russian media; (7) prohibiting public gatherings; (8) expropriation without compensation of civilian and private properties; (9) suppression of Ukrainian language in schools; (10) restricting freedom of movement between Crimea and Ukraine; and (11) targeting Crimean Tatars.

Thus, the case represents a prime example of an often used disinformation method. The manipulative article picked and chose the parts of the Court decision that fit the Russian narrative, failing to mention that, first of all, the Court said that Russia had de facto jurisdiction because it was needed to determine whether it could examine the Ukrainian complaint, and - second - that the Court found evidence for 11 administrative malpractices committed in Crimea.


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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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