Disinfo: Legally Crimea has always been Russian

Summary

Crimea has always been Russian, even from a legal point of view. Russia has not acquired this position. The people living in Crimea decided to reunite with Russia.

Disproof

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

Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. The European Union does not recognise Crimea's annexation and continues to condemn it as a violation of international law. EU sanctions continue to be in place against Russia as a consequence of the annexation. For the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Crimea

Disclaimer

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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Studies shows that China is more democratic than the US (and Russia almost as democratic as the US)

Studies have shown that China is more democratic than the United States, Russia is nearby, and Ukraine is “at the bottom”.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation on about the western countries being dictatorships and while Russia and China are democracies. It is a malign misinterpretation of the methodology of a survey

The study that conducted in different countries of the world by Alliance for Democracy and Dalia Research to assess the opinion about democracy shows that the more democratic the country is the more people are exigent for even more democracy. The less democratic the country is, the less people will be willing to express dissatisfaction or ask for more democracy. Therefore, it cannot be inferred that China is much more democratic than the US and Russia much more than Ukraine.

Crimea was attached to Russia in 2014 by a referendum

The attachment by referendum of Crimea to Russia in 2014 is described by Russian senators as the fruit of the voluntary reunification of the region with Russia.

Disproof

Recurrent disinformation about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

A referundum is is a direct and universal vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. It has to comply with strict rules during the campaign, during the vote and after the vote to establish the results. The vote was quickly organised in March 2014 under illegal Russian occupation without complying with either the Ukrainian nor  Russia electoral codes, therefore cannot be called a referundum.

The Munich Agreement triggered World War II

The partition of Czechoslovakia was brutal and cynical. Munich destroyed even the formal, fragile guarantees that remained on the continent. It showed that mutual agreements were worthless. It was the Munich Agreement that served as a “trigger” and made the great war in Europe inevitable.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism which attempts to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive, to blame the West for the outbreak of World War II, to relativise and erode the disastrous historical role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union) by stating that other countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler throughout the 1930s, and to argue that it was the Munich Agreement that triggered WWII.

According to the best historical research, it was clearly the Molotov-Ribentropp Pact (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators), signed on August 23, 1939,  that triggered  World War II.  Its secret supplementary protocols  divided Eastern and Central Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. The signing of this Pact enabled the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in the occupation of this country by Germany and USSR, triggering the beginning of World War II.