Disinfo: Moscow returned Russian identity to Crimea

Summary

Moscow agreed to return the Russian identity to the Crimea in 2014.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Moscow did not "return" the Russian identity to Crimea, but was rather illegally annexed. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated 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 in 2014.

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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European countries are under heavy US control

European countries are heavily influenced by the United States. The United States controls its alleged allies as much as possible. Unfortunately, the US allies are mute. That is, they have the right to follow instructions, but they are deprived of the right to make complaints.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US presence in Europe, portraying Europe as a vassal of the USA and trying to undermine the sovereignty of European countries. This narrative claims that almost all European countries are no longer truly sovereign and the United States dictates policies to the EU and its member states. For pro-Kremlin disinformation, countries that are outside of Russian control are US vassals, and some are vassals of vassals.

In fact, the EU Member States are sovereign countries and make sovereign decisions about their own security and policies. The US is an important ally to the EU but EU policy is not determined by the US.

The OPCW has become a tool for the US and its Western allies

The UN-affiliated OPCW has become fatally compromised as a political tool for the US and its Western allies. Its reports on Syria in particular are discredited, attributing blame to the wrong parties while whitewashing the real culprits – the jihadist militants and their media agents in the White Helmets. What’s more, an organization which is supposed to be dedicated to upholding international security is actually allowing itself to be used for propaganda purposes leading to aggression.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative deflecting blame for chemical attacks away from the Assad regime; painting the White Helmets as terrorists, and aiming to discredit the OPCW. The OPCW is an independent inter-governmental international organisation with 193 member states - including Russia.

Pro-Kremlin outlets began portraying the OPCW as a pawn in Western geopolitical designs around mid-2018, when the organisation was being granted new powers to assign blame for chemical attacks, especially in the Syrian Douma.

In a joint statement, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America called for an end to the unacceptable Russian defamation of the OPCW.

No aces in the West’s hands in MH-17 case

A court case will start concerning the downing of flight MH-17 in The Hague in March. Recently, the Dutch-led investigative group has not been able to come up with any new evidence in this case. There are more and more spectacular statements accusing Russia and revolutionaries in the Donbass for the downing of the jet.

While Dutch investigators have been unable to bring any new evidence, indirect facts have surfaced that suggest the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) had something to do with the downing of the Malaysian Boeing. Based on this, we can say that the tragedy was not simple negligence but an operation specifically benefiting Kiev and Washington, “who has not shown the world the satellite image ever since.”

Expert Yuri Antipov reviewed the photos taken at the crash site and found that no “BUK missile” was involved in the accident, instead, he said, the “characteristics of the debris” suggest there was an explosion on the inside. A bomb was likely placed on the flight back in Amsterdam.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation about the downing of MH-17. Theories that the accident was a plot to blame Russia, the involvement of Ukraine and that there is evidence a bomb exploded inside the plane have been among the many disinformation narratives the Kremlin have spread about the tragedy since 2014.

A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct the criminal investigation of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. The JIT comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.