Disinfo: No proof of human rights abuses in Crimea

Summary

According to a leading Russian politician, accusations of human rights violations on the Crimean Peninsula are an invention. Therefore, UN officials are welcome to visit Crimea and see the truth for themselves.

After the UN adopted a resolution condemning alleged discrimination in Crimea, which was reabsorbed by Russia in 2014, Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Russian Parliament’s Committee on International Affairs, said the body was “biased.”

Russia has repeatedly invited journalists and observers to visit the peninsula in the past. However, Kiev has sought to make any journeys difficult, threatening to blacklist and bar anyone who crosses into Crimea without having first been through Ukraine on a valid visa.

Disproof

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

Crimea was not “reabsorbed” by Russia. It has been annexed by Russia, and its ongoing illegal occupation has yet to be accepted by any international body.

The statements uncritically cited in the article are false. The human rights situation in Crimea has rapidly deteriorated since the beginning of Russian occupation in early 2014, and remains dire according to watchdogs including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the UN Human Rights Council. In a comprehensive study of human rights abuses perpetrated on the peninsula between February 2014 and December 2018, the Kyiv-based NGO Crimea SOS recorded 144 instances of politically motivated criminal prosecution, 15 forced disappearances, at least 20 killings committed by the occupation regime, 290 counts of torture, and 372 arbitrary arrests (pp. 8-9).

The brunt of the repression has fallen on the Crimean Tatars, the region’s indigenous ethnic minority. Since 2014, the occupation authorities have systematically targeted Crimean Tatar media, political institutions, language, and national leaders. In 2016, the Russian Supreme Court passed an ultra vires motion outlawing the Crimean Tatar legislature. Its two consecutive chairmen - Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov - were effectively exiled from the peninsula under Russia’s catch-all “extremism” laws, whereas former deputy chairman Ilmi Umerov was confined to a mental hospital. For an overview of offences against Crimea’s indigenous people such as seizure of property, deportation, forced conscription, murder, torture, show trials and a host of others, see this report by the International Criminal Court (p. 69).

While the article blames Ukraine for obstructing the activity of journalists in Crimea, journalists and press watchdogs blame Russia: In 2017, Freedom House ranked Crimea the 195th-friendliest media environment globally, right between Uzbekistan and North Korea; according to Reporters Without Borders, post-annexation Crimea has become a black hole “from which little news and information emerges”; the Committee to Protect Journalists publishes regular updates on the erosion of media freedom in the area, including a recent one concerning a Ukrainian reporter who was banned from entering Crimean territory until 2054.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 221
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/11/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: United Nations, illegal annexation, Human rights, Mustafa Dzhemilev, Amnesty International, Freedom of speech, Crimean Tatars, Human Rights Watch, 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.

see more

Biden risks 3 years for usurpation of power

The US State Department reminded world leaders that the counting of votes in the presidential elections is not over yet and it is too early to congratulate Biden on his victory. But despite this, the American press already considers the Democrat the new head of state, and Biden himself assures that the transfer of power cannot be stopped. He has already got used to the role, he addresses the nation every day and negotiates with the leaders of other countries on behalf of the United States, although for this violation of the law, in fact, three years in prison is imposed.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the 2020 US election.

The incoming president is called "president elect" until the inauguration in January 2021. He assembles a group called a transition team who prepare to assume power after inauguration - and the Biden team has already set up a transition website. Nothing beyond this legal framework has been done by Joe Biden to risk "3 years in prison".

Finland has decided to buy 64 fighters from the US

Finland has decided to buy 64 fifth generation fighters from the US for 12,5billion $, which are able to carry American nuclear bombs. Maybe Finns are not aware that all Iskanders [short-range ballistic missile system] at the Leningrad Oblast now most likely look not only at the Baltic countries, but also at Finns.

These new capabilities might create willingness, in the future, for Finland to redraw the map [referring to the parts of Finland lost in the WWII to the Soviet Union].

Disproof

The decision to procure multi-role fighters will be made by the Finnish Government only in 2021.

All in all, the fighter procurement will take 10 to 15 years to complete. For further details on the timeline see here. The options on the table are two fighter models from the US, and one from France, UK, and Sweden.

Britain is preparing for offensive cyber warfare with Russia

Britain prepares for an offensive cyber warfare with Russia. In the UK, 40,000 new jobs will be created, including in the area of ​​cybersecurity. They will engage in hacking and troll attacks, shaping public opinion in other countries.

The main thing is to influence the enemy (Russia, Iran, and China). Farce, forgery, misinformation, provocations, coordination of raids by robots and trolls – we saw it all perfectly in the example of the Belarusian events, when faceless and nameless “Belarusians” (with Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic States’ passports) directed thousands of abusive messages to de-anonymised security officials. [We saw] waves of “disinformation” about “the regime crimes”. While all of this didn’t help to bring the next Colour Revolution to fruition, it showed the awe-inspiring scope of the possibilities of this kind of “invasion.” If 40 THOUSAND new posts are created for this kind of “specialists”, and each will manage 10-20 accounts – that’s a huge army that can form an imitation of any “public opinion” needed! Indeed, it is potentially the most powerful destabilising factor globally.

Disproof

Disinformation message against the UK implying it manages troll factories to manipulate public opinion.

On Thursday 19 November 2020, UK PM Boris Johnson announced to parliament the biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War.