Reacting to the coup d’état in Kyiv in February 2014, the authorities of Crimea and Sevastopol declared the peninsula independent.
The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction of numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013. See the full debunk here.
No international body recognises the so-called referendum held on the 16 March 2014. On the 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which 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. 5 years on, the EU re-affirms its unwavering support for Ukraine's territorial integrity.