DISINFO: People of Crimea decided to restore their Russian identity
Crimea illegal annexation Manipulated elections/referendum Referendum Sovereignty Territorial dispute International Law

DISINFO: People of Crimea decided to restore their Russian identity


In 2014, the people of Crimea decided to restore their Russian identity and return to Russia to restore their region's status as one of the Russian regions.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea trying to portray that the area has never belonged to Ukraine.

On 26 April 1954, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR transferred Crimea to Ukraine, in which it became part of international law. And after the collapse of the USSR, Russia reaffirmed respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine by signing the 1997 Friendship Treaty.

There was no such thing as a “decision to restore their Russian identity” but in effect it was an illegal annexation of the Ukrainian territory by a manipulated referendum which no international body recognised. The UN announced its non-recognition of the illegal annexation, and the EU continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law.

Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised on 17 April 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion." Vladimir Putin admitted (proudly) that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before even the Maidan protests culminated.

Read also similar stories in our database claiming that Crimea returned to Russia after a referendum; or that Crimea has never been Ukraine; or that Crimea "sailed" to Russia forever and the West agrees with it; or that the issue of Crimea is closed once and for all.


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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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