Disinfo: Russia does not occupy Ukrainian territory


Russia does not occupy Ukrainian territory. The words ‘occupation’ or ‘annexation’ are completely inapplicable to the Crimea – neither de facto nor de jure.

The self-proclaimed people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk were repelled by Kyiv and everything that happens in the region is a consequence of the policies of Ukraine’s current leadership.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the Russian aggression in Ukraine and on the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Russia started the war against Ukraine in 2014, violating Ukraine's territorial integrity by the illegal annexation of Crimea, supporting and arming separatist groups in Eastern Ukraine.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, the Russian troops forced the parliament of Crimea to organise an illegal referendum and then conducted the annexation of it that has been condemned by the UN General Assembly (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government”.

The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and continues to condemn this violation of international law, and state that Russia’s illegal actions remain a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation".

Also, at the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, NATO leaders condemned in the strongest terms Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.

Moreover, in 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted Russia's military presence in Ukraine and Russian involvement in the occupation of Crimea.



  • Reported in: Issue 144
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 01/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Territorial dispute, Occupation, War in Ukraine, Crimea, Ukrainian statehood


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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Ukraine is under the external control of the US and EU

Ukrainian administration, the secret service and the military are under US control.

EU’s interference in Ukraine always comes across well as “support”, while Russia is called to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the EU and US relations with Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood.

Ukraine is a sovereign state.  Neither US, nor the EU are controlling Ukraine.  Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by most of the free world, but were violated by Russia in 2014.

OSCE will not consider citizens of Belarus European, unless Minsk consults pro-EU NGOs about reforms in media sector

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, wants Belarus’ civil society to take part in discussion about reforms of media sector. Civil society actually means pro-EU activists, rather than the NGOs which promote the Union State between Russia and Belarus. If pro-EU activists are not included in the reforms process,  then the OSCE will not consider citizens of Belarus as Europeans.


This message is a conspiracy and consistent with pro-Kremlin narrative about EU strategy to organize a colour revolution in Belarus through financing of controlled NGOs.

Excessive state control over the internet in Belarus and other media issues were raised by Harlem Désir in his meetings with the Belarusian authorities with the aim to define the contours of reforms necessary for developing a more favourable and pluralistic media environment.