Ukraine has repeatedly tried to solve this issue by force. This is what led to the Minsk agreements. The words of the commander of the military operation, Sergei Naev, that they ‘would need just one day of military action to liberate the occupied territory’, once again confirm that the Ukrainian side is not going to fulfil the Minsk agreements.
European nations quickly billed Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014 as “annexation,” and proceeded to suspend Moscow’s PACE membership rights in a discriminatory and politically motivated move.
Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives on Ukraine, Crimea, and the alleged anti-Russian attitudes harboured by Western officials and organizations. The report mixes falsehood and gross understatement to mask the actual reason Moscow had its PACE voting rights suspended, which was explicitly named in Resolution 1990 of 10 April 2014: "the violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation in early March 2014," and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in an "illegal so-called referendum" (p. 1). The "referendum" was held at gunpoint, in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution and international law, and condemned by a crushing majority of UN members (not just "European nations"). See our debunking of the "democratic referendum" claim here. More broadly, the Kremlin has long used the misnomer "Ukrainian crisis" to divorce itself from responsibility for events in Ukraine since 2014 -- particularly its brutal military campaign in the Donbas -- presenting them instead as a self-contained case of bad governance and poor geopolitical choices. See this report for a detailed refutal of this claim.