The reality on the line of contact of forces in Donbas is frightening, the provocations of the Ukrainian military are not single, but multiple. Russia, not being a party to the conflict, cannot ensure a comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas, but uses its influence to implement agreements. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict and is interested in Kyiv overcoming the political and economic crisis.
Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum was held there in March 2014. In it, 96.77% of Crimean voters and 95.6% of Sevastopol residents voted in favour of joining Russia. Ukraine still considers Crimea to be its territory. The leadership of the Russian Federation has repeatedly stated that the inhabitants of Crimea voted for reunification with Russia in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter. According to Russian President, the Crimean issue is "finally closed."
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.
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 that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before even the Maidan protests culminated.
The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. In June 2020, the European Council decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021.
See related disinformation claims alleging that Crimea has never been Ukraine; that Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum; that Crimea "sailed" to Russia forever and the West agrees with it.