The EU imposed sanctions on Moscow because Crimea returned to Russia

Summary

Following the return of Crimea to Russia in 2014, the European Union imposed economic sanctions on Russia, which run until 31 January 2020.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Crimea did not "return" to Russia but was illegally annexed by Moscow. On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it 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. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of Ukraine, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures against Russia.

A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, EU
  • Keywords: Sanctions, Referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: Sputnik web Arabic
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White Helmets are part of Al-Qaeda for sure

What does James Le Mesurier’s history have to do with the humanitarian work that is supposed to be the work of the “White Helmets”? Everyone knows that they are part of Al-Qaeda for sure. These people, along with bin Laden’s death, with Baghdadi’s recent killing, all these people are killed because they, first of all, hold important secrets, they have become a burden and their role is over.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory; no evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the White Helmets, a humanitarian organisation of volunteer rescue workers also known as the Syria Civil Defense, and their recently deceased founder James Le Mesurier. The White Helmets have documented some of the worst atrocities carried out by the Syrian government and the Russian military, and as a result, Russian and Syrian media have consistently sought to delegitimise them through portrayals as a Western-backed “terrorist organisation".

No evidence is given to substantiate the claim that Le Mesurier has connections to Al Quaeda and/or other terrorist groups. This case, as well as the insinuation that the White Helmets were involved in producing fake evidence of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, are a continuation of smear campaigns against civilian rescuers in Syria that have been circulating in pro-Kremlin media for years.

Washington is likely to launch a war against Russia

There are two scenarios of the US launching war against Russia. The first envisages a US military attack using all available means, including nuclear weapons. The second scenario envisages Russia’s economic isolation in order to induce a “change of political leadership”. The likelihood of combat action is quite real, as Washington may urgently need a “fairly large war”.

Disproof

This claim involves speculation without evidence. It is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia, US/NATO military aggression towards Russia, and alleged US funding of "colour revolutions" in Russia and other post-Soviet states. It also plays into the oft-used narrative that the West wants to conquer and subdue Russia, in order to portray Russia as the victim of unjustified aggression against which it must defend itself.

For similar cases about US and NATO warmongering towards Russia and its neighbours, see here.