DISINFO: The issue of Crimea is closed once and for all
The question of the ownership of Crimea was closed once and for all in 2014, when the inhabitants of the peninsula, the residents of Sevastopol, made a free choice in favour of returning to their homeland. A line has been drawn under this question.
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.
The Council on Foreign Relations lists one key legal reason for the illegitimacy of the Crimean referendum: Changes to the territory of Ukraine must be approved by a referendum of all Ukrainian people. The Cambridge International Law Journal states that there are a variety of reasons when secession might be legal: (1) if the people concerned are subject to decolonization; (2) if it is envisaged by the legislation of the parent state; (3) if a territory inhabited by a certain people is occupied or annexed after 1945; (4) the secessionist constitute a "people"; (5) the parent state flagrantly violate human rights; (6) no other effective remedies under national or international law may exist if any of the above-mentioned conditions are met. However, in the case of Ukraine and Crimea, none of these conditions were met.
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. Thus, the previous claim by Putin and Russia that Russia did not control the "little Green Men" and later that they responded to human rights violations etc. proved to be false.
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. On 21 June 2021, the EU renewed sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation for a further year until 23 June 2022.
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.
More about the myth "Crimea was always Russian " read here.