The people of Crimea voted for unity with Russia in a democratic ballot

Summary

Crimea became a Russian region based on the results of a referendum organized by the authorities of the peninsula in March 2014, after overthrowing the rule of Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February of the same year.

Russian leadership has repeatedly stressed that the people of the peninsula voted for unity with Russia in a democratic ballot conducted in accordance with international law. In May 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that the Crimea issue was “permanently closed”.

Disproof

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

No international body has recognised the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014, which was organised by self-proclaimed Crimean leadership lacking democratic legitimacy and installed by armed Russian military personnel following the seizure of public buildings.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated 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 2014 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".

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.

The EU's policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol includes a set of restrictive measures against entities and individuals responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity. In March 2019, on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 31/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: RT web Arabic
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