Disinfo: After the 2014 coup, Crimea voted overwhelmingly for reuniting with Russia


The popular referendum held in March 2014 following the Maidan coup, which in February 2014 overthrew the Ukrainian government with the participation of ultra-nationalists, saw the population of Crimea vote overwhelmingly in favor of reuniting with Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives claiming that Maidan was a coup d’état with the participation of by Nazi/fascist forces and that Crimean citizens chose to re-join Russia through a legal referendum.

Euromaidan was not a coup d’état, but a genuine uprising. Far-right groups, which played a very limited role throughout the Maidan , had not initiated the protests, and did not bring Poroshenko to power. Petro Poroshenko won the Presidency in a competitive and transparent election, as reported by the OSCE.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum and held on 16th of March 2014.

On the 27th of February 2014, when it was announced, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which 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.

A year after the illegal annexation, even the Kremlin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

Five years on from the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the European Union remains steadfast in its commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and reiterates that it does not recognise and continues to condemn this violation of international law.


  • Reported in: Issue 166
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 25/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Euromaidan, Referendum, Crimea, Nazi/Fascist


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO threatening Russia and NATO's expansion.

NATO is a defensive alliance. Its purpose is to protect its member states. NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – nor any other country. However, in March 2014, in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia.

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Political correctness has become a form of censorship in the West. There are issues that people in the Western countries cannot talk about, while the Russians can, and this is the strength of Russian free journalism.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on western media not being independent and biased while Russia protects freedom of speech and the press.

According to the 2019 World Press Freedom Index, Russia is in 149th place out of 180 countries. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 83 journalists and media representatives have been killed in Russia since 1993. Out of them, 38 have been murdered directly for being engaged in investigative journalism related to corruption, politics, and human rights violations. According to the report, the murders can be traced to the Government. As of 2017, five journalists were being detained in Russia, on charges related to their professional activities.

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No evidence given. A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that post-soviet countries are not independent, but US puppets. Read a similar case here.

Moldova is an independent and sovereign state, as it is set out in the constitution. Moldova has diplomatic relations with the USA since 1991 when the United States recognised Moldova's independence from the USSR. Since then, both states developed many programmes in different areas, aiming to help Moldova strengthen its democratic institutions, increase prosperity, secure its internationally recognized borders.