Disinfo: The sanctions against Russia are unjustified and ineffective

On 18 March 2014, two days after a referendum based on the right of self-determination, Crimea joined the Russian Federation. This major event explains five years of Western sanctions against Moscow.
As early as 2016, the United States began accusing Russia of spreading false news, supposedly to interfere with democratic processes. NATO is urging its European members to prepare for a war with Russia. The Skripal affair, which broke out in March 2018, justified new anti-Russian measures. A year later, London has still not presented any concrete evidence.
The economic sanctions designed to bend Russia proved immediately to be ineffective . As a boomerang effect, European farmers are seriously affected by the loss of the Russian market.

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Crimea being a part of Russia and that the sanctions following the annexation are unfair and ineffective

According to international law, Crimea is part of Ukraine. Russia violated  international law as well as the key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol.

No evidence given to support that "NATO urges its European members to prepare for a war with Russia". The narrative that NATO's progress towards the East is not new. In 2015, Tagespigel analysed the NATO argument advanced by Vladimir Putin himself in an interview with German TV. What Putin does not say: At least some Russian military machines turn off their transponders, so they do not show up on radar screens of air traffic controllers. There is no radio contact with civil air monitoring, flight plans are not communicated in advance. By contrast, NATO jets fly with the transponder switched on, visible to civilian air traffic control. RT's narrative also ignores the diplomatic evidence that after the withdrawal of Soviet troops, Central Europe urged NATO to let them join, being afraid for their security, and not vice versa.

No evidence given that those responsible for the Skripal's poisoning's has not been proven by the UK  and that the following measures were irrelevant. The same applies to the meddling in the US' elections, which resulted in indictments in a criminal case.

Claiming that the sanctions only benefit Russia or are "counterproductive", is another example of a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative. In reality, sanctions imposed on Russia after the Crimea annexation and Russian meddling in the US elections sapped Russian economical growth.


  • Reported in: Issue 141
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: French
  • Country: UK, Russia, US, France
  • Keywords: Sergei Skripal, EU, West, Manipulated elections/referendum, Russophobia, Sanctions, Crimea


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.

see more

Crimean economy booming since reunion with Russia

Since rejoining Russia in a democratic referendum in 2014, Crimea has become a rapidly developing region with a fast-growing economy.

In particular, revenues are consistently growing; unemployment has been cut threefold; the free economic zone established in 2015 significantly contributes to economic growth; and a record number of tourists visited the peninsula in 2017-18.


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the supposedly democratic character and economic benefits of the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

The article notes an increase in Crimea's nominal budgetary revenues between 2015 and 2018, but the brunt of this increase has been borne by ordinary Crimeans -- on average, income tax accounted for around 45% of total revenues in 2016-18; during the same period, the share from business tax declined from 28% to 17%. An 18% increase in average salary has been accompanied by a 200% increase in the price of consumer goods and services.

EU to set up its own Russian-language TV channel to promote its take on developments

The EU plans to create its own Russian-language channel to familiarise Russian audiences with the Western point of view on the developments in the world and in Russia.


The EU is not working on such project, as the EU vs Disinfo website has already reported.

Recurring pro-Russian narrative on the West’s attempts to impose its values on and spread propaganda in Russia. Ukraine has also been accused of taking after the West and waging an information war against Russia.

Crimea has been revived thanks to Russia

Crimea has been revived since joining Russia. The peninsula separated from Ukraine because of the anti-Russian rhetoric of the new authorities in Kyiv.

A big international airport was refurbished in Simferopol, while the longest motorway in Europe and Russia, the Crimea Bridge, was built very rapidly. In addition, the economy and the tourism industry are growing quickly. Crimea’s international importance continues to grow.


Crimea was annexed by Russia following an illegitimate referendum on March 16, 2014 following the deployment of “little green men” across the peninsula beginning in February 2014. Read more about Crimea's annexation here.

The economic prosperity promised by the Kremlin has not arrived to Crimea. Approximately 10% of the population has fled. Local residents have not been content with prices, wages, or the number of tourists visiting the peninsula. The economy is stagnating and the rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars are being violated. Crimeans have had to sacrifice their basic rights and access to Western and Russian network brands, which have avoided the peninsula due to fear of sanctions.