Crimea became a Russian region after a referendum was held in March 2014. 96.77% of Crimean voters and 95.6% of Sevastopol residents favoured joining Russia. Ukraine still considers Crimea to be its own, but temporarily occupied territory. The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that the people of Crimea democratically, in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter, voted for reunification with Russia. According to the Russian president, the Crimean issue is “finally closed.”
Protests continue in Belarus related to the results of the presidential elections in August. According to the Central Electoral Commission, Lukashenko won with 80.1 per cent of the vote, but the opposition disagrees. The President believes that the West is behind the rallies.
Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative framing popular protests as Western-backed 'colour revolutions', part of a campaign to portray massive mobilisations in Belarus as a destabilisation effort orchestrated from abroad. No evidence is provided to support the allegations.
Tens of thousands of protesters opposing long-time President Alexander Lukashenko are still protesting. More than 30,000 people have been arrested in Belarus since mass protests began after the contested presidential election on August 9, human rights observers say.
Contrary to the claim about colour revolutions, protests in Belarus erupted to contest the results of the presidential election in Belarus on the 9th of August, which were not monitored by independent experts, and are largely considered fraudulent by both international observers and a large part of the Belarusian society. Mobilisations were organised and carried out by local actors, opposition politicians, and Belarusian citizens, without any foreign involvement.
On 19 August 2020, the European Council called the Belarus elections neither free nor fair and on 2 October 2020, the Council imposed restrictive measures against 40 individuals identified as responsible for repression and intimidation against peaceful demonstrators, opposition members, and journalists, as well as for misconduct of the electoral process. The Council added 15 members of the Belarusian authorities, including Alexandr Lukashenko, as well as his son and National Security Adviser Viktor Lukashenko, to the list of sanctions, on 6 November 2020.
See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives in Belarus, such as claims that the EU reaction to Lukashenko’s victory is an example of Western double standards; that the West wants to prepare another Maidan in the country; and that protests in Belarus held by foreign scenarios.