Disinfo: The West needs to accept the status of Crimea as Russian and remove the sanctions

Summary

Nobody expects the Great and the Good of the West to openly admit they were wrong about Crimea, and that the region and its citizens are in fact immeasurably better-off than they would be had they been subjected to rule by Kiev. But there is usually a way out of such a dilemma, and one that can be gently implemented without embarrassment. All that the West needs to do is quietly accept the status of Crimea and remove anti-Russia sanctions without fanfare.

Disproof

This is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the illegal annexation of Crimea. The illegal annexation of Crimea was a violation of the UN Charter, of the OSCE Charter and of Russia's obligations as a signatory of the Budapest agreement. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014. A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. 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 illegal annexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. The EU continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process and that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 193
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 14/04/2020
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Crimea
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Disproof

Conspiracy theory, with no evidence provided to support any of the claims. This is part of a disinformation campaign on coronavirus, well documented by both media and governments. Elements of this campaign were widely reported by Russian and international publications, and by the European External Action Service. The EUvsDisinfo database has a long set of Kremlin-linked disinformation cases on this subject, such as claims that Bill Gates and George Soros are sponsoring the coronavirus, that it is a UK, US or NATO creation and Americans have its cure, that it is an artificial disease which specifically targets Chinese DNA, that it is a pretext to gain control of the world’s population, that it was created with economic goals while big pharma companies are spreading panic for their own profits, that it is a biological weapon against Russia and China, that it will wipe out Ukraine’s population in a few days or that it was predicted by Nostradamus and others. The claim that Gates Foundation has a link with the ”creation” of Coronavirus is based on the fact that Bill and Melinda Gates finance some researches projects of Pirbright Institute, a centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans, based in the UK. On January 24, 2020, Pirbright institute posted a press release explaining that the organisation have no link with the new COVID-19. This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that "The most powerful virus has been brought to Italy by Gladio, NATO's secret terrorist network".

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Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory to showcase that the Italian government is deliberately hiding the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. It is part of the ongoing pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around the coronavirus.

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Disproof

A common pro-Kremlin narrative on “lost sovereignty” - in the case of Poland, this country is often presented as a “puppet-state” of the United States, which fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country. Poland is a sovereign state, which develops its own national security strategy, which is based on the national interests of Poland. See other examples of this message claiming that Polish policy towards Ukraine is shaped by the Americans, the US keeps Poland on a short anti-Russian leash, and Poland is a Trojan Horse of the United States.