Disinfo: There was a coup d’ etat in Ukraine in 2014


Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the events in Crimea in 2014 were not the main reason for the deterioration in relations between Moscow and Washington. As he noted, there was first a coup d’ etat in Ukraine and a seizure of power. From that moment on, the views and the relations between Russia and the new Ukrainian leadership became diametrically opposed. Then, the United States under President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Moscow after the events concerning the annexation of Crimea and bilateral relations worsened sharply.




Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 Ukrainian revolution as a coup d'etat which led Crimean citizens to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum. However, there was no coup d' etat in Ukraine. The spontaneous onset of the Euromaidan protests was a reaction by numerous parts of the Ukrainian population to former President Yanukovych’s sudden departure from the promised Association Agreement with the European Union in November 2013.

On 26 February 2014, 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. The next day a referendum was announced and a vote was held on March 16, 2014, in the Peninsula of Crimea. The territory was then controlled by Russian forces, though neither Ukrainian nor Russian election code was observed.

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.

Read more similar cases alleging that the extreme coup in Kyiv led to the return of Crimea and that Euromaidan was a coup d’état carried out by oligarchs.


  • Reported in: Issue 205
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: Greek
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Coup, Vladimir Putin, Euromaidan, Sanctions, Barack Obama, 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.

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