There was no armed pressure on Crimeans or Crimean Tatars during the March 16 referendum

Summary

Ukraine contends that the March 16 referendum, in which Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, took place at gunpoint. That bit, however, is untrue. Neither the “little green men” nor uniformed Russian soldiers were present at polling stations during the vote. There was no armed pressure on Crimeans, not even on the indigenous Crimean Tatars, who didn’t back the secession and mostly abstained from voting, to show up or to fill in ballots a certain way. The presence of Russian troops played a role (more on this later), but it wasn’t what made the referendum illegitimate.

Disproof

There is numerous evidence that the referendum was held under duress of Russian military intervention. The Venice Commission also stated that "the massive public presence of (para)military forces is not conducive to democratic decision making" and that "the circumstances did not allow the holding of a referendum in line with European democratic standards". www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-AD(2014)002-e,

UNGA Resolution 68/262 recalled that "the territory of
a State shall not be the object of acquisition by another State resulting from the
threat or use of force".

On 1 March 2014 Russia's upper house of parliament approved President Putin's request for Russian forces to be used in Ukraine. www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26400035,
rg.ru/2014/03/05/voyska-dok.html,

www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/europe/crimea-ukraine-secession-vote-referendum.html,
www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/16/crimea-referendum-polls-open-live,
www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-crimean-tatar-un-peacekeepers/25317014.html,
www.nytimes.com/2015/03/10/world/europe/putin-contrary-to-earlier-assertions-suggests-planning-to-seize-crimea-started-in-early-2014.html,
www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26481423,
www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-crimea/crimea-prepares-for-referendum-under-heavy-military-presence-idUSBREA2E09R20140315,
www.cfr.org/interview/why-crimean-referendum-illegitimate,
www.rferl.org/a/putin-merkel-crimea-ukraine-russia/25298876.html,
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10669756/Crimean-leader-claims-control-and-asks-Vladimir-Putin-for-help.html,
www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26698754,

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 83
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/10/2017
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: Crimean Tatars, Referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: Inosmi translation
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The people of Crimea expressed their legitimate will on 16 March 2014

There was no annexation, but secession of Crimea. [—] The Ukrainian Constitution also refers to the recognition and ascertainment of the right of the Ukrainian peoples to self-determination. This Constitution also guarantees the people’s will through a referendum in accordance with Article 69, while the purpose of the referendum is defined as a manifestation of one of the forms of direct democracy.

Disproof

According to the Venice Commision: "The Constitution of Ukraine, like other constitutions of Council of Europe member states, provides for the indivisibility of the country and does not allow the holding of any local referendum on secession from Ukraine. This results in particular from Articles 1, 2, 73 and 157 of the Constitution. These provisions in conjunction with Chapter X of the Constitution show that this prohibition also applies to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Constitution of Crimea does not allow the Supreme Soviet of Crimea to call such a referendum. Only a consultative referendum on increased autonomy could be permissible under the Ukrainian Constitution.
28. Moreover, circumstances in Crimea did not allow the holding of a referendum in line with European democratic standards. Any referendum on the status of a territory should have been preceded by serious negotiations among all stakeholders. Such negotiations did not take place."

See:
www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/default.aspx?pdffile=CDL-AD(2014)002-e,
www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/europe/crimea-ukraine-secession-vote-referendum.html,
www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/16/crimea-referendum-polls-open-live,
www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-crimean-tatar-un-peacekeepers/25317014.html,

Ukraine’s Health Ministry Allows dead Ukrainians to be sold for Organs

The transplant program will not only destroy public health, but turn Ukraine into a black market transplant centre.

Disproof

No evidence given, recurring disinformation since at least 2014. www.stopfake.org/en/russia-s-top-lies-about-ukraine-part-3/,
Ukraine’s Health Ministry plans to introduce a pilot kidney donor transplant program in 2018. According to proposed Ukrainian legislation, individuals can donate their organs after death. That information will be registered in a central donor data base. If there is no record of a deceased individual’s agreement in that data base and if his or her immediate relatives have not given their consent, it is illegal to remove organs for transplant from such a person. Further debunking: www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukraine-s-health-ministry-allows-ukrainians-to-be-sold-for-organs/,

Ukrainian arms flood into Poland

Ukrainian arms flood into Poland. Just last year tens of thousands of weapons were smuggled into Poland.It seems that the purpose is to build an underground Ukrainian army.

Disproof

In 2014 Polish authorities confiscated 14 weapons on the Ukraine-Poland border, 26 items in 2015 and 30 in 2016. In 2017 Polish authorities confiscated 49 smuggled weapons. On its website Poland’s Border Service provides information on all arms confiscated on its borders. www.strazgraniczna.pl/pl/granica/statystyki-sg/2206,Statystyki-SG.html, . No evidence suggesting that an underground army is being created.
Further debunking: www.stopfake.org/en/fake-ukrainian-arms-flood-into-poland/,