Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea and repetitive claims about a genocide.
No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating 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.
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised on 17 April 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion." Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.
The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation. In June 2020, the European Council decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021.
Currently, Ukraine is not responsible for the parts of the North Crimean Canal destroyed in Crimea, because, according to international law, it is Russia, as an occupying country, that is obliged to provide Crimeans with all necessities (Section III, Part III of the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, on the Protection of civilian population during war). This fact was once again confirmed by the UN Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. UN experts insist that, given the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the Kremlin has primary responsibility for ensuring civilian access to water in Crimea.
See related disinformation claims alleging that Crimea has never been Ukraine; that Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum; that Crimea "sailed" to Russia forever and the West agrees with it.