Anti-Russian sanctions – imposed in 2014 after the United States and the EU organized an armed neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine, which led to the loss of Crimea and an uprising in Donbas – have been going on for six years.
Ukraine has published its proposed administrative district border reform. Kyiv seeks to redraw administrative boundaries in territories that do not belong to it, including the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Luhansk People’s Republic and Russian Crimea.
No international body recognises the so-called referendum in Crimea, announced 27th of February and held less than three weeks later. On March 27th, 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. The oft-cited figure of 97% has been contested by the Kremlin’s own Human Rights Council, which estimated that only between 30% and 50% of Crimeans took part in the referendum, of which some 50-60% favoured secession. Crimea is still recognized internationally as a part of Ukraine.
Moreover, the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts are also internationally recognized as parts of Ukraine. The EU has stressed on several occasions that Ukraine’s borders must be respected. On the 27th of March 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 68/262 confirming Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Moreover, the international community, including the European Union, recognises and condemns clear violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces since February 2014.