Disinfo: Kyiv authorities surrendered Crimea


The politicians [in Kyiv] who seized power in 2014 did everything to ensure Crimeans lost the desire to be part of Ukraine. This was stated by ex-Minister of Justice of Ukraine Olena Lukash: “This is very important that Crimea was surrendered. No one disputes the fact of annexation but this part of the surrender of Crimea, bringing a number of officials to a situation where they went completely in the wrong direction, must be investigated.”


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea. Olena Lukash was the Minister of Justice of Ukraine from July 4, 2013, to February 27, 2014, and was part of the team of the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.

The claim that Kyiv authorities surrendered Crimea in 2014 is an attempt to discredit the current Ukrainian leadership and, thus, blame it for the situation in the country. Crimea was invaded and illegally annexed by Russia. Ukraine has never given up its claim to Crimea and continues supporting Crimeans.

In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control. The annexation has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014 and held on 16 March 2014.

Following the covert invasion by “little green men,” the referendum in Crimea was conducted hastily and at gunpointbarring impartial observers from entering the peninsula.

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.

The European Union does not recognise Crimea's annexation and continues to condemn it as a violation of international law. EU sanctions continue to be in place against Russia as a consequence for the annexation. For the EU statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.


  • Reported in: Issue 204
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Crimea, Viktor Yanukovych


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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