Russian unleashed a full-scale war against Ukraine, occupied Crimea and other territories, thus making Russian military bases located in occupied Crimea legitimate targets for the Ukrainian military. The narrative that “NATO is fighting against Russia” is one of the most widespread Kremlin fakes that Stopfake has repeatedly debunked. Ukraine is standing up to Russian aggression and fighting the Russian invading forces, and not some “collective West”.

“Kyiv is beginning to openly threaten Russia,” this is how Russian media responded to Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak announcing that Ukraine has begun negotiations with Western partners on the supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine. Pro-Kremlin media are declaring that “the West has begun preparations for terrorist attacks in Crimea,” and the discussion about the possible transfer of heavy weapons to the Ukrainian military allegedly “indicates NATO’s readiness to unleash a war against Russia.”

“Against the backdrop of the Russian Army’s successes, Washington is seriously preoccupied with the idea of a radical change in the course of the Special Military Operation (what Russia calls its war in Ukraine)… Washington plans to seize Crimea in order to use this as a trump card to pressure the Kremlin” Russian media claim.

Russian media disinformation about “terrorist attack preparations in Crimea” is based on a statement by Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. On January 28, Podolyak announced the start of negotiations between Ukraine and Western partners on the possibility of transferring long-range missiles to the Ukrainian military. According to Podolyak, Ukraine needs air power to protect armored vehicles and manpower and long-range missiles – to destroy Russian military depots.

There are more than 100 different military warehouses in Crimea. Of course, they must be destroyed. Otherwise, the Russian forces occupying Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk will have significant artillery capabilities. I think that within the framework of the war, everyone understands this,” Podolyak said.

It was this quote that Russian media used as their source to create disinformation. However, Podolyak did not say anything about a “terrorist attacks” in Crimea, he noted that Ukraine was attacking Russian military positions and military depots. It is worth emphasizing that temporarily occupied Crimea is internationally recognized as Ukrainian territory. Therefore, possible attacks on Russian military bases located on the occupied Ukrainian peninsula are a legitimate target for the Ukrainian military.

Representatives of the United States, as well as other partners of Ukraine, have repeatedly stressed that on its sovereign territory, Ukraine can use any methods of self-defense available against Russian aggression. Attacks on Russian occupiers in Crimea are no different from attacks on invaders in the Donetsk region or in any other part of Ukraine. 

Ukraine will not violate any international treaties should it hypothetically attack Russian military bases in Crimea.  Russia however, with its unjustified invasion of Ukraine, continues to violate international law and a number of international security agreements. Among the documents violated by the Kremlin are the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, which guarantee the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states. Russia also violates the basic principles of warfare – the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols.