10 years ago, Putin announced the annexation of Crimea

10 years ago, Putin announced the annexation of Crimea


Today is the tenth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in the Kremlin that Crimea and Sevastopol would be included in the Russian Federation. He referred to the results of the referendum held in Crimea. The vote was held after the Russian military took control of the peninsula, and in defiance of Ukrainian legislation. The annexation of Crimea was not recognized by the vast majority of countries in the world.

Over the past ten years, a significant number of Crimean residents have been issued Russian passports. According to estimates, hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens moved to the peninsula. The Krymsky (Kerchensky) bridge was built, connecting the peninsula with the Russian Krasnodar region.

In 2014, Ukraine sharply condemned Russia’s actions and did not recognize the so-called referendum, and did not offer military resistance to Russian annexation. Peaceful protests by supporters of Ukrainian unity in Crimea were either suppressed or ignored by the authorities appointed by Russia. Before the Russian invasion in 2022, the authorities of Ukraine declared that they wanted to return the peninsula peacefully. Since the beginning of the Russian large-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Krym has been used as a base for launching strikes on the territory of Ukraine, and a large number of Russian military and equipment are stationed on the peninsula. Ukraine strikes military targets in Crimea and the Black Sea, several ships of the Black Sea Fleet were sunk, and its headquarters in Sevastopol were hit. The Krymsky bridge was also damaged twice by explosions.

The authorities of Ukraine declare that they will not agree to peace with Russia without the return of control over the territory of Crimea. Western countries declare the legality of Ukraine’s military operations throughout its internationally recognized territory, including Crimea.

International organizations recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea as illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries imposed economic sanctions. Russia denies the annexation of the peninsula and calls it “the restoration of historical justice.”

In a statement on the tenth anniversary of the annexation, the human rights organization Amnesty International called on the Russian authorities to immediately stop all violations of international humanitarian law and violations of human rights in Crimea. Human rights activists note that since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, Russia has tried to change the ethnic composition of the peninsula and suppress the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities. The statement noted the repression against the Crimean Tatars and other Muslims – more than 100 Crimean residents were put on trial on charges of terrorism, which human rights activists consider unfounded. The statement also mentions repression against journalists.

According to reports, a concert in honor of the anniversary of the so-called reunification of Crimea should be held in Moscow on the evening of March 18. Earlier, Vladimir Putin often spoke at similar events. Official Russian mass media quote various statements of the state’s leaders on the occasion of the anniversary.

“Kommersant” drew attention to the first public speech of the former Russian prosecutor of Crimea Natalya Poklonskaya in more than a year and a half. She congratulated the residents of Crimea on the Nara TV channel, and published a recording of the address on the Telegram channel. Shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, about which she made critical remarks, Poklonskaya was removed from the position of deputy head of Rossotrudnichestva, appointed assistant to the general prosecutor, and announced that she would not engage in public activity.


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