‘We did what we had to do’: Putin opens up on Crimea reunification plan
March 10, 2015
“It was the night of the 22nd, [February 2014]” Putin told Rossiya One’s Andrey Kondrashov. “We were done by 7 am. And I won’t conceal it, when we were saying goodbye, I told my colleagues – there were four of them – that the situation in Ukraine has evolved in such a way that we have to start work on returning Crimea to being a part of Russia. We couldn’t abandon the territory and people who live there, couldn’t just throw them under this nationalist bulldozer.”
The interview is part of a documentary, “Crimea – The Road Back Home,” scheduled to be aired by the Rossiya One TV channel. In the film, the Russian president has given new insights into the events leading up to last year’s referendum in Crimea.
The vote took place after days of violence on the streets of Kiev, which came to be known as the Maidan revolution. The government was overthrown in February 2014, and the Ukrainian president fled the capital.
The highly volatile situation prompted President Putin to convene an urgent meeting with his national security and defense chiefs, during which a crucial decision was taken.
Published on Mar 1, 2014
A Russian invasion of Crimea started in the middle of the night as unmarked troops moved into the region.
Russia surrounds Crimean army base
Russian Troops Take Over Ukraine’s Crimea Region
Published on Mar 2, 2014
The day after he was given command of the Ukrainian navy Admiral Denis Berezovski has refused to move his ships out of the Ukrainian base in Sevastopol, instead handing over his headquarters and vessels to the pro-Russian administration that has taken power in Crimea.
Published on Mar 2, 2014
Ukrainian armed forces dispatched to Crimea have switched to the side of local authorities and are expected to take military oath soon, Russian news agencies report. “Today the majority of the Ukrainian armed forces deployed in Crimea passed to the side of the authorities of the Crimean autonomous region. The transition was absolutely peaceful, without a single shot fired either by the military or by the forces of self-defense,” an unnamed source told RIA Novosti news agency. The source added that some of the servicemen also ran away, while some submitted letters of resignation.
The local military have not been paid for many months, the source also told RIA Novosti.
Published on Mar 6, 2014
A referendum on the status of Crimea will be held March 16, the region’s deputy prime minister announced. Crimeans will be asked to decide if the autonomous republic stays part of Ukraine or joins Russia
Published on Mar 17, 2014
As many as 95.5 percent of the electorate in Crimea have voted to join Russia. That comes after 50 percent of votes had been counted. According to the head of the electoral commission the turnout was as high as 83 percent.
Published on Mar 18, 2014
In a speech to the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin urged the body to accept Crimea as a part of Russia. He additionally addressed the world, saying that the West had crossed a red-line by condoning the coup in Kiev, and that he hoped Ukraine would respect the rights of the predominantly Russian regions in the eastern portion of the country.
19 Mar 2014
Ukrainian troops begin evacuating Crimean bases