HOME

TheInfoList




The
Crimean Peninsula Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe. It has a population of 2.4 million, made up ...

Crimean Peninsula
, north of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
in Eastern Europe, was
annexed upCivilians and coalition military forces wave Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian flags as they celebrate the reversal of the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq (28 February 1991). Annexation (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
by the
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russian Federation
between February and March 2014 and since then has been administered as two Russian federal subjects—the
Republic of Crimea The Republic of Crimea (, , ), translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') ...
and the
federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = Ger ...

federal city
of
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
. The annexation from
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
followed a Russian military intervention in Crimea that took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and was part of wider
unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine
unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine
. On 22–23 February 2014, Russian President
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
convened an all-night meeting with security service chiefs to discuss the extrication of the deposed Ukrainian president,
Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych ( uk, Ві́ктор Фе́дорович Януко́вич, ; ; born 9 July 1950) is a Ukrainian politician who served as the fourth President of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the 2014 Ukr ...

Viktor Yanukovych
. At the end of the meeting, Putin remarked that "we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia". On 23 February, pro-Russian demonstrations were held in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. On 27 February, masked Russian troops without insignia took over the Supreme Council (parliament) of Crimea and captured strategic sites across Crimea, which led to the installation of the pro-Russian government in Crimea, the conducting of the Crimean status referendum and the declaration of Crimea's independence on 16 March 2014. Russia formally incorporated Crimea as two federal subjects of the Russian Federation on 18 March 2014. Ukraine and many other countries condemned the annexation and consider it to be a violation of
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
and Russian-signed agreements safeguarding the
territorial integrity Territorial integrity is the principle under international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations between nations. It establishes ...
of Ukraine, including the 1991
Belavezha Accords The Belavezha Accords (russian: Беловежские соглашения, link=no, be, Белавежскае пагадненне, link=no, uk, Біловезькі угоди, link=no) are accords forming the agreement that declared the U ...
that established the
Commonwealth of Independent States The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, translit=Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG) is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eastern Euro ...

Commonwealth of Independent States
, the 1975
Helsinki Accords The Helsinki Final Act, also known as Helsinki Accords or Helsinki Declaration was the document signed at the closing meeting of the third phase of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in EuropeThe Conference on Security and Cooperation ...
, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances and the 1997 Treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. It led to the other members of the then suspending Russia from the group then introducing a first round of sanctions against the country. The
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations System consists of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) ...
also rejected the referendum and annexation, adopting a resolution affirming the "territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders". The UN resolution also "underscores that the referendum having no validity, cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of rimea and called upon all states and international organizations not to recognize or to imply the recognition of Russia's annexation. In 2016, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed non-recognition of the annexation and condemned "the temporary occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine—the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol". The Russian Federation opposes the "annexation" label, with Putin defending the referendum as complying with the principle of
self-determination The right of a people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a cultu ...
of peoples. In July 2015, Russian Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (; rus, links=no, Дмитрий Анатольевич Медведев, p=ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪdˈvʲedʲɪf; born 14 September 1965) is a Russian politician serving as Deputy Chairman of ...

Dmitry Medvedev
said that Crimea had been fully integrated into Russia.


Background

Crimea became part of the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. ...
in 1783, when the
Crimean Khanate The Crimean Khanate ( crh, , or ), own name — Great Horde and Desht-i Kipchak (), in old European historiography and geography — Little Tartary ( la, Tartaria Minor) was a Crimean Tatars, Crimean Tatar state existing from 1441 to 1783, the ...

Crimean Khanate
was
annexed upCivilians and coalition military forces wave Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabian flags as they celebrate the reversal of the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq (28 February 1991). Annexation (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
, then became part of the
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=1, Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, Rossíyskaya Sovétskaya ...
until 1954. During the first stages of the
Russian Civil War , date = October Revolution, 7 November 1917 – Yakut revolt, 16 June 1923{{Efn, The main phase ended on 25 October 1922. Revolt against the Bolsheviks continued Basmachi movement, in Central Asia and Tungus Republic, the Far East th ...
there were a series of short-lived independent governments ( Crimean People's Republic,
Crimean Regional Government Crimean Regional Government (russian: Крымское краевое правительство ''Krymskoe kraevoe pravitel'stvo'') refers to two successive short-lived regimes in the Crimean Peninsula during 1918 and 1919. History Following Rus ...
, Crimean SSR) but they were followed by White Russian governments ( General Command of the Armed Forces of South Russia and later South Russian Government). In October 1921, the
Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic; Official Crimean Tatar name in the ; russian: Крымская Автономная Социалистическая Советская Республика was an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Repub ...
of the
Russian SFSR The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=no, Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya ...
was instituted. After the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
and the subsequent , the Crimean ASSR was stripped of its autonomy in 1946 and was downgraded to the
status Status (Latin plural: ''statūs''), is a state, condition, or situation, and may refer to: * Status (law) Legal status is the position held by something or someone with regard to law. It is a set of privileges, obligations, powers or restricti ...
of an
oblast An oblast (; ; Cyrillic script, Cyrillic (in most languages, including Russian language, Russian and Ukrainian language, Ukrainian): , Bulgarian language, Bulgarian: ) is a type of administrative division of Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzs ...

oblast
of the Russian SFSR. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred from the
Russian SFSR The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=no, Российская Советская Федеративная Социалистическая Республика, Rossiyskaya Sovetskaya Federativnaya ...
to the
Ukrainian SSR The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR, UkrSSR or UkSSR; uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, translit=Ukrainska Radianska Sotsialistychna Respublika, abbreviated ...

Ukrainian SSR
by decree of the
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (russian: Президиум Верховного Совета, Prezidium Verkhovnogo Soveta) was a body of in the (USSR).Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Ukraine's union with Russia. In 1989, under
Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet ...

Gorbachev
's
perestroika Perestroika (; russian: links=no, перестройка, p=pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə, a=ru-perestroika.ogg) was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) ...
, the Supreme Soviet declared that the deportation of the
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, , ) or Crimeans ( crh, , ), are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, from C ...

Crimean Tatars
under
Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin * ka, link=no, იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე სტალინი. ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Unio ...
had been illegal, and the mostly
Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
ethnic group was allowed to return to Crimea. In 1990, the
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
of the Crimean Oblast proposed the restoration of the Crimean ASSR. The oblast conducted a
referendum A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct Direct may refer to: Mathematics * Directed set In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number th ...
in 1991, which asked whether Crimea should be elevated into a signatory of the (that is, became a
union republic The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Union Republics ( rus, Сою́зные Респу́блики, r=Soyúznye Respúbliki) were ethnically based administrative units of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U ...
on its own). By that time, though, the
dissolution of the Soviet Union The dissolution of the Soviet Union, also negatively connoted as rus, Разва́л Сове́тского Сою́за, r=Razvál Sovétskovo Sojúza, ''Ruining of the Soviet Union''. (1988–1991) was the process of internal political, ...
was well underway. The Crimean ASSR was restored for less than a year as part of
Soviet Ukraine The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR, UkrSSR or UkSSR; uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, translit=Ukrainska Radianska Sotsialistychna Respublika, abbreviated ...
before
Ukrainian independence Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraina, ) is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the List of European countries by area, second-largest country in Europe, after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east; it also shares borde ...
. Newly independent
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
maintained Crimea's autonomous status, while the
Supreme Council of Crimea Verkhovna Rada of Crimea or the Supreme Council of Crimea, officially the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( uk, Верховна Рада Автономної Республіки Крим, Verkhovna Rada Avtonomnoï Respublik ...
affirmed the peninsula's "sovereignty" as a part of Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities limited Crimean autonomy in 1995. In September 2008, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister accused Russia of giving out
Russian passport The Russian passport (officially in russian: Заграничный паспорт гражданина Российской Федерации 'Transborder passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation') is a booklet issued by the Ministry of ...

Russian passport
s to the population in Crimea and described it as a "real problem" given Russia's declared policy of military intervention abroad to protect Russian citizens. On 24 August 2009, anti-Ukrainian demonstrations were held in Crimea by ethnic Russian residents. Sergei Tsekov (of the Russian Bloc and then deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament) said then that he hoped that Russia would treat Crimea the same way as it had treated
South Ossetia South Ossetia (, less commonly ), officially the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania, or the Tskhinvali Region, is a ''de facto'' state in the South Caucasus. It has an officially stated population of just over 53,000 people, who ...
and
Abkhazia Abkhazia, , ka, აფხაზეთი, , rus, Абха́зия, r=Abkhaziya, p=ɐˈpxazʲɪjə xmf, აბჟუა, or , ( or ) is a partially recognized state in the South Caucasus Transcaucasia, also known as the South Caucasus, ...

Abkhazia
. Crimea is populated by an
ethnic Russian The Russian diaspora is the global community of ethnic An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a common set of tradition ...

ethnic Russian
majority and a minority of both ethnic
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
and Crimean Tatars, and thus demographically possessed one of Ukraine's largest ethnic Russian populations. Already in 2011, some analysts speculated that the Russian government had irredentist plans:


Euromaidan and the Ukrainian revolution

The
Euromaidan Euromaidan (; uk, Євромайдан, translit=Yevromaidan, literally 'Euro Square') was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance, civil unrest, or social unrest is an activity arising f ...
protest movement began in Kiev in late November 2013 after President
Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych ( uk, Ві́ктор Фе́дорович Януко́вич, ; ; born 9 July 1950) is a Ukrainian politician who served as the fourth President of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the 2014 Ukr ...

Viktor Yanukovych
, of the
Party of Regions The Party of Regions ( uk, Партія регіонів, Partija rehioniv, ; russian: Партия регионов, Partija regionov) is a Russophilia, pro-Russian political party in Ukraine formed in late 1997 that then grew to be the biggest ...
, failed to sign the
Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement The Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement is a European Union Association Agreement between the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that a ...

Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement
due to failure of Ukrainian Supreme Council (Rada) to pass promised required legislation. Yanukovych won the 2010 presidential election with strong support from voters in the
Autonomous Republic of Crimea The Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( uk, Автономна Республіка Крим, ''Avtonomna Respublika Krym''; russian: Автономная Республика Крым, ''Avtonomnaya Respublika Krym''; crh, Qırım Muhtar Cumhu ...
and
southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...
and
eastern Ukraine Eastern Ukraine or East Ukraine (russian: Восточная Украина, ''Vostochnaya Ukraina''; uk, Східна Україна, ''Skhidna Ukrayina''), generally refers to territories of Ukraine east of the Dnipro river, particularly K ...
. The Crimean autonomous government strongly supported Yanukovych and condemned the protests, saying they were "threatening political stability in the country". The Crimean autonomous parliament said that it supported the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Departmen ...
's decision to suspend negotiations on the pending association agreement and urged Crimeans to "strengthen friendly ties with Russian regions". On 4 February 2014, the Presidium of the Supreme Council considered holding a referendum on the peninsula's status, and asked the Russian government to guarantee the vote.The Chronicles of Alienation; The annexation of Crimea from 2 December 2013, through 4 April 2014
The Ukrainian Week ''The Ukrainian Week'' ( uk, Український Тиждень, translit=Ukrainskyi Tyzhden) is an illustrated weekly magazine covering politics, economics and the arts and aimed at the socially engaged Ukrainian-language reader. It provides a ...
(16 March 2015)
The
Security Service of Ukraine The Security Service of Ukraine ( ua, Служба безпеки України (СБУ); ''Sluzhba bezpeky Ukrayiny'') or SBU is Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which ...
(SBU) responded by opening a
criminal case Criminal law is the body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its env ...
to investigate the possible "subversion" of Ukraine's territorial integrity. On 20 February 2014, during a visit to
Moscow Moscow ( , American English, US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities and towns in Russia by population, largest city of Russia. The city stands on the ...

Moscow
, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Crimea
Vladimir Konstantinov Vladimir Nikolaevich Konstantinov (russian: Владимир Николаевич Константинов; born March 19, 1967) is a Russian-American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of A ...
stated that the 1954 transfer of Crimea from the
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=1, Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, Rossíyskaya Sovétskaya ...
to the
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian SSR, UkrSSR or UkSSR; uk, Украї́нська Радя́нська Соціалісти́чна Респу́бліка, translit=Ukrainska Radianska Sotsialistychna Respublika, abbreviated ...
had been a mistake. The Euromaidan protests came to a head in late February 2014, and Yanukovych and many of his ministers fled the capital on 22 February. After his flight, opposition parties and defectors from the Party of Regions put together a parliamentary quorum in the
Verkhovna Rada The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ( uk, Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, translit=, Verkhovna Rada Ukraïny, translation=Supreme Council of Ukraine, Ukrainian abbreviation ''ВРУ''), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada, is the ...
(the Ukrainian parliament), and voted on 22 February to remove Yanukovych from his post on the grounds that he was unable to fulfill his duties, although this legislative removal lacked the required three-quarter vote of sitting Rada members according to the , which the Rada also voted to suspend.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk ( uk, Арсеній Петрович Яценюк ; born 22 May 1974) is a Ukrainians, Ukrainian politician, economist and lawyer who served as Prime Minister of Ukraine from 27 February 2014 to 14 April 2016. Yatse ...

Arseniy Yatsenyuk
was appointed by the Rada to serve as the head of a
caretaker government A caretaker government is a temporary ''ad hoc Ad hoc is a Latin phrase __NOTOC__ This is a list of Wikipedia articles of Latin phrases and their translation into English. To view all phrases on a single, lengthy document, see: * List of Lati ...
until new presidential and parliament elections could be held. This new government was recognised internationally, though the Russian government said that these events had been a "
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state"), often shortened to coup in English, (also known as an overthrow) is a seizure and removal of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a politic ...
", and that the caretaker government was illegitimate.


History


The start of the crisis

The February 2014
revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
that ousted Ukrainian president
Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych ( uk, Ві́ктор Фе́дорович Януко́вич, ; ; born 9 July 1950) is a Ukrainian politician who served as the fourth President of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the 2014 Ukr ...

Viktor Yanukovych
sparked a political crisis in Crimea, which initially manifested as demonstrations against the new interim Ukrainian government, but rapidly escalated. In January 2014 the
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
city council had already called for formation of "people's militia" units to "ensure firm defence" of the city from "extremism". Crimean parliament members called for an extraordinary meeting on 21 February. In response to pro-Russian separatist sentiment, the
Security Service of Ukraine The Security Service of Ukraine ( ua, Служба безпеки України (СБУ); ''Sluzhba bezpeky Ukrayiny'') or SBU is Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which ...
(SBU) said that it would "use severe measures to prevent any action taken against diminishing the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine". The party with the largest number of seats in the Crimean parliament (80 of 100), the
Party of Regions The Party of Regions ( uk, Партія регіонів, Partija rehioniv, ; russian: Партия регионов, Partija regionov) is a Russophilia, pro-Russian political party in Ukraine formed in late 1997 that then grew to be the biggest ...
of Ukrainian president
Viktor Yanukovych Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych ( uk, Ві́ктор Фе́дорович Януко́вич, ; ; born 9 July 1950) is a Ukrainian politician who served as the fourth President of Ukraine from 2010 until he was removed from office in the 2014 Ukr ...

Viktor Yanukovych
, did not discuss Crimean secession, and were supportive of an agreement between President Yanukovych and
Euromaidan Euromaidan (; uk, Євромайдан, translit=Yevromaidan, literally 'Euro Square') was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance, civil unrest, or social unrest is an activity arising f ...
activists to end the unrest that was struck on the same day in
Kyiv Kyiv ( uk, Київ) or Kiev . is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also share ...
. On 22–23 February, Russian President
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
convened an all-night meeting with security services chiefs to discuss extrication of the deposed Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, and at the end of that meeting Putin had remarked that "we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia." On 23 February were held in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. Crimean prime minister
Anatolii Mohyliov Anatolii Volodymyrovych Mohyliov ( uk, Анатолій Володимирович Могильов, russian: Анатолий Владимирович Могилёв; born April 6, 1955) is a Ukrainian politician. He is the former Prime Minister ...
said that his government recognised the new provisional government in Kyiv, and that the Crimean autonomous government would carry out all laws passed by the Ukrainian parliament. In
Simferopol Simferopol () is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Bla ...
, a pro-Euromaidan rally of between 5,000 and 15,000 was held in support of the new government, and demanding the resignation of the Crimean parliament; attendees waved Ukrainian, Tatar, and European Union flags. Meanwhile, in Sevastopol, thousands protested against the new Ukrainian government, voted to establish a parallel administration, and created civil defence squads with the support of the Russian Night Wolves motorcycle club. Protesters waved Russian flags, chanted "Putin is our president!", and said they would refuse to further pay taxes to the Ukrainian state. Russian military convoys were also alleged to be seen in the area. In
Kerch Kerch ( uk, Керч; russian: Керчь, ; Old East Slavic : ''Cyrillic letters in this article are romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the a ...
, pro-Russian protesters attempted to remove the Ukrainian flag from atop city hall and replace it with the flag of Russia. Over 200 attended, waving Russian, orange-and-black St. George, and the
Russian Unityrussian: Русское Единство , logo = , chairman = Sergey Aksyonov , founder = Maksym Kovalenko , foundation = , banned = (in Ukraine) , merged = United Russia United Russia ( rus, links=no, Единая Россия, Yedina ...
party flags. Mayor Oleh Osadchy attempted to disperse the crowd and police eventually arrived to defend the flag. The mayor said "This is the territory of Ukraine, Crimea. Here's a flag of Crimea", but was accused of treason and a fight ensued over the flagpole. On 24 February, more rallied outside the Sevastopol city state administration. Pro-Russian demonstrators accompanied by neo-Cossacks demanded the election of a Russian citizen as mayor and hoisted Russian flags around the city administration; they also handed out leaflets to sign up for a self-defence militia, warning that the "European Union, Blue-Sturmabteilung, Brown Europlague is knocking." Volodymyr Yatsuba, head of Sevastopol administration, announced his resignation, citing the "decision of the city's inhabitants" made at pro-Russian rally, and while caretaker city administration initially leaned towards recognition of new Ukrainian government, continued pressure from pro-Russian activists forced local authorities to concede. Consequently, Sevastopol City Council illegally elected Alexei Chaly, a Russian citizen, as mayor. Under the law of Ukraine, it was not possible for Sevastopol to elect a mayor, as the ''Chairman of the Sevastopol City State Administration'', appointed by the President of Ukraine, functions as its mayor. A thousand protesters present chanted "A Russian mayor for a Russian city." On 25 February, several hundred pro-Russian protesters blocked the Crimean parliament demanding non-recognition of the central government of Ukraine and a referendum on Crimea's status. On the same day, crowds gathered again outside Sevastopol's city hall on Tuesday as rumours spread that security forces could arrest Chaly, but police chief Alexander Goncharov said that his officers would refuse to carry out "criminal orders" issued by Kyiv. Viktor Neganov, a Sevastopol-based adviser to the Internal Affairs Minister, condemned the events in the city as a coup. "Chaly represents the interests of the Kremlin which likely gave its tacit approval," he said. Sevastopol City State Administration chairman Vladimir Yatsuba was booed and heckled on 23 February, when he told a pro-Russian rally that Crimea was part of Ukraine. He resigned the next day. In Simferopol, the Regional State Administration building was blockaded with hundreds of protesters, including neo-Cossacks, demanding a referendum of separation; the rally was organized by the ''Crimean Front''. On 26 February, near the
Supreme Council of Crimea Verkhovna Rada of Crimea or the Supreme Council of Crimea, officially the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( uk, Верховна Рада Автономної Республіки Крим, Verkhovna Rada Avtonomnoï Respublik ...
building, 4,000–5,000
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, , ) or Crimeans ( crh, , ), are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, from C ...

Crimean Tatars
and supporters of the
Euromaidan Euromaidan (; uk, Євромайдан, translit=Yevromaidan, literally 'Euro Square') was a wave of demonstrations and civil unrest Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance, civil unrest, or social unrest is an activity arising f ...
-Crimea movement faced 600–700 supporters of pro-Russian organizations and the
Russian Unityrussian: Русское Единство , logo = , chairman = Sergey Aksyonov , founder = Maksym Kovalenko , foundation = , banned = (in Ukraine) , merged = United Russia United Russia ( rus, links=no, Единая Россия, Yedina ...
Party. Supreme Council of Crimea, Supreme Council Chairman
Vladimir Konstantinov Vladimir Nikolaevich Konstantinov (russian: Владимир Николаевич Константинов; born March 19, 1967) is a Russian-American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of A ...
said that the Crimean parliament would not consider separation from Ukraine, and that earlier reports that parliament would hold a debate on the matter were provocations. Tatars created self-defence groups, encouraged collaboration with Russians, Ukrainians, and people of other nationalities, and called for the protection of churches, mosques, synagogues, and other important sites. By nightfall the Crimean Tatars had left; several hundred Russian Unity supporters rallied on. The First Yatsenyuk Government, new Ukrainian government's acting Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov (politician), Arsen Avakov tasked Crimean law enforcement agencies not to provoke conflicts and to do whatever necessary to prevent clashes with pro-Russian forces; and he added "I think, that way – through a dialogue – we shall achieve much more than with standoffs". New
Security Service of Ukraine The Security Service of Ukraine ( ua, Служба безпеки України (СБУ); ''Sluzhba bezpeky Ukrayiny'') or SBU is Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which ...
(SBU) chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko requested that the United Nations provide around-the-clock monitoring of the security situation in Crimea. Russian troops took control of the main route to
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
on orders from Russian president
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
. A military checkpoint, with a Russian flag and Russian military vehicles, was set up on the main highway between the city and
Simferopol Simferopol () is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Bla ...
. On 27 February, Spetsnaz, Russian special forces Capture of the Crimean Parliament, seized the building of the Supreme Council of Crimea and the building of the Council of Ministers in
Simferopol Simferopol () is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Bla ...
. Flag of Russia, Russian flags were raised over these buildings, and barricades were erected outside them. Whilst the "Little green men (GRU), little green men" were occupying the Crimean parliament building, the parliament held an emergency session.http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/193292.html Number of Crimean deputies present at referendum resolution vote unclear]. Interfax-Ukraine, 27 February 2014. It voted to terminate the Crimean government, and replace Prime Minister
Anatolii Mohyliov Anatolii Volodymyrovych Mohyliov ( uk, Анатолій Володимирович Могильов, russian: Анатолий Владимирович Могилёв; born April 6, 1955) is a Ukrainian politician. He is the former Prime Minister ...
with Sergey Aksyonov.Crimea sets date for autonomy vote amid gunmen, anti-Kiev protests
(27 February 2014).
Aksyonov belonged to the
Russian Unityrussian: Русское Единство , logo = , chairman = Sergey Aksyonov , founder = Maksym Kovalenko , foundation = , banned = (in Ukraine) , merged = United Russia United Russia ( rus, links=no, Единая Россия, Yedina ...
party, which received 4% of the vote in the last election. According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the Prime Minister of Crimea is appointed by the Supreme Council of Crimea in consultation with the President of Ukraine.Crimean parliament to decide on appointment of autonomous republic's premier on Tuesday
Interfax Ukraine (7 November 2011).
Both Aksyonov and speaker Vladimir Konstantinov stated that they viewed Viktor Yanukovych as the ''de jure'' president of Ukraine, through whom they were able to ask Russia for assistance. The parliament also voted to hold a referendum on greater autonomy set for 25 May. The troops had cut all of the building's communications, and took MPs' phones as they entered. No independent journalists were allowed inside the building while the votes were taking place. Some MPs said they were being threatened and that votes were cast for them and other MPs, even though they were not in the chamber. Interfax-Ukraine reported "it is impossible to find out whether all the 64 members of the 100-member legislature who were registered as present at when the two decisions were voted on or whether someone else used the plastic voting cards of some of them" because due to the armed occupation of parliament it was unclear how many MPs were present.Number of Crimean deputies present at referendum resolution vote unclear
Interfax-Ukraine (27 February 2014).
The head of parliament's information and analysis department, Olha Sulnikova, had phoned from inside the Building of the Supreme Council of Crimea, parliamentary building to journalists and had told them 61 of the registered 64 deputies had voted for the referendum resolution and 55 for the resolution to dismiss the government. Donetsk People's Republic separatist Igor Girkin said in January 2015 that Crimean members of parliament were held at gunpoint, and were forced to support the annexation. These actions were immediately declared illegal by the Ukrainian interim government. On the same day, more troops in unmarked uniforms, assisted this time by what appeared to be local ''Berkut (special police force), Berkut'' riot police (as well as Russian troops from the 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade, 31st Separate Airborne Assault Brigade dressed in Berkut uniforms), established security checkpoints on the Isthmus of Perekop and the Chonhar Peninsula, which separate Crimea from the Ukrainian mainland. Within hours, Ukraine had effectively been cut off from Crimea. On 1 March 2014, Aksyonov declared Crimea's new ''de facto'' authorities would exercise control of all Ukrainian military and security installations on the peninsula. He also asked Russian President
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
, who had been Yanukovych's primary international backer and guarantor, for "assistance in ensuring peace and public order" in Crimea. Putin promptly received authorisation from the Federation Council of Russia for a Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present), Russian military intervention in Ukraine "until normalization of a socio-political environment in the country". Putin's swift manoeuvre prompted protests of some Russian intelligentsia and 2014 anti-war protests in Russia, demonstrations in Moscow against a Russian military campaign in Crimea. By 2 March, Russian troops moving from the country's naval base in
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
and reinforced by troops, armour, and helicopters from mainland Russia exercised complete control over the Crimean Peninsula. Russian troops operated in Crimea without insignia. On 4 March, General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukrainian General Staff claimed there were units of the 18th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, 18th Motor Rifle Brigade, 31st Guards Air Assault Brigade, 31st Air Assault Brigade and 22nd Spetsnaz Brigade deployed and operating in Crimea, instead of Black Sea Fleet, Russian Black Sea Fleet personnel, which violated international agreements signed by Ukraine and Russia. Despite numerous media reports and statements by the Ukrainian and foreign governments describing the unmarked troops as Russian soldiers, government officials Military deception, concealed the identity of their forces, claiming they were local "self-defence" units over whom they had no authority. As late as 17 April, Russian foreign minister Lavrov said that there were no spare armed forces in the territory of Crimea. Russian officials eventually admitted to their troops' presence. On 17 April 2014, Putin acknowledged the Russian military backed Crimean separatist militias, stating that Russia's intervention was necessary "to ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will". Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu said the country's military actions in Crimea were undertaken by forces of the Black Sea Fleet and were justified by "threat to lives of Crimean civilians" and danger of "takeover of Russian military infrastructure by Extremism, extremists". Ukraine complained that by increasing its troop presence in Crimea, Russia violated the agreement under which it headquartered its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol and violated the country's independence of Ukraine, sovereignty. The United States and United Kingdom also accused Russia of breaking the terms of the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, by which Russia, the US, and the UK had reaffirmed their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity Territorial integrity is the principle under international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations between nations. It establishes ...
or political independence of Ukraine. The Russian government said the Budapest Memorandum did not apply due to "complicated internal processes" in Crimea. In March 2015, retired Russian Admiral Igor Kasatonov stated that according to his information the Russian troop deployment in Crimea included six helicopter landings and three landings of IL-76 with 500 people.


Legal issues surrounding Crimean annexation

The Russian–Ukrainian Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet signed in 1997 and prolonged in 2010, determined the status of the military bases and vessels in Crimea prior to the crisis. Russia was allowed to maintain up to 25,000 troops, 24 artillery systems (with a calibre smaller than 100 mm), 132 armoured vehicles, and 22 military planes, on military base in Sevastopol and related infrastructure on the Crimean Peninsula. The Russian Black Sea fleet had basing rights in Crimea until 2042. Usage of navigation stations and troop movements were improperly covered by the treaty and were violated many times as well as related court decisions. February's troop movements were in "complete disregard" of the treaty. Both Russia and Ukraine are signatories to the Charter of the United Nations. The ratification of said charter has several ramifications in terms of
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
, particularly those that cover the subjects of International Court of Justice advisory opinion on Kosovo's declaration of independence, declarations of independence, sovereignty,
self-determination The right of a people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a cultu ...
, acts of aggression, and humanitarian aid, humanitarian emergencies.
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
said that Russian troops in the Crimean peninsula were aimed "to ensure proper conditions for the people of Crimea to be able to freely express their will", whilst Ukraine and other nations argue that such intervention is a violation of independence of Ukraine, Ukraine's sovereignty. Russia, United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine also signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, by which all these countries reaffirmed their obligation to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine (including Crimea) and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the
territorial integrity Territorial integrity is the principle under international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations between nations. It establishes ...
or political independence of Ukraine. According to the Constitution of Russia, the admission of new federal subjects is governed by federal constitutional law (art. 65.2). Such a law was adopted in 2001, and it postulates that admission of a foreign state or its part into Russia shall be based on a mutual accord between the Russian Federation and the relevant state and shall take place pursuant to an international treaty between the two countries; moreover, it must be initiated by the state in question, not by its subdivision or by Russia. On 28 February 2014, Russian MP Sergey Mironov, along with other members of the Duma, introduced a bill to alter Russia's procedure for adding federal subjects. According to the bill, accession could be initiated by a subdivision of a country, provided that there is "absence of efficient sovereign state government in foreign state"; the request could be made either by subdivision bodies on their own or on the basis of a referendum held in the subdivision in accordance with corresponding national legislation. On 11 March 2014, both the Supreme Council of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council adopted a Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Crimea, declaration of independence, which stated their intent to declare independence and request full accession to Russia should the pro-Russian option receive the most votes during the scheduled status referendum. The declaration directly referred to the Kosovo independence precedent, by which the Albanian people, Albanian-populated Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija declared independence from Russia's ally Serbia as the Republic of Kosovo in 2008—a unilateral action Russia Russia's reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence, staunchly opposed. Many analysts saw the Crimean declaration as an overt effort to pave the way for Crimea's annexation by Russia. Crimean authorities' stated plans to declare independence from Ukraine made the Mironov bill unnecessary. On 20 March 2014, two days after the #Admission treaty and aftermath, treaty of accession was signed, the bill was withdrawn by its initiators. At its meeting on 21–22 March, the Venice Commission stated that the Mironov bill violated "in particular, the principles of territorial integrity, national sovereignty, non-intervention in the internal affairs of another state and pacta sunt servanda" and was therefore incompatible with
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
.


Crimean status referendum

On 27 February 2014, following the takeover of its building by Russian special forces, the
Supreme Council of Crimea Verkhovna Rada of Crimea or the Supreme Council of Crimea, officially the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( uk, Верховна Рада Автономної Республіки Крим, Verkhovna Rada Avtonomnoï Respublik ...
voted to hold a 2014 Crimean status referendum, referendum on 25 May, with the initial question as to whether Crimea should upgrade its autonomy within Ukraine. The referendum date was later moved from 25 May to 30 March. A Ukrainian court declared the referendum to be illegal. On 4 March, Russian President
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
said Russia was not considering annexing Crimea. He said of the peninsula that "only citizens themselves, in conditions of free expression of will and their security can determine their future". Putin later acknowledged that he had ordered "work to bring Crimea back into Russia" as early as February.
He also acknowledged that in early March there were "secret opinion polls" held in Crimea, which, according to him, reported overwhelming popular support for Crimea's incorporation into Russia. On 6 March, the Supreme Council moved the 2014 Crimean referendum, referendum date to 16 March and changed its scope to ask a new question: whether Crimea should accede to Russia or restore the 1992 constitution within Ukraine, which the Ukrainian government had previously invalidated. This referendum, unlike one announced earlier, contained no option to maintain the ''status quo'' of governance under the 1998 constitution. Ukraine's erstwhile President, Oleksander Turchinov, stated that "The authorities in Crimea are totally illegitimate, both the parliament and the government. They are forced to work under the barrel of a gun and all their decisions are dictated by fear and are illegal." On 14 March, the Crimean status referendum was deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and a day later, the
Verkhovna Rada The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ( uk, Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, translit=, Verkhovna Rada Ukraïny, translation=Supreme Council of Ukraine, Ukrainian abbreviation ''ВРУ''), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada, is the ...
formally dissolved the Crimean parliament. The referendum was held despite the opposition from the Ukrainian government. Official results reported about 95.5% of participating voters in Crimea (turnout was 83%) were in favour of seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia. The results of referendum were questioned; another report by Evgeny Bobrov, a member of the Russian President's Human Rights Council, suggested the official results were inflated and only 15% to 30% of Crimeans eligible to vote actually voted for the Russian option.''Encyclopædia Britannica''
Crimea
quote: «In May 2014 a report from the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights estimated that the actual turnout for the Crimean independence referendum may have been as low as 30 percent and that, of those voters, between 50 and 60 percent chose union with Russia»
The means by which the referendum was conducted were widely criticised by foreign governments and in the Ukrainian and international press, with reports that anyone holding a Russian passport regardless of residency in Crimea was allowed to vote. After the OSCE refused to send observers Russia invited a group of observers from various European far-right politics, far-right political parties aligned with Putin, who stated the referendum was conducted in a free and fair manner.


Breakaway republic

On 17 March, following the official announcement of the 2014 Crimean status referendum, referendum results, the
Supreme Council of Crimea Verkhovna Rada of Crimea or the Supreme Council of Crimea, officially the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( uk, Верховна Рада Автономної Республіки Крим, Verkhovna Rada Avtonomnoï Respublik ...
declared the formal independence of the Republic of Crimea, comprising the territories of both the
Autonomous Republic of Crimea The Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( uk, Автономна Республіка Крим, ''Avtonomna Respublika Krym''; russian: Автономная Республика Крым, ''Avtonomnaya Respublika Krym''; crh, Qırım Muhtar Cumhu ...
and the city of
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
, which was granted special status within the breakaway republic. The Crimean parliament declared the "partial repeal" of Ukrainian laws and began nationalising private and Ukrainian state property located on the Crimean Peninsula, including Ukrainian ports and property of Chornomornaftogaz. Parliament also formally requested that the government of Russia, Russian government admit the breakaway republic into Russia. On same day, the ''de facto'' Supreme Council renamed itself the State Council of Crimea, declared the Russian ruble an official currency alongside the Ukrainian hryvnia, hryvnia, and announced that Crimea would switch to Moscow Time (UTC+4:00, UTC+4) on 30 March. Putin officially recognised the Republic of Crimea 'as a sovereign and independent state' by Decree of the President of Russia, decree and approved the admission of the
Republic of Crimea The Republic of Crimea (, , ), translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') ...
and
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
as separate federal subjects of Russia.


Accession treaty and finalization of the annexation

The Treaty on Accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia was signed between representatives of the Republic of Crimea (including Sevastopol, with which the rest of Crimea briefly unified) and the Russian Federation on 18 March 2014 to lay out terms for the immediate admission of the
Republic of Crimea The Republic of Crimea (, , ), translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') ...
and
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
as federal subjects of Russia and part of the Russian Federation. (and
PDF copy
of signed document)
It was ratified by the Federal Assembly (Russia), Federal Assembly by 21 March. During 2014 Simferopol incident, a controversial incident in Simferopol on 18 March, some Ukrainian sources said that armed gunmen that were reported to be Russian special forces allegedly stormed the base. This was contested by Russian authorities, who subsequently announced the arrest of an alleged Ukrainian sniper in connection with the killings, but later denied the arrest had occurred. The two casualties had a joint funeral attended by both the Crimean and Ukrainian authorities, and both the Serhiy Kokurin, Ukrainian soldier and Russian paramilitary "self-defence volunteer" were mourned together. As of March 2014 the incident was under investigation by both the Crimean authorities and the Ukrainian military. In response to shooting, Ukraine's then acting defense minister Tenyukh authorised Ukrainian troops stationed in Crimea to use deadly force in life-threatening situations. This increased the risk of bloodshed during any takeover of Ukrainian military installations, yet the ensuing Russian operations to seize the remaining Ukrainian military bases and ships in Crimea did not bring new fatalities, although weapons were used and several people were injured. The Russian units involved in such operations were ordered to avoid usage of deadly force when possible. Morale among the Ukrainian troops, which for three weeks were blockaded inside their compounds without any assistance from the Ukrainian government, was very low, and the vast majority of them did not offer any real resistance. On 19 March, President Putin submitted a treaty on Crimea's annexation by Russia and a constitutional amendment to set up two new federal subjects of the Russian Federation to the State Duma. The Russian Constitutional Court found that treaty is in compliance with the Constitution of Russia. The court sat in an emergency session following a formal request by President Vladimir Putin to assess the constitutionality of the treaty. After the Russian Constitutional Court upheld the constitutionality of the treaty, the State Duma ratified it on 20 March. The Duma also approved the draft federal constitutional law admitting Crimea and Sevastopol and establishing them as federal subjects. A Just Russia's Ilya Ponomarev was the only State Duma member to vote against the measures. A day later, the treaty itself and the required amendment to article 65 of the Russian Constitution (which lists the federal subjects of Russia) were ratified by the Federation Council and almost immediately signed into law by Putin. Crimea's admission to the Russian Federation was considered retroactive to 18 March, when Putin and Crimean leaders signed the draft treaty. On 24 March, the Government of Ukraine, Ukrainian government ordered the full withdrawal of all of its armed forces from Crimea. In addition, the Ministry of Defence (Ukraine), Ministry of Defense announced that approximately 50% of the Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea had defected to the Russian military. On 26 March the last Ukrainian military bases and Ukrainian Navy ships were captured by Russian Armed Forces, Russian troops.Russian troops captured all Ukrainian parts in the Crimea
BBC Ukrainian (26 March 2014)


Subsequent events

On 27 March, the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations System consists of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) ...
adopted a Non-binding resolution, non-binding United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262, resolution, which declared the Crimean referendum and subsequent status change invalid, by a vote of 100 to 11, with 58 abstentions and 24 absent. Crimea and Sevastopol switched to Moscow Time at 10 p.m. on 29 March. On 2 April, Russia formally Denunciation (international law), denounced the 2010 Kharkiv Pact and Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet. Putin cited "the accession of the
Republic of Crimea The Republic of Crimea (, , ), translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') ...
and Sevastopol into Russia" and resulting "practical end of renting relationships" as his reason for the denunciation. On the same day, he signed a decree formally rehabilitating the
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, , ) or Crimeans ( crh, , ), are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, from C ...

Crimean Tatars
, who were deportation of the Crimean Tatars, ousted from their lands in 1944, and the Armenian, German, Greek, and Bulgarian minority communities in the region that
Stalin Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin * ka, link=no, იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე სტალინი. ( – 5 March 1953) was a Georgians, Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Unio ...
also ordered removed in the 1940s. On 11 April, the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea and City Charter of Sevastopol were adopted, in addition the new federal subjects were enumerated in a newly published revision of the Russian Constitution. On 14 April,
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
announced that he would open a ruble-only account with Rossiya Bank, Bank Rossiya and would make it the primary bank in the newly annexed Crimea as well as giving the right to service payments on Russia's $36 billion wholesale electricity market – which gave the bank $112 million annually from commission charges alone. In July 2015, Russian Prime Minister,
Dmitry Medvedev Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (; rus, links=no, Дмитрий Анатольевич Медведев, p=ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪdˈvʲedʲɪf; born 14 September 1965) is a Russian politician serving as Deputy Chairman of ...

Dmitry Medvedev
, declared that Crimea had been fully integrated into Russia. Until 2016 these new subjects were grouped in the Crimean Federal District. On 8 August 2016, Ukraine reported that Russia had increased its military presence along the demarcation line. In response to this military buildup Ukraine also deployed more troops and resources closer to the border with Crimea. The Pentagon has downplayed a Russian invasion of Ukraine, calling Russian troops along the border a regular military exercise. On 10 August, Russia claimed two servicemen were killed in clashes with Ukrainian commandos, and that Ukrainian servicemen had been captured with a total of 40 kg of explosives in their possession. Ukraine denied that the incident took place. Russian accounts claimed that Russian FSB (Russia), FSB detained "Ukrainian saboteurs" and "terrorists" near Armiansk. The ensuing gunfight left one FSB officer and a suspect dead. A number of individuals were detained, including Yevhen Panov, who is described by Russian sources as a Ukrainian military intelligence officer and leader of the sabotage group. The group was allegedly planning terror attacks on important infrastructure in Armiansk, Crimea. Ukrainian media reported that Panov was a military volunteer fighting in the east of the country, however he has more recently been associated with a charitable organization. Russia also claimed that the alleged border infiltration was accompanied by "heavy fire" from Ukrainian territory, resulting in the death of a Russian soldier. Ukrainian government called the Russian accusations "cynical" and "senseless" and argued that since Crimea was Ukrainian territory, it was Russia which "has been generously financing and actively supporting terrorism on Ukrainian territory". In 2017, a survey performed by the Centre for East European and International Studies showed that 85% of the non-Crimean Tatar respondents believed that if the referendum would be held again it would lead to the same or "only marginally different" results. Crimea was fully integrated into the Russian media sphere, and links with the rest of Ukraine were hardly existent. On 26 November 2018, lawmakers in the Ukraine Parliament overwhelmingly backed the imposition of martial law along Ukraine's coastal regions and those bordering Russia in response to the Kerch Strait incident, firing upon and seizure of Ukrainian naval ships by Russia near the Crimean peninsula a day earlier. A total of 276 lawmakers in Kyiv backed the measure, which took effect on 28 November 2018 and was ended on 26 December. On 28 December 2018, Russia completed a high-tech security fence marking the de facto border between Crimea and Ukraine.


Transition and aftermath


Economic implications

While initially (right after the annexation), salaries rose, especially those of government workers, this was soon offset by the increase in prices caused by the 2014–15 Russian financial crisis, depreciation of the ruble. Subsequently, after Russian authority became established, wages were cut back again by 30% to 70%. Tourism, previously Crimea's main industry, suffered in particular; it was down by 50% from 2014 in 2015. Crimean agricultural yields were also significantly impacted by the annexation. Ukraine cut off supplies of water through the North Crimean Canal, causing the 2014 rice crop to fail, and greatly damaging the maize and soybean crops. Additionally, research shows that the annexation had a negative influence of Russians working in Ukraine and Ukrainians working in Russia. The number of tourists visiting Crimea in the 2014 season was lower than in the previous years due to a combination of International sanctions during the Ukrainian crisis, Western sanctions, ethical objections by Ukrainians, and the difficulty of getting there for Russians. The Russian government attempted to stimulate the flow of tourists by subsidizing holidays in the peninsula for children and state workers from all Russia which worked mostly for state-owned hotels. In 2015, overall 3 million tourists visited Crimea according to official data, while before annexation it was around 5.5 million on average. The shortage is attributed mostly to stopped flow of tourists from Ukraine. Hotels and restaurants are also experiencing problems with finding enough seasonal workers, who were most arriving from Ukraine in the preceding years. Tourists visiting state-owned hotels are complaining mostly about low standard of rooms and facilities, some of them unrepaired from Soviet times. According to the German newspaper ''Die Welt'', the annexation of Crimea is economically disadvantageous for the Russian Federation. Russia will have to spend billions of euros a year to pay salaries and pensions. Moreover, Russia will have to undertake costly projects to connect Crimea to the Russian water supply and power system because Crimea has no land connection to Russia and at present (2014) gets water, gas and electricity from mainland Ukraine. This requires building Crimean Bridge (Crimea), a bridge and a pipeline across the Kerch Strait. Also, Novinite claims that a Ukrainian expert told ''Die Welt'' that Crimea "will not be able to attract tourists". The first Deputy to Ministry of Finance (Russia), Minister of Finance of Russian Federation Tatyana Nesterenko said in her interview to ''Forbes Woman'' that the decision to annex Crimea was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin exclusively, without consulting Russia's Finance Ministry. The Russian Media of Russia, business newspaper ''Kommersant'' expresses an opinion that Russia will not acquire anything economically from "accessing" Crimea, which is not very developed industrially, having just a few big factories, and whose yearly gross product is only $4 billion. The newspaper also says that everything from Russia will have to be delivered by sea, higher costs of transportation will result in higher prices for everything, and to avoid a decline in living standards Russia will have to subsidise Crimean people for a few months. In total, Kommersant estimates the costs of integrating Crimea into Russia in $30 billion over the next decade, i.e. $3 billion per year. On the other hand, western oil experts estimate that Russia's seizing of Crimea, and the associated control of an area of Black Sea more than three times its land area gives it access to oil and gas reserves potentially worth trillions of dollars. It also deprives Ukraine of its chances of energy independence. Most immediately however, analysts said, Moscow's acquisition may alter the route along which the South Stream pipeline would be built, saving Russia money, time and engineering challenges. It would also allow Russia to avoid building in Turkish territorial waters, which was necessary in the original route to avoid Ukrainian territory. This pipeline was later canceled in favour of TurkStream, however. Russian/Chechnya, Chechen businessman Ruslan Baisarov announced he is ready to invest 12 billion rubles into the construction of a modern sea resort in Crimea, which is expected to create about 1,300 jobs. Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, Head of Chechnya, said that other Chechen businessmen are planning to invest into Crimea as well. The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, Russian Federal Service for Communications (Roskomnadzor) warned about a transition period as Russian operators have to change the numbering capacity and subscribers. Country code will be replaced from the Telephone numbers in Ukraine, Ukrainian +380 to Telephone numbers in Russia, Russian +7. Codes in Crimea start with List of dialling codes in Ukraine#65 – Crimea, 65, but in the area of Telephone numbers in Soviet Union, "7" the 6 is given to Kazakhstan which shares former Soviet Union +7 with Russia, so city codes have to change. The regulator assigned 869 Telephone numbers in Russia, dialling code to Sevastopol and the rest of the peninsula received a 365 code. At the time of the unification with Russia, telephone operators and Internet service providers in Crimea and Sevastopol are connected to the outside world through the territory of Ukraine. Ministry of Communications and Mass Media (Russia), Minister of Communications of Russia, Nikolai Nikiforov announced on his Twitter account that Postal codes in Russia, postal codes in Crimea will now have six-figures: to the existing five-digit number the number two will be added at the beginning. For example, the Simferopol postal code 95000 will become 295000. Regarding Crimea's borders, the head of Russian Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border Facilities (Rosgranitsa) Konstantin Busygin, who was speaking at a meeting led by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in
Simferopol Simferopol () is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula Crimea; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Bla ...
, the capital of Crimea said the Borders of Russia, Russian state border in the north of Crimea which, according to his claims, now forms part of the Russia–Ukraine border, Russian-Ukrainian border, will be fully equipped with the necessary facilities. In the area that now forms the border between Crimea and Ukraine mining the salt lake inlets from the sea that constitute the natural borders, and in the spit of land left over stretches of no-man's-land with wire on either side was created. On early June that year Prime Minister of Russia, Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (; rus, links=no, Дмитрий Анатольевич Медведев, p=ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪdˈvʲedʲɪf; born 14 September 1965) is a Russian politician serving as Deputy Chairman of ...

Dmitry Medvedev
signed a Order of the Government of Russia, Government resolution No.961 dated 5 June 2014 establishing air, sea, road and railway checkpoints. The adopted decisions create a legal basis for the functioning of a checkpoint system at the Russian state border in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. In the year following the annexation, armed men seized various Crimean businesses, including banks, hotels, shipyards, farms, gas stations, a bakery, a dairy, and Yalta Film Studio. Russian media have noted this trend as "returning to the 90's", which is perceived as a period of anarchy and rule of gangs in Russia. In 2015, the Investigative Committee of Russia announced a number of theft and corruption cases in infrastructure projects in Crimea, for example; spending that exceeded the actual accounted costs three times. A number of Russian officials were also arrested for corruption, including head of federal tax inspection. (According to February 2016 official Ukrainian figures) after Russia's annexation 10% of
Security Service of Ukraine The Security Service of Ukraine ( ua, Служба безпеки України (СБУ); ''Sluzhba bezpeky Ukrayiny'') or SBU is Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which ...
personnel left Crimea; accompanied by 6,000 of the pre-annexation 20,300 people strong Ukrainian army. As result of the Crimea unsettled status Russian mobile operators never expanded their operations on its territory and all mobile services are offered on the basis of "internal roaming", which caused significant controversy inside Russia. Telecoms however argued that expanding coverage to Crimea will put them at risk of Western sanctions and, as result, they will lose access to key equipment and software, none of which is produced locally.


Human rights situation

In March 2014, Human Rights Watch reported that pro-Ukrainian activists and journalists had been attacked, abducted, and tortured by self-defense groups. Some Crimeans were simply "disappeared" with no explanation. On 9 May 2014, the new "anti-extremist" amendment to the Criminal Code of Russia, passed in December 2013, came into force. Article 280.1 designated incitement of violation of territorial integrity of the Russian FederationФедеральный закон от 28 December 2013 N 433-ФЗ "О внесении изменения в Уголовный кодекс Российской Федерации"
(incl. calls for secession of Crimea from Russia) as a criminal offense in Russia, punishable by a fine of 300 thousand roubles or imprisonment up to 3 years. If such statements are made in public media or the internet, the punishment could be obligatory works up to 480 hours or imprisonment up to five years.
Following the annexation of Crimea, according to report released on the Russian government run President of Russia's Council on Civil Society and Human Rights website, Tatars who were opposed to Russian rule have been persecuted, Russian law restricting freedom of speech has been imposed, and the new pro-Russian authorities "liquidated" the Kyiv Patriarchate Orthodox church on the peninsula. The Crimean Tatar television station was also shut down by the Russian authorities. After the annexation, on 16 May the new Russian authorities of Crimea issued a ban on the annual commemorations of the anniversary of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars by Stalin in 1944, citing "possibility of provocation by extremists" as a reason. Previously, when Crimea was controlled by Ukraine, these commemorations had taken place every year. The pro-Russian Crimean authorities also banned Mustafa Dzhemilev, a human rights activist, Soviet dissident, member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars from entering Crimea. Additionally, Mejlis reported, that officers of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) raided Tatar homes in the same week, on the pretense of "suspicion of terrorist activity". The Tatar community eventually did hold commemorative rallies in defiance of the ban. In response Russian authorities flew helicopters over the rallies in an attempt to disrupt them.
In May 2015, a local activist, Alexander Kostenko, was sentenced to four years in a penal colony. His lawyer, Dmitry Sotnikov, said that the case was fabricated and that his client had been beaten and starved. Crimean prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya announced that they were judging "not just [Kostenko], but the very idea of fascism and nazism, which are trying to raise their head once again." Sotnikov responded that "There are fabricated cases in Russia, but rarely such humiliation and physical harm. A living person is being tortured for a political idea, to be able to boast winning over fascism." In June 2015, Razom released a report compiling human rights abuses in Crimea. In its 2016 annual report, the Council of Europe made no mention of human rights abuses in Crimea because Russia had not allowed its monitors to enter. In February 2016 human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku from Crimea was arrested and accused of belonging to the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir although he denies any involvement in this organization. Amnesty International has called for his immediate release. In December 2016, the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations System consists of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) ...
voted on a resolution on human rights in occupied Crimea. It called on the Russian Federation "to take all measures necessary to bring an immediate end to all abuses against residents of Crimea, in particular reported discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detentions, torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, and to revoke all discriminatory legislation." It also urged Russia to "immediately release Ukrainian citizens who were unlawfully detained and judged without regard for elementary standards of justice." According to the United Nations and multiple NGOs, Russia, the Russian Federation is responsible for multiple human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances and instances of discrimination, including persecution of
Crimean Tatars Crimean Tatars ( crh, , ) or Crimeans ( crh, , ), are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group and nation who are an indigenous people of Crimea. The formation and ethnogenesis of Crimean Tatars occurred during the 13th–17th centuries, from C ...

Crimean Tatars
in Crimea since the illegal annexation. On 24 May 2014 Ervin Ibragimov, a former member of the Bakhchysarai Town Council and a member of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars went missing. CCTV footage from a camera at a nearby shop documents that Ibragimov had been stopped by a group of men and that he is briefly speaking to the men before being forced in their van. According to the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group Russian authorities refuse to investigate the disappearance of Ibragimov. In May 2018 Server Mustafayev, the founder and coordinator of the human rights movement Crimean Solidarity was imprisoned by Russian authorities and charged with "membership of a terrorist organisation". Amnesty International and Front Line Defenders demand his immediate release. On 12 June 2018, Ukraine lodged a memorandum weighing about 90 kg, consisting of 17,500 pages of text in 29 volumes to the UN's International Court of Justice about racial discrimination by Russian authorities in occupied Crimea and state financing of terrorism by Russian Federation in Donbass. Between 2015 and 2019 over 134,000 (less than 5% to 2014 consensus) people living in Crimea applied for and were issued Ukrainian passports.


Crimean public opinion

A joint survey by American government agency Broadcasting Board of Governors and polling firm Gallup (company), Gallup was taken during April 2014. It polled 500 residents of Crimea. The survey found that 82.8% of those polled believed that the results of the Crimean status referendum reflected the views of most residents of Crimea, whereas 6.7% said that it did not. 73.9% of those polled said that they thought that the annexation would have a positive impact on their lives, whereas 5.5% said that it would not. 13.6% said that they did not know. A comprehensive poll released on 8 May 2014 by the Pew Research Centre surveyed local opinions on the annexation. Despite international criticism of 16 March 2014 Crimean status referendum, referendum on Crimean status, 91% of those Crimeans polled thought that the vote was free and fair, and 88% said that the Ukrainian government should recognise the results. In a survey completed in 2019 by a Russian company FOM 72% of surveyed Crimean residents said their lives have improved since annexation. At the same time only 39% Russians living in the mainland said the annexation was beneficial for the country as a whole which marks a significant drop from 67% in 2015.


Ukrainian response

Immediately after the treaty of accession was signed in March, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Provisional Principal of Russia in Ukraine to present ''note verbale'' of protest against Russia's recognition of the Republic of Crimea and its subsequent annexation. Two days later, the
Verkhovna Rada The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ( uk, Верхо́вна Ра́да Украї́ни, translit=, Verkhovna Rada Ukraïny, translation=Supreme Council of Ukraine, Ukrainian abbreviation ''ВРУ''), often simply Verkhovna Rada or just Rada, is the ...
condemned the treaty and called Russia's actions "a gross violation of
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
". The Rada called on the international community to avoid recognition of the "so-called Republic of Crimea" or the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia as new federal subjects. On 15 April 2014, the Verkhovna Rada declared the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to be under "provisional Military occupation, occupation" by the Russian military and imposed Freedom of movement, travel restrictions on Ukrainians visiting Crimea. The territories were also deemed "inalienable parts of Ukraine" subject to Ukrainian law. Among other things, the special law approved by the Rada restricted foreign citizens' movements to and from the Crimean Peninsula and forbade certain types of entrepreneurship. The law also forbade activity of government bodies formed in violation of Ukrainian law and designated their acts as null and void. Ukrainian authorities greatly reduced the volume of Canals in Ukraine, water flowing into Crimea via the North Crimean Canal due to huge debt for water supplied in previous year, threatening the viability of the peninsula's agricultural crops, which are heavily dependent on irrigation. The Ukrainian National Council for TV and Radio Broadcasting has instructed all cable operators on 11 March to stop transmitting a number of Russian channels, including the international versions of the main state-controlled stations, Russia-1, Rossiya-1, Channel One Russia, Channel One and NTV, as well as news channel Russia-24, Rossiya-cable operators on. In March 2014, activists began organising flash mobs in supermarkets to urge customers Do not buy Russian goods!, not to buy Russian goods and to boycott Russian gas stations, banks, and concerts. In April 2014, some movie theater, cinemas in Kyiv, Lviv, and Odessa began Boycott Russian Films, shunning Russian films. On 2 December 2014, the Ministry of Information Policy (Ukraine), Ministry of Information Policy was created with one of its goals being, according to first Minister of Information, Yuriy Stets, to counteract "Russian information aggression". In December 2014, Ukraine halted all train and bus services to Crimea. On 16 September 2015 the Ukrainian parliament voted for the law that sets 20 February 2014 as the official date of the Russian temporary occupation of Crimean peninsula. On 7 October 2015 the President of Ukraine signed the law into force. The Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs was established by Ukrainian government on 20 April 2016 to manage occupied parts of Temporarily occupied and uncontrolled territories of Ukraine (2014-present), Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea regions affected by Russian military intervention of 2014.The Cabinet decided to create the Ministry of temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons
''Ukrayinska Pravda'' (20 April 2016)


Russian response

In a poll published on 24 February 2014 by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center, only 15% of those Russians polled said 'yes' to the question: "Should Russia react to the overthrow of the legally elected authorities in Ukraine?" The State Duma Committee on
Commonwealth of Independent States The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, translit=Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG) is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eastern Euro ...

Commonwealth of Independent States
Affairs, headed by Leonid Slutsky (politician), Leonid Slutsky, visited Simferopol on 25 February 2014 and said: "If the parliament of the Crimean autonomy or its residents express the wish to join the Russian Federation, Russia will be prepared to consider this sort of application. We will be examining the situation and doing so fast." They also stated that in the event of a referendum for the Crimea region joining the Russian Federation, they would consider its results "very fast". Later Slutsky announced that he was misunderstood by the Crimean press, and no decision regarding simplifying the process of acquiring Russian citizenship for people in Crimea had been made yet. He also added that if "fellow Russian citizens are in jeopardy, you understand that we do not stay away". On 25 February, in a meeting with Crimean politicians, he stated that Viktor Yanukovych was still the legitimate president of Ukraine. That same day, the Russian Duma announced it was determining measures so that Russians in Ukraine who "did not want to break from the Russian World" could acquire Russian citizenship. On 26 February, Russian President
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
ordered the Russian Armed Forces to be "put on alert in the Western Military District as well as units stationed with the 2nd Army Central Military District Command involved in aerospace defence, airborne troops and long-range military transport." Despite media speculation that this was in reaction to the events in Ukraine, Russian Ministry of Defense (Russia), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said it was for reasons separate from the unrest in Ukraine. On 27 February 2014, the Russian government dismissed accusations that it was in violation of the basic agreements regarding the Black Sea Fleet: "All movements of armored vehicles are undertaken in full compliance with the basic agreements and did not require any approvals". On 27 February, the Russian governing agencies presented the new law project on granting citizenship. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the West and particularly NATO to "abandon the provocative statements and respect the neutral status of Ukraine". In its statement, the ministry claims that the agreement on settlement of the crisis, which was signed on 21 February and was witnessed by foreign ministries from Germany, Poland and France had to this date, not been implemented (Vladimir Lukin from Russia had not signed it). On 28 February, according to ITAR-TASS, the Russian Ministry of Transport discontinued further talks with Ukraine in regards to the Crimean Bridge (Crimea), Kerch Strait Bridge project. However, on 3 March
Dmitry Medvedev Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (; rus, links=no, Дмитрий Анатольевич Медведев, p=ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪdˈvʲedʲɪf; born 14 September 1965) is a Russian politician serving as Deputy Chairman of ...

Dmitry Medvedev
, then Prime Minister of Russia, signed a Order of the Government of Russia, decree creating a subsidiary of Russian Highways (Avtodor) to build a bridge at an unspecified location along the Kerch strait. On Russian social networks, there was a movement to gather volunteers who served in the Russian army to go to Ukraine. On 28 February, President Putin stated in telephone calls with key EU leaders that it was of "extreme importance of not allowing a further escalation of violence and the necessity of a rapid normalisation of the situation in Ukraine". Already on 19 February the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had referred to the Euromaidan revolution as the "Brown revolution". The Federation Council (Russia), Federation Council approved that Russia may introduce a limited contingent of Russian troops in Crimea for the security of the Black Sea Fleet and the Russians.Council of the Federation: Russia may introduce troops into Crimea
Ukrainska Pravda. 1 March 2014.
In Moscow, on 2 March, an estimated 27,000 rallied in support of the Russian government's decision to intervene in Ukraine. The rallies received considerable attention on Russian state TV and were officially approved by the government. Meanwhile, on 1 March, five people who were picketing next to the Federation Council building against the invasion of Ukraine were arrested. The next day about 200 people protested at the building of the Russian Ministry of Defence in Moscow against Russian military involvement. About 500 people also gathered to protest on the Manezhnaya Square, Moscow, Manezhnaya Square in Moscow, and the same number of people on the Saint Isaac's Square in Saint Petersburg. On 2 March, about eleven protesters demonstrated in Yekaterinburg against Russian involvement, with some wrapped in the Ukrainian flag. Protests were also held in Chelyabinsk on the same day. Opposition to the military intervention was also expressed by rock musician Andrey Makarevich, who wrote in particular: "You want war with Ukraine? It will not be the way Russo-Georgian war, it was with Abkhazia: the folks on the Maidan have been hardened and know what they are fighting for – for their country, their independence. ... We have to live with them. Still neighborly. And preferably in friendship. But it's up to them how they want to live". The Professor of the Department of Philosophy at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations Andrey Zubov was fired for his article in ''Vedomosti'', criticising Russian military intervention. On 2 March, one Moscow resident protested against Russian intervention by holding a "Stop the war" banner, but he was immediately harassed by passers-by, and when the police were arresting him, a woman offered them a serious, fabricated charge against him, of beating up a child; however, her charge was rejected by the police. Andrei Zubov, a professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, who compared Russian actions in Crimea to the Anschluss of Austria, was threatened. Akexander Chuyev, the leader of the pro-Kremlin Spravedlivaya Rossiya party, also objected to Russian intervention in Ukraine. Boris Akunin, popular Russian writer, predicted that Russia's moves would lead to political and economic isolation. President Putin's approval rating among the Russian public increased by nearly 10% since the crisis began, up to 71.6%, the highest in three years, according to a poll conducted by the VTSIOM, All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research, released on 19 March. Additionally, the same poll showed that more than 90% of Russians supported unification with the Crimean Republic. On 4 March, at a press conference in Novo-Ogaryovo, President Putin expressed his view on the situation that if a revolution took place in Ukraine, it would be a new country with which Russia had not concluded any treaties. He offered an analogy with the events of 1917 in Russia, when as a result of the revolution the
Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. ...
fell apart and a new state was created. However, he stated Ukraine would still have to honour its debts. Russian politicians speculated that there were already 143,000 Ukrainian refugees in Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ukraine), Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs refuted those claims of refugee increases in Russia. At a briefing on 4 March 2014, the director of the department of information policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ukraine), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
Yevhen Perebiynis said that Russia was misinforming its own citizens as well as the entire international community to justify its own actions in the Crimea. On 5 March, an anchor of the Russian-owned international news channel RT America, Abby Martin (journalist), Abby Martin, in an interview with Piers Morgan, said she "did not agree" with how her employer RT was covering the Ukrainian crisis, but claimed RT still supported her despite her differences of opinion. Also on 5 March 2014, another RT America anchor, Liz Wahl, of the network's Washington, DC bureau, resigned on air, explaining that she could not be "part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin" and citing her Hungarian ancestry and the memory of the Soviet repression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Hungarian Uprising as a factor in her decision. In early March, Igor Andreyev, a 75-year-old survivor of the Siege of Leningrad, attended an anti-war rally against the Russian intervention in Crimea and was holding a sign that read "Peace to the World". The riot police arrested him, and a local pro-government lawyer then accused him of being a supporter of "fascism". The retiree, who lived on a 6,500-ruble monthly pension, was fined 10,000 rubles. Prominent dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky said that Crimea should stay within Ukraine with broader autonomy. Tatarstan, a republic within Russia populated by Volga Tatars, has sought to alleviate concerns about treatment of Tatars by Russia, as Tatarstan is a gas-rich and economically successful republic in Russia. On 5 March, President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov signed an agreement on co-operation between Tatarstan and the Aksyonov government in Crimea that implied collaboration between ten government institutions as well as significant financial aid to Crimea from Tatarstan businesses. On 11 March, Minnikhanov was in Crimea on his second visit and attended as a guest in the Crimean parliament chamber during the vote on the declaration of sovereignty pending 16 March referendum. The Tatarstan's Mufti Kamil Samigullin invited Crimean Tatars to study in madrasas in Kazan, and declared support for their "brothers in faith and blood". Mustafa Dzhemilev, a former leader of the Crimean Tatar Majlis, believed that forces that were suspected to be Russian forces should leave the Crimean peninsula, and asked the UN Security Council to send peacekeepers into the region. On 13 March, Russian President
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
made a comparison between Crimea and Kosovo in a phone call with US President Barack Obama. On 15 March, thousands of protesters (estimates varying from 3,000 by official sources up to 50,000 claimed by opposition) in Moscow marched against Russian involvement in Ukraine, many waving Ukrainian flags. At the same time, a pro-government (and pro-2014 Crimean status referendum, referendum) rally occurred across the street, counting in the thousands as well (officials claiming 27,000 with opposition claiming about 10,000). In February 2015, the leading independent Russian newspaper ''Novaya Gazeta'' reported that it obtained documents, allegedly written by oligarch Konstantin Malofayev and others, which provided the Russian government with a strategy in the event of Viktor Yanukovych's removal from power and the break-up of Ukraine, which were considered likely. The documents outline plans for annexation of Crimea and the eastern portions of the country, closely describing the events that actually followed after Yanukovych's fall. The documents also describe plans for a public relations campaign which would seek to justify Russian actions. In June 2015 Mikhail Kasyanov stated that all Russian Duma decisions on Crimea annexation were illegal from the international point of view and the annexation was provoked by false accusations of discrimination of Russian nationals in Ukraine. As of January 2019, Arkady Rotenberg through his Stroygazmontazh, Stroygazmontazh LLC and his companies building the Kerch Bridge along with Nikolai Shamalov and Yuri Kovalchuk through their Rossiya Bank have become the most important investors in Russia's development of the annexed Crimea.


Response within Crimea

Though the 2014 annexation of Crimea is condemned by most governments as indicated in a UN General Assembly vote, the Russian government argued that the transfer was justified as supported by most of local population, which is apparently confirmed by local opinion polls, consistently displaying local support for the annexation. However, several authors have cautioned against using surveys concerning identities and support for the annexation conducted in "oppressive political environment" of Russian-held Crimea.


International response

There have been a range of international reactions to the annexation. The UN General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution 100 in favour, 11 against and 58 abstentions in the 193-nation assembly that declared invalid Crimea's Moscow-backed referendum. In a move supported by the Lithuanian President, the United States government imposed sanctions against persons they deem to have violated or assisted in the violation of Ukraine's sovereignty. The European Union suspended talks with Russia on economic and visa-related matters, and is considering more stringent sanctions against Russia in the near future, including asset freezes. while Japan announced sanctions which include suspension of talks relating to military, space, investment, and visa requirements. The United Kingdom qualified the referendum vote in Crimea of being "farcical", "illegal" and "illegitimate". The European Commission decided on 11 March to enter into a full free-trade agreement with Ukraine within the year. On 12 March, the European Parliament rejected the upcoming referendum on independence in Crimea, which they saw as manipulated and contrary to international and Ukrainian law. The G7 bloc of developed nations (the G8 minus Russia) made a joint statement condemning Russia and announced that they would suspend preparations for 40th G8 summit, the planned G8 summit in Sochi in June. NATO condemned Russia's military escalation in Crimea and stated that it was a breach of international law while the Council of Europe expressed its full support for the territorial integrity and national unity of Ukraine. The Visegrád Group has issued a joint statement urging Russia to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and for Ukraine to take into account its minority groups to not further break fragile relations. It has urged for Russia to respect Ukrainian and international law and in line with the provisions of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. China said "We respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine". A spokesman restated China's belief of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and urged dialogue. National Security Advisor (India), National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon of India stated that Russia has legitimate interests in Crimea and called for "sustained diplomatic efforts" and "constructive dialogue" to resolve the crisis. However, the National Security Advisor is not a part of the Cabinet (government), Cabinet of India and, as such, Menon's statement was not an official statement issued by the government of India. However, India subsequently made it clear that it will not support any "unilateral measures" against the Russian government. "India has never supported unilateral sanctions against any country. Therefore, we will also not support any unilateral measures by a country or a group of countries against Russia." Both Syria and Venezuela openly support Russian military action. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that he supports Putin's efforts to "restore security and stability in the friendly country of Ukraine", while Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro condemned Ukraine's "ultra-nationalist" coup. Sri Lanka described Yanukovych's removal as unconstitutional and considered Russia's concerns in Crimea as justified. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called for change in EU energy policy as Germany's dependence on Russian gas poses risks for Europe. On 13 March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned the Russian government it risks massive damage to Russia, economically and politically, if it refuses to change course on Ukraine, though close economic links between Germany and Russia significantly reduce the scope for any sanctions. After Russia moved to formally incorporate Crimea, some worried whether it may do the same in other regions. US deputy national security advisor Tony Blinken said that the Russian troops massed on the eastern Ukrainian border may be preparing to enter the country's eastern regions. Russian officials stated that Russian troops would not enter other areas. US Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, warned that the same troops were in a position to take over the separatist Russian-speaking Moldovan province of Transnistria. On 9 April, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe deprived Russia of voting rights. On 14 August, while visiting Crimea, Vladimir Putin ruled out pushing beyond Crimea. He undertook to do everything he could to end the conflict in Ukraine, saying Russia needed to build calmly and with dignity, not by confrontation and war which isolated it from the rest of the world.


United Nations resolutions


Security Council resolution

On 15 March 2014, a US-sponsored resolution that went to a vote in the United Nations, UN United Nations Security Council, Security Council to reaffirm that council's commitment to Ukraine's "sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity" was not approved. Though a total of 13 council members voted in favour of the resolution and China abstained, Russia vetoed the resolution.


General Assembly resolution

On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly approved a United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262, resolution describing the 2014 Crimean referendum, referendum leading to annexation of Crimea by Russia as illegal. The draft resolution, which was titled "Territorial integrity of Ukraine", was co-sponsored by Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and the US. It affirmed the council's commitment to the "sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders." The resolution tried to underscore that 16 March referendum held in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol has no validity and cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the city of Sevastopol. The resolution got 100 votes in its favour, while 11 nations voted against and 58 countries abstained from the vote. The resolution was non-binding and the vote was largely symbolic.


International recognition

The vast majority of the international community has not recognised the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as part of Russia. Most nations in North America, Central America, Europe, Oceania, and Africa, as well as Asia outside of the former Soviet republics, have openly rejected the referendum and the accession, and instead consider Crimea and Sevastopol to be administrative divisions of Ukraine. The remainder have largely remained neutral. The 27 March 2014 vote on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262 (supporting the position that Crimea and Sevastopol remain part of Ukraine) was 100 to 11 in favour, with 58 states abstaining and a further 24 of the 193 member states not voting through being absent when the vote took place. Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe have recognised the result of the 2014 Crimean status referendum, 2014 referendum in Crimea. The position of Belarus is vague: it includes statements made by Alexander Lukashenko that, on the one hand, "Ukraine should remain an integral, indivisible, non-aligned state", and "As for Crimea, I do not like it when the integrity and independence of a country are broken"; and on the other hand, "Today Crimea is part of the Russian Federation. No matter whether you recognize it or not, the fact remains", and "Whether Crimea will be recognised as a region of the Russian Federation de-jure does not really matter." Three List of states with limited recognition, non-UN member states recognised the results of the referendum:
Abkhazia Abkhazia, , ka, აფხაზეთი, , rus, Абха́зия, r=Abkhaziya, p=ɐˈpxazʲɪjə xmf, აბჟუა, or , ( or ) is a partially recognized state in the South Caucasus Transcaucasia, also known as the South Caucasus, ...

Abkhazia
,
South Ossetia South Ossetia (, less commonly ), officially the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania, or the Tskhinvali Region, is a ''de facto'' state in the South Caucasus. It has an officially stated population of just over 53,000 people, who ...
, and Republic of Artsakh, Artsakh. A fourth, Transnistria, sent a request on 18 March 2014 to join the Russian Federation following the Crimean example and in compliance with the Admission Law provisions. On 16 April 2014, Transnistria urged Russia and the United Nations to recognise its independence. Putin is aware of Transnistria's recognition request, according to Dmitry Peskov. The regional councils of Italy's northern regions Lombardy and Veneto have adopted a non-binding resolution on recognizing Crimea as part of Russia; to be noted, Italian regions have no competence of international recognition.


Sanctions

{{Further, International sanctions during the Ukrainian crisis, List of individuals sanctioned during the Ukrainian crisis Sanctions were imposed to prevent Russian and Crimean officials and politicians from travelling to Canada, the United States, and the European Union. They were the most wide-ranging applied to Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.{{cite news, author=Rakteem Katakey, date=25 March 2014, title=Russian Oil Seen Heading East Not West in Crimea Spat, url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-03-25/russian-oil-seen-heading-east-not-west-in-crimea-spat, publisher=Bloomberg, access-date=2 January 2016{{cite web, author=Peter Shuklinov, script-title=ru:Ближний круг Путина: кто попал в новый список санкций США, trans-title=Putin's inner circle: who's in the new list of US sanctions, url=https://news.liga.net/articles/politics/1066761-blizhniy_krug_putina_kto_popal_v_novyy_spisok_sanktsiy_ssha.htm, website=liga.net, language=ru, date=21 March 2014, access-date=20 February 2016, url-status = dead, archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20150207152258/http://news.liga.net/articles/politics/1066761-blizhniy_krug_putina_kto_popal_v_novyy_spisok_sanktsiy_ssha.htm, archive-date=7 February 2015 Japan announced milder sanctions than the US and EU. These include suspension of talks relating to military, space, investment, and visa requirements. In response to the sanctions introduced by the US and EU, the State Duma, Russian Duma unanimously passed a resolution asking for all members of the Duma to be included on the sanctions list. Head of the A Just Russia, Just Russia party Sergei Mironov said he was proud of being included on the sanctions list: "It is with pride that I have found myself on the black list, this means they have noticed my stance on Crimea." Russian companies started pulling billions of dollars out of Western banks to avoid any asset freeze.{{cite news, author1=Patrick Jenkins, author2=Daniel Schäfer, author3=Courtney Weaver , author4=Jack Farchy, date=14 March 2014, title=Russian companies withdraw billions from west, say Moscow bankers, url=http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ffea2660-ab9e-11e3-aad9-00144feab7de.html, newspaper=Financial Times, access-date=27 March 2014, url-access=subscription Three days after the lists were published, the Foreign Ministry of Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry published a reciprocal sanctions list of US citizens, which consisted of 10 names, including Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, House Speaker John Boehner, Senator John McCain, and two advisers to President Obama. The ministry said in a statement: "We have repeatedly warned that sanctions are a double-edged instrument and would hit the United States like a boomerang". Several of those sanctioned responded with pride at their inclusion on the list, including John Boehner,{{cite news, author1=Wesley Lowery, author2=Ed O'Keefe, title=Reacting to sanctions, Russians ban Reid, Boehner and four other lawmakers, url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2014/03/20/reacting-to-sanctions-russians-ban-reid-boehner-and-7-other-lawmakers/, newspaper=The Washington Post, date=20 March 2014, access-date=2 January 2016 John McCain, Bob Menendez, Dan Coats, Mary Landrieu, and Harry Reid. On 24 March, Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions on 13 Canadian officials including members of the Parliament of Canada,{{cite news, author=Steven Chase, url=https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/russia-bans-entry-to-13-canadians-in-retaliation-for-ottawas-sanctions/article17635115/, title=Russia imposes sanctions on 13 Canadians, including MPs, newspaper=The Globe and Mail, date=24 March 2014, access-date=2 January 2016 banning them from entering Russia. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (Canadian politician), John Baird, said the sanctions were "a badge of honour." Former Minister of Justice (Canada), Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler also said that he considered the sanctions a badge of honour, not a mark of exclusion. In March 2014, ''The Christian Science Monitor'' reported, "The good news is that so far, Russia has shown no inclination to use the Northern Distribution Network, NDN as leverage in the wake of US retaliation for its troop movements in Crimea." Expanded Western sanctions in mid-March coursed through financial markets, hitting the business interests of some of Russia's richest people.{{cite news, author1=Jack Farchy, author2=Neil Hume, date=21 March 2014, title=Russian share prices drop as sanctions bite, url=http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9ffba124-b0d6-11e3-9f6f-00144feab7de.html, work=Financial Times, access-date=21 March 2014, url-access=subscription The Americans centred on the heart of Moscow's leadership, though the EU's initial list shied from targeting Putin's inner circle. As ratings agencies Fitch Ratings, Fitch and Standard & Poor's downgraded Russia's credit outlook,{{cite news, author=Olga Tanas, date=21 March 2014, title=Russia's Credit Outlook Cut as U.S., EU Widen Sanction Lists, url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-03-20/russia-outlook-cut-to-negative-by-s-p-as-obama-widens-sanctions, publisher=Bloomberg L.P., access-date=2 January 2016 Russian banks warned of a sanctions-induced recession, the country braced for capital outflows for the first three months of 2014 to reach $70 billion, more than the entirety of outflows for 2013, and Russian government-bond issues plummeted by three-quarters compared with the same period the previous year. Novatek, Russia's second-largest gas producer, saw $2.5bn in market value wiped out when its shares sank by nearly 10%, rendering Putin's close friend Gennady Timchenko, who has a 23% stake in the company, $575m poorer. "I do hope that there is some serious diplomatic activity going on behind the scenes," said one Russian banker, though others were more sanguine on the question of whether the sanctions would have any enduring effect, and Russians, top and bottom, seemed defiant. The official Russian response was mixed. Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexey Ulyukaev said that introduction of sectoral sanctions will lead to a serious decline of the Russian economy: economic growth of Russia will become seriously negative, the growth of volumes of investment will be even more negative, inflation will rise, and government revenues and reserves will go down. As well as differences between the United States and Europe as a whole as to how to respond to the Russian-backed incursion, those same differences have played out among Eastern European countries. A number of Russian citizens reported that they have been denied European visas after they visited Crimea after annexation. A Russian consumer protection watchdog OZPP published a warning for Russian tourists about this risk, explaining that from the international law point of view, Crimea is an occupied territory, after which Roskomnadzor blocked the OZPP website "for threatening territorial integrity of Russian Federation". In response to having its voting rights revoked, Russia in June 2017 suspended its budget payments to the Council of Europe, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating payments would not resume until all rights of Russia's delegation were fully restored. Council Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland has suggested lifting the sanctions to avoid the impact of mounting budgetary restraints. However, Council members such as Ukraine and its supporters have argued that readmitting Russia without demanding concessions in return would amount to "caving to Russian 'blackmail'".


Mapping

* {{As of, May 2019, the United Nations still maps Crimea as belonging to Ukraine. * National Geographic Society stated that their policy is "to portray current reality" and "Crimea, if it is formally annexed by Russia, would be shaded gray", but also further remarked that this step does not suggest recognising legitimacy of such. As of April 2014 Crimea was still displayed as part of Ukraine.{{cite web, url=https://hi-tech.mail.ru/news/new-krym-maps/, script-title=ru:Крым на картах мира: ситуация поменялась, trans-title=Crimea on maps of the world: the situation has changed, language=ru, website=hi-tech.mail.ru, date=11 April 2014, access-date=2 January 2016 * {{As of, April 2014, Google Maps displays Crimea as a disputed territory to most viewers. For the Russian and Ukrainian versions of website, Crimea is marked as belonging to corresponding country (Russia or Ukraine respectively). Google stated that it "work(s) with sources to get the best interpretation of the border or claim lines". * {{As of, April 2014, Yandex displays Crimea as Russian, except for users entering from their Ukrainian site and their Turkish site. Users visiting Yandex.ru from Russia will see Crimea displayed as Russian territory, users visiting yandex.ua from Ukraine will see Crimea as Ukrainian and all other users (from other countries){{citation needed, reason=Needs to be verified as Turkish Yandex depicts Crimea as being Ukraine, date=July 2015 will see Crimea as Russian territory. According to official statement, the company works with users from different countries and "displays reality that surrounds them". * {{As of, March 2014, Bing Maps, OpenStreetMap and Here (company), HERE display Crimea as belonging to Ukraine. In particular, OpenStreetMap requested its users to refrain from editing borders and administrative relations of subdivisions located in Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol until 31 May 2014. On 5 June 2014 OpenStreetMap switched to a territorial dispute option, displaying Crimea as a disputed territory belonging to both countries. * In 2015, on the PepsiCo website a Russian-language map was visible for a few days that depicted Crimea as a part of Russia. * The 2016 edition of a French atlas published by Éditions Larousse, Larousse shows Crimea as part of Russian territory: Oleh Shamshur, Ukrainian Ambassador to France, expressed shock. Shortly after, Larousse corrected the mistake on the Atlas on their internet version, and confirmed that Crimea is a region of Ukraine. * The Italian-language magazine of geopolitics ''Limes (magazine), Limes'' maps Crimea as a part of Russia since December 2015. After protests by the Ukrainian embassy in Italy, the magazine editor Lucio Caracciolo wrote that "the map reflects reality. When Crimea and Sevastopol will be back under effective Ukrainian sovereignty, we will produce a map that reflects such reality".Perché Limes rappresenta la Crimea sotto la sovranità della Russia
''Limes (magazine), Limes''


See also

* Annexation * 1924 Estonian coup d'état attempt * 2014 Simferopol incident, Simferopol incident * Frozen conflict * Occupied territories of Georgia * Reaction of Russian intelligentsia to the 2014 annexation of Crimea * Russian irredentism * Russo-Ukrainian War * {{Interlanguage link, Crimean crisis (1992–1994), uk, Кримська криза (1992–1994) * List of protests in the 21st century * List of national border changes since World War I * List of territorial disputes


Notes

{{NoteFoot


References

{{Reflist


Further reading

* {{cite book , editor1 = Pynnöniemi, Katri , editor2 = Rácz, András , title=Fog of Falsehood: Russian Strategy of Deception and the Conflict in Ukraine , journal=Fiia Report , location=Helsinki , publisher=Finnish Institute of International Affairs , year=2016 , isbn=978-951-769-485-8 , series=FIIA Report, 45 , issn=2323-5454 , url = http://www.fiia.fi/fi/publication/588/fog_of_falsehood/ , access-date=1 June 2016 , archive-url = https://web.archive.org/web/20171109024305/http://www.fiia.fi/fi/publication/588/fog_of_falsehood/ , archive-date=9 November 2017 , url-status = dead


External links

{{Sister project links , b=no , commons=Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation , d=no , m=no , mw=no , n= no, q=no , s=Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia , v=no , voy=no , wikt=no
A treaty of accession of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. Unofficial English translation with commentary


(video 11:21), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, REF/RL, 26 February 2016 (in Russian, subtitles in English) {{- {{Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation {{Russian intervention in Ukraine {{Territorial disputes in Europe {{Authority control Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, History of Crimea 2014 in Russia 2014 in Ukraine 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine Conflicts in 2014 Conflicts in Ukraine Politics of Crimea Territorial evolution of Russia Territorial disputes of Russia Territorial disputes of Ukraine 21st-century military history of Russia Military history of Ukraine Modern history of Ukraine Political scandals in Ukraine Riots and civil disorder in Ukraine Russia–Ukraine relations Russian irredentism Russian nationalism in Ukraine Russian–Ukrainian wars Separatism in Ukraine Annexation Treaties concluded in 2014 Treaties entered into force in 2014 Treaties of Russia Articles containing video clips Anti-Ukrainian sentiment February 2014 events in Europe March 2014 events in Europe February 2014 events in Russia March 2014 events in Russia Military operations involving Russia Russo-Ukrainian War, *