Russian President Vladimir Putin took the opportunity on Friday to congratulate all citizens of Russia with the upcoming anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia, calling it a historic event.
“I want to congratulate the citizens of Crimea, Sevastopol and all citizens of our country with the Day of Crimea’s Reunification with Russia,” Putin said, opening a session on the socio-economic development of Crimea and Sevastopol.
March 16, 2023 marks nine years since the Crimean referendum, where the majority of citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol voted in favor of reunification with Russia.
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests erupted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence.
On March 15, 2014, the Crimean authorities held a referendum on reuniting with Russia. Most voters supported the idea (96.77% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol), with turnout reaching 80%.
On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Ukraine, the United States and the European Union refused to recognize Crimea’s independence and its decision to reunite with Russia.