Putin justifies Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea as righting historical wrong

With Crimean Prime Minister Serhiy Aksyonov sitting in the front row, Russian President Vladimir Putin carried through on his threat to annex Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula as part of Russia — a violation of international law that he justified as heeding the will of Crimean voters in a March 16 referendum.

Putin addressed citizens of Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol to cheering applause and a standing ovation in the Kremlin hall.

Putin said that the March 16 referendum, contrary to the West’s claims of violating international law, met all democratic standards and showed that more than 99 percent of Crimeans want to be part of Russia.

Vladimir Putin photo kremlin ru

“Today we have assembled on the issue that has a vital importance, of historical importance for all of us,” Putin said. “The referendum took place in full accordance to the democracy standards and international law. The numbers are more than persuasive.”

For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.

(Photos: kremlin.ru)