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How did Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine begin: Crimea

Russia’s war against Ukraine began on February 20, 2014 immediately after the victory of the Revolution of Dignity and the escape of the pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych from the country. On this day, for the first time, Russian troops illegally crossed the state border of Ukraine for the further temporary occupation of Crimea.

The Russian military, without identification marks, seized administrative buildings, blocked Ukrainian military units, and turned off Ukrainian television.

On March 18, 2014, Russian occupation authorities held a fake referendum on the status of Crimea. The so-called referendum contradicted the Constitution of Ukraine and the fundamental norms of international law and was not recognized by the international community.

In two days, Russia made a unilateral decision to incorporate that territory to the Russian Federation.

On March 25, 2014, the Russians captured the last military unit holding the Ukrainian flag in Crimea, a Cherkasy Navy minesweeper. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation entirely occupied the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.

Since then Crimea is a territory of fear, gross IHL and human rights violations and Russia’s military base in the Black Sea, that was used for invasion of Ukraine, blockade of the international maritime routes and menacing the world with hunger.

What Russia says

  • Reunification of Crimea with Russia
  • Referendum in Crimea
  • Will of the people of Crimea

In fact

  • Temporary occupation of the territory of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol
  • Temporarily occupied Crimea, temporarily occupied Crimean Peninsula
  • attempted annexation of Crimea” or “occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea”

    We do not use “annexation” as a term that defines the inevitable accession of Crimea to Russia. Ukraine and another 100 UN member states do not recognize Crimea as a new subject of Russia and the referendum’s legitimacy.

What Russia says

  • Representatives of Crimea (regarding the representatives of the Russian occupation administration)
  • Authorities of the Republic of Crimea

In fact

  • Russian occupation administration in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (informal: Crimea)
  • Russian occupation authorities