ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA BY THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
The Crimean Peninsula, north of the Black Sea in Europe, was annexed by the Russian Federation between February and March 2014. The annexation from 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.
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“How it was in reality.
On 22–23 February 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an all-night meeting with security service chiefs to discuss the extrication of the deposed Ukrainian president, 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 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 subjectsof the Russian Federation on 18 March 2014.
What was reaction of Ukraine and the international community?
Ukraine and many other countries condemned the annexation and consider it to be a violation of international law and Russian-signed agreements safeguarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the 1991 Belavezha Accords that established the Commonwealth of Independent States, 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 G8 suspending Russia from the group then introducing a first round of sanctions against the country. The United Nations General Assembly also rejected the vote and annexation, adopting a resolution affirming the “territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders”. The UN resolution also “underscores that the referendum having no validity, cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of [Crimea]” 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”.
Human rights situation in Crimea
Following the annexation of Crimea Tatars who were opposed to Russian rule have been persecuted, Russian law restricting freedom of speech has been imposed, and the newpro-Russian authorities “liquidated” the Kyiv Patriarchate Orthodox church on the peninsula. The Crimean Tatar television station was also shut down by the Russian authorities. 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. 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.The Mejlis was outlawed by Russia in 2016 for “the use of propaganda of aggression and hatred towards Russia, inciting ethnic nationalism and extremism in society” and listed as an extremist organization. In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly 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.