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Russia-Controlled Crimea Temporarily Lifts Pandemic Restrictions To Mark Annexation Anniversary

By RFE/RL March 16, 2021

Authorities in the Russian-controlled Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea have temporarily lifted coronavirus pandemic restrictions to mark the seventh anniversary of the region's annexation by Moscow.

The Russian-imposed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, signed a decree on March 15 to allow the ceremonies. The decree was placed on the website of the occupational government.

According to the decree, events organized by the pro-Kremlin Night Wolves bikers' club, as well as patriotic events at schools and military schools are allowed to be held on March 18.

In addition, local self-governing bodies are allowed to hold their own events to mark the date.

The restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Crimea were imposed a year ago.

Russia illegally took control of Crimea from Ukraine seven years ago after sending in troops, seizing key facilities in February 2014, and staging a referendum weeks later that was dismissed as illegitimate by at least 100 countries.

Moscow also backs separatists in a war against Ukrainian government forces that has killed more than 13,000 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-controlled-crimea- temporarily-lifts-pandemic-restrictions-to-mark- annexation-anniversary/31153466.html

Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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