Putin Visits Crimea to Mark 9th Anniversary of Its Reunification With Russia
A nationwide referendum was held in Crimea and Sevastopol nine years ago, on March 16, 2014. At the time, over 95% of the voters were in favor of reunification with Russia, rejoining the homeland after decades of severance.
On the day of the ninth anniversary of the reunification of Russia and Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Sevastopol for the opening of the art school and the Korsun center.
"Our President, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, knows how to surprise us," Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on Telegram, adding that the head of state had personally driven his black SUV to Crimea. The governor added that on this historic day the President is always "with Sevastopol and the people of Sevastopol."
"Our country has an incredible leader!" remarked the Sevastopol Governor.
Ahead of the visit, on Friday, Putin held a meeting on the socio-economic development of the region. Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the Russian President, previously told reporters that Vladimir Putin had planned an event on the occasion of the anniversary of the reunification of Crimea with Russia via video conference on March 18.
A decree adopted by the USSR Supreme Soviet on February 19, 1954, had transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR. The decree is believed to have been the personal initiative of Nikita Khrushchev, then general secretary of the Central Committee of the USSR Communist Party. While inhabitants of the Crimean Peninsula several times attempted to hold an independence referendum, it was deemed illicit by the central authorities.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of independent Ukraine, and the 2014 referendum finally saw it incorporated into Russia.
On the eve of the anniversary of the reunification, a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) showed that a majority of Russians (86%) believe that the 2014 decision to incorporate the Crimean peninsula into Russia was correct, and 56% of those surveyed feel proud about the reunification of the territories.
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