This was stated by the Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview for the TV movie about Crimea “Crimea. Path to the Motherland“, video excerpts from which have been shown on the TV channel” Russia-1″ on Monday evening, March 9.
“I told to all my colleagues, and there were four of them, said the situation in Ukraine was that we had to start working on the return of the Crimea to Russia. Because we could not leave that territory and its people to fend for themselves, to be oppressed by nationalists,” – RIA Novosti quoted Putin.
According to the President, after the revolution in Ukraine, there was a closed poll in the Crimea, which showed that 75 percent of its residents wanted the reunification of the peninsula with Russia. “For me, it became obvious that if we come to this, the level or the number of those who would like for this historic event to take place would be much higher,” – TASS quoted Putin.
The head of state also stressed that Moscow’s goal was not the “annexation” of the Crimea, but providing an opportunity to its people “to express their opinion about how they want to live in the future.” Putin, in his own words, then decided that if Crimeans would want to remain a part of Ukraine, then “so be it”, but if they would want to become part of Russia, “we cannot abandon them.” “We know the results of the referendum. And we did what we had to do,”- said the president.
On March 8, the TV channel “Russia 1” announced a film by Andrei Kondrashov “Crimea. Path to the Motherland”, in which the Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the events of the beginning of 2014, which led to the return of the Crimea to Russia. A video excerpt showed the statements by the Russian leader, according to which he tried to save the life of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and also said that he was forced “to start work on returning the Crimea to Russia.”
On March 16, 2014, there was a referendum in the Crimea where 96 per cent voted in favor of the annexation of the peninsula to Russia. On March 18, the republic’s authorities signed an agreement with Moscow on the Crimea and Sevastopol joining Russia as new subjects.