Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits Crimea

Global Business

Russian President Vladimir Putin has traveled to the Crimea for the first time since it was annexed from Ukraine with the assistance of Russian forces back in March. He was there to mark the sixty ninth anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, but his visit drew angry reaction from Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has traveled to the Crimea for the first time since it was annexed from Ukraine with the assistance of Russian forces back in March. He was there to mark the sixty ninth anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany, but his visit drew angry reaction from Kiev.

From a motor launch, Putin addressed Russian sailors in Sevastopol harbour – ostensible to mark Victory Day over Nazi Germany, but seen by many as the president’s official welcome to the newly acquired territory.

Russian ships, troops and air power were there in abundance – putting on a spectacular show for large partisan crowds that lined the shore. The event commemorated victory of Nazi Germany – when the Soviet Union lost an estimated twenty seven million citizens in World War Two.

Earlier in the day Putin had addressed crowds in Moscow before the largest military parade since the collapse of the Soviet Union.Speaking in Sevastopol, Mr Putin thanked the armed forces for their role in World War Two and hailed the incorporation of the peninsula into the Russian Federation, saying historically Crimea was a part of Russia.

The Kiev government called the visit a, “gross violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”  The vast majority of countries around the world do not recognize Crimea as part of Russia, saying its takeover was illegal, but there was no disguising the national pride on display in Sevastopol today for the Russian President’s visit.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had said it would be a shame if Putin used the WWII anniversary to visit Crimea.

In Ukraine, which in World War Two was part of the Soviet Union, low key ceremonies were held because of fears that pro-Russian militants would foment violence.

The U-S and E-U have condemned President Vladimir Putin’s first trip to Crimea since its accession to Russia.  Friday, Putin sailed into the port city of Sevastopol to take part in Victory Day celebrations. Flanked by senior officers, he watched a display of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet: both warships and aircraft. He also hailed Russia’s accession of the region. The US state department said the trip was “provocative and unnecessary”.

For a closer look at President Putin’s visit to Crimea Anton Fedyashin, head of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture discusses the timing of the stop-over and its effect on this weekend’s referendum in Ukraine.

How will Putin\'s Visit Affect Referendum in Ukraine

How will Putin\'s Visit Affect Referendum in Ukraine

For a closer look at President Putin's visit to Crimea Anton Fedyashin, head of American University's Initiative for Russian Culture discusses the timing of the stop-over and its effect on this weekend's referendum in Ukraine.