Crimea’s parliament elected Sergei Aksyonov as head of the annexed peninsula in a unanimous vote today. Aksyonov was one of three candidates nominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin to head the republic.
All 75 lawmakers voted in support of Aksyonov, who has served as acting head of Crimea since mid-April, weeks after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
He has been described as Putin’s man in Crimea and Ukraine’s worst nightmare when he rose to power earlier this year. Aksyonov also played a key role in the annexation process that began after Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine, was toppled by antigovernment protests in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
Ukraine considers Crimea its territory and says elections held by Russian authorities are illegal.
For more on the Crimea elections and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, CCTV America interviews James George Jatras, deputy director of the American Institute in Ukraine.