After a year of denying Russian encroachment on the Crimean peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted in a television interview that all along he did have a plan to take the region from Ukraine.
The US mission to NATO outlined Putin’s narrative over the past year:
Russian President Vladimir Putin began telling his version of the events leading to the annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine almost a year ago.
Here’s the play by play:
March 5, 2014: Russian President Vladimir Putin said there were no military orders given to Russian troops or “self defence units” in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
March 16, 2014: Crimea’s parliament unanimously voted in favour of joining Russia.
March 18, 2014: Putin signs treaty to annex Crimea.
March 24, 2014: The Ukrainian government evacuates troops and their families from Crimea.
April 17, 2014: Putin admits there were Russian troops active in Crimea after previously stating in March that there were not.
November 13, 2014: Russian tanks pour over the border into eastern Ukraine.
December 2014: Russia places sophisticated anti-air and anti-surface missile systems in Crimea, turning the peninsula into a Russian forward operating base.
December 15, 2014: The Kremlin made casual reference of deploying nuclear weapons to Crimea.
February 27, 2015: The Kremlin made the anniversary of the military operation to seize the Crimean peninsula a national holiday.
March 9, 2015: Putin describes the secret meeting he had with security advisers before deciding to annex Crimea from Ukraine.
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