Putin admits annexation of Crimea preplanned

Putin-Crimea

The Telegraph

In a trailer shown Sunday for an upcoming documentary on state-run Rossiya-1 television called “Homeward bound”, Mr Putin openly discusses Moscow’s controversial grabbing of Crimea a year ago.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has revealed the moment when he initiated a military takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, weeks before a referendum which the Kremlin offered as endorsement for the annexation.

Speaking in a trailer for a documentary on state television, Mr Putin also described how Russian forces prepared to swoop into eastern Ukraine to rescue Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s fleeing pro-Moscow president.

To the sound of dramatic music, Mr Putin said that he told commanders from the army and security services that “we are obliged to start working on the return of Crimea to Russia”.

The order was given at 7am on the morning of February 23, last year, after an all-night meeting in the Kremlin to discuss how to extract Mr Yanukovych, he said.

Mr Putin, who is commander in chief of Russia’s armed forces as well as president, told an interviewer that he had given generals, “the task of saving the life of the president of Ukraine” because, “he would just have been destroyed”.

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