Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev became the first Russian leader to visit Crimea since Moscow seized the Black Sea region from Ukraine, promising to shower economic benefits on the area to make it flourish.

CONTEXT:The Crimean peninsula, the main flashpoint in Ukraine’s crisis, is a pro-Russia part of Ukraine, separated from the rest of the country geographically, historically and politically. It also hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine has accused Russia of invading it. On Crimea’s southern shore sits the port city of Sevastopol, home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet and its thousands of naval personnel. Russia kept its half of the Soviet fleet, but was rattled in 2009 when the pro-Western Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko warned that it would have to leave the key port by 2017.Shortly after pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych was elected president in 2010; he agreed to extend the Russian lease until 2042 in exchange for discounts on Russian gas supplies. Russia fears that Ukraine’s new pro-Western government could evict it.

On 22 February 2014 Ukrainian protesters overthrew the democratically elected, pro Russian, President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, after months of protests. As the Ukrainian revolution unfolded—and as the newly installed Ukrainian government began to distance itself from Russia—it may have been the case that Russia felt that its access to the port and its military bases in the Crimean peninsula were in jeopardy The Supreme Council of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine, and held a referendum on 16 March 2014 on whether Crimea should join the Russian Federation or remain part of Ukraine with the autonomy it had in 1992. The referendum resulted in a reported turnout of over 81%, where over 95% of voters supported Crimea joining the Russian Federation. Moscow formally annexed Crimea on March 21.

Russia. Russia also officially known as the Russian Federation is a country situated in northern Eurasia.  Russia is the largest country in the world. Moscow is the capital and largest city of Russia. Vladmir Putin is the current President of Russia.

UKRAINE: Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe.  Kiev is the capital and largest city of Ukraine. Oleksandr Turchyno is the acting President of Ukraine.


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