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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Russia marks three years since Crimea takeover Saturday March 18,2017

Russia on Saturday March 18,2017 marked a low-key third anniversary of the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine, as Kiev blasted the annexation of the strategic Black Sea peninsula as a "crime"

State-run television showed footage of sparsely attended concerts and parades in cities across the vast country and there was much less fanfare over the event than in previous years. 
President Vladimir Putin, who last year spent the anniversary visiting Crimea, was not expected to take part in any of the official celebrations that include a concert and firework display in Moscow.
Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 following the ouster of its Kremlin-backed leader by mass protests in Kiev. 
Putin ordered out thousands of special forces troops to take control of strategic infrastructure before a hastily organised referendum was held that was rejected by the international community. 
The annexation plunged ties between Russia and the West to their lowest level since the Cold War, as the US and EU responded with sanctions against Moscow
The takeover of Crimea was followed by a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine that has claimed some 10,000 lives in nearly three years of fighting that Russia is accused of stage-managing. 

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