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Crimea May Have Faced Armed Conflict With Kiev - Russian Defense Minister

© Sputnik / Sergey Kuznecov / Go to the photo bankArmy servicemen of the 31st Individual Assault Brigade at the joint exercises of the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force
Army servicemen of the 31st Individual Assault Brigade at the joint exercises of the CSTO Collective Rapid Reaction Force - Sputnik International
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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu commented on Russia's reunification with Crimea in the documentary "Crimea. Way Back Home."

VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — Crimea could have found itself in a situation that is currently unfolding in southeastern Ukraine, where Kiev forces have been fighting independence supporters for almost a year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a documentary on Crimea's reunification with Russia.

"The most important thing is that [Kiev] forces were pulled there, where they were assumed to start exactly what is happening now in southeastern Ukraine," Shoigu said in "Crimea. Way Back Home" on Rossiya-1 TV channel Sunday.

On March 16 2014, Crimea voted in a referendum to join Russia, which led a number of Western nations to hand down a series of sanctions targeting first certain individuals and, subsequently, whole sectors of Russia's economy.

Meanwhile, following the appointment of new pro-Western and increasingly nationalist leadership in Kiev as result of a coup in February 2014, Ukrainian government launched a military operation against southeast Ukraine's independence supporters that had not recognized its legitimacy on April 15.

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