13:59 GMT24 September 2020
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    The Russian documentary about the much-discussed reunification of the Crimean republic with Russia after 60 years under Ukrainian rule will air on Sunday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A Russian documentary will air on Sunday, highlighting the much-discussed reunification of the Crimean republic with Russia after 60 years under Ukrainian rule.

    Andrei Kondrashov's movie, titled "Crimea. Way Back Home," will have its Russian premiere on the "Rossiya 1" TV channel at 10:00 p.m. Moscow time (19:00 GMT).

    In the trailer, Russian President Vladimir Putin talks about the events that preceded the Crimean referendum on March 16. The plebiscite found that most people in this majority Russian-speaking region backed Crimea's return to Russia.

    The president said that the idea of Russia's reunification with the Crimean peninsula was first conceived after Western-backed far-right forces seized power in Ukraine. It was Moscow's intent not to let the people of Crimea be thrown "under the wheels of this nationalist bulldozer," he said.

    Putin's interview has stirred controversy in Kiev, with the Ukrainian prime minister urging the International Court of Justice at The Hague consider the footage as evidence of Russia's premeditated invasion.

    However, local dignitaries in Crimea have voiced their enthusiasm about the forthcoming movie. Head of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov said on Wednesday he was looking forward to the premiere of the documentary that he described as a "high-quality" production.

    The United States and the European Union have condemned Putin's insight into what they refer to as Crimea's "annexation." Jen Psaki, the US Department of State’s spokesperson, said it was consistent with Moscow's "deceitful approach" to eastern Ukraine, although she confessed to having no idea of the film's exact contents.

    Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became Russian regions following a referendum, in which over 96 percent of Crimean voters backed a move to leave Ukraine for Russia, prompting the West to slap the region with rounds of individual and economic sanctions.

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    Tags:
    documentary, movie, Crimea, Russia
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