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

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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.

    Poll

    Russia marks first anniversary of Crimean referendum. What is your attitude towards it after one year?
    • I respect the right of Crimeans to self-determination. It helped to avoid humanitarian catastrophe that is currently unfolding in southeastern Ukraine.
      70.5% (1911)
    • I condemn this referendum, as it has destabilized the entire region and reduced the international credibility of Russia.
      10.0% (272)
    • I think in geopolitical terms, it has helped strengthen Russia's security and stabilize the situation in the region.
      19.5% (530)
    Voted: 1
    "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.

    Related:

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    NATO Recon Missed Everything: Admiral Reveals Details of Crimea Operation
    Picture Worth A Thousand Words: Ex-PM Wants More Japanese to See Crimea
    Russian and Very Strong: Crimea's Military a Year Since Reunification
    Tags:
    Sergei Shoigu, Crimea, Ukraine, Russia
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