Valentin Kozubsky, one of the event's organizers, confirmed Wednesday that members of the US citizen diplomacy organization had arrived in Crimea.
"A delegation of four from the United States arrived in Crimea. The official component of their visit will start September 6. They've come here out of a desire to see the real situation on the peninsula, and to bring the truth about the lives of Crimeans back to their home country," Kozubsky told Sputnik.
Crimea broke off from Ukraine and rejoined Russia in the tumultuous spring of 2014, after a coup d'état in Kiev overthrew Ukraine's elected government. Crimean authorities organized a snap referendum, in which over 96 percent of the peninsula's predominantly ethnic-Russian residents voted to rejoin Russia, just over 60 years after Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred the territory to the Ukrainian SSR in February 1954.
In July, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the State Department continued to see Crimea's reunification with Russia as an "annexation," adding that he would never recognize Crimea's status as part of Russia.