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Crimea ceremonies mark two years since Russian annexation
Russian forces seized control of Crimea after the Moscow-backed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich fled power following months of protests.
Russian officials described the unrest as a “coup” which threatened the safety of its ethnic minority (60% of its 2 million-strong population) in Ukraine’s southern Crimea region.
Many Russians say Crimea’s annexation rights a historical wrong by Nikita Krushchev.
He gave the territory to Ukraine in 1954 before the Soviet Union collapsed.
February 2014: troops wearing no insignia, but said to be Russian, appeared in various parts of Crimea
March 16: referendum held on peninsula. Organisers (Crimea’s pro-Russian politicians) claim 97% want to join Russia.
March 21: Russia’s parliament approved the annexation.
Russian troops subsequently took over all military and naval bases in Crimea and took control of major businesses and banks.