Timeline of Сrimea occupation and annexation attempt

February 20, 2014

Is the beginning date of the armed aggression when the first cases of illegal crossing of the Ukrainian state border near the Kerch Strait by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and its use of military formations deployed in Crimea to block Ukrainian military units were recorded. Later this date was incorporated in the Ukrainian legislation and it also appears on the ministerial medal of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation «For the Return of Crimea».


February 23, 2014

The biggest pro-Russian mass meeting took place in Sevastopol. For the first time, the appeal not to recognize the Ukrainian authorities was announced publicly. Also, the so-called «people's mayor» of Sevastopol, Russian businessman Aleksei Chaly, was «elected». On the same day, a mass meeting was held in Moscow calling for the division of Ukraine into three parts and the sending of Russian «volunteers» to proclaim «Novorossiya» with its capital in Kharkiv. That day in Sevastopol, near the building of the former prison, the mourning meeting of Crimean Tatars was held to pay tribute to the event that took place on February 23, 1918, when the Bolsheviks tortured to death Noman Çelebicihan, a politician and statesman, Prime Minister of the Crimean People's Republic and one of the organizers of the first Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar People. At the event, both the Crimean Tatar national flags and the state flags of Ukraine fluttered together. Upon its completion, the participants moved forward to the city of Simferopol, where at 13.00 a rally gathering of 15,000 people in commemoration of Noman Çelebicihan and against pro-Russian separatism began.


February 24, 2014

Ships of the Russian Navy, which guarded the offshore zone in the area of the Sochi Olympic Games, took on board in Novorossiysk military hardware and units of Russian servicemen, which were used to seize administration buildings and to block Ukrainian military units on the territory of the ARC and Sevastopol, and headed towards Sevastopol.


February 26, 2014

Two rallies under the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea took place. One of them was held by pro-Russian organizations demanding the autonomy of Crimea within Russia (approximately 2 thousand people); another one, which was attended by about 12-15 thousand people, mainly Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians, was convened by the decision of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. It was able to prevent convening a session of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where, according to the plan of the Russian side, a separation from Ukraine was to be announced.


February 27, 2014

Russian military without identification marks seized the buildings of the Verkhovna Rada of the ARC and the ARC government in Simferopol.


February 27, 2014

At gunpoint of Russian servicemen from the 31st Air Assault Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Verkhovna Rada of the ARC «voted» for the so-called «referendum on the status of Crimea» and appointed a representative of the party «Russian Unity» Sergei Aksyonov as a Head of the Government of Crimea.

Russian Armed Forces units are blocking Ukrainian military units and facilities on the peninsula. On the night of February 27th to 28th, Simferopol and Belbek airports and land entrances to Crimea from the Kherson region were blocked. On the same day, the checks of combat readiness of the Southern Military District troops of the Russian Federation took place, in which up to 150,000 personnel, 90 aircraft, 120 helicopters and 880 tanks were involved.


March 1, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a proposal to send Russian troops to Ukraine «to eliminate threats to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, compatriots, personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation which is deployed … on the territory of Ukraine». The Federation Council unanimously supported the proposal. On the same day, Russian storm troops were deployed in Rostov, Voronezh, Kursk, Belgorod, and Bryansk regions. On Polissya, Slobozhanskyi, Donetsk and Crimean operational directions, a strike force was created, which was held in full combat readiness to invade Ukraine till the end of May 2014.


In early March 2014

Russian occupation forces shut down Ukrainian television broadcasting.


On 16 March 2014

The so-called «referendum on the status of Crimea» was held, which contradicted the Constitution of Ukraine and fundamental norms of international law and was not recognized by the international community. Upon the decision of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, the Crimean Tatars and the pro-Ukrainian population of the peninsula completely boycotted this Russia-orchestrated event. On 14 March 2014, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared unconstitutional the decree of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, according to which a "referendum" was held.


On 18 March 2014

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin, «head of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea» Sergei Aksyonov, «Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Republic of Crimea» Vladimir Konstantinov and «Chairman of the Coordination Council for the Establishment of the Department of Life Support of the City of Sevastopol» Alexei Chaly signed the so-called «Agreement on the Admission of the Republic of Crimea to Russia».


On 21 March 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree ratifying this «agreement».


On 25 March 2014

The last military unit holding the Ukrainian flag in the Crimea was seized – a minesweeper of the Ukrainian Navy «Cherkasy». The Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol are completely occupied by the Russian Armed Forces.


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