The Kremlin: Crimea is ours and nobody else has any rights to it!

The decision to seize Crimea from Ukraine was made five years ago, on the night of February 22, 2014, when Russian chiefs in a Kremlin meeting leadership sealed the peninsula’s fate.

By his own account in television broadcast of 2015 Vladimir Putin himself discounted the claims of legitimacy of the takeover that Moscow insisted made their move legally acceptable. The Kremlin decision was made fully three weeks before Russia-controlled sham referendum. Also, by Putin’s own account Russian insistence that it was forced to act to protect the local Russian population was also misleading.

The formal annexation of Crimea into the Russian Federation was executed on March 18, 2014. Thus 10,000 square miles that Russian grabbed from Ukraine broke the first principle of international law. Acquiring territories or changing borders by force is strictly forbidden.

In the Budapest memorandum of 1994, Russia also broke its own pledge to respect the “existing borders of Ukraine” and “refrain from the threat or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine”. This is only one of a long list of international agreements that Russia has violated with respect to Ukraine. (Read more: Estonian Life No. 9 2019Estonian Life No. 9 2019)

Laas Leivat, Toronto