What!?!? You mean that Putin and the Russians lied about their involvement in Crimea? That’s OK… I’m sure they are telling the truth about their involvement in Ukraine and their peaceful intentions toward other countries like Poland.
Putin recounts an all-night meeting with security services chiefs to discuss how to extricate deposed president Viktor Yanukovych, who had fled a pro-Western street revolt in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
“We ended at about seven in the morning,” Putin says. “When we were parting, I said to my colleagues: we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia.”
Four days after that February 2014 meeting, unidentified soldiers took over the local parliament in Crimea and deputies hurriedly voted in a new government. The Ukrainian province was then formally annexed by Moscow on March 18, triggering international condemnation.
The military operation was initially kept secret and despite the increasingly obvious actions of unmarked Russian forces on the ground, Moscow insisted that only locals were involved in the upheaval. Later, the Kremlin conceded that it had been behind the power grab.