While the United States reaffirmed its condemnation of the move, Russia will hold celebrations across the country Saturday to mark the third anniversary of its annexation of Crimea.
After ousting Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Russia seized the Ukrainian peninsula in a military intervention, then convened a referendum in which it claimed 97 percent of Crimean residents voted to join Russia. The vote was widely rejected by the international community and sanctions swiftly followed.
After ousting Yankukovych, Russia....??? After ousting Yankukovych, Russia...? Russia didn't oust Yankukovych. Yankukovych was the duly elected President of Ukraine, who won in a free and fair election, who favored continuing the historic close ties with Russia, and it was pro-Western goons who took unlawful mob action and overthrew him and threatened his life, causing him to flee to Russia for his very life.
What they should have said was: After Yankukovych was ousted, Russia etc. Russia did not do the ousting of Yankukovych. Russia did the rescuing and sanctuary of Yankukovych. They literally saved his life. And I am not exaggerating. Look what a pro-Western mob did to Gaddafi.
And, lest the Western media forget, Putin is building a bridge from Russia to Crimea. It is called the Kerch Strait Bridge, and it is going to be like the 8th wonder of the world.
Putin is not spending billions on that bridge with any intention of giving Crimea back to Ukraine. Russia is no more going to give Crimea back than the US is going to return Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, California, New Mexico, Arizona, etc. to their rightful owners. At least Russia immediately held an election in which the people voted overwhelmingly (97%) to be part of Russia. It's mostly Russians who live there: Russian-speaking Russians. And the Western sanctions are not the least bit intimidating to Russia. Ever heard of Russian oil and natural gas? Europeans can't heat their homes without it, and that includes Ukrainians.
Crimea is part of Russia, as it was for most of European history, and until the sun expands into a red giant and destroys all life on Earth, it will remain part of Russia.