MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The world community should be thankful to Russia for preventing mass deaths of people in Crimea, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev said in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily on Tuesday.
"The only actual alternative to Crimea’s reunification with Russia was mass bloodshed in the peninsula. That is why I am convinced that the world community should say thanks to us for Crimea. It should say thanks for preventing mass deaths of people in this region, unlike Donbas," he said.
He said Crimea’s reunification with Russia had been in fact prompted by Washington which had supported the anti-constitutional state coup in Ukraine. "Crimea, as a matter of fact, is not our initiative either. We should be ‘thankful’ to the United States for that," he said. "It was Washington who instigated the process of an anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine."
"Crimea joined Russia not because Russia wanted it but because Crimea’s residents had held a referendum and decided by a majority of votes: we want to live as part of Russia, not as part of Ukraine," Patrushev stressed.
Amid a political crisis and the change of power in Ukraine in February 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council (parliament) and Sevastopol’s City Council adopted on March 11, 2014 Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s declaration of independence. A referendum on reunification with Russia was held on March 16, 2014. With a record-breaking turnout of 80%, the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s and Sevastopol residents, mostly ethic Russians, (96.7 and 95.6%, respectively) voted in favour of ceding from Ukraine to join Russia. After the treaty of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia was approved by the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin on March 21, 2014 signed a federal law on admitting two new constituent entities in the Russian Federation.
Despite the absolutely convincing results of the referendum, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have been refusing to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.