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Russia’s top investigator calls to equate Crimean referendum denial with extremism

April 18, 2016, 10:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Alexander Bastrykin, there are attempts to form anti-Russian moods in Crimea

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Russian Investigative Committee chairman Alexander Bastrykin

Russian Investigative Committee chairman Alexander Bastrykin

© Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian president press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. The denial of the results of a nationwide referendum, including the referendum on making Crimea part of Russia, should be equalized with extremist activity, Russian Investigative Committee chairman Alexander Bastrykin said in an opinion piece published in the Kommersant-Vlast magazine.

Bastrykin said "there are attempts to form anti-Russian moods" in Crimea "and, by means of falsification of information on historical facts and distortion of interpretation of modern events, to question the results of the referendum on reunification of Crimea with the Russian Federation."

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems has been actively underway since Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation.

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