SIMFEROPOL, July 6. /TASS/. The Ukrainian military officials' statements about plans to use tanks to suppress Crimea’s militia ahead of the referendum on the status of the Black Sea peninsula confirm that people in Crimea made the right choice by deciding to join Russia, Crimea head Sergei Aksyonov wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
"The Ukrainian warriors’ revelations confirm once again that the choice of Crimea’s residents who did not want to live in the same country with the thugs ready to shell them with tank guns was correct," Aksyonov said.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian media reported citing speaker for Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff Vladislav Seleznyov that new commander of the Ukrainian naval forces Igor Voronchenko was allegedly preparing a plan to fight Crimea’s militia with the use of tanks when he served as deputy fleet commander in Crimea in the spring of 2014. Media reports claim that he did not use the tanks only because there was no relevant order from Kiev.
"Seleznyov actually admitted that resolute actions of Russia represented by ‘polite people’ to protect Crimea’s civilian population were fully justified. It was the 'polite people’s' presence that stopped those who seized power in Kiev, and the criminal order was never issued," Aksyonov said.
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 agreements on March 18, 2014.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia.