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SEVASTOPOL, March 16 /TASS/. Five thousand people gathered for a rally and a concert in Sevastopol, a city of federal importance, on Monday to mark the first anniversary of the March 16 referendum in Crimea in which almost 96% of Crimean inhabitants voted for reunification with Russia, according to law enforcers.
Sevastopol’s Governor Sergey Menyailo conveyed the greetings of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu to the people of Sevastopol.
"I have received an instruction from the defense minister to congratulate you on returning to your homeland. A year ago you said that you wanted to be back to Russia, and the president made that decision calmly and without bloodshed," Menyailo said.
Admiral Alexander Vitko, the Black Sea fleet commander, said that he was proud of living in Russia and proud of the inhabitants of Crimea and the people of Sevastopol who made the right choice a year before.
"This city showed the whole world that it does not trade with its history or values. Let me congratulate you on the holiday of justness," Alexander Zaldostanov, the leader of the Night Wolves biker club, said.
The concert was followed by fireworks.
On March 16, 2014 Sevastopol took part in the Crimean referendum in which 95.6 % of people voted for the reunification with Russia. The voters’ turnout at the referendum was 89.5%.