SEVASTOPOL, March 14. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday thanked the Crimeans for their resolve in March 2014 to reunify with Russia, which helped restore historic justice broken during the Soviet era.
"You took a historic decision four years ago," he said addressing audiences at a gala rally and concert in Sevastopol. "Thanks to it Sevastopol and Crimea returned home to our common motherland, Mother Russia."
"By making this step, the people of Crimea restored historic justice broken during the Soviet era when Crimea and Sevastopol were separated from Russia, unlawfully even under the provisions of Soviet legislation," Putin said.
Thousands of people came to Admiral Nakhimov Square to attend the rally and concert on occasion of the fourth anniversary since reunification. A spokesman for the authorities told a TASS reporter at the site of celebrations about 40,000 spectators were attending the event.
Songs performed by Russian pop celebrities, including the internationally acclaimed Mikhail Turetsky Choir interchanged with addresses by activists of the Crimean Spring. The speakers stressed the role of each and every participants in the events of the turbulent spring of 2014 that followed the state coup in Kiev and the arrival of diehard rightwing extremists to power there.
Admiral Alexander Vitko, the Commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet stressed the role the forces the fleet and the ‘polite people’ played four year ago, as their presence ensured an opportunity for the Crimeans to make a peaceful choice at the pivotal referendum of March 16, 2014.
"As long as there exists the Black Sea Fleet, Crimea will always be Russian," Adm. Vitko said.