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Crimea Moves to Join Russia

Published: March 7, 2014 (Issue # 1800)



  • People protesting against Russia's intervention in Crimea.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Crimean parliament voted in favor of joining Russia on Thursday and its pro-Russian government announced that a referendum would be held on the decision on March 16.

Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Askyonov said all state property would be nationalized, the Russian ruble adopted as the new currency, and all Ukrainian troops forced to either leave Crimea or surrender to the new government once the decision is finalized.

The news of Crimea's potential return to Russia has been well-received in Ukraine's pro-Russian organizations, but Kiev and the international community have begun questioning the referendum's legitimacy.

"Crimea wants to be part of Russia," said Alexander Svistunov, head of the Russian movement of Ukraine, at a press conference in Moscow. "We want to live with our people, and our people are in Russia."

The head of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, announced that Russia's position on Crimea's independence would depend on the results of the March 16 referendum.

"All factions of the State Duma support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but we understand why this issue is the cause of a referendum," Slutsky told reporters on Thursday, ITAR-TASS reported. "We will determine our position, the position of the State Duma, of the Russian Federation, on the basis of the results of the March 16 referendum."

Sergei Mironov, the Duma deputy who leads the A Just Russia party, said earlier this week that he had introduced a bill to simplify the procedure for Crimea to join the Russian Federation.

Crimea's eagerness to join Russia has raised questions about the legitimacy of the upcoming referendum both in Kiev and abroad.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, who was in Brussels on Thursday for talks with EU leaders, said that a referendum in Crimea was illegitimate and that the republic "is, was and will be an integral part of Ukraine."

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Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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