Putin Could Visit Crimea on Victory Day
- The Moscow Times
- Apr. 30 2014 15:28
- Last edited 15:28
President Vladimir Putin could spend Victory Day in Crimea, little more than a month after Russia annexed the Black Sea territory amid international outcry, news reports said.
Plans have been made for Putin to travel to Sevastopol after taking part in the annual Victory Day celebrations on Moscow's Red Square, subject to approval by the Crimean authorities, Kommersant reported Wednesday, citing an unidentified Defense Ministry source.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev could also make the trip to Crimea along with Putin, Kremlin sources told Crimean news portal 15 Minutes.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, played down the reports, saying only that the trip to Crimea did not yet feature in the president's schedule, Kommersant reported.
Victory Day, which is celebrated on May 9, is a public holiday in Russia and commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi forces during World War II.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Crimea's liberation from Nazi troops, an event that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said is of "great political significance" given the development of neo-Nazism in post-Soviet Ukraine, Itar-Tass reported.
"We must once again demonstrate to the world Russia's categorical rejection of fascism," Shoigu said at a press conference at the end of March.