Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking to the State Duma on Wednesday, called the integration of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation its greatest achievement, the RBC news website reported Wednesday.
“I consider the legal integration of Crimea and Sevastopol as a result of your work to be a truly historic achievement, driven by your sincere, heartfelt, and emotional support of those citizens before the peninsula joined the Russian Federation,” Putin said, the state-run news agency TASS reported.
He praised the Duma for promptly adopting more than 120 laws that minimized the problems faced by citizens of Crimea after March 2014, when the peninsula was annexed by Russia.
Putin also mentioned World War II in his speech, as Wednesday marked the anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
“The main lesson of this past war is knowing that it could have been prevented by a timely and firm response to the Nazis and their accomplices, but that did not happen,” he said, Interfax news agency reported.
Last Friday, Putin declared the start of the new Duma election cycle, with elections to be held on Sept. 18.