Support The Moscow Times!

Russia to Celebrate Crimea’s 18th Century Annexation

Aleksei Pavlishak / TASS

Russia will make the anniversary of its 18th century accession of the Crimean peninsula into the Russian Empire a public holiday, even as its more recent 2014 annexation continues to negatively impact Moscow’s international standing.

Russia first absorbed Crimea in 1783 after Catherine the Great defeated the Ottomans. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev then transferred Crimea to Ukraine as a "gift" to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine's union with Russia in 1954. In March 2014, Russia seized the peninsula from Ukraine in a move that provoked international condemnation and Western sanctions.

A new bill submitted by chairwoman of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko and supported by dozens of lawmakers Monday would set April 19 as the day celebrating now only the historical annexation of Crimea, but also the days that the island of Taman and the basin of the Kuban River became part of the Russian empire.

The contemporary referendum to “reunify” Crimea with Russia – rejected by most of the international community – marks a “logical continuation of the history of Russian Crimea,” the bill’s text reads.

“I’m confident it will pass this year,” Matvienko told the Vedomosti business daily, of her proposed bill.

The peninsula’s de-facto leader Sergei Aksyonov said he supports the measure, and considers the annexation “one of the key events of national history.”

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more