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In Photos: Russia Marks 10 Years of Crimea Annexation

Ten years ago on March 18, 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine after sending special forces onto the peninsula in unmarked uniforms and staging a referendum deemed illegitimate by Kyiv and the West.

The strategic Black Sea peninsula is recognized as part of Ukraine by the international community.

These events marked the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War. The Kremlin used the annexation as a propaganda win, and the move caused President Vladimir Putin's popularity ratings to surge.

Since 2022, Crimea has been used as a launching pad and supply route for Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It has faced a number of drone attacks and bridge explosions during the war.

Here are photos from the 10-year anniversary events in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Crimea itself: