Russian ‘overseer’ of Crimea to visit peninsula for an inspection
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, who was appointed as an “overseer” of the annexed Crimea, plans to visit the peninsula ffor an inspection in the next two weeks to assess the pace of construction.
“This week I looked at the Crimean development program in detail. I see great potential in Crimea, especially now that we see that domestic tourism is going to pick up. In the next couple of weeks I plan to go and see how the work in Crimea is going,” he wrote on his Instagram page.
On January 28, Russia-appointed Crimean President Sergey Aksyonov told reporters that Khusnullin would be an “overseer” of Crimea. The Russian government later said that Khusnullin would “supervise the development” of annexed Crimea, Kaliningrad region, cooperation with the separatist regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as coordinate the implementation of infrastructure projects.
On January 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Khusnullin as deputy prime minister. Prior to that, he served as Moscow’s Deputy Mayor for Urban Policy and Construction.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.