(QHA) -

The Ukrainian authorities sent a note of protest to Russia on Wednesday over a census currently underway in Crimea, a foreign ministry spokesman announced.

"The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has sent a note of protest to the Russian Foreign Ministry over holding the so called census in the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, demanding to immediately cease illegal activities on the sovereign territory of Ukraine," Yevhen Perebiynis told reporters.

A census began in Crimea on Tuesday and will last until October 25. Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier in the month that the census was necessary for drawing up a program of development for the Crimean Peninsula.

Crimea joined Russia in March following a referendum on the region's status, which Kyiv and and Western powers refused to recognize.