(QHA) -

Russia gave free will to the citizens of Crimea, otherwise the peninsula would have seen the same massacre that happened in Odessa on May 2, President Vladimir Putin said, RT reports.

"If we haven't done that we would have a bigger tragedy there, bigger that what we have seen in some Ukrainian cities, like Odesa, where unarmed people were burned alive in a building."- he said.

"So we did not allow such a tragedy to happen in Crimea and I think we did the right thing. And we are asking to approach this without any prejudice, and in unbiased manner."- he added.

To recall, Russia annexed Crimea following all-Crimean referendum March 16.

At least 48 people died and 247 were injured in the clashes and the fire in the Trade Unions House on May 2.

Dozens separatist were killed during anti-terrorist operations in east of Ukraine.