Russian President Vladimir Putin's methodology for annexing Crimea, nearly a year ago, is revealed in a Russian television documentary.
The state-run Rossiya-1 channel presented a short trailer for a documentary film Sunday, in which Putin ordered the annexation in an all-night meeting on February 22 and 23, 2014. Crimea was formally taken over from Ukraine and returned to Russia on Mar. 18, 2014, to global reproach and disapproval.
"I invited the leaders of our special services and the defense ministry to the Kremlin and set them the task of saving the life of the president of Ukraine (the deposed Viktor Yanukovych), who would simply have been liquidated. We finished about seven in the morning. When we were parting, I told all my colleagues, 'We are forced to begin the work to bring Crimea back into Russia'," Putin says in the trailer.
Four days later, armed troops bearing no identification on their uniforms, seized the Crimean Parliament. Russia initially denied involvement, but Putin later admitted Russian troops were sent to Crimea and "stood behind Crimea's self-defense force."
There has been no announcement of the date of broadcast of the film, which was made by former Rossiya-1 journalist Andrei Kondrashov. The theme of the Crimean annexation and its history as part of Russia is one of several encouraged by Russia's cultural ministry, which provides funding for documentary projects.