The Russian leadership began planning the annexation of the Crimean peninsula of Ukrainian in December 2013, Michael Zygar, Russian journalist and former editor in chief of Dozhd (Rain) TV channel, said on the Echo of Moscow radio station.

“Crimean operation planning began in December 2013. That is not the moment when one’s heart began bleeding for the events on the Maidan, but a couple of months before that,” said Zygar.

The journalist focused on the fact that before the "Crimean operation" Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "we need to deal with Ukraine, or we’ll lose it."

PHOTO: Michael Zygar / Facebook