(QHA) -

Nine Crimean Tatars, whose names are unknown, were conferred with medals “For returning of Crimea”. The solemn ceremony took place in Simferopol, Dec 24, in the residence of Russian Presidential Envoy in Crimea.

The medals for “merits shown during the security measures to protect the rights and lives of citizens of Crimea during the Crimean referendum” were given following Russian Defense Minister Sergey’s Shoygu’s order.

“We confer those people, who during the “Russian Spring” showed their best qualities, courage, self-control and professionalism”- Deputy Presidential Envoy In Crimea Vladimir Bobrovsky said.

Deputy Prime Minster of Crimea Ruslan Balbek congratulated those, conferred with the medals saying “this once again proves that Crimea residents were united in their gust [to join Russia]”.

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and was annexed by Russia, following a local referendum on the regions status March 16.

The majority of Crimean Tatars opposed Crimea’s unification with Russia, which was declared illegimate by Kyiv authorities and the international community.