: Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea enters third year
Politics11:08 Mar. 16, 2016
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Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea enters third year

U.S. reaffirms commitment to Ukraine on second anniversary of Black Sea region annexation

Russia's illegal occupation and annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula is entering its third year.

Read also Russian-occupied Crimea is one of the worst places for living - research

This comes as the US State Department reaffirms its commitment to Ukraine's territorial integrity. The U.S. says sanctions against Russia will not be lifted until the Black Sea region is returned to Ukraine. 

Read also How Russia plans to dodge US and EU sanctions over Ukraine

In February 2014 armed Russian units dubbed ‘little green men' stormed the regional parliament building in Crimea. Soon after, unmarked forces began appearing near Ukrainian military bases in the peninsula. On March 16, 2014 Russian authorities held a so-called referendum in Crimea which violated international law. That led to the US and EU imposing a number of economic sanctions targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

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