The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued a statement dedicated to the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, on which Vladimir Putin arrived on the territory of the peninsula. The liberation of all occupied territories is a matter of time, according to a text published on the ministry's website.
“It is reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is wanted by international justice for committing war crimes, arrived in the temporarily occupied Crimea today. For 9 years in a row, the Crimean peninsula has been suffering from the criminal regime of the Kremlin, which has turned it into a military outpost, a zone of captivity and oppression, aggression and terror against everything and everyone who has found the courage to resist and defend their democratic rights and values.”
What the Kremlin calls “attaching” as a result of the “referendum” in Kyiv was called a Kremlin-directed “action” at gunpoint. The Foreign Ministry recalled that Moscow's actions are contrary to the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, and also grossly violate international law and are not recognized by the international community.
According to BILD, on March 18, pro-Kremlin activists staged actions dedicated to the annexation of Crimea in Moscow in front of the embassies of 20 Western countries declared “unfriendly”. Thus, the youth pro-government movement Young Guard issued a statement saying that Germany, the United States, Britain, France and Poland, as well as a number of other countries, support Ukraine and supply lethal weapons to the Ukrainian army.
Western countries issued statements on the anniversary of the occupation of Crimea. In support of Ukraine, including the embassies of Britain, Finland and Sweden.
Putin arrived in Sevastopol on the ninth anniversary of the annexation of the peninsula, March 18, 2023. This is Putin's first full-fledged visit to the peninsula since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in December 2022 he drove across the Crimean bridge in a Mercedes, but did not visit the peninsula itself. According to the Russian- appointed "head" of the city, Mikhail Razvozhaev, in the Telegram channel, Putin arrived "on his own, at the wheel." There is no official information about Putin's visit to Sevastopol on the Kremlin's website.