Crimea

People bring flowers to the eternal flame on the memorial of the heroic defense of Sevastopol (1941-1942) as Crimeans celebrate the first anniversary of the referendum on Monday in Sevastopol, Crimea . Today marks the first anniversary of the referendum which resulted in the annexation of the territory by Russia

Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images

People bring flowers to the eternal flame on the memorial of the heroic defense of Sevastopol (1941-1942) as Crimeans celebrate the first anniversary of the referendum on Monday in Sevastopol, Crimea . Today marks the first anniversary of the referendum which resulted in the annexation of the territory by Russia

TOPSHOTS A man walks through heaps of wa...TOPSHOTS A man walks through heaps of waste as seagulls flock over a garbage dump in the Crimean city of Sevastopol on January 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / YURI LASHOVYURI LASHOV/AFP/Getty Images

Yuri Lashovyuri/AFP/Getty

Seagulls flock over a rubbish dump in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. 

People walk out of the cool waters of the Black Sea, as winter swimming fans gather on a beach on the Orthodox Christmas day in the Crimean

Pavel Rebrov/Reuters

People walk out of the cool waters of the Black Sea, as winter swimmers gather on a beach on the Orthodox Christmas day in the Crimean port of Yevpatoriya on Wednesday

Fishermen row a boat loaded with mullet near the fishing farm in the Crimean village of Olenivka. Russian wheat has made a surprise early exit from key global export markets, despite the country's near-record crop, after domestic prices rose in the fall-out from the Ukraine crisis. Moscow in early August imposed a one-year ban on all meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables from the United States, the 28 European Union countries, Canada, Australia and Norway.

Pavel Rebrov/Reuters

Fishermen row a boat loaded with mullet near the fishing farm in the Crimean village of Olenivka. Russian wheat has made a surprise early exit from key global export markets, despite the country’s near-record crop, after domestic prices rose in the fall-out from the Ukraine crisis

A litttle boy sits in a baby's bath at a temporary facility for refugees form Eastern Ukraine, 20 km outside from the Crimean capital Simferopol, on July 17, 2014. Kiev and the West blame Moscow for fuelling the fighting but those leaving the rebels' self-proclaimed republics say that joining the thousands of others who have already headed across the border into Russia is their only hope.

Max Vetrov/AFP

A litttle boy sits in a baby’s bath at a temporary facility for refugees form Eastern Ukraine, 20 km outside from the Crimean capital Simferopol, on Thursday

Soviet military veterans take part in the flower laying ceremony at the Soviet-era World War II memorial in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images

Military veterans take part in the flower-laying ceremony at the Soviet-era second world war memorial in Sevastopol, Crimea. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the departing Nato chief, on Friday said Russian accusations that Nato was violating “red lines” in their bilateral post-cold war agreements were false.

Russian lawmaker, Hero of Russia Alexander Chekalin carries a Crimean flag, to add to a line of Russian regional flags in the hall of the Russian Federation Council building in Moscow, Russia. Two flags, one of Crimea and the other one of Sevastopol have been added to a line of Russian regional flags in the hall of the Federation Council, marking the end of celebrations on the occasion of the region's accession to Russia.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Russian lawmaker, Hero of Russia Alexander Chekalin carries a Crimean flag, to add to a line of Russian regional flags in the hall of the Russian Federation Council building in Moscow, Russia. Two flags, one of Crimea and the other one of Sevastopol have been added to a line of Russian regional flags in the hall of the Federation Council, marking the end of celebrations on the occasion of the region’s accession to Russia.

Russian officers walk to meet Ukrainian colleagues on the ship Slavutich in Sevastopol...Russian officers walk to meet Ukrainian colleagues on the ship Slavutich in Sevastopol, March 20, 2014. The legal process required to make Crimea part of Russia will be completed this week, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY)

Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Russian officers walk to meet Ukrainian colleagues on the ship Slavutich in Sevastopol. The legal process required to make Crimea part of Russia will be completed this week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday. 

A Ukrainian officer leaves as Russian so...A Ukrainian officer leaves as Russian soldiers stand guard after they took control of the Ukrainian navy south headquarters base in Novoozerne on March 19, 2014. Russian forces seized control of a second Ukrainian navy base in western Crimea on March 19, hours after capturing the main navy headquarters in Sevastopol. Some 50 Ukrainian servicemen were seen filing out of the base at Novoozerne as Russian soldiers stood by, while pro-Moscow militants raised the Russian flag over the base.  AFP PHOTO/ Filippo MONTEFORTE FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A Ukrainian officer leaves as Russian soldiers stand guard after they took control of the Ukrainian navy south headquarters base in Novoozerne. Russian forces seized control of a second Ukrainian navy base in western Crimea on Wednesday, hours after capturing the main navy headquarters in Sevastopol. Some 50 Ukrainian servicemen were seen filing out of the base at Novoozerne as Russian soldiers stood by, while pro-Moscow militants raised the Russian flag over the base 

People attend a rally called "We are together" to support the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea to Russia in Red Square in central Moscow

Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

People attend a rally to support the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea to Russia in Red Square in central Moscow, on Tuesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine. The flags display portraits of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and read “We are together!

President Vladimir Putin speaks about Crimea...epa04130843 Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrives to sign a treaty with Crimean leaders on reunification with Russia in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, 18 March 2014. Crimea and Sevastopol will join Russia as two separate regions, President Putin said, adding that he would sign treaties immediately.  EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY / POOL

Sergei Ilnitsky/EPA

Russia‘s President Vladimir Putin arrives to sign a treaty with Crimean leaders on reunification with Russia in the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia, 18 March 2014. Crimea and Sevastopol will join Russia as two separate regions, President Putin said, adding that he would sign treaties immediately.

A Cossack guard stands in front of Crimea's regional parliament building in Simferopol on March 12, 2014. Pro-Moscow lawmakers in Crimea voted for independence from Ukraine on March 11 in a precursor to a referendum this weekend for the region to become part of Russia..  AFP PHOTO/ Filippo MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A Cossack guard stands in front of Crimea’s regional parliament building in Simferopol

Pro-Kremlin activists hold Russian national, Russian and Soviet naval flags and orange-black flags made of the St. George's Ribbons, a well-known Russian symbol of military valor, during a rally in support of ethnic Russians in Ukraine  in central Moscow, on March 10, 2014. Ukraine sought today urgent Western backing after Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted that Crimea had the right to join his country even while hinting at a readiness for dialogue.

Dmitry Serebryakov/AFP

Pro-Kremlin activists hold Russian national, Russian and Soviet naval flags and orange-black flags made of the St George’s Ribbons, a well-known Russian symbol of military valor, during a rally in support of ethnic Russians in Ukraine in central Moscow, on Monday.

**BESTPIX**  Tensions Grow In Crimea As Diplomatic Talks Continue...SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 07:  Cossacks stand guard at the entrance to the Crimean Parliament building on March 7, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Russian Cossacks, some heavily armed, have taken up guard duties at road checkpoints, border crossings and other key facilities that were previously guarded by local, pro-Russian militants across Crimea in recent days. The Crimean Parliament voted yesterday to hold a referendum on March 16 to determine whether Crimea shall secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

Sean Gallup/Getty

Cossacks stand guard at the entrance to the Crimean parliament building on Friday in Simferopol, Ukraine. Russian Cossacks, some heavily armed, have taken up guard duties at road checkpoints, border crossings and other key facilities that were previously guarded by local, pro-Russian militants across Crimea in recent days. The Crimean parliament voted yesterday to hold a referendum on March 16 to determine whether Crimea shall secede from Ukraine and join Russia. 

A priest reads a prayer for peace to Ukrainian servicemen at a base in the Crimean village of Bakhchisaray, near Simferopol...A priest reads a prayer for peace to Ukrainian servicemen at a base in the Crimean village of Bakhchisaray, near Simferopol, March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Thomas Peter/Reuters

A priest reads a prayer for peace to Ukrainian servicemen at a base in the Crimean village of Bakhchisaray, near Simferopol 

Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol...Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 3, 2014. Ukraine mobilised for war on Sunday and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbour in Moscow's biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War. Russian forces have already bloodlessly seized Crimea, an isolated Black Sea peninsula where Moscow has a naval base. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY CIVIL UNREST)

David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

Military personnel, believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye, outside Simferopol. Ukraine mobilised for war on Sunday and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbour in Moscow’s biggest confrontation with the west since the Cold War