MOSCOW (AP) — Residents of cities in Crimea and Russia are gathering to commemorate the third anniversary of Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine.
The annexation was widely denounced by the West, and both the United States and the European Union imposed sanction on Russia in response.
The annexation agreement on March 18, 2014, came two days after a referendum on secession that was hastily called in the wake of massive protests that drove Ukraine's pro-Russia president to flee the country.
In Sevastopol, Crimea's prime port of the base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, about 3,000 people gathered to mark the anniversary. Other commemoration festivities were held throughout mainland Russia on Saturday, news reports said.