Following a November 2013 decision by the Ukrainian government to suspend preparations for a trade agreement with the European Union, Ukrainians staged massive protests against the government and President Victor Yanukovych that escalated during the early months of 2014. Subsequently, Crimea held a referendum on a proposal to secede from Ukraine and to become part of the Russian Federation, which passed overwhelmingly. On March 21, President Putin signed a law and related legislation for Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to officially become part of the Russian Federation.
The United States, the EU, and certain other nations have not recognized the referendum in Crimea and Russia’s actions annexing Crimea as legitimate and responded with targeted sanctions against specific government officials and related persons.
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