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Defying West, Putin signs treaty to annex Crimea

Steven Lee Myers Ellen Barry & Alan Cowell  |  Moscow 

A defiant President Vladimir V Putin claimed Crimea as a part of Russia on Tuesday, reversing what he described as a historic mistake made by the Soviet Union 60 years ago and brushing aside international condemnation that could leave Russia isolated for years to come. Within minutes of delivering a passionate speech to Russia's political elite, Putin cemented his pledge by signing a draft treaty with Crimean leaders to make the strategic Black Sea peninsula part of Russia. The events unfolded two days after Crimeans voted in a disputed referendum to break away from Ukraine. While ...

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First Published: Wed, March 19 2014. 00:21 IST