April 18, 2024

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Russian representatives seek to cancel the Soviet transfer of the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine

Russian representatives seek to cancel the Soviet transfer of the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine

Russian lawmakers have introduced a bill to the Duma that would rewrite a chapter of history by overturning the 1954 Soviet decision to transfer Crimea from Russia to Ukraine.

The move appears aimed at creating a legal basis for Russia to argue that Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula it claims to have annexed from Ukraine in 2014, was never actually part of Ukraine in the first place.

The draft, introduced by a representative from both houses of the Russian Parliament, describes the 1954 handover as arbitrary and illegal because no referendum was held and the Soviet authorities did not have the right to transfer territory from one republic to another without its consent. .

The date on which the justices will discuss this issue has not been announced.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the surrender of Crimea in 1954 under former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, describing it as a violation of the legal rules in force at the time.

Crimeans voted for independence along with the rest of Ukraine in a referendum when the Soviet Union dissolved, and Russia and Ukraine subsequently recognized each other's borders. But Moscow took military control of Crimea in 2014 and annexed it after a referendum that Ukraine and Western governments declared illegal.

Russia used Crimea as a staging base for its all-out invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and has since announced the annexation of four more Ukrainian oblasts. Ukraine has carried out repeated attacks on Russian targets in Crimea and has vowed to regain all territory controlled by Russia.

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