Russian leader Vladimir Putin decided to annex Crimea at the drop of a hat on February 23, 2014; Ilya Ponomarev, the former lawmaker from the Russian State Duma said that at a session of Obolon district court in Kyiv, as the jury considered the case of ex-president Viktor Yanukovych.
'The decision was made on either late February 22 or early February 23. And it was a personal initiative of Russian president Putin. I trust this piece of information to be correct since it comes from the actual participant of that meeting in Moscow (which involved Putin and his close aides, - 112 International). I am quite sure that the Russian leadership had already carried out certain plans regarding Crimea,' he said.
Crimea was annexed by Russia by the illegal referendum held in March 2014. Earlier the Russian militaries that stayed there without any marking conquered all the force and state bodies of strategic military objects and building. The results of the referendum were not recognized by Ukraine and the world society. The number of the European and world countries, including Ukraine imposed the economic sanctions against Russia.