• happening now    March 18 
Putin: Crimea is an 'inseparable part of Russia'

Russian President Vladimir Putin is addressing the Russian parliament this morning about Crimea's vote to secede from Ukraine. After opening up to a "standing ovation," Putin discussed the importance of the peninsula soon joining the Russian federation.

"Crimea is a unique melting pot of traditions and culture and that's why it looks like Russia," said Putin, adding that Crimea was always an "inseparable part of Russia."

He lamented the collapse of the Soviet Union and said Crimea is back where it belongs:

We all used to belong to the same country: The Soviet Union. ... The Soviet Union has collapsed. The events happened in such a fast way that many of the countries didn't realize ... When Crimea ended up in a different state, Russia realized that not only Russia was robbed, but Russia was robbed in broad daylight.

Watch the rest of the live speech at the BBC.

- - Jordan Valinsky
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