October 18, 2018  |  Updated October 29, 2018

Putin Repeats Old False Claim that Crimea ‘is Ours’

By William Echols
Russia's President Vladimir Putin at an annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club.

In his wide-ranging comments at the annual Valdai Discussion Club meeting in Sochi – Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Russians are “going to heaven as martyrs” in the event of a nuclear holocaust and claims that Wednesday’s Kerch college shooting was the “result of globalization.” But those remarkable assertions are not what we are fact checking here.

Putin also returned to a perennially contentious topic: the status of Crimea. “Crimea is ours,” Putin said. ”And why ours? Not because we came and grabbed something.” He stated that people in Crimea voted for a referendum that resulted in the peninsula becoming a part of the Russian Federation – – the “will of the people,” he said.

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