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You're reading: Russia celebrates 3 years since it stole Crimea
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Russian authorities mark March 18 as a state holiday in Crimea, as they celebrate three years since Russia formally annexed the peninsula.

Ukraine, as well as the international community, condemns Russia for its violation of international law in occupying Crimea and demands that it stops massive human rights violations and persecution of Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukrainian citizens.

Human rights organizations have documented at least 279 cases of human rights violations, including kidnappings, searches of offices and apartments, arrests, and criminal cases being brought on bogus charges.

The real number might be much higher, however, as citizens on the peninsula may not be reporting all violations out of fear of retaliation from the Russian occupation authorities.

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