Ukraine has collected evidence that the Russian Federation started to prepare for the annexation of the Crimea in 2013 – Petrenko

Ukraine has collected enough evidence to support the planned preparation of Russia for the annexation of the Crimea in 2013.

This was stated during a press conference in Kiev, the Minister of justice Pavel Petrenko, writes UNIAN.

“We were able to evidence that in 2013, Russia began active operations on the territory of Crimea. Russia illegally increased its contingent in the Crimea illegally transferred personnel and equipment, was carried out subversive work in the local authorities of the Crimea”, – he stressed.

According to Petrenko, the names of the officials of the Russian Federation, who coordinated the special operation, are known.

“We have the testimony of witnesses, in particular the cases of abduction of civilians and the application of torture in the period of the appearance of Russian troops in the Crimea – the so-called “little green men”, – the Minister added.

Petrenko also noted that the available evidence allows refuting the position of Russia that its actions in the Crimea became “an emotional reaction to the events in Ukraine.”

“It is a fraud and speculation. The active phase of the process (capture of the Crimea – approx.ed.) began in 2013. And at that time the leadership of the country – Yanukovych and his entourage could not know about these actions. But they were supporters and sought to in the Crimea was developed, the preparation for the seizure and occupation”, – summed up the head of the Ministry of justice.

We will remind, on March 16, 2014 on the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol was the so-called referendum on the status of the Peninsulaby results of which Russia included the Crimea in its composition. Neither Ukraine nor the European Union nor the United States did not recognize the vote and believe that Russia illegally annexed the Crimea.