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Russian PM Heads to Crimea on Ukraine Election Day

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Crimea during Ukraine's presidential vote on Sunday as Moscow demonstrates its hold over the peninsula it annexed in March.

Among other meetings during the two-day visit, Medvedev will on Sunday visit immigration offices in the city of Sevastopol where Russian passports are being issued to local residents, his office said in a statement.

On Monday Medvedev will visit the Artek camp, a famed children's center on the Black Sea opened in 1925 that during the Soviet era hosted thousands of youths from the USSR and foreign countries.

The camp has fallen into disrepair and Russian authorities are expected to help restore it, among a slew of other projects for the region after the annexation.

Russia's takeover of Crimea, which came after government buildings were seized by pro-Moscow gunmen following the ouster of Ukraine's Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych, was widely condemned by Western leaders.

The annexation, and Russia's alleged backing for well-armed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, have brought relations between Moscow and the West to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

Medvedev first visited Crimea in late March and President Vladimir Putin attended Victory Day celebrations on May 9 in the region, where he said its return to Russia had restored a "historic truth".

Source: Agence France Presse


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