On March 18, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea to mark the sixth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine. Putin arrived in the Crimean capital of Simferopol to commemorate the region’s forced annexation in 2014. During the visit, Putin attended a military parade in Sevastopol and spoke to a crowd at a stadium in Yalta. He also held a meeting with local officials and participated in the opening of a newly constructed bridge connecting the peninsula to the Russian mainland. In a speech, Putin said that the people of Crimea chose to rejoin Russia “in a free, democratic and open manner” and that the move was irreversible. He also praised the development of the region since its annexation and thanked the Russian military for its role in protecting the peninsula.