President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
I would like to speak to those present here, on this square in Simferopol, as well as to all people of Sevastopol and Crimea who are not here but whose hearts are with us.
I would like to congratulate you on the fifth anniversary of Crimea and Sevastopol’s reunification with Russia. This event has become part of our lives, our perception and our history as the Crimean Spring. And this was possible thanks to the referendum that took place five years ago, where all of you took part and voted for this historic decision.
You know, I will dare to make a certain historical comparison. The actions of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol remind me of the actions of Red Army soldiers during the first tragic months after the breakout of the Great Patriotic War, when they tried to battle through to join their comrades and carried their field flags close to their hearts. You have also kept your love for our Fatherland, Russia, for many years and even decades, although you were not part of Russian statehood. Thank you.
The events five years ago resulted in an incredible growth of patriotism across Russia and also demonstrated the great power of truth and justice. This is why Russia opened its heart and soul and embraced you into its huge multi-ethnic family with joy and happiness.
We have done a lot over the last five years, but there is still more to do. We have only created the basic conditions for development so far. But we will do everything we need to do, achieve all of the goals we have set and solve all of our tasks, because of this one condition: we are together.
I congratulate you. Thank you very much. I wish all of you good luck and happiness. I give all of you a hug!