The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, explains why he went to Crimea on the eve of the referendum on the 28th of February in 2014. A video explaining the situation was posted on the President’s Facebook page.
Poroshenko said that the beginning of an “adventure story” had become clear starting with the appearance of the "green men" and other mass movements in Crimea. The President said that he engaged in negotiations with the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of the Crimea and with the acting President at the time, Oleksandr Turchynov.
According to Poroshenko, on the 28th of February, he arrived in Crimea with the firm intention "to change the situation and the belief that even one person is able to dispel the fog of the Kremlin propaganda."
"Since then, my intentions have not changed. Crimea is Ukraine. I have done all I can and I will do everything for the deoccupation of the Peninsula," he said.
Poroshenko noted that during the visit, he "scheduled talks with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada (the Parliament) of Crimea, the Presidium and the Head, to offer them what they wanted. We were ready to pronounce all the details under the laws of Ukraine, the Constitution of the Crimea".
At the airport he was met by ranks of soldiers who tried to block him, asking him not to go to the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea. They suggested holding a meeting "in the bath and laundry complex outside of Simferopol".
"The Verkhovna Rada, allegedly discussing the referendum, was blocked and closed. There was not a single person there. There was a cordon of Russian troops. From the point of view of the international law, it was an absolutely clear act of annexation", Poroshenko said. He added that these people were not military servicemen of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. They were specially deployed Special Forces from Russia and trained for the occupation of Crimea.