The leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny said in an interview with Dozhd (Rain) TV that a fair referendum must be held in the annexed Crimea.
“What should any nice person, any president do? They must declare another normal—or rather, not one more, but the first normal fair referendum—which Ukraine, of course, won’t recognize with a high degree of probability. We understand this,” Navalny said.
Navalny said he understands that his words are not liked by many people in Ukraine and Russia but he is still confident that the Crimea will not be recognized by anyone in the near future. He added that the Crimea "in fact will remain a part of the Russian Federation."
“The question here is not in Ukraine and Russia but in the real will of the residents of the Crimea, which should be determined in real terms, and not as it was,” he stressed.
According to Navalny, the past referendum was an ‘obvious fake.’ He announced his position on the Crimea more than once. It has not changed in the three years since Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula.
With the Russian troops deployed to the peninsula, the referendum on the status of the region was held in the Crimea and in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014.
According to the ‘official’ data, 96.77% of voters in the Republic and 95.6% in Sevastopol voted for membership in the Russian Federation. The ‘Supreme Council’ of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the ‘City Council’ of Sevastopol approved the results of the referendum held on March 17.
Later, the Council on Human Rights under Russian President Putin acknowledged that the turnout and the results of the referendum in Crimea were greatly exaggerated
On March 27, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on its adherence to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its borders recognized by the international community. On April 15, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a law according to which the Crimea and Sevastopol were declared as territories occupied by Russia.