“Putin's plan to put the puppet government in Kiev has fallen. Crimea will have to return”, the leader of the Crimean Tatar People, Mustafa Dzhemilev, said during an open lecture at the Kyiv Institute of International Relations.
Dzhemilev recalled that during the annexation of the peninsula, Putin asked for support from the Crimean Tatars, promising them a bright future.
"In conversation with Putin on the 12th of March, 2014, he told us how happy we will be living in the Russian Federation and asked for our support. I said, 'Your referendum will not be recognized and it is better for Russia to immediately withdraw troops from our territory.' He repeated that people have the right to self-determination and they will determine the future by referendum", the leader of the Crimean Tatars said.
According to Dzhemilev, Putin hoped to regain influence in Ukraine with the pro-Kremlin authorities. "Putin has lost his following. This referendum has not been recognized by any civilized countries. This will be a permanent burden on the Russian Federation. However, Putin hoped that he would be able to install the regime through Yanukovych in Kiev, but he failed to do this too," Dzhemilev said.
"Putin has no other choice but to return Crimea", Dzhemilev concluded.