Russian film on Crimea sparks off quarrels

Updated: 2015-03-16 09:25


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MOSCOW - Russia, Ukraine and the United States have been quarreling over a Russian documentary film named "Crimea: The Way Home," which was first broadcast on Sunday through Russian TV channels.

Made by Andrei Kondrashov, the documentary contains exclusive interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials, revealing details on the incorporation of the Crimean republic into Russia following a referendum in March 2014.

In the film, Putin accused the United States as "the real puppeteer" behind the Ukrainian political crisis and the ouster of the country's pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014.

"Our American partners and friends ... helped prepare nationalists and combat troops in Ukraine," Putin claimed.

He also pointed out that Russia had been ready to place nuclear forces on alert if an "unfavorable scenario" in Crimea had unfolded.

The documentary aroused quite a controversy in the United States and Ukraine, as both sides refused to recognize Crimea's joining Russia.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki on Tuesday slammed the Russian film as "consistent with the deceitful approach we have seen when Russia denies its involvement in eastern Ukraine."

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stressed Wednesday after meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that "the annexation of Crimea constantly violated human rights," according to Ukraine's presidential press service.

The quarrel seemed to reach its peak as Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said he had asked the Ministry of Justice to send the trailer of the Russian documentary to the international courts in The Hague of the Netherlands.

He insisted that international investigators and prosecutors should launch a full-scale investigation into the events surrounding Crimea's incorporation into Russia.

However, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov on Friday said that the case is not being tried in The Hague, calling Kiev's moves as "pure propaganda" and "counterproductive to the solution of Ukraine crisis."