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Putin describes secret meeting to take Crimea

Vladimir Putin
Maxim Shipenkov | Pool | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described a secret meeting with officials last year when Russia decided it would take Crimea — the Black Sea region Moscow annexed from Ukraine last March.

In a trailer for an upcoming documentary on state-owned television aired late Sunday, Putin said that he met with security officials in February to make plans for saving Ukraine's then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled power after months of pro-European protests in the Ukrainian capital.

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Putin said that after the meeting he told the security chiefs that they would be "obliged to start working to return Crimea to Russia."

The Kremlin originally denied that it had sent troops into Crimea, but Putin later announced on state television that Russian troops had been sent in.