Russia issues banknote celebrating Crimea annexation
Moscow (AFP) - Russia's Central Bank on Wednesday issued a banknote depicting famous landmarks of Crimea, commemorating last year's annexation of the peninsula that was slammed by the West and led to sanctions against Moscow.
The banknote with the denomination of 100 rubles (about $1.40. 1.29 euros) is "dedicated to Crimea and Sevastopol becoming a part of the Russian Federation," the Central Bank said in a statement.
The beige note depicts famous architectural landmarks of Crimea and Sevastopol, the Black Sea city where Russia's Black Sea fleet has a base. Twenty million of such banknotes have been issued, the bank said.
Images on the note also include Russian Empress Catherine II, various war monuments and religious structures.
Russia formally annexed Crimea in March 2014 by a controversial referendum after sending special forces troops there to take over key institutions and military bases.
The events unfolded against political chaos in Kiev, where Ukraine's ex-president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by pro-Western protest leaders and fled.
Moscow later made Crimea and Sevastopol into two Russian regions, unleashing sanctions by the United States and the European Union over violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity.
Last year the Central Bank also issued a 10-ruble coin with Crimea imagery, dedicated to what Moscow deems a "reunification" of the peninsula with Russia.