Russia: New banknote marks Crimea annexation

Sevastopol's Monument to Sunken Ships Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sevastopol's Monument to Scuttled Ships could appear on the new bank notes

Russians are to see a new banknote commemorating Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, in what could appear to be an act of defiance against world opinion.

The 100 rouble note ($1.50; £1) will appear next month to mark the controversial Russian takeover of the peninsula in March 2014, the Moscow Times newspaper reports. Speaking to the official TASS news agency, Georgy Luntovsky, the deputy chairman of the Bank of Russia, said that the notes will feature "symbols of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol", just as soon as the final design has been discussed with senior officials in the region.

While this is the first banknote to mark Crimea's annexation, Russians already have commemorative 10 rouble coins marking images of the annexation, carrying images of the Swallow's Nest castle in Yalta and Sevastopol's Monument to the Sunken Ships, Moscow Times says.

Russia's annexation of Crimea followed the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, and has been widely condemned as an illegal act by world leaders. This, and a prolonged fighting between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country, has led to the imposition of a series of economic sanctions against Russia.

Image copyright Bank of Russia
Image caption The current 100 rouble note features the Bolshoi Ballet

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