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This Day in History: March 11

The saber-rattling of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy intensified on March 11, 2014, when Russia annexed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, escalating the Russian military’s intervention in Ukraine.

The move has not been recognized as legal by most Western nations, who implemented political and economic sanctions against Russia.  

To commemorate its annexation of Crimea, however, Russia issued a 100-ruble note in 2015.  

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The face of the note is devoted to Sevastopol, a city on the Crimean peninsula now under Russia’s control as a federal city.

The note face features the Monument to the Ships sunk during the Siege of Sevastopol in 1854. In the background is a painting of sailing ships and outlines of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral and other historical buildings in Sevastopol. At the bottom is the outline of a monument commemorating the defense of Sevastopol in World War II.  

The back of the note is devoted to Crimea. It features the famous “Swallow’s Nest” castle. In the background are landmarks and buildings from around Crimea, including the Big Khan Mosque and RT-70 radio telescope. At the bottom is a QR code that leads to a Bank of Russia website that describes the note in detail.  

The note has a watermark of Catherine the Great, who incorporated Crimea into Russia in 1783.

Since Russia's latest takeover of Crimea, though, the ruble has lost nearly half its value.

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