World Coins

Vladimir Putin's face on medals celebrating annexation of Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin is featured on a new medal, produced by a private factory, that commemorates his country’s annexation of Crimea, according to BBC News.

Opposite Putin’s portrait on the medal is a map of Crimea, which was a part of neighboring Ukraine before Putin’s Russia took control of the region in March after Crimean citizens voted to separate from the rest of Ukraine, according to NBC News.

Russian state media is cited by NBC News as saying the medal is meant to commemorate the “reunification” of Crimea and Russia. 

The international community, including the United States, has criticized Russia's annexation. Ukraine’s Slovyansk and Odessa are currently the site of rebel violence, according to CNN, as pro-Russian separatists battle Ukrainian security forces. 

The silver Putin medals, which weigh in at 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), are described as limited-edition items. The BBC reports 500 were produced and the medal is being called The Gathererer of Russian Lands, a nod to former Russian ruler Ivan the Great.

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