Taking The Plunge

A man jumps into the waters of the Black Sea, with a Russian warship seen in the background, in Sevastopol, Crimea, August 8, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, senior government officials and many lawmakers will visit Crimea this week, two sources told Reuters, in a defiant show of support for Russia's annexation of the Black Sea region despite tough new Western economic sanctions. A source from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party said most of the 450 lawmakers from the State Duma lower house of parliament were expected to join Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Crimea for talks on August 14. Crimea, famed for its lush climate, summer resorts and rich literary associations, is largely populated by ethnic Russians. Moscow presented the region as a gift to Ukraine from Russia in the 1950s when both were firmly united within the Soviet Union. Picture taken August 8, 2014.

( STRINGER / REUTERS / August 13, 2014 )

A man jumps into the waters of the Black Sea, with a Russian warship seen in the background, in Sevastopol, Crimea, August 8, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin, senior government officials and many lawmakers will visit Crimea this week, two sources told Reuters, in a defiant show of support for Russia's annexation of the Black Sea region despite tough new Western economic sanctions. A source from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party said most of the 450 lawmakers from the State Duma lower house of parliament were expected to join Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Crimea for talks on August 14. Crimea, famed for its lush climate, summer resorts and rich literary associations, is largely populated by ethnic Russians. Moscow presented the region as a gift to Ukraine from Russia in the 1950s when both were firmly united within the Soviet Union. Picture taken August 8, 2014.

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