Unveiled this weekend in Simferopol, a cast bronze monument called "вежливым людям" (Polite People in English) was unveiled to honor the Russian solidiers who secured Crimea's people from an uncertain fate.
the Plenipotentiary representative of the President of Russia in the Crimean Federal district Oleg Belaventsev, had this to say at the opening of the monument:
"The monument symbolizes strength, tranquility, confidence and courtesy of our Russian soldiers."
Crimea's Sergey Aksenov expressed confidence that the monument will be popular among residents of Simferopol, and also promised to develop the brand "polite people" on the Peninsula.
The statue of a Russian warfighter in full gear, with girls and flowers running at the feet of a cat, was created by academician of the Russian Academy of arts, and people's artist of Russia Salavat Shcherbakov. The concept for "Polite People" is really a euphemism for members of the Armed forces of Russia in military uniform without insignia, providing security in the Crimea during the preparation and conduct of local referendum on the Peninsula in February-March 2014, after which the region was reunited with Russia.
The "Little Green Men" of western mainstream media, were actually sent to the Peninsula to ensure Russian speakers there were not subjected to the same fate as some in Odessa and elsewhere in Ukraine. The strategic necessity of securing Crimea naval faciliities also layed beneath the "polite" military mission too, but Crimeans typically are appreciative of being "rescued" from an uncertain fate.
Crimea held a referendum on its status on March 16, 2014, one which Ukraine did not recognize the results of. Meanwhile, the The EU and the United States called Russia's actions annexation and imposed sanctions against her. The monument is a bit typical, of the Russian sense of reality and humor, for those uninformed in the west.