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Crimean Citizens Vote for Reunion with Russia
17.03.2014 13:24
Crimean Citizens Vote for Reunion with Russia

Some 96.7 percent of voters or 1.2 million people in Crimea supported reunion with Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine, as 100 percent of the ballots counted after the referendum.

      On Sunday night, thousands of Crimeans, residents of the southern Ukrainian region, went to the streets of Crimean cities to celebrate the confirmed overwhelming support to join Russia. They were waving Russian and Crimean flags and singing Soviet-era patriotic songs. The most popular slogan that night was "We are going home!"

      Crimea’s regional assembly, which was dissolved by the Ukrainian parliament Saturday, plans to send a formal request to Moscow to join Russia after a session on Monday.

      Sunday’s referendum is at the center of the most serious geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.

      Western and Ukrainian leaders have decried the referendum as illegitimate, noting that masked troops that seized key military sites on the peninsula two weeks ago and widely believed to be under Russian command necessarily undermine the neutrality of the voting process.

      The European Union has described the Crimea vote as "illegal and illegitimate” and said it would consider Monday imposing sanctions on Russian officials. The White House said it would reject the results of the referendum held “under threats of violence and intimidation.”

      Most of Crimean citizens are Russians by birth. The Crimean peninsula was the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic until 19 February 1954, when it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR. In 1991 it became part of independent Ukraine, as the Autonomous Republic Crimea together with the city of Sevastopol.

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Crimea Ukraine crisis Ukraine Crimean referendum  

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