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Crimea votes on whether to secede from Ukraine

Crimean Referendum: What Happens If Crimea Joins Russia
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) -- Residents of Ukraine's Crimea region voted on Sunday in a contentious referendum on whether to split off and seek annexation by Russia.

The vote is regarded as illegitimate both by the acting Ukrainian government and by the West, but is widely expected to pass. Crimea is predominantly ethnic Russian, and its residents say they fear the government that took over when pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted last month will oppress them.

Since Yanukovych fled to Russia, Crimea has come under control of local militia forces, as well as heavily armed troops under apparent command from Moscow.

On Saturday, Ukrainian officials said Russian forces backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles had advanced about 6 miles (10 kilometers) over the Crimean border into another Ukrainian region, where they took control of a village that holds a natural gas distribution facility.

If the referendum passes, Russia faces the prospect of sanctions from Western nations, but Moscow has vigorously resisted calls to pull back in Crimea.

In Sevastopol, the Crimean capital where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is based under a lease agreement with Ukraine, enthusiasm for the referendum was high with voters lining up outside polling stations before they opened.

"Today is an important day for all Crimea, Ukraine and Russia," said voter Manita Meshchina. "I think that people are expecting the majority of people will vote `yes.' What it means is that people believe and think they need to be with Russia."

In Sevastopol, more than 70 people surged into a polling station within the first 15 minutes of voting.

"Today is a holiday," said one of them, 66-year-old Vera Sverkunova. Asked how she voted, she broke into a patriotic war song: "I want to go home to Russia, it's been so long since I've seen my mama."


Dalton Bennett in Sevastopol and Jim Heintz in Kiev contributed to this story.


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Kat4Hat March 16 2014 at 1:00 PM

This is the second biggest victory of the people from Crimea since 1944 when they bit German Nazy. They did it again and gave a great lesson to the Kiev government how people's will can be heard.

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1 reply
odiegood Kat4Hat March 16 2014 at 1:58 PM

Yeah it was also a South Slav Serb that fired the shot that started WWI, = WWII and Nazi domination. vengeance, = Cold War = A new Progressive-Fascist Russia 2014, sounds like you want a WWIII to start. Ironically almost 100 years since a Slav started it back in June 1914. Millions and Millions of people Died.

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billcdaly March 16 2014 at 11:41 AM

IF the referendum passes???
Are you kidding me.
Ironic that Crimea and NK will probably have 100%
in the same week.
We continue to threaten while Russia continues to act - Big difference.

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Danny March 16 2014 at 1:30 PM

Sounds like a democratic vote to me. If that's the outcome, let it be. Look in this country and who we vote into office. To many times, it's a person that we don't like or agree with but they won the election. The opposing factions don't like it but we accept it. In a democratic election...sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

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1 reply
kvave Danny March 16 2014 at 1:35 PM

One which we may not want to directly interfere with as of yet. However we need to permit Ukraine entry into NATO , THEY do not want to be Russian Property. Redeploy Missle Defense , and Re Institute MAD. Let Putin know , ANY further Westward expansion efforts will not be permitted

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ajzz06 March 16 2014 at 1:29 PM

Who really cares about ANYTHING that happens over there. It will have zero affect or effect in one single aspect of my daily life! Worry more about what happens in our country and less about the insignificants!

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2 replies
kvave ajzz06 March 16 2014 at 1:33 PM

Because when it breaches the Security and Stability of Europe , it directly affects the West . Or dont you understand how the game works. YES it is a Game , of Global Chess

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shadowdew55 ajzz06 March 16 2014 at 1:45 PM


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1 reply
kvave shadowdew55 March 16 2014 at 1:53 PM

As well as Stalin , MAO and many other expansionist Regimes Absolutely Correct

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WELCOME STEVE March 16 2014 at 1:00 PM

What do you expect when MOST of the population of the Crimea is ethnic Russian? How can anyone in the West say with a straight face that it is wrong to have a region voluntarily split off after a fair referendum? Oh, but wait a minute. Isn't that what the North did to the South in the War Between the States? The North refused to let the South secede. The US seems to have a long history of "do as I say and not as I do." Obama is going to go down in flames on this one. The Crimea will vote to join Russia.

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2 replies
maorenia WELCOME STEVE March 16 2014 at 1:11 PM

Is it true that America fought for independence from England when most Americans were ethnically English and spoke English language?

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vans346 WELCOME STEVE March 16 2014 at 1:16 PM

And they will vote that way because they ARE Russian. Stalin went in and murdered millions, stole the land by replaceing the dead with Russian citizens. They say that they want to go home to Russia! Good gather up all your crap and go back to Russia and leave the Ukraine.

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georgiablew March 16 2014 at 12:45 PM

First I want to give you a search term, "Neo-Nazis In Ukraine" now just go see what you can find out. ;) Yes, they are part of this "new government" yes this is who our administration is supporting. Sadly the media has not talked much about it here in the US, but that is how they roll. You didn't see this story in the headlines here.

"""Ukraine Neo-Nazi Party Threatens Russia with Nukes: “We’ll Regain our Nuclear Status in 6 Months”

The ultra-right “Svoboda” (Liberty) party has remained unconvinced, with one of its representatives in the Ukrainian parliament warning that if Russia doesn’t tread carefully it will be dealing with a nuclear power.

“We’ll regain our status as a nuclear power and that’ll change the conversation. Ukraine has all the technological means needed to create a nuclear arsenal – which would take us about three to six months,” Svoboda party MP Mikhail Golovko said.""""

Welcome back Adolf.

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ladypooie March 16 2014 at 12:47 PM

My prayers to out to the people of Crimea. I hope and pray that the results, whatever they may be will be the best for them.

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ocogbogu March 16 2014 at 9:27 AM

Remember the Alamo!!!!

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1 reply
pmurrayr ocogbogu March 16 2014 at 9:48 AM

wasn't that a defeat and everyone died there?

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sasha March 16 2014 at 11:20 AM

Guess there are many who want back into the good old days of totalitarianism. Too bad that so many will benefit not at all from this. Crimea is poor, as is most of Russia. Better than Ukraine?

I am hoping the oligarchs who have helped Putin achieve the power he has are stripped of their US visas and sent home.

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1 reply
jeffreysneller sasha March 16 2014 at 11:48 AM

Not all Russian are poor. Putin has become one of the richest men in the world. I wonder how that happened on a President's salary. By the way, the dirty little secret about Crimea is the recent discovery of a massive oil shale reserve. More money for Putin and the Oligarchs who support him.

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jsbseven March 16 2014 at 12:52 PM

putin would bet that sob into the ground for lack of better words

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