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Common Dreams

Crimean Residents Vote to Join Russia

by
Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Update 8:15 PM EST:

Over 95 percent of Crimean residents have voted to join Russia, according to officials.

Updates and analyses are being posted to Twitter.

Earlier:

Crimean residents took to the polls Sunday to participate in a hotly contested referendum on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

Residents of the Crimean Peninsula have been given two choices in the vote: join Russia or gain greater autonomy un Ukraine. "There is no option to retain the status quo," according to The Guardian.

It is widely speculated that the referendum will fall on the side of joining with Russia. A GFK poll taken Thursday and Friday found that 70 percent of Crimean residents favor joining Russia.

Facing charges of illegality from the West and Kiev, Russia has vigorously defended the referendum as compliant with international law.

Russian media reports high turnout to the polls. However, Crimean Tatars are reportedly boycotting the vote, which is taking place amid climbing military escalation from Russia and the West.

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