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Mar 18, 2014

Mourners at murdered Crimean Tatar’s burial blame Putin

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Hundreds of mourners gathered at a cemetery outside Simferopol on Tuesday for the burial of Reshat Ametov, whose murder has sparked anger and fear in a Crimean Tatar community bitterly opposed to Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula.

Ametov, who was in his 30s, disappeared on March 3 when three men in military jackets led him away from the scene of a protest in the Crimean regional capital of Simferopol, witnesses said.

Mar 18, 2014

Crimea’s return to Russia leaves Tatars fearful of future

BELOGORSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Among the voices drowned out by victory celebrations across Crimea as it voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia were those of the Tatars, a minority group for whom the prospect of a return to Moscow rule brings only fear and uncertainty.

The Sunni Muslims, who are of Turkic origin, consider Crimea their home, and their deportation to Central Asia by Soviet forces during World War Two and earlier suppression by Josef Stalin meant they were far more comfortable with Ukraine.

Mar 17, 2014

Moscow wins Crimea vote, West readies sanctions

SIMFEROPOL/KIEV (Reuters) – Crimea’s Moscow-backed leaders declared a 96-percent vote in favour of quitting Ukraine and annexation by Russia in a referendum Western powers said was illegal and will bring immediate sanctions.

As state media in Russia carried a startling reminder of its power to turn the United States to “radioactive ash”, President Barack Obama spoke to Vladimir Putin, telling the Russian president that he and his European allies were ready to impose “additional costs” on Moscow for violating Ukraine’s territory.

Mar 17, 2014

Moscow wins overwhelming Crimea vote, West readies sanctions

SIMFEROPOL/KIEV (Reuters) – Crimea’s Moscow-backed leaders declared a 96-percent vote in favour of quitting Ukraine and annexation by Russia in a referendum Western powers said was illegal and will bring immediate sanctions.

As state media in Russia carried a startling reminder of its

power to turn the United States to “radioactive ash”, President Barack Obama spoke to Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling the Russian president that he and his European allies were ready to impose “additional costs” on Moscow for violating Ukraine’s territory.

Mar 17, 2014

Crimeans vote over 90 percent to quit Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL/KIEV (Reuters) – Russian state media said Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to break with Ukraine and join Russia on Sunday, as Kiev accused Moscow of pouring forces into the peninsula and warned separatist leaders “the ground will burn under their feet”.

With over half the votes counted, 95.5 percent had chosen the option of annexation by Moscow, the head of the referendum commission, Mikhail Malyshev, said two hours after polls closed. Turnout was 83 percent, he added – a high figure given that many who opposed the move had said they would boycott the vote.

Mar 16, 2014

Tense Crimea votes overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum on Sunday that has alarmed the former Soviet republic and triggered the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.

According to results of an exit poll announced first on Russian media, 93 percent of voters backed a union with Moscow, 60 years after Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, an ethnic Ukrainian, gifted Crimea to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic on an apparent whim.

Mar 16, 2014

Crimeans vote on union with Russia as troops build up rapidly

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine/KIEV (Reuters) – Crimeans voted in a referendum on Sunday on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, with Kiev accusing Moscow of rapidly building up its armed forces on the peninsula in “crude violation” of an international treaty.

Caught in an East-West crisis reminiscent of the Cold War, Ukrainian acting defence minister Ihor Tenyukh said Russian troop numbers in Crimea were now almost double the level agreed with Moscow, and Kiev’s forces were taking “appropriate measures” along the border with Russia.

Mar 16, 2014

Tense Crimea chooses whether to leave Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Crimeans decided on Sunday whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum that has alarmed the ex-Soviet republic and triggered the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.

Thousands of Russian troops have taken control of the Black Sea peninsula, and Crimea’s pro-Russian leaders have sought to ensure the vote is tilted in Moscow’s favour.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimeans set to vote in referendum to leave Ukraine for Russia

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Crimeans decide on Sunday whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum that has infuriated Kiev and triggered the biggest crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.

Thousands of Russian troops have taken control of the Black Sea peninsula, and Crimea’s pro-Russian leaders have worked hard to ensure that the vote is tilted in Moscow’s favour.

Mar 15, 2014

Crimea to vote on joining Russia, Moscow wields UN veto

KIEV/SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine, March 15 (Reuters) – Pro-Russian
leaders in Crimea made final preparations on Saturday for a
referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea
region from Ukraine to Moscow, despite an outcry and threat of
sanctions from the West.

Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that
declared the referendum invalid, as Ukraine’s defence ministry
scrambled aircraft and paratroopers to confront what it said was
a Russian encroachment just beyond Crimea’s formal regional
boundary.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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